I have been working on Burnside Cemetery correcting transcription errors for days now. I have one family named McEwen where there are two transcriptions for Annie McEWEN and Annie McEwen that I can't get to merge. Here is the URL for the main page to show you what I mean. billiongraves.com/cemetery/Burnside-Presbyterian-Cemetery/278154 When I click on Annie McEWEN it takes me to this page: billiongraves.com/grave/Annie-Montgomery-McEwen/30266979 AND when I click on Annie McEwen it takes me to this page: billiongraves.com/grave/Annie-Montgomery-McEwen/30266979. As you can see they are the same URL, however, I can't get rid of Annie McEWEN (her name, that is). Please delete or merge the Annie McEWEN transcription. Thanks a bunch.
It appears there's (now) only one Annie McEwen, so I assume someone merged them properly already.
The MERGE option comes up in two places (that I know of):
1) when transcribing, at the top-left of the window, will offer up to 3 suggested merges based on some sort of algorithm containing name(s) and date(s) that are exact, or similar. You can select one of those, and it will merge the individual's data into the individual you're typing up.
If there isn't a 'perfect' match, though, it will set them as two individuals in the photo you're transcribing.
There might be a single letter out of place, or a date isn't exactly the same, so the website still thinks they're 2 different people.
I will usually SAVE the transcription; then EDIT it again to force those possible matches to come up again. Sometimes you can then select the one you wanted, and when SAVING again, it will merge properly.
I'm not certain, however, of the algorithm involved, as it's not 100% effective. Sometimes, one has to just play around like this for a bit, to get them merged.
2) When you're viewing an individual's record, and there's a MERGE button; this indicates there are two 'exact' matches (i.e. firstname, lastname, dates) that are close enough to call identical.
John Smith, 1800-1850 and John H. Smith, 1800- <--- both John Smith, both born 1800.
This does NOT mean they're the same person, though. But depending on how many J Smiths there are in the surrounding area, it's more than likely that they are the same - and so it's assumed a good merge.
My experience so far, is that if the MERGE icon is available, it's a good match.
If there are photos for both, and they're of different headstones, then they are simply similar, and not the same one - that rare time when 2 people, named the same, born/died same year, buried near each other - the website can't tell that the photos show 2 different markers; that's up to us volunteers to determine.
Difficulty merging two individuals, even if they look like they have the same data, suggests that SOMETHING is not quite the same - so you should then be cautious about checking all the details (and letter case doesn't matter):
Ex. Annie Mcewen = Annie McEwen = Annie MCEWEN - treated all the same.
But Annle mcEwen won't match - why? I'll bet you thought it was the small 'm'... but here, Annie is spelled ANNLE*.