It appears that for each record copied by FamilySearch, there is a new profile made for the people stated in that record. Sometimes it seems the same records were processed just days apart. Consequently, there are multiples profiles that require intense study of the records. In addition there are similar records with the names spelled a bit different, etc., but the dates and other information match. These merges become a labor intensive task analyzing all the data and discovering (as is stated in other comments), the records may be the same, but with different URLs. A lot of to-ing and fro-ing goes on. Recently I have been merging several profiles and today one ended up with 66 records. Now, I don't have time to sort them out -- I am elderly, my eyesight is compromised and my time on this planet is limited. Too much!! The easiest way to deal with it, is to accept them all if they prove to be a match for the profile person. But, there must be a better way. I have not found any information by FamilySearch that answers this situation.
@Donna Pagenkopf Libal
On your initial point, "...for each record copied by FamilySearch, there is a new profile made for the people stated in that record", FamilySearch does not create profiles, so this would probably be do to multiple users each creating a profile (coincidentally), possibly around the same time. Obviously, the individuals who subsequently created profiles for the individual(s) in question did not check carefully to see one already existed, thus creating the need for the merging of these IDs.
I agree that having multiple sources / records for the same event can cause a lot of clutter and I suggested, some time ago, that true copies (in every way except URL) should be retired. FamilySearch appears recently to have adopted this practice (or, at least tried to), but this has shown the idea not to have been a good one, after all. What has happened is that, in many cases, a human (or perhaps a machine) has retired a record that contained more detail than the surviving one. It appears FamilySearch does not yet have a system that can differentiate between these records (whether they contain the exact, same indexed data or maybe have just slightly different content). So, it appears they are not ready (if they ever will be) to make judgments involving which records to keep available (for its search engine to produce for researchers) and which can be safely retired.
Probably the majority of FamilySearch users are not "young", many being far from that! However, to use FamilySearch / Family Tree one must have a reasonable amount of patience and time on ones hands. I regularly need to spend two or three days sorting out incorrectly merged individuals / families and assign the profiles to the correct branches of Family Tree. And, yes, sorting both sources and potential duplicate individuals can be very "labour intensive". I consider my age to be an advantage (rather than the opposite) in dealing with this work, as I'm sure I would struggle even more if I still had full-time employment to undertake as well.
I would encourage you to accept the imperfections in the way both the FamilySearch (records) and Family Tree programs are set-up and continue to work on a website that has provided so many of us with opportunities in discovering our ancestral lines that would never have presented themselves otherwise.
Just one general, additional comment: please, "FamilySearch", try to address the issue of placing duplicate material online, in future.
I don't expect (especially after the recent poor judgments) that existing records should be retired, but that before new collections are added, the existing database should be checked to ensure they have not been added already. In some cases, I believe duplication has arisen due to another indexing project being undertaken on the same material, using the exact same criteria when indexing (i.e., the further project has not been of any further help by it including additional data). In other cases, I am sure someone has "pushed the button twice" in putting a collection online for a second time. (I see the same citation reference / film number, confirming the original source / indexing project as being the same one.)
Please take care in not wasting the time of indexers (where a further project adds no additional value to the one already completed), or of researchers - who then have to add multiple items (truly identical in content and source) to the Sources sections of Family Tree IDs. This just causes unwanted clutter and makes for difficult sorting / ordering of the boxes affected by the issue.
@Donna Pagenkopf Libal To expand on Paul W's comments but come at them from a different angle, I wonder if when you state:
It appears that for each record copied by FamilySearch, there is a new profile made for the people stated in that record. Sometimes it seems the same records were processed just days apart. Consequently, there are multiples profiles that require intense study of the records. In addition there are similar records with the names spelled a bit different, etc., but the dates and other information match.
you are referring to the old extraction program and the IGI.
if you are "elderly" as you state and been doing genealogy work for a long time, then you should be familiar with these. For the sake of the "youngsters" who are not, I'll just review them quickly.
The extraction program was a forerunner to indexing in which volunteers would go through birth and marriage records line by line copying out a child's name, birth information, and parents names or bride and groom names. These lists would eventually end up in the IGI (International Genealogical Index) or the PRF (Pedigree Resource File) or both. These two database were basically single lines of data containing just the information extracted and did not have any additional linking of families.
If a man and woman were born, grew up, married, and had their family of eight kids all in the same parish, you will find them in the IGI in:
That is a total of 11 lines in the IGI right there. Some parishes were extracted more than once which could mean 22 or 33 IGI records for this family.
When Family Tree was created, Two of the databases that was used to create it were the IGI the PRF. So the up to 33 records for this family were all imported from those into Family Tree. The import was done in the spring of 2012 over several weeks. Since these old records did not have contributors, the contributor was added as FamilySearch.
You can generally recognized most of these old IGI records because a Family Tree record will have just the child's name, often just a christening date and place but sometimes also the birth date, and just parents names with no other information about the parents or will have a bride and groom, a marriage date and place and sometimes the father's name for each of them. They will have a creation date of sometime in the spring of 2012.
Yes, they will have various spellings for records from the same family because the extraction process took the names as they were spelling in one particular record.
As you are finding, a major work for us users of Family Tree is to take these millions of individual IGI and PFR leaves and by correctly analyzing and merging them get them correctly attached to the Tree.
Here is a typical example of one of these IGI records: https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/MP1V-Y22
You can see the minimal information (his parents have no information besides their names) and that "last changed" date of 13 June 2012 by FamilySearch. That is actually the date this record was imported into FamilyTree from the IGI as the original Family Tree database was being created. From other information on the record you can see that this record was actually created in the IGI database 5 September 2001, eleven years before Family Tree existed.
This record needs to be merged with all the other similar records for his siblings, his wife and their family, his parents and their families.
You are probably correct about the issues behind Donna's complaint. I had assumed it related to a more recent matter, possibly (though I did not mention it) even the adding of profiles by the various "Community Projects" that have been initiated over the last couple of years. Perhaps Donna will return to clarify what her main complaint is - and even whether it does mainly relate to duplicate IDs or duplicate sources.
I think between the two of us we covered all the possible items she might have been concerned about.
I see there are at least eight people who participated in this discussion, starting in 2020-2021, and now. I had not read all of the comments prior to leaving my original say-so, but I have now, and further searching shows there are over 400 discussions on "sources."
Thank you for your input! I was surprised to find your responses just a day later. I printed them out and wrote notes for further thought on my part. I will reply once I get my thoughts organized. Again, thank you.