After I wrote that post last night, it hit me: the problem we're dealing with is
"eligible for temple ordinances (i.e., proven dead with death date more than one year in the past)" != "adequately identified to avoid duplicate temple ordinances"! Maybe that was obvious to everyone else, but this formulation helped me articulate the problem and hopefully move toward a solution.
Currently, these two concepts are not interpreted the same way in nFS, as far as I can tell. I believe they need to be the same if we wish to cut down on duplications.
RussellHltn wrote:That was a major issue under the old system. The submission was quite limited. When the temple work was done, the limited personal information was etched in CD-ROM and that's the way it stayed.
Under the new system, it's now the person in nFS that gets updated. More information can be added later.
Yet this doesn't solve the problem. I often find in nFS that the person was entered with so minimal information that I cannot
with certainty tell whether they are the same person I am trying to clear. Since I can't tell accurately who the person is that is already in nFS, I can't tell whether to add information to the existing record or create another record. You may point out that the person who added the name could add more information, and that is true--however, they may not do so, or they may die, and in the meantime, I'm trying to make progress on my lines and do not have the information I need to avoid duplication.
RussellHltn wrote:Also it's no longer necessary to uniquely identify the individual if they are attached to a large enough group of people that the relationships uniquely identify the group.
If members are following church guidelines, then at minimum they will be submitting "Mary b. 1856 Canada, daughter of John Brown, who is the father of John, who is the father of Joan, who is the mother of William, who is the father of LDS member and submitter, Kathryn".
Two comments: First, if the person is attached relationally to their family, that can
be a form of unique identification (though not necessarily--in England, for example, people would often name a child with the same name as a deceased sibling. I have run across families with several Williams or Johns all within a few years of each other). Second, I don't believe it is a requirement to submit multiple generations as in your example. I can submit Mary b. 1856 Canada with no other information or relatives, and her name will be marked ready. Although we're obviously encouraged to provide complete and accurate information, I'm not aware of any guideline that prohibits a submission like this, and it's definitely possible to submit a child with a birthdate and her two parents with no identifying information whatsoever, and no other relatives.
I am giving serious thought to Alan's question about what should qualify a name to be ready, using the definition proposed above--which is that they are proven deceased and
identified adequately to avoid duplicate temple work. I suspect a large part of this will be the future ability to tie names to images of source documents.
Still thinking (while I head off to my day job