07 June 2019

Let Family Tree Analyzer Find Your Duplicates Duplicates

The duplicates in your family tree aren't as easy to find as that.

I've written about the free program Family Tree Analyzer many times. It's the work of programmer and genealogy fan Alexander Bissett. See the bottom of this article for links to other articles about this software.

Today I've installed the newest version of FTA, and I'm eager to find something else to explore.

I've looked at the many options on the Errors/Fixes tab before. But this time I'm focusing only on the Duplicate Fact and Possible Duplicate Fact options.

Be sure to try the Possible Duplicate Facts option in Family Tree Analyzer.
Be sure to try the Possible Duplicate Facts option in Family Tree Analyzer.

Hopefully your list of duplicate facts won't be too long. I have 7 duplicate facts and 65 possible duplicate facts in a tree of 21,001 people. That's a reasonable amount. I can look at each one and fix the error.

As I whittle down my list of duplicate fact errors, I'm finding they fall into these categories:
  • Just plain forgetting that you already entered that fact.
  • Accidentally choosing the wrong fact type, like Marriage instead of Marriage License.
  • Adding the wrong date to a fact. This often happens to me with the 1940 U.S. census. It shows you someone's address on a date in 1940, but it also says if they were in the "same house" or "same place" in 1935. Sometimes I may paste in the 1940 date again instead of typing 1935.
  • Attaching a fact to the wrong person. I have a married couple in 1800s Italy with the respectful titles of Don and Donna. I accidentally gave both titles to the husband!

The types of duplicates formed a distinct pattern.
The types of duplicates formed a distinct pattern.

And then there are some results that are not errors. Family Tree Analyzer does call them "Possible Duplicate Facts" after all. Here's where I'm seeing that happen:
  • Duplicate marriage banns. In Italy, a couple might post marriage banns in the bride's hometown and the groom's hometown—on the same date. That looks like a mistake, but it isn't.
  • The same type of fact with no date. There are cases where I entered 2 addresses for people, but I didn't add a date. I need to go back to the source and pin down a date.
I'm very satisfied with this exercise. These are the types of errors you'd never find on your own. It's great that Family Tree Analyzer can be another set of eyes for you.

Find out what else Family Tree Analyzer can do for you.


  1. Trish Funderburg Walls14 March, 2020 14:19

    I love that you happen to show Watsonville,Santa Cruz, Calif. I was born in San Jose and lived in Santa Clara County until I was about 11 years old. We lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Fond memories......

    1. Land of strawberries! My husband's mother's family came from Watsonville. Their name was Hirokawa. They had a farm until the family was imprisoned for being Japanese American.

    2. This sounds really complicated. Especially when I have to view several articles to learn how to do anything once you suggested use this software.

    3. Any time I write about Family Tree Analyzer, I cover one aspect of it at a time. FTA's website (https://ftanalyzer.com/) offers different ways to view their documentation, the best of which is their Facebook user group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/ftanalyzer.