Thursday, December 29, 2016

How to Restore Deleted People in Family Search

Recently I was researching a relative and trying to find more information about her husband. I started with only his name and the town where his family lived, but with that information I was able to find them in two censuses and learned that his parents and siblings had already been added to Family Search, although I had to do some merges to get them all together.

I added my relative's husband to their family as well. I had found and merged some duplicates for him, but none of them had any temple work done. However, as I looked through this person and all his siblings I noticed that he was the only one who hadn't hadn't had any ordinances completed. I thought this was odd because it looked like their records had been created in an extraction project, which means this person should have been included in that project. When I searched for him using Find no other people on Family Search came up.

This was when it occurred to me that he might have existed on Family Search at some point but been deleted for some reason. So I started searching to see if I could find the deleted person.

I started by going through the father's list of changes. If you click "Show all" in the Latest Changes box, you can see all the changes that have been made to a person since they were created in the Family Tree.


After scrolling through the changes I found the following deleted relationship: 


Here is the summary card you see if you click Lars Nielsen's name:


By clicking "Person" you can still view a deleted person's page. Unfortunately I didn't take a screenshot the first time I found the deleted person, but here is what it looks like now:


The christening date was exactly the same as for the Lars Nielsen I was researching, so I concluded that the birth date was a typo or error (the birth place was right) and restored the person. To do this, you click Restore Person (circled in red above), and then you give a reason for restoring the person.

After restoring the deleted person, I found that before he was deleted he already had all of his ordinances done. It was pretty clear to me that he was the same person, so I merged the restored person with the Lars Nielsen who I had been working on, and when I did that he was deleted again and replaced. The surviving person, who previously didn't have any ordinances, now has all of his ordinances complete.

Yes, maybe this was a little time-consuming, but think about how long it would have taken to re-do his ordinances. For my husband to do just his endowment would have meant a two-hour drive to the temple, two hours in an endowment session, and then driving back home, all for somebody who had already received the ordinance. I'd rather have all that effort go towards somebody who needs it rather than doing it to fix a clerical error.

As a side note, I was glad I took the time to find the deleted person because he had a burial date, whereas I had been unable to find death information about this person. It only took me a couple of minutes to find the burial record using the date and verify that it was the right record.

This is also really useful to know when someone does an incorrect merge. If you find that somebody has incorrectly merged your relative, you can go through the list of changes, find the deleted person, and click Restore Person as I showed above. This makes it so you don't have to put back in all the information you've added about a person and redo their ordinances.

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