I notice there appear to be duplicate records that may belong to another record posting with a name. Do I merge the question marks?
Why does a person's name have a question mark in Family Tree?
Article Id: 986, Published December 01, 2020On 27 June 2016, our systems added a question mark to the name field of any person whose first and last names were blank. You can change a question mark to the correct name if you know it. Otherwise, leave it as a placeholder until you discover the correct name.
Be careful about deleting any relationships where one person is related to another person whose name is represented by a question mark. The question mark could be the result of a merge or some other action that, for now, has removed the name. In time, you or another patron may be able to supply the missing information.
Yes, you can merge the ? record with the appropriate person. You can also remove the ? person, but I don't recommend that because the ? remains in the system all by itself. I've come across this quite often and merging seems to be the best solution. Thank you for your question and using the FamilySearch Community.
Whilst agreeing with Carol Ann in principle, I'm afraid I've been inclined to drop the merging option in favour of detaching relationships with "?" IDs.
These were created pre-Family Tree - i.e. before the instruction to not create, say, a name of "Unknown", but to leave the field(s) blank if (in the most common example a usually female) spouse's name has not been found. Provided nothing is attached to the "?" ID and you ensure any offspring remain listed under the named (usually the father) parent, I see no harm in sending these IDs into oblivion.
There was once a suggestion that doing this might affect ordinances in some way, but surely these ? named "individuals" would never be taken to the temple in this form. To reiterate my point: I believe these IDs should never have even been created (just as "Unknowns" should not be now), so what harm in making them disappear.
From a practical point of view it's certainly much quicker to detach them - sometimes I've had up to ten "?" IDs to deal with for ten father, child and (unknown) mother relationships - than carry out ten merges, once the spouse's / mother's name does become known.
Further to what already has been proffered by 'Carol' and 'Paul' ...
Here is a "Knowledge Article" in 'FamilySearch':
Where it states:
On 27 June 2016, our systems added a question mark to the name field of any person whose first and last names were blank. You can change a question mark to the correct name if you know it. Otherwise, leave it as a placeholder until you discover the correct name.
I hope this helps.