In my GEDCOM, if I have a match but intentionally create a duplicate, what do I do after that?

+4 votes
My first GEDCOM had no matches so I don't really understand how they are treated.

I'm working on my 2nd GEDCOM. I have a match where both individuals have information missing in the other's profile. Is it okay to create a Duplicate Profile so that I can take time to verify the other's information; and then request the merge?

What if I agree that my John May and the other John May are the same person, but I do NOT agree in all the other information it the other person's tree?
in WikiTree Tech by Karen Wall G2G2 (2.4k points)

WikiTree is not easy, nor is it fool-proof.  It is a whole different animal.  Nothing like those slick, user-friendly pay sites. 

This is a collaborative effort/project to create one, well-sourced, accurate family tree for everyone who ever lived (AD anyway), including attractive, original, individual biographies for all profiles.  It takes time, and committment.

Maybe slow down and take it one step at a time?  Learning WikiTree is not a one-day process.  It hasn't even been a one-year process for me!  (still learning)

Maybe finish your first GEDCOM before even thinking about starting another one.

You may be surprised at the amount of clean-up and linking required to make the profiles the way you want them.  It all takes time.  

Unfortunately a lot of folks download a bunch of profiles and then get overwhelmed and just leave .... leaving the mess for the rest of us to clean up.  Please understand, not saying this is you, just a word of caution, because it happens all too frequently.

Welcome!  We've all been where you are right now ... new and very puzzled .... it will all be clear a little at a time.  Keep asking for help.  Read, read, read ... and breathe.  smiley

Cynthia, thank you so much for your reply!   I will heed your suggestion about cleaning up my first GEDCOM.

2 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer

Hi Karen,  I think I answered this on

The main thing to remember is there is no other tree;  there is only one big worldwide WikiTree here.  All the information that you donate, that I contribute, and that each person adds, goes into the same big WikiTree.  We each add our family branches, twigs and leaves to the same tree trunk. These are gifts of our research to the improvement of our knowledge about all family tree branches. The goal is one profile/leaf per person on the WikiTree.  So if you have information to improve a profile, we hope that you will collaborate to edit and improve the profile with your information and sources.  

We are so glad you are here!  WikiTree is a different kind of concept, and it is not for everyone, but I think you will enjoy the contributions you make and what you will learn from the profiles and other WikiTreers.  Thanks for joining us!  

by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (531k points)
selected by Vincent Piazza
+1 vote
Hi Karen,

Great question!

This is exactly where collaboration happens, and it starts with ... has to be built on ... the very best sources available, meaning the most primary possible.  If we use good sources for the information on profiles, then we all start "on the same page" so to speak.

Too often, there is conflict becsuse there is no source, or the source is a "non-source," like "family trees" or "group sheets."  When we use quality sources, like wills or parish records, there is usually no disagreement.

It might help if you could post the profile ID numbers, so we can look all at it, too.  Then we will be able to better speak to your situation.

Welcome, and glad you asked the question.
by Cynthia B G2G6 Pilot (127k points)
Thanks Cynthia for editing the Bio for John May. I became the manager of his profile by Oops! I found him because he came up as a match in my GEDCOM. There was no profile manager and I clicked in the wrong place and became the manager.  Thats okay though because he's in my direct line.

His is one of the profiles I was talking about in my original question.  HE is definitely the same person, but I had no idea about the accuracy of the Descendants listed. I have since emailed with Penny F - who is the person who created the profile.

Another example is my William Carpenter (Carpenter-3398) I believe he is totally a match, and the existing profile has more information on William - but NO Parents. I go back another 8 Generations of fathers.  If I SKIP, then what happens to the other 8 generations? Do I have to go back and add them manually? Or are they added as just out there as unattached and I have to somehow find them and re-attach?  I am really confused about this!!

One last example. William Causey (Causey-73)  This William Causey is a match to my William Causey in my GEDCOM, but the information is jumbled.  We both have 1 wife as Amelia Ferrar, but I have a 2nd wife Susannah Jackson. This person has Susannah Jackson as him mother. I don't think the dates support this. More disturbing is the duplications in the grandchildren listed. There are 34 listed with LOTS of duplicates. At least two I can identify as being in the wrong. Solomon (1773-1834) is listed as a child AND a grandchild. I believe he is a son because he's my direct line. I have a different birthdate and a different death location AND for some reason Solomon is NOT a match in my GEDCOM so he will have to be merged later. Anyway - do I want to SKIP MY William Causey and have this confusion merged into my tree? Or is this an example of "SAME but do not SKIP"?

Sorry for the long post. As you can see, I'm confused about how to handle the matches.
Hi Karen,

Glad you answered!

I just gave John May a "lick and a promise"  There's lots more on the biography on him.  Very well done, I think.  The one I worked on the most was May-1681.  I don't see you as manager there.  It's fine to adopt any orphans you like ... "related" or not.  After all, we're all related somewhere along the line, right?

In the case of Carpenter-3398, you skip him and make a note of his WikiTree ID number, then after your GEDCOM is in, you will connect just his mother and father to him.  All your profiles will download.  It will be easy at that point, because they will have been assigned ID#s, and you'll just enter them in the correct blank on his edit screen.

In the case of Causey-73, again skip him and any others already in WikiTree, even if they aren't "correct."  It's OK.  that's where the sources come in handy.  : )  Later, when you have entered everyone you have, you will start to correspond with the existing managers, and see what they know.  It is entirely possible that you know more than they do, and they will be happy to turn the job over to you (as long as you have good evidence supporting your conclusions).  I often run into people who say things like, "This was my mother's file, and I am just looking after it now."  Or, "I adopted this person last month and haven't even begun to do any research yet." 

You will see.  It just takes time.  Nothing happens overnight here ... or very little.  That's the nature of collaboration.  It takes time, but the benefits are immense!  I have found some cousins, lots of new information, whole new lines of ancestors, and some wonderful Wiki-friends.  Just takes a little patience.

Duplicates are a big issue here.  It's a result of the GEDCOMs and the fact that so many of our profiles are mere skeletons ... without good sources yet.  so people aren't sure, and they just go ahead and download their profile, feeling they have the correct info ... and we end up with 5 of the same person.

There's a whole project to deal with these, the Arborist Project, of which I happen to be a member!  So I can help with the duplicates.  We will start by getting the main profiles "right" and then start tackling merging.  Again, not an quick process, but it works!  You should have seen the Connecticut Meads when I started at WikiTree!  Every generation had at least ten children, and every single family had named two of their children John and Jonathan!  And they all stayed in the Fairfield Connecticut area for a couple of hundred years.  What a mess that was!  But it's in pretty good shape now.  We'll get there with the Causeys, too.

So, for these older profiles, if you even suspect they are already in here, they probably are.  Just skip and write down the Wikitree ID #.  You'll do some linking later, but it's a whole lot easier than doing a bunch of merging later.  Believe me!  For the children and grand children, probably better to skip, too ... if there's any question.  It's easy to move profiles around, but harder to merge, and deleting is out of the question ... not done at all.

Hope this helps.  Good luck.  Once it's in here, I will help you with the duplicates.

Thanks and welcome again,
PS, if you like, we can continue by email, may be easier.  smiley


Related questions

+6 votes
1 answer
23 views asked May 28, 2016 in WikiTree Tech by Mona Jensen G2G Crew (890 points)
+6 votes
1 answer
+5 votes
2 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright