Some ancestors will never have ordinance work done because of design flaws in the current system
I bring this up every once in a while in the hopes that I will one day convince someone it matters.
John Doe lived in Virginia in the late 1700s. Someone creates a record for him in FamilySearch: YYYY-YYY. No ordinance work has been completed for him.
A different person also named John Doe lived in England in the late 1700s. A record for him (ZZZZ-ZZZ) is in the system, and already has ordinance work completed.
A user mistakenly believes the two John Does are the same, and merges the two together, keeping the data representing John Doe from Virginia. FamilySearch now shows John Doe from Virginia (YYYY-YYY) as having all ordinance work done, even though it was actually done for John Doe of England. To users who take a look at YYYY-YYY in the future, there is no obvious reason to believe the ordinances listed as "completed" might actually have been done for someone else.
Time rolls on. No one realizes the error. John Doe from Virginia never receives ordinance work.
"this never happens" -- I don't have statistics, only my own experience. I have found it has happened many times in my own tree. Sometimes I've caught it by luck, sometimes by heavy research. I don't know how many times I have missed it.
"just unmerge the two people since they are not the same person" -- people don't look for improper merges before making additional edits--commonly there is no indicator that an improper merge happened months or years ago.
"you can look through the change log and see if an improper merge ever happened" -- deeply investigating the entire change log for this is an enormous undertaking, and requires unmerging all previously merged individuals and examining those individuals' change logs as well. It can take weeks in some cases. I have done this many times with varying levels of success. The process is very difficult even for experienced users, and can lead to inconclusive results even if done right.
"if you have reason to believe ordinances are wrong, contact us and we can investigate." -- there is no straightforward reason to believe the ordinances are wrong. Everything looks fine. But there is always a possibility that the ordinances are mis-assigned because of improper merges as exemplified above. Can I have the temple department investigate every single person on my tree? (I've been told "no.") I'm left with no viable solution.
"you can submit an idea to FamilySearch" -- I have done this many times over the past decade. It has been met with silence or dismissiveness. I have a hard time understanding why ensuring ancestors' recorded ordinances are legitimately theirs is not something that matters.
Hi, thank you for your comments and the point raised about incorrect mergers, mistakes will be made but they will over time be found and sorted. This will be due to more records coming forward, other records and research from other people and better computer systems and DNA - so don't loose heart it will turn out ok.1
Nope! Time will not fix the problem. More records will not fix the problem. This is not a general complaint about incorrect merges or general complaint about inaccuracies.
More time and more records will not fix it. If you will carefully read and carefully think about the problem, you will see why.0
Thank you for posting your concern in the Community. We are glad you are working to correct the incorrect merges you come across, on your family line in Family Tree.
We are sending you a private message for additional information.0
Hi! Your PM asked for specific individuals on the tree. My original post noted that this is a general problem affecting all people on my tree--I've been told in the past that that is too large of a list for the specialty department to investigate. I agree.
I am probably in the wrong forum. I would love to see the system fixed but I know it won't happen unless and until more people recognize the problem enough to call for a solution--so my post was simply to inform other community members. Could you please re-categorize my post appropriately?0
I'm just another FS.org patron, but I was wondering what your suggested would be to fix the problem?0
FamilySearch values ideas and suggestions submitted by our guests. If you would kindly repost your concern to https://community.familysearch.org/en/categories/suggest-an-idea
This is the area where Engineers can view the ideas and suggestions.
This post has been redirected to General Questions. Once you repost to "Suggest an Idea," the engineers will be able to view your suggestion.
@LAHS6 I have some ideas but am purposefully not suggesting them. When I have suggested solutions in the past, the conversation has always turned to a debate about possible strengths and weaknesses in various solutions, and the gaping problem gets ignored. I avoid discussing it now to try and keep the focus on relatives who will never receive ordinances because of the system's design flaw. My hope is that one day enough people at FamilySearch will recognize the seriousness of the problem and desire a solution. Until then, debating possible solutions is a meaningless exercise.0
Is it a gaping problem? I don't think so. I spend most of my time here untangling bad merges. And I know I am not alone.
What might help is if everyone on FamilySearch, not just LDS members with LDS accounts, could see the ordinance work that has been done.0
I Totally agree with you. However I have decided that when F/S gets around to they will correct it. It's a matter of priority in the millenium.0
@dontiknowyou All I have is my own experience, and I have seen it many times over the past 10 years. I don't know what qualifies as a gaping problem, but in my view, relatives never being able to get ordinances is a serious matter.
@Roger Rabet despite 10 years of bringing this up, I have yet to hear anyone at FamilySearch acknowledge the problem. They cannot fix what they do not understand.
There is no reason to wait until the Millennium--in fact I would feel embarrassed trying to explain to my ancestors that the reason they couldn't get ordinances was because I assumed someone else would fix the problem later.
Best I can do is try to voice the problem whenever I can, and hope someone who cares at FamilySearch will eventually pay close enough attention to understand and take action. I would feel remiss if I didn't do at least that much.0