I just went through a major project to clean up my places. I too found multiple entries for what seemed like the same place.
What I found was that while the place name seemed similar there were slight differences. I went through each reference to determine the differences. If necessary I went through each person referenced and moved the part of the place name to the description. When you are merging the places you have the option to add the descriptions to all places.
What cause my problems were Places like
Jones Cemetery buried next to john jones. I did not want to loose the Buried next to john jones part of the place name so I either put it in the place description or a note.
That is why I had to check each one. It is time consuming but I do not think I lost any thing.
Once the differences are resolved it is easy to replace one location with another as described in the previous post.