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Delete duplicate, mistaken, redundant Cemeteries, Photos, Records, etc. - database cleanup?

When I'm bored, I often enjoy browsing for data that needs cleaning up or removal.

Could a single thread be used as a starting point (or can you suggest a better method) for continuing requests for cleanup issues?

That is, not explicitly a 'ticket' to be actioned and closed; rather a discussion, ongoing?

For example - locations to delete or suggested revisions: <-- noted for deletion <-- Cymru is just the Welsh name for Wales <-- to align with standards, remove "The"? <-- to align with standards, remove "The"? <-- to align standards, remove "Republic of the" (many countries have 'Republic of' in their name, but are not shown here. <-- used for missing country - but maybe could be first in the list vs. last, so more people would notice it?  

I also have recently noticed that one transcriber doing a lot of my recent photos, likely has a stuck space bar on their computer, so several hundred transcribed names show as "Smith , John" or "Smith, John " or " Smith, John" or similar.  Does not seem to affect the search functions on BG, but potentially could impact external searches of BG data,
Depending on your dbase format, a simple SQL query (or even a manual filter) could quickly eliminate the redundant spaces.  Is your dbase guru up to the task?
Example: <-- search for " ," - currently 189 on this page alone.

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I do the same kinds of browsing. Enjoy solving the mysteries. However, there are two separate counties called Congo: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (former Zaire and former Belgium Congo ) and The Republic of The Congo ( Congo- Brazzaville, former French Congo.    Site index should be corrected to remove Brassaville back to its own country. 

I have found several duplicate entries in the Old Watertown Cemetery, Watertown, CT - not sure how this happens.

31499065/31499066 Infant Fields

7342825/7342826 Sarah N. Osborn

31339933/31444713 Wyatt Thompson

There are times when I am able to merge them using the merge function, but other times (like these three) it doesn't seem to work.

Dianeciba - looks like those 3 have been taken care of.

So I can't even see what might have happened in these cases.

Duplicates can happen easily - someone takes a new photo, and when transcribed, if the DUPLICATE MERGE popup is ignored, a second 'individual' is created.

Of course, the popup may not even show, if the new transcriber makes a spelling error or date error...

When browsing the cemetery's listing, and I see two names/dates the same, I pop each into a new tab; most of the time, both tabs will show the MERGE icon, so I merge one & close the tab, and close the other tab as I know it's now been done.

But - the MERGE icon won't come up if, for example, there is a difference between them - for example, a day-of-month error; or a name-spelling error.

So you sometimes need to be eagle-eyed to spot the difference.  One will be right and one will be wrong, or maybe both could be wrong...  confirming what's on the marker photo, and correcting the wrong one (or both!) should make the match, pop up the MERGE icon, and off you go!

I found 6 records pointing to my grandfather. I merged them without incident, yet it copied all the picture to the remaining merged record. How do I delete the redundant pictures?

On the merged record, use the pencil on the Life Information Section to return to the transcription page (Transcribe).

On the Transcription page, select "Link More Images."

On the Image Linker page, all the images should appear at the bottom.  

  1. Make a note of all the numbers for the photos.
  2. Click the red minus sign in the lower right corner to unlink that image.  It will return the image to the transcription queue and the transcription is removed.
  3. Repeat until one image remains.
  4. Use the link "Previous Page" at the top of the page to return to the transcribed record.
  5. You will then delete the images that were returned to the queue
  6. Change the photo number in the browser at the top of the page to go to that image.  For example, if one of the images that you wanted to delete was #26745724, replace the digits following the slash in the browser to go to that record. i.e.
  7. If you took that picture, the system will allow you to delete the image.  If you didn't take the picture, it will list who took it, and you could contact them to ask them to delete it. 
  8. You can also send a list of the numbers to the help desk and they will take care of it for you.

Couldn't help but notice some of your above requests: The Bahamas and The Gambia are the official names of each country.

Gravepenguin__ - agreed; some of my suggestions have been to make the country list easier for everyone - a long, formal, technical name may not be familiar to some; a "The" at the beginning, might be ignored; different languages in the list would mean duplications - España and Spain, for example.  

*I just saw, right now, a Hebrew spelling of, I assume, Israel - it's not wrong, but it can cause confusion & duplication, since all existing entries are under "Israel".

There are also 2 Cyrillic versions of Russia, as well as the English spelling.*

It is easy for multiple copies of countries to be created this way - and therefore, duplicate cemeteries.

The country list is in English, no matter the chosen language of the user.

So it makes sense (I hope) to have standard English spellings of the countries/states; one further step is to simplify the country names.

A site improvement would be to allow 'alternate' names in the geography list - so España and Spain would both direct to 'Spain', for example - allowing users to input either name, without the high risk of duplication.

They do this with some cemetery URLs, so I don't know why it wouldn't be possible with other data fields.


I live in Mexico in the state of Coahuila. The full legal name is Coahuila de Zaragoza and it is used pretty much only by government agencies. I noticed that there are cemeteries created under both state names and BillionGraves has the two names as different states in the search lists.

Can BillionGraves consolidate all the cemeteries in Coahuila and Coahuila de Zaragoza into one single states?



Fernando:  I checked the site map for the states of Mexico, and in this instance, it would be easy enough for you or any user to make the needed correction. 

If you want to do it, go to the Site Map (bottom of home page), open Mexico, and you will see both of the usages you cite. Open the one that is  Coahuila de Zaragoza and click on the name of any of the cemeteries in the list. When the cemetery page opens, go to the "Information" section and open that. All you need do is delete the "de Zaragoza" part of the province/state name and be sure to save it. 

If in this situation, there are no more than 15-20 with such alternate names, I just do them this way manually. If there are more than 25, then I send a ticket to support and have them make the changes as a batch job for the tech people. 

If you are aware of other ways to group such duplicates in Mexico, please fix them when you can or report them to Support. 

I have changed the state name of the 5-6 cemeteries.


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