Indexing is creating more merging of names than attaching the record as a source.
edited September 28, 2020 in Suggest an Idea
Brenda Grace Van Wagoner said: I am finding that when names are indexed off of civil and religious records, those indexing create a new person for each of the names on the record, often resulting in dozens of persons to be merged, when, if left as a source to be attached, the same record could have been attached to usually more than one person with the simple attachment of the source. I am finding it to be more difficult and time-consuming.
Thanks for reviewing this.
Thanks for reviewing this.
Tom Huber said: Welcome to the community support forum for FamilySearch. FamilySearch personnel read every discussion thread and may or may not respond as their time permits. We all share an active interest in using the resources of this site and as users, we have various levels of knowledge and experience and do our best to help each other with concerns, issues, and/or questions.
An index of a source cannot and does not create a person in the system. Only users can do that through their actions.
One of the ongoing problems is with (largely) inexperienced users adding persons without looking to see if the source actually applies to an existing person (the source linker will offer up suggestions if there are any discovered -- but the duplicate checker is not without its shortcomings) or if they are truly working with a person who is not in the massive tree.
Sometimes, the addition is done on purpose and if a person is insistent in doing this (and you have sent them repeated kindly-written messages), then you have a legitimate complaint about that user's actions. I'm not sure what path needs to be followed where a particular user consistently adds people when they already exist.0
Brett said: Brenda
Firstly, "Welcome" to this "FamilySearch" ("GetStaisfaction") 'Feedback' Forum.
Secondly, "Official 'FamilySearch' Representatives", do monitor; and, sometimes, participate in, this Forum.
Thirdly, I am just another User/Patron, just like yourself (and, happen to be a Member of the Church).
Many Users/Patrons who regularly participate in this Forum who have a great deal of knowledge and experience with "FamilySearch", like to assist/help other Users/Patrons like yourself.
Finally, from my perspective, I DO NOT consider that the "Indexing" of Records is cause of "Creating" the MANY "Duplicates" in 'Family Tree" of "FamilySearch".
A individual/person may appear on ANY number of "Indexed" Records (ie. Birth; Christening; Census; Marriage; Death; Obituary; ETC; Etc; etc).
The "Duplicate" individuals/persons ARE purely "Created" by the Users/Patrons, definitely NOT "Indexing".
The "Duplicate" individuals/persons exist; because, one User/Patron creates an individual/person from, lets say, the "Birth"; or, a "Christening" ("Indexed") Record; and, along comes another User/Patron who creates the SAME individual/person from, lets say, a "Census" ("indexed") Record. Never the twain do meet - well, not until much later. Hence, we get "Duplicates".
The aforementioned has NOTHING whatsoever to do with "Indexing".
"Indexing" is NOT "Creating" the "Duplicate" individuals/persons in "Family Tree" of "FamilySearch".
Plus, many "Indexed" Records ("Sources") are 'linked' to any number of individuals/persons, IN MOST CASES, each individual/person on the "Indexed" Record ("Source") is separate and distinct; and, had their own 'link' (ie. URL).
Just my thoughts.
Justin Masters said: Indexing on a record can have different "formats" as it were:
- Records reflecting an individual
- Records reflecting a relationship (birth to parents, marriage to spouse, parent to child(ren))
There could even be multiple "passes" or "copies" of a record for which individuals/families could get picked up.
That said, if the person you're interested in is a parent to individual children who are born or christened, there's no way to avoid having that person show up as duplicates, given the contstraints above.
In this instance, the indexing "template" is there to index/record one child to one or more parents, and not look at multiple lines with siblings as a potential family.
Hopefully that makes sense.0
Gordon Collett said: Brenda,
I see that this is your first post to the FamilySearch public discussion boards. Welcome!
You are completely right. Indexing has unavoidably led to hundreds of thousands of duplicates in Family Tree. This problem as been addressed and the number of such duplicates is no longer growing but the work of eliminating the existing duplicates is completely up to us users. This is a major, ongoing project that will take years to complete.
Let me explain. Since I have no idea what your background is, please forgive me if I go overboard in detail.
FamilySearch, then known as the Genealogical Society of Utah, started collecting genealogical data in 1894. This was all with pen and paper, of course. As the amount of information increased, someone came up with the idea of creating a master index of all the names. This was first a set of cards kept like a library card catalog if you have ever seen one of those. One card per person. In the 1960s and 1970s - fifty years ago - the indexing program, then known as the extraction program began. In 1969, the master index of all genealogical information compiled was published as the International Genealogical Index or IGI on microfiche. You can think of this as the Model-T edition of Family Tree. Here is one page from the IGI:
You can see the structure. Each line has one person with either parents or spouse. There is no cross referencing of information.
Both user submitted information and indexed information was recorded the same.
Indexed information, of course, came from records that usually would have only a child's name with parents, such as a birth record, or a couple's name, such as a marriage record. User submitted information, even if submitted as a family group, was broken down to the same format. The first, primitive computer software to record all this used the same format.
This meant that if a father had twelve children, he would appear in the IGI twelve times in the father box with no indication he was the same person in each of them.
When Family Tree was first created in 2012, rather than throw away 118 years of genealogical research, the entire IGI, with all of its duplicates, was used as the basis for the tree, along with several other databases.
The extraction program was discontinued and replaced with the indexing program sometime in the 2000s. Indexed names are not added to Family Tree but only appear in FamilySearch in the historical databases which provide the source hints. I have heard that there are still a small number of extracted names that are processed and end up in Family Tree, but this would be an insignificant number compared to the huge number of duplicates from the past 50 years.
So your stated concern as been addressed but we users are still left with the job of combining those 50 years of duplicates. I have heard that there was an attempt to use a computer routine to do this automatically but it was a bit of a disaster when it merged a lot of people incorrectly.
if you have access to the Ordinances page in Family Tree, you can see when one of these duplicates you are seeing was added to "Family Tree." For example, Maritthe Iversdatter MLST-CLX has four siblings. That means her father and mother were both added to "Family Tree" four separate times. The date that Maritthe and one copy of her parents were added to "Family Tree" is shown by her ordinance dates 4 October 1996.
I hope this helps answer your concerns and to see that your proposed solution was instituted about ten years ago. Thanks for helping to now take care of all thes… [truncated]0
Alahärmä said: Thanks for the lengthy explanation. I think that isolated sets of Family Tree person profiles, which only duplicate indexed information in a single record of indexed information, could be hidden or removed from the tree data automatically.0
Gordon Collett said: Unfortunately, this would also hide or remove all the associated completed temple ordinance work for those people and lead to massive duplication of that work since what put those people in the IGI in the first place was not the indexing, but rather was the completion of temple ordinances. Not duplicating that work was the major reasons behind creating Family Tree in the first place. You can read about the roots of Family Tree here:
Adrian Bruce said: Alahärmä - something like that was my initial reaction, until I understood that the duplicated part-persons from the IGI (etc?) had had LDS ordinances carried out so couldn't be deleted - only merged into their rightful profile.
(Part-person is my term to convey that all we know is a name and one event in their life).0