We're renaming the Black Sheep Project - any suggestions? [closed]

+10 votes
468 views

We wanted to let everyone know that we've been actively discussing the reorganization of the Black Sheep ProjectSome changes have already started happening in the background, including the Categorization Project's removal of some genealogically-insignificant categories. We are keeping the project intact as a top-level project, rather than splitting it into various sub-projects of the Global or US Projects. However, we need a new name that will encompass all the sub-projects under one umbrella. The sub-projects include: 

While considering a new name, we need to keep in mind that the Witch Trials subproject includes victims of false accusations and that a spy to his/her own country is not usually considered a black sheep but a hero.

We asked the leaders group for suggestions on a new project name. Proposed names include:

  • Notorious Persons
  • Renowned Ancestors
  • Scandals and Crimes
  • Sinners and Saints
  • Villains and Heroes
  • Controversial Characters
  • Dramatic Lives
  • MISFITS (possibly an acronym for Misunderstood, Infamous, Scandalous, Fabled, Illustrious, Tragic, Scapegoats/Sufferers - or something along those lines) 

Let us know your favorite name listed above, or feel free to add a new suggestion. Your feedback is welcome and very much appreciated!

Thanks for your input! 

Susan McNamee and Traci Thiessen, co-leaders, Black Sheep Project 

closed with the note: Thanks for the input, everyone! We're going to pause on renaming for awhile ... we'll keep you posted!
in The Tree House by Traci Thiessen G2G6 Pilot (184k points)
closed by Traci Thiessen

Notorious would I think be wrong: first google hit.

 https://www.google.com/amp/s/dictionary.cambridge.org/amp/english/notorious . 

Merriam Webster  usage note https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/is-notorious-always-negative

Was  MISFITS  a tongue in cheek suggestion? It covers the sub groups well since they really don't fit together. 

Now pondering what an outlaw is. Heres my cousin, https://www.google.com/amp/s/aguidetoaustralianbushranging.wordpress.com/2018/10/17/john-peisley-an-overview/amp/ fits nicely  into the category , a nasty piece of work, even if he was a victim of his background.  But he really wasn't an outlaw; the law hung him. Heres a man legally declared outlaw https://www.google.com/amp/s/thehistoryofparliament.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/from-celebrity-to-outcast-william-bankes-mp-1786-1855/amp/ 

Definitely misfits. 

'Misfit' tends to have a negative connotation.  Would you call a victim a misfit? Or a hostage a misfit?

The new name needs to cover two groups of people:
1.  the people who do the bad thing, like gangsters; AND
2.  the victims of those crimes
I agree Ros, I feel that the categories are misfits. They're not a homogeneous group. A miscellany of ancestors; Heroes, villains, outcasts and victims.
How about that, then? "The Miscellany Project"?
If a Hollywood director made movie including this unlikely cast of characters, even children could tell the good guys from the bad guys.

Another thought - “Good Guys and Bad Guys”
Pariahs and Prey - or Pariahs and Victims.

Misfits sounds really nice, but probably Sinners and Saints fits the bill better

On the side: Black sheep, with a multilanguage background, was a good name as well, but apparently the connotation to some is not wanted, which is good reason to change it.

MISFITS  fits the group.

However I like Black Sheep
Is it being renamed or dissolved? Categories are being deleted and project members are being notified that it is being dissolved, yet there is no indication of either right now on the project page.

Sorry ... BSP is being dissolved. Project members were notified a month or so ago:

We're sad to inform you that the Black Sheep Project is being dissolved. All BSP's subprojects will be moved in pieces under the Notables Project as categories and perhaps as Teams, depending on interest. Witch Trials will become a subproject of Notables.

Your BSP project member badge will soon be removed. If you'd like to join the Notables project, please let one of us know and we'll get you a Notables badge.

Please email either of us if you have any questions and if you'd like to join the Notables project.

Thanks, Susan McNamee & Traci Thiessen ~Co-leaders, Black Sheep Project

13 Answers

+6 votes
It’s difficult to describe a group that includes murderers and innocents who were murdered.

I suggest #1 with a modification - “Notorious and Noteworthy Persons.”
by Clyde Perkins G2G5 (5.6k points)
Too much like 'Notables'.
+3 votes
If it is necessary to change Black Sheep Project then “Outcasts” would fit the bill.
by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (556k points)
That doesn't cover the heroes and heroines within the spy section. Some of  whom died for their country in wartime,far from outcasts, they are celebrated.
Remove spies from Outcasts/Black Sheep.  Or allow someone like Benedict Arnold to be both an outcast (from the U.S.) and a hero (for the British).

As noted above, "a spy to his/her own country is not usually considered a black sheep but a hero". BUT they would be considered a traitor in the country they spied on, thereby making them Notorious or Controversial people, which are in the scope of this project. Also keep in mind that more than one project can manage a profile ... if Military and War would like to co-manage these profiles, we'd be happy to collaborate with them. In fact, that is on our to-do list ... AFTER we rename the project. Stay tuned!

+6 votes
I like Notorious, as in the Hitchcock movie.

Not a fan of the all caps MISFITS, even though it's an acronym, but I do like Misfits.
by Natalie Trott G2G6 Pilot (815k points)
edited by Natalie Trott
+3 votes
How about "Stories You Could Tell at a Cocktail Party"? But any of the suggestions from your group leaders seem fine to me. Sometimes we overthink these things. Maybe draw a name from a hat and get on with it :)
by Jim Moore G2G6 Mach 1 (12.0k points)
+3 votes
I like three of these names: #4, #5, and #9 the best. I can't pick just one.
by Greta Moody G2G6 Pilot (181k points)
+7 votes
Can I ask why it was decided not to split the sub topics up? I see the naming problem as resulting from attempting to fit disparate groups under one heading. What do we gain by lumping them together?  

If spies and traitors were removed and  put into  locational and historical categories, plus  when appropriate military categories, we would then be left with an assortment of lawbreakers. (yes I know some spies might be designated criminals but  by no means all, and a traitor to one regime might be a freedom fighter for another )  If it is important to categorise their victims  then they should surely be in separate  subcategories.

Thinking aloud, the overall project might then be Crime  and include subcategories for various types/locations of  crime. It could even expand to include criminal lawyers, police and detectives.

. .
by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (326k points)
Sounds good. Spies and traitors was never going to fit into blacksheep as it was a value judgement.

Part of the problem as I see it is lumping victims of such things as the witch trials in the same grouping as their oppressors and murderers.

I originally wrote that I would prefer victims of witchcraft trials to be categorised elsewhere. I didn't in the end  because it was 'illegal''.  There are many other 'crimes' which we wouldn't today consider to be criminal:  bastardy, leaving service ( punishable by hard labour and a whipping) , leaving a husband (whipped) an elderly person leaving divine service to go to the loo, (fined) playing marbles on a Sunday, (parents told to whip them)  gossiping (ducked in the river) Ironically,  the regime which  prosecuted the last three and also  provided puritan emigrants dealt with  two cases of  witchcraft allegations by prosecuting the accusers of bearing false witness.
We decided to keep the project together for many reasons, but it needs a new name. This G2G post was made in the spirit of collaboration to get feedback on possible new names. Lets keep the discussion on track, please.
I apologise if you think this is a diversion and don't wish to break rules. I feel that by not  explaining the reasons for  the commonality of these  groups,  we cannot devise a suitable name.

 The original Black Sheep Genealogical Society gave membership to those who considered their direct ancestors to be black sheep, you could only be a member if you were such a direct descendant. You had to prove it but it could be kept private.The antithesis perhaps to many American  lineage societies. Wikitree adopted and then added and altered the original categories. It allowed any member to assign profiles to the category This caused dissension ; why would you call a person who parachuted into enemy territory, joined resistence fighters, was executed and after death  awarded high honours in her country a black sheep? Why would you call a woman indicted for the fictitious and superstious crime of witchcraft, a black sheep? Changing  the name for the project is good. However without redefining the boundaries we are stuck with the same problem, a project with undefined and contentious boundaries . How can any name encompass it?
Helen, we simply asked for suggestions on a name, not a debate on whether we should disband/reorganize a project that has many members and has been working well for 3+ years. There is a commonality in the profiles the project manages: they are perpetrators or victims of notorious or infamous acts. The name "Perpetrators and Victims of Notorious or Infamous Acts" is too long ... so we're asking the community for some help with a name. One of the suggested names, MISFITS, could be an acronym for the wide range of profiles we cover. However the word "misfits" itself could be viewed negatively.

Ultimately, not everyone will agree on the name we choose. We only wanted to get the community's perspective on some possible name choices.

edited to fix typos
Smooth Criminals and have the Michael Jackson sound playing
+4 votes
This is a difficult question. I think I like "Scandals and Crimes" best because it labels the incident in which a person was involved rather than labeling the person, which is the only way I know of to include both the perpetrators and the victims in the same category.
by Nelda Spires G2G6 Pilot (322k points)
I think you make an excellent point, Nelda, in that the "label" should be for the incident/s, not the person/people.
+5 votes
Just a few ideas; instead of putting them all together, group Outlaws and gangsters together.

—The Hatfields and McCoys weren’t outlaws, they just hated each other so maybe a West Virginia subcategory?

Moonshiners again, a Southern group?

—Witchcraft Trials might fit as a subcategory in Religion, since they were conducted by the Puritans in New England?
by Ellen Gustafson G2G6 Mach 2 (21.0k points)
Splitting up the project was given much consideration, but it was decided to keep the project together under a new name.

Some Hatfields & McCoys were moonshiners. Moonshiners are not restricted to the South, nor are Witch trials restricted to New England.
The Hatfields& McCoys were from two different states,West Virginia and Kentucky.   There were killings asl well as the hatrid.between the families.  There are over 10 instances listed which the profile research showed.
+5 votes

Thanks everyone for the feedback on possible new names! Keep those suggestions coming please! 

Like I said above: "We are keeping the project intact as a top-level project, rather than splitting it into various sub-projects of the Global or US Projects." We chose to do this for many reasons. This discussion is about renaming the project to better suit the scope of all the profiles it manages. Thanks!

by Traci Thiessen G2G6 Pilot (184k points)
+5 votes

I like "Misfits" the best. All the other suggestions are rather clever, and quite dramatic. "All the world's a stage / And all the men and women merely players..." - William Shakespeare

by Charlotte Landis G2G2 (2.6k points)
+4 votes

I like the Sinners and Saints but how about Sinners, Saints and Scoundrels, Oh My!

by Rhonda Zimmerman G2G6 Pilot (200k points)
+7 votes
Rogues and Rebels?
by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.7m points)
Radicals and Rebels?
Radicals and Rebels are good names too.
+6 votes
Maybe something to do with Unconventional or Nonconformists. These groups all were living just a little outside the norm.

I think we should stay away from anything cutesy and keep it professional sounding.

My problem is that any way you look at it, the Witch Trials do not really fit. They were mostly caused by religious ignorance or political reasons.
by Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz G2G6 Pilot (531k points)
I agree, Lucy, and I also think a lot of the spies don't fit either. It's hard to find something that will encompass John Wayne Gacy and people who are considered military heroes while keeping everybody happy.
Unconventional and Non-conformists is a good name too, Lucy. I agree with it. It's professional sounding.

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