I tried your idea four ways, just now:
Replace 1 "Louis" with "John Jones" and forced a merge. No dice.
Then, fixed the 2 Louis' names and forced a merge. No dice.
Then I replaced both Louis' names with John Jones and tried to merge them. Nope.
Changed one letter in Louis, confirmed the name change and then reset to the correct spelling. No dice.
Thank you Kathy.
All ideas are welcome!
I am certainly stumped, since this is the first merge in over 10 years (and 22,000 people later) I have not been able to figure out ... yet.