I got a real mess with duplicates

So, I got myself in a real mess. I don’t know if it was merging or matching with Family Search. Many of my people now have duplicate events and duplicate people. Looking for help in how to fix this mess.

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If you had a backup of your file, you could revert back to that BUT assuming you want the new info you downloaded from Family Search, you just need to do a lot of merging and clean-up-- Makes sure you back up your file before you start and periodically while working on it.

I would turn on the RIN NUMBER to see if the 2 entries are different #–if so, you can merge them-- if NOT , then check to see if the spouses, kids, parents etc are the same…

You can use Merge Duplicates BUT I would use Manual Merge and clean up the duplicate facts etc as you merge each person—which is going to be slower–if you do use Merge Duplicates, keep a list of each person merged so that you can go back to cleanup the facts for each person afterwards…
This is an example of a person in my test database that I merged several times and you can see I need to clean up quite a bit…


Before deleting 2 facts that are the same, I would check both as one fact may have more info or better citations etc…

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Question: If you have some names matched with Family Search, will the Family Search name be on the list of people?
When I merge, I seem to get duplicate spouses and events. What am I doing wrong?

After executing Tools > AutoMerge … any duplicate spouses (Mother or Father and Children) that have two different RIN (Record ID Numbers) should be brought up in Manual Merge where the Edit button for both Primary Person and Duplicate Person allows you to edit/remove duplicate Events (and other individual data) from the Duplicate Person (and Primary Person) except for any legitimate additions to be merged leftward to the Primary Person in order to reconcile how complete the record will be for the Primary Person.


I guess I am not understanding the merge feature, it seems more like combining. When I look at the merged file I see double parents and double events. It will take me hours to straighten my mess out and I do not know how it all happened except by merging. My duplicates all have different record numbers. If I delete the wrong one I lose the family continuity.

OK, I will give that a try. Thanks.

I did what you suggested and here is a snip of what I ended up with. I was able edit some duplicate events, but I now have two duplicate parents and two duplicate people.

Actually, what You have is one individual with Given Name Anna Lucretia and Surname Zuck who now has received an Alternate Name fact with Given Name Anna+Maidenname Lefever (as Middlename) and Surname Zuck. You could have edited the Duplicate Person to match Names exactly with the Primary Person and the merge would not have created an Alternate Name fact. After the fact You can select that Alternate Name fact and assign a Name Type (see below) -or- just delete it and know going forward that during merge You should reconcile the names to match (if an Alternate Name fact is not desired in that operation):
Screenshot 2024-01-31 171425

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As I said, it is a real mess. I still cannot edit the duplicate parents of the person. I think I must have merged some Family Search persons with my database. Would it work if I went into the database and deleted the higher file number of the duplicate people and then went back and repaired the lower number file numbers?

Just isn’t likely about not being able to edit a person or persons. Must just be something procedurally that has you off track or misunderstanding. That is the main function this program provides and Merges are just assistive tools. More info about what occurs when “you can’t” might elicit further suggestions/explanation. You’re, of course, free to delete duplicate individuals one at a time. You’d want to capture any dates/facts/notes from those to be deleted and add those bits to the keeper. Do a Backup first (and prudently after) before making such changes.

If you look at the RIN # on the father Christian I Zuck listed twice-- you will see that it is the exact same number 65–so no you can NOT merge him BUT on the mother Susanna LEFEVER/ Susanna A LEFEVRE–she has 2 different RIN #s 64 and 969 and needs to be manually merged and her info cleaned up— hopefully once you merge her, that should get rid of the dual set of parents BUT IF NOT post here again and we can tell you how to fix that…

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Update: Started looking at the high RIN #s. All were from Family Search. Not sure how they got there, but I looked at them in pedigree and noted they were not connected with my other family lines, so I deleted them one by one. I did lose info that I had added to them, instead of people that originated with me. All seems correct. I know I will find more names that need info added as I go through my database. I will never import entire people files from Family Search again. Thanks to all who provided help. Roots magic 7 is a fantastic program. I also have RM9, but it is so different that I am staying with RM7 as my working version. There is still so much I have to learn about RM7. The videos are very helpful as are the people on this forum.

Just a tip… a new database explicitly for FamilySearch imports helps avoid conflict with your master file and allows for drag ‘n’ drop or export/import for transference between the two.


That’s is great idea!

kbens0n, thank you for your help. You have greatly helped me in the past as well.

As kbens0n suggests, you can then Compare the 2 databases for differences/siimilarities

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I ran the the RootsMagic Family Search AutoMatch in my database. I can then compare my entries one by one and decide what I want to include from Family Search very carefully.

Your answers to this original question are awesome! Thank you!

I made the mistake of importing GEDCOM ancestry to RootsMagic a few years ago. I did not backup my database first. Major Faux Paux! As a result FamilySearch engineering sent out a request at that time to not do GEDCOM batches into FamilySearch from ancestry (bug on ancestry’s watch).
I have been doing genealogy repentance ever since, because it created well over 40,000 duplicate entries high numbers with no data. There is an SQL function for Panic-Buttoning and deleting multiple lines in SQL databases, but it has not been made into a database tool for us in RootsMagic as far as I can tell and I’m too chicken to attempt it on my own.
FamilySearch recently improved their GEDCOM function (so standalone genealogy programs can now greenlight GEDCOM batches once again into FamilySearch) so I GEDCOMed my RootsMagic database into FamilySearch thinking it was the bees knees and instead discovered a few bugs over there and I have asked their engineering staff to resolve one of those issues with “Potential Matches” where instead of having a Merge screen to compare, it just overrides existing profiles with stuff from the GEDCOM side. Not cool. I asked them to use the same Merge dialogue screens they use elsewhere, so we have better control of the information flow. What was cool is that it recognized the remaining duplicates from the ancestry fiasco from years earlier and removed those! My RootsMagic database is rather large, so GEDCOMing into FamilySearch took overnight about a month or so ago and a few repeated attempts before all the FamilySearch GEDCOM phases were successfully completed. Unfortunately I respond to many others who noticed I screwed up and ruffled a few of their feathers. I did not intend to make extra work, but it happened. Caveat Emptor. When things appear to be going smoothly, better double check. :innocent:


Yes, I am still finding stuff from Family Search. So, a little at a time I will be getting rid of the mess I created. I am not sure when I created this mess, but no more importing whole families ever again. I have matched with Family Search and may import certain facts and events, very carefully. I wish RM had an undo feature like many programs have. Thanks for sharing your story.

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You are most welcome. I make mistakes so others may not have to later.