Wednesday, June 12, 2013 Photo Frustration has two systems of people, tree people and photo member trees have persons and photos. Photos can be linked to persons. Simple.

The Tree section of has persons. The Photos section of has its own set of persons. Photos can be linked (tagged) to photo persons which can be linked (connected) to tree persons.

FamilySearch Family Tree has one set of deceased tree persons. FamilySearch Photos has photo persons that are unique to each user.

Two tree people can have the same name. Two photo people cannot. Each photo person must have a unique name.

Tree people can be assigned facts like name, birth date, and death date. These can be used to distinguish tree people with the same name. Photo people only have a name. One way to distinguish photo persons is to add the birth and death years to the person’s name.

Can a photo person have a different portrait from a tree person which can be different for each user? I’m totally confused on this point.

Should the same person be mistakenly entered twice, two tree persons can be merged. For two photo persons, delete one and reattach all its photos to the surviving photo person. The Help Center describes this eight step process. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for each photo.

  1. Find the duplicate ancestors in your People Photos section.
  2. Determine which ancestor appearing on the list is the duplicate that you would like to delete. Often you can tell by the default image you have selected. Usually the default image is the first tagged image that was uploaded. **Remember this image, as it will help you to know which name to untag in step 6 below.**
  3. Select the duplicate ancestor photo from the People Photos section by clicking on the person's photo.
  4. Click the View Family Tree link (if it is linked to an ID number in Family Tree), and click Unlink to unlink it from the Family Tree.
  5. The photos tagged by the duplicate ancestor account will now be shown. (Often at this step the program will change from displaying many photos to just a couple. This is because the photos are no longer associated with the other ancestor account through the ID number that you unlinked).
  6. Click on each photo listed, and untag the incorrect duplicate account name from the photo. Use the default image to determine if it is the duplicate account name. Also, the unlinked account will appear with a red exclamation point.
  7. Retag the same photo with the correct ancestor's name if it is not yet tagged. Determine this by confirming the default image associated with the ancestor's name you are typing. 
  8. Reload the People Photos section to confirm the second ancestor is now deleted.

On with its one set of persons, if I change a person’s name, I change it once. Likewise with birth and death years. On with its two sets of persons, I must change it twice, once for the tree person and once for the photo person. Likewise with birth and death years if they have been used to make the photo person name unique.

In my opinion FamilySearch needs to unify its two systems of persons.


  1. Here's what makes it even more complicated. More than one user can edit persons on the tree, but only one user, the one who uploaded the photos, can edit/delete photos. One can, however, put comments on any photo.

  2. Can you search for photos other people have entered? I can't find a search field.

  3. I would like to talk with you regarding the problems I am having with I put people and information on my tree today and tomorrow that info is missing! What are they doing?!?!?!?!?!? I know they are making changes to everything, but . . . I am currently looking for somewhere else (not, thank you) to put my tree. Any suggetions?

    Dee Sager
    Neosho, Missouri USA


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