An IOUS is an Individual Of Unusual Size. IOUSes are individuals in NFS that were formed by combining many like people from multiple trees. NFS retains all the separate contributions inside the individual, so the more the matches, the larger the size of the combined individual. If an IOUS becomes too large, it can crash NFS, so FamilySearch caps their size and does not allow them to be combined with other duplicates.
That some of the worst IOUSes in New FamilySearch (NFS) are European medieval royalty makes sense, as thousands of submitters to Pedigree Resource File are descendants of them.
IOUSes are identified in NFS with an icon to the right of the name. (See the graphic to the right.) In FamilySearch Family Tree, there is no such thing as an IOUS. However, because the Family Tree database is synchronized with the NFS database, the combine limitation in NFS is imposed on merging in Family Tree. Effectively, there are IOUSes in Family Tree. As far as I know, there is no indication in Family Tree that the individual is an IOUS in NFS.
One IOUS of European medieval royalty is King Hroar Half Frodasson. According to NSF, he is the combination of 383 records. He is identified as the son of Halfdon Frodasson. I’ve done no work with patronymic names, but even I can see there is something suspicious about Hroar Frodasson being the son of Halfdon Frodasson.
Fortunately, the FamilySearch Royal and Noble Houses of Europe tree comes to the rescue. His name is actually Hroar Halfdansson. The Royal and Noble… tree has been carefully researched and is fully sourced. Want to see evidence that Hroar Halfdansson is the correct name? Check the sources.
- [S1167] #11565 The Viking Age: the Early History, Manners, and Customs of the Ancestors of the English-speaking Nations: Illustrated from the Antiquiites Discovered in Mounds, Cairns, and Bogs as Well as from the Ancient Sagas and Eddas, Du Chaillu, Paul B. (Paul Belloni), (2 volumes. London : John Murray, 1889), FHL book 948 H2d; FHL film 1440113 items 1-2., p. 68.
- [S713] #11577 Ættartolurbækur Jóns Espólíns Sysslumanns (1980-), Espólín, Jón, (Reykjavík: Samskipti, 1980-), FHL book 949.12 D2e v. 6; FHL microfilms 73,257-73., p. 5, FHL microfilm 73257.
- [S283] #2 Der Europäischen käyser- und königlichen Häuser historische und genealogische Erläuterung (1730-1731), Lohmeier, Georg von, und Johann Ludwig Levin Gebhardi, (3 volumes in 1. Luneburg: Sternischen Buchdruckerei, 1730-1731), FHL microfilm 1,051,694, items 4-6., pt. 1 p. 126-127.
There are 339,786 people currently in the Royal and Noble… Tree. No doubt all those individuals are also in Family Tree at least once, and some perhaps a dozen times. That’s easily a million people in Family Tree that need to be cleaned up. How long will that take? If you do the math, it would take one person working full-time for 40 years. More likely would be a thousand people spending a couple of hours a week. It would take them over 10 months.
(The math: Assuming it takes 5 minutes to clean up facts, relationships, and duplicates for each of the million people, that’s 5 million minutes, divided by 60 minutes per hour is 83,333 hours, divided by 40 hours per week is 2,083 work weeks, divided by 52 weeks per year is 40 years. 83,333 hours divided by 1,000 people would be 83 hours a piece, divided by two hours a week is 42 weeks, divided by 4 weeks a month is over 10 months.)
Remember that there are hundreds or even thousands of incorrect trees on people’s desktop computers that are regularly being synchronized with these people in Family Tree. I’m trying to keep just one person clean in Family Tree and every month or so I have to spend a half hour repairing damage and communicating back and forth with the person(s) to prevent immediate reversion.
If you do the math it will take 118 people working full time, 24x7, to keep these people clean.
(The math: 339,786 people times 30 minutes every two months divided by two months is 5,096,790 minutes a month, which divided by 60 minutes an hour is 85,000 hours a month, which divided by 24 hours is 3,500 days a month, which divided by 30 days is 118 man months per month.)
One can argue the assumptions of these calculations, but I think it is clear that it will take significant effort to clean and keep clean royal and noble medieval Europe. If you want to see clean data, consult the FamilySearch Royal and Noble Houses of Europe tree.