Adding information to another person's tree

+10 votes
I am very new here. I have found a relative added by another member, and I have quite a bit of information on this person, that is not on the member's tree. Am I able to just add the information I have e.g. marriage dates etc. Or do I need to contact the original member and ask for permission to add to the person. Kind regards Vick
in WikiTree Help by Vicki Heneker G2G1 (1.7k points)
Welcome aboard Vicki.  You might find it useful to take a look at this page in the Help file:
Thanks to all here who have commented and so quickly as I wrote it early hours of Saturday morning Australian time. I want to thank everyone or give a point?? but haven't gotten that far yet in reading the correct way to show appreciation to each and every person. So am doing it here. What a great and helpful group of people.
Thank you Dennis I will read that information sounds really helpful.
Thank you Dennis I will read that link now. I feel a long night is coming much to read, so interesting, I can't wait to feel I understand it all, probably never will, but here goes.

4 Answers

+18 votes
Best answer
Generally, it's a good idea to reach out to the other PM and let them know if you're planning to make significant changes to a profile they manage. However, if what you're adding contributes to and does not take away from anything existing on that profile, it becomes a bit of a courtesy thing and more of a judgment call than anything else.

For example, if this marriage information you would like to add is perfectly in line with either source documentation you are going to provide or source documentation already on the profile, or even lines up perfectly with the birth dates and birth places of children on the profile, then the information you're about to provide would not conflict with data already provided and I'd feel pretty comfortable adding it. I'd definitely take advantage of the explanation box when adding to someone else's profile, just so that there's good communication on what's being done and why.

But if your marriage info indicates that the couple were married only after the birth of their second child, or conflicts with existing source material on the project, or even would replace existing information on the project, then I would DEFINITELY contact the PM and discuss it with them prior to making any significant changes like that.

I generally appreciate it when someone adds to profiles I manage, especially when it's to make them more accurate and add sources that I wasn't able to find. I hope most will feel the same way, too.
by Scott Fulkerson G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
selected by Vicki Heneker
If you want you can add the new information under Research Notes, so it doesn’t get lost whilst waiting for a response from the PMs.
Oh thanks so much Scott, a very informative answer and really helps me a lot. I did initially think of contacting the PM (tree owner?) but as they posted the info in 2013 I then wondered what if that person is no longer contributing or other reasons? I realise I am probably thinking too deeply on "what ifs" once again, thank you, your reply is so helpful and makes perfect sense . Kind regards Vicki
Thank you Marion that is a great idea. Kind regards
Here is the WIki Help page on this, though Scott's reply is more succinct.
I would add: it is also appreciated if you add information in the format and style that the profile uses, even if that is not your preferred style (at least unless.the profile is just a Gedcom dump).
+8 votes
You'll find that the great majority of people here appreciate the kinds of additions to profiles that Scott describes. If you should run into one of the rare exceptions, don't let it bother or discourage you. It's their problem, not yours.
by Stu Bloom G2G6 Mach 8 (86.1k points)
Thanks Stu so appreciated
+12 votes

Excellent question! I agree with Scott 100% and will expand on it a little bit to hopefully make your wikitree experience as enjoyable as possible.

As a genealogist, you are obviously skilled in research. Use those skills when you encounter a situation like this and take just a few seconds to investigate:

-->Look at when the profile was last changed someone currently working on it or has it been sitting idle for years?

-->Look at the profile's Profile Manager page...are they active or has their last contribution been in 2016?


By taking those few seconds and other researcher's clues,  you'll soon develop a sort of mental chart of situations of when it is absolutely unnecessary to communicate and when you really should (and all the degrees in between those poles).

For instance, If you find a profile that was created in 2010 as a gedcom drop and has not been touched since then--absolutely get in there (and THANK YOU for doing it!) But if you find a profile that was created a day ago by an active wikitreer, while you are not required by wikitree to, simple common courtesy would tell you to contact that person first. 

Those kind of researcher's clues and just following the 'Golden Rule' will help you avoid conflicts and maybe even find some new friends!

by Nick Andreola G2G6 Mach 7 (70.7k points)
Andrea this is so helpful. I used to work as a Librarian in our State Library in the Archives division, and have done many years of research, but of course working on a site like Wiki Tree is very different. Your advice especially re older records or people who haven't worked on a tree for some years is something I find useful, as I did wonder in that situation the best thing to do. Thanks so much Vicki
Sorry Nick, for some reason I replied to you as Andrea!!! I think I have read too much and need to take a break. My apologies

laugh It's ok...I've been called much worse than that!laugh  

To your point on your comment to Julie....You'll find that there are pros/cons to insular and to community genealogy. Communication and courtesy are often the lubricants that smooth out many of the cons of the community style. 

As a researcher, I read the clue's you've given about yourself by even asking this question before acting means that you're going to be a welcome addition to wikitree and I'm glad you're here! (name-calling and all laughlaugh)

Ha ha Nick Andreola, thanks again. Yes I do try but also have to learn to slow down and read "carefully" especially before calling someone by a female name which has no connection to them (or me for that matter).
+2 votes
I think it's also important to note that if your information comes from a subscription website, you should include a transcription of the information found.  Sorry if this sounds rude, but I don't want to take someone else's word for a fact they've added, referencing a source I can't access.
by Anonymous Kelts G2G6 Pilot (512k points)
Accepting the transcription as relevant, accurate, and from that source is still taking someone's word for it...
Of course, Barry, but what more can I ask?  (And presumably, if they can type out a few lines correctly, at least it will tell me what conclusions they have drawn from the information as presented by the source.  I do assume that most people are honest.)
A transcription doesn't give the conclusions ... that would be additional? I feel like I don't understand our conversation.
What I meant was:  If someone adds a statement or piece of data to a profile, and provides a transcription of the source they used, then I can compare the two and decide for myself if their conclusions were warranted.  One example would be spelling differences between names in a source and the names of profiled people.
Thank you to all answers, in this case I have actual marriage and death certificates giving evidence of a 2nd marriage after the first spouse died. I agree that primary evidence is required, I guess being new to this site I am more concerned about adding information to another person's tree. I think that adding information is part of the goal? but not sure. I am still reading through information supplied, but it is a bit overwhelming. So I don't want to do the wrong thing but would like to add definite facts if that is applicable. Thanks for the advice to everyone
Thank you Julie. I will try to make contact with the PM by leaving a message. Also if I have actual primary certificates eg BDM, and I add them to the record as an image, would this then qualify as being a definitive fact. I do understand what you mean, as I find myself on my ancestry tree online that many people have incorrect information and I have original documents and feel frustrated at times, especially if I try to contact them, and they don't reply or worse still deny they are incorrect. So I agree it is very important. I appreciate the advice, and it is really good to see others points of view, which I have not taken into account. Working alone on an ancestors records can be insular, and have discussions really does open up a world of new ideas. Much appreciated. Vicki

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