When you add a GEDCOM file from another researcher or from a pedigree database, you may end up with duplicate records for the same person. One record might show the person's descendants and the other his or her ancestors, for instance. By merging those duplicate records, you'll create a continuous family line from the person's descendants to his or her ancestors. And as your family file grows, eliminating duplicate entries will help cut down on confusion.
From the People pull-down menu in FTM, you can choose from two merge options: Use Merge Specific Individuals if you already know which individuals should be merged. Or select Merge Duplicate Individuals and the program will search for possible duplicates. Bypass the somewhat confusing Display Merge Report and go ahead and Merge Matching Information. FTM automatically finds pairs of potentially identical individuals, displays their information side by side and lets you choose which pairs to merge.