Places - Merging

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To review and merge place names that may be slightly different but refer to the same location, click on the Merge tab. You can then decide whether two records are the same or not.

Find Merge Candidates

  1. Select a tree. You cannot merge places from different trees, so only one tree can be selected.
  2. After that, enter the search criteria that will be common to all potential duplicates and
  3. click "Continue" (for example, you might enter Salt Lake to find matches for Salt Lake and Salt Lake City).


TNG version: 9.0
Note that starting with TNG V9, if are using multiple trees and are now Pooling Places, you do not have an option to select a tree so the restriction on not being able to merge places from different trees does not exist because trees are not assigned to the Places.

Select Places to Merge

Under this heading you will see a list of matches for your search criteria.

  1. If any of them refer to the same location, check the box labeled "Merge these (delete)" to the left for each one. Each selected row will turn red.
  2. Next, click the circle in the column labeled "into this (keep)" for the Place name that will replace all of the checked Places. That row will turn green. It doesn't matter if the Place Name to keep is also one of those checked under "Merge these (delete)". You will only be able to select one "keep" location per merge, but you may select as many matches as you want to merge into that one.
  3. When you're ready to merge, click the Merge Places button at the top or the bottom of the screen. All instances of the deleted Places (in individual and family records) will be replaced by the name you chose to keep.


TNG version: 8.1.3
Note: Notes and Latitude/Longitude information will only be retained for the place you are keeping.


TNG version: 9.0
When multiple places are merged, if the place that the rest are being merged into does not have any latitude or longitude values, that place will take on the latitude and longitude of the first other place on the list that has such values.


TNG version: 10.0
When merging places, if any of the places being removed has a "zoom" or "place level" value, the first of those will now be moved over to the place being kept (like we were already doing with latitude and longitude).

Please also note that performance degrades as more items are selected to merge. In other words, merging two places goes much faster than merging 20 places.

To search again without merging, just enter a new value in the "Search for" box at the top of the screen and click "Continue" again.

Using Wild Card Selection

To merge Places that do not show up on a normal search, you can use the  % (percent sign) as a wild card character, as shown in the example on the right.
Merge wild card selection
Another example: use the wild card character in the middle of a string, such as S%Francis in the image on the right, to select:
  • Saint Francis
  • St Francis
  • St. Francis

Notice that San Francisco also meets the selection criteria.

Another wild card selection

A Merging Approach

An approach to cleaning up and merging Places in TNG is to copy the city name from the Place List display for example

Places merge copy city.png

and then to paste it in two different Admin >> Places tabs

  • Search
  • Merge

Paste the copied City name into the Places Search for input field and click the Search button

Places merge paste search.png

Right click the Test icon and select the Open Link in New Tab or New Window to get a list of events associated with the Place name.

Places merge search test.png

Paste the City name in the Merge tab Search for input field Click the Continue button, Then select the Place to Merge (delete) and the Place to Merge Into (keep)

Places merge paste merge.png


TNG version: 9.0
Note that if the Merge Into does not have geocodes, they will be merged from the first Merge record that contains geocodes

If you are cleaning up Place names and adding County where needed, you need to Edit the Place in TNG if you are using Pooled Places or if the place contains geocodes.

Places merge search test edit.png

You also need to make the same change in your desktop genealogy database if you import GEDCOMs.

Related Links

Pooling Places

Places Subject to Deletion