I seem to have created a situation where I have two people with the same name, (and christening date/location, and parents) after a merge of apparent duplicate fathers. Forgive me for being long-winded but I don't know what I did wrong and don't want you to have to ask me for clarification of one point or another.
Here's how it came about. I started with a Father A, who had Son A. Father B had a wife (Mother B) and Son B (all three had been derived from Son B's baptism record). I knew from my own sources that Mother B 's name was correct for my family A. Sons A and B definitely matched each other. So, I went ahead with the merge. Perhaps I should have backed out when I saw the sons were not lined up to update each other. I went ahead with the merge and the results were (1) the merging of the fathers under Father A; and (2) the addition of Mother B and Son B to Father A. Son B now had two parents. However, Son A had not been merged with Son B. He still had Father A but no mother, and no christening source.
I am confused about why the sons were not merged. Isn't there still a way to merge records with multiple family members included? I remember doing that successfully years ago when adding US census records to my family. I haven't been adding people to family search for years, using it for research but building a tree elsewhere. Maybe something has changed. Or perhaps Scotland Church records dodn't merge the same way as the US census because they were set up differently when entered long ago. At any rate, I thought I would be able to fix the duplicate sons after the current Father A-Father B merge by merging the sons. So I went through with the Father merge.
Afterwards, I moved to Son B and saw I had a red Data Problem flag on the messages about possible duplicates. No surprise. So I tried a merge of Son A and Son B but nothing changed. I had given Son B Mother A, so now both sons had two parents in common. I did NOT get a Fail message, however that is supposed to be displayed. What did I do wrong? What can I do to merge the sons? By the way, my most recent change still had a Restore button but it didn't work.
Oh yes! I looked through the above post on why do merges fail. I didn't see any reasons that fit. Both male; both deceased, etc. Any tips or advice is welcome. I'll even take scolding if it gets me so I can enter my relatives faster.
Sometimes extended families are duplicated by accident. The merging begins when someone realizes two or more profiles describe one person. Once those duplicates are merged, it may also be necessary to merge duplicates of the spouse, the parents, the children, and so on. Work back in time (up) and forward in time (down), like a 2-way zipper.
Family Tree has a great tool for this: View Tree, ancestry aka pedigree mode, and descendancy mode.
If you want someone to take a close look, share the ID of the focal profile.
Merging is done on a single pair of profiles at a time. You have to merge the sons as a separate action, and likewise with the mothers.
I suspect that what you're remembering from years ago with the census is using Source Linker to attach an indexed record to an entire family at once. That's not merging. That's establishing a link between the Tree (one part of FS's vast sprawl) and [Indexed] Historical Records (a completely different part of the sprawl).
With the apparently-failed merge, one possible scenario is that there was yet another copy of the son floating around, and that's what you merged with one of the copies you knew about. This sort of confusion is one reason I tend to use "Merge by ID" even when Possible Duplicates is yelling at me up in the corner.
If you give us an ID for one of the profiles you're working on, we can offer more specific help -- or even do some of the cleanup for you, if you'd like. (I have way more experience with merges than I ever wanted.)
Thank you both for your responses. I wonder why I didn't get a notification of them. I couldn't even find my original comment. I only found it on one last search of the Community before hitting the Send button on my new draft of the question. Glad I didn't imagine making this comment March 2!
FOCAL POINT:--Hugh Mcdougall 97S3-8K4 (His duplicate is Hugh Mc Dougall 975F-DCS)
Background - the merge of the two following groups:
Persons in "my part of the tree" -- Hugh Mc Dougal 975F-DWQ and his son Hugh Mcdougall 97S3-8K4.
Persons in christening record -- parents Hugh Mc Dougall 975F-DCZ and Isobel 975F-DCN, and child Hugh Mc Dougall 975F-DCS.
Merged Hugh Mc Dougal 975F-DWQ and Hugh Mc Dougall 975F-DCZ into the first ID 975F-DWQ
Thank you for offering to take a look at the situation. If you can "fix" the situation, go ahead, unless you feel I could fix it fairly easily by following your instructions.
I think I was right: the merge that failed to get rid of the visible duplicate (but without any error message) actually merged in another copy of Hugh Jr. It's hard to tell which one's which, but they were all IGI-based profiles, one for the 1785 baptism, one for the 1820 marriage, and one for the 1846 marriage of his daughter.
I've gone ahead and merged the two 1785 Hughs, and added the two burial records (Find a Grave and BillionGraves). I took a look at Janet, and that's a bit of a mess: there are several possible duplicates being flagged, but they're not all the same person, given that one of them was having children twelve years before the other one got married. It looks like you have a handle on it, though: you've already rejected at least one of the incorrect matches.
It'll be complicated, and you'll probably want to keep notes in a text editor (or on a piece of paper), but you can console yourself that the mess is Not Your Fault: these are legacy profiles from a preceding system on FamilySearch. This system had sets of profiles for the principals in each event in the International Genealogical Index. For example, the IGI has Hugh Mc Dougall christened in 1785 with parents Hugh Mc Dougall and Isobel (three profiles: child, father, mother); Hugh McDougall marrying Janet McDougall in 1820 (two profiles: groom, bride); and Hugh McDougall as the father of the bride in 1846 (three profiles: groom, bride, father of the bride). Of those eight profiles based on these three events, three are the same person (Hugh Jr.). That old system had no mechanism for combining the three profiles, so we have to do it now. (They've been floating around in the Tree since it was initially "seeded" with these profiles ten years ago.)
@withthecia, thanks for sticking with this discussion. Detangling is a complicated but very necessary step in the progression toward a one tree.
dontiknowyou: My new motto is "Detangling is a complicated but very necessary step in the progression toward a one tree."
Julia: Thank you for fixing my "twin" Hugh McDougalls. I will certainly take your advice in the future by documenting in detail any change I make. I find the "all changes" feature is helpful but imperfect for backtracking.
I'm not ignoring all the other suggestions made by the two of you in this thread but want to take some time to try applying them before asking more questions.