Should we delete non-linked profiles with no identity?

+4 votes
245 views
On a random search for Hammond to look for potential relatives, I came upon a profile named "Living Hammond". I would have assumed that any living profile would not be accessible to be read by me--however, there was no profile manager associated with the profile in question. I thought maybe there were some links I was not seeing that would become visible to me if I did adopt it.

However, upon adoption of this profile, I discovered that not only did this person have no identity, but no links to other profiles or information of any sort---though the biography mentioned it was part of a (now-deleted) *.ged file---to allow me to identify this person or their immediate ancestors.

Should profiles like this just be deleted?
WikiTree profile: Ben Hammond
in Policy and Style by Michael Hammond G2G6 Mach 1 (11.7k points)
Found a profile for his father and linked. Provided sources for census and wrote up basic bio for father as he was pretty bare as well.

8 Answers

+3 votes
 
Best answer

The Unknowns Project has a step-by-step process to determine what should be done with this type of profile. You can find it at https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Unknowns. Members of the project are actively working on cleaning up orphaned profiles as well as managed profiles whose managers are no longer active.

by Debi Hoag G2G6 Pilot (291k points)
selected by Ros Haywood
+13 votes

The profile that you linked does actually have an identity as he has a spouse (she only shows if you open the profile in Edit mode). The notes on the spouse give his name, year and place of birth and his parents names. Given his year of birth is 1892 it's probably safe to assume that he is no longer living, so you could fill in his details.

by Paul Masini G2G6 Pilot (142k points)
Paul, I see that you are right about the spouse only showing in edit mode.  And I'm sure that you are not responsible for how this works.  But how does it make sense?  Who would know to look there?

The only reason I thought to look there was because when I hovered over the profile link in the question it said "1 spouse", but when I looked at the profile (not in Edit mode) no spouse was shown. The reason no spouse is shown is because on the marriage information the "Do Not Display" box has been selected. That box says "This option is offered for living people who are divorced", so I'm not sure that it was actually appropriate for it to be selected in this case.

Thank you.
+5 votes

Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1987

Name: Rose Larsen
Gender: Female
Race: White
Age: 36
Birth Date: 1891
Birth Place: Choteau, Mont.
Marriage Date: 7 Jul 1927
Marriage Place: Kalispell, Flathead, Montana, USA
Father: John Gardipee
Mother: Harriett Gardipee
Spouse: Ben H Hammond
Certificate Number: 5496
Household Members:
Name Age
Ben H Hammond
Carrie Hammond
Frank M Hammond
Rose Larsen
Harriett Gardipee
John Gardipee
Source Citation: Montana State Historical Society; Helena, Montana; Montana, County Marriage Records, 1865-1950
by Eddie King G2G6 Pilot (535k points)
+5 votes

Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1987

Name: Ben H Hammond
Gender: Male
Race: White
Age: 35
Birth Date: 1892
Birth Place: Stockton, Ill.
Marriage Date: 7 Jul 1927
Marriage Place: Kalispell, Flathead, Montana, USA
Father: Frank M Hammond
Mother: Carrie Hammond
Spouse: Rose Larsen
Certificate Number: 5496
Household Members:
Name Age
Ben H Hammond
Carrie Hammond
Frank M Hammond
Rose Larsen
Harriett Gardipee
John Gardipee
Source Citation: Montana State Historical Society; Helena, Montana; Montana, County Marriage Records, 1865-1950
by Eddie King G2G6 Pilot (535k points)

U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014

Name: Ben Hammond
Social Security Number: 516-14-9249
Birth Date: 13 Oct 1888
Issue year: Before 1951
Issue State: Montana
Last Residence: Great Falls, 59401, Cascade, Montana, USA
Death Date: Jun 1967
Household Members:
Name Age
Ben Hammond 63
Source Citation: Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File
+4 votes

Montana, State Deaths, 1907-2016

Name: Rose Gardipee Hammond
Gender: Female
Race: White
Age: 71
Birth Date: 15 Feb 1888
Birth Place: Choteau, Montana
Death Date: 3 Jan 1959
Death Place: Helena, Lewis and Clark, Montana, USA
Father: John Gardipee
Mother: Harriet Gardipee
Certificate Number: 59 250005
Household Members:
Name Age
Rose Gardipee Hammond
Harriet Gardipee
John Gardipee
Source Citation: Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services; Helena, Montana; Montana Death Records
by Eddie King G2G6 Pilot (535k points)
+1 vote

Rather than looking at the specific profile linked in the question, I thought I would try to see how many others might be in this category. The answer is... a lot -- 7365 profiles for "FirstName=living orphan"

Most of these appear to have no dates and no location, but by no means all of them. Many have the last name unknown.

Is it worth investigating these Living Unknown orphans with no dates or locations?

by W Robertson G2G6 Mach 6 (66.6k points)
Absolutely!  I just pulled up one random file from the list.  She was put as living with a DOB as 1912, so probably deceased now.  Her profile had her parents, siblings, three husbands with marriage info, and two deceased children.  

I don't think anyone in this category should be deleted unless there are no dates, locations, spouses or relatives - in other words only a first name living and maybe a surname, and nothing else.  So we cannot just delete them because they came up on a living orphan list.  Everyone needs to be looked at.  There are many wikitreers (like me) here that enjoy following up on these profiles and adding all possible information in order to salvage them and hopefully get them attached to our one world tree.
I was specifically wondering about given name Living and last name Unknown with no dates and no place (and with default text in a bio). They would need to be renamed after research which feels like the same thing as deleting them now and someone adding a researched profile in the future when someone works on a family member and wants to add relations. (I enjoy working on unknowns in the 19th century, but I personally don't enjoy it with much in the 20th century when I am looking for recent deaths of strangers, but that is just me, and I am sure it colors my perspective on these specific  profiles.)
I think it is worthwhile.  I picked a couple at random, and there's enough info on their parents that we should be able to find the families in census records and add info to these orphans.
That's great that these are solvable, and the people aren't actually living. Perhaps these could be the focus of some sort of challenge?
I just worked a few of these. There's a batch that came from the same gedcom from a member who no longer has an account. I found data for a few.
It looks like most of these date from 2011 or 2012 and haven't been touched since (based on the lasteditYYYY), and many seem to be in family clusters of people all named Living, so I am not surprised you were finding them from the same  GEDCOM of a former member. I think Living is common in GEDCOMs (and perhaps the only source). A quick glance looks like most are connected, so they aren't quite like the original question on the post.
Thanks, W Robertson,  for alerting me to this search for living orphans.  I have worked on 19 of them today, and was able to add names, dates, locations, sources, spouses, etc.  Love fixing these!
You had way better luck than me! I had no success with the one I tried. I have been doing much better on the Dutch and Iowa unknowns than on these. I am very happy people are getting some of these cleaned up
+3 votes
Names, dates, spouse & sources have been added and are now visible.
by N Gauthier G2G6 Pilot (123k points)
+1 vote
We don't delete profiles on WikiTree.  If one profile duplicates another, we merge them together.  If a profile contains no information, we research it and get the information.  If the profile is fake, we put it in the Disproven Existence Project.
by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (345k points)

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