September 2020 update - Australian maintenance categories on Wikitree+

+4 votes
208 views

Hi Wikitreers!

For those in the Southern Hemisphere, Welcome to springtime, it's a great feeling to have some warmer weather outside.

With September upon us, I thought it was time to check in again on Wikitree+ Australian maintenance categories.

Today's report shows some interesting figures:


4,185 profiles are tagged 'Victoria, Unsourced Profiles

  • Profiles tagged Victoria, Unsourced are up nearly 100% from 2,111 in early August
  • Across the other states and territories, only around 200 profiles total are tagged 'unsourced', (New South Wales is second-most tagged, but only 153 times)
  • 328 profiles are currently tagged to 'Australia, Unsourced Profiles' for Aussies who move around between states and territories, or can't be traced beyond their country

'Australia, Needs Biography' has been tagged to 508 profiles


'Australia, Immigrant Needs Voyage Category Added' has now been tagged to 523 profiles

  • I think that this large number compared to previous reports is due to recent work by the Categorisation Project, moving profiles from the categories 'Migrants from Scotland to Australia' and 'Migrants from England to Australia' to lower-level state/county categories, in line with their preferred category structure. See Margaret Haining's G2G post about the move for more information.
  • As an aside, just personally, I'm not a fan of the Categorisation Project's preferred category structure.... I find the country-to-country categories more genealogically interesting and relevant. 
    • I've dealt with this personally by creating personal categories, so that there's still a place I can see all my Watchlist profiles at the country-to-country-level
    • To deal with this on a wider-level (only for migrants from Germany to Australia), I've also seen a 'history category' set up: Category, German Immigrants to Australia. Maybe more of these 'history categories' would be useful, including for England and Ireland?

'Australia, Needs Profiles Created' has been tagged to 1,416 profiles. Should be lots of connecting to do there!

in The Tree House by Clare Spring G2G6 Mach 3 (36.8k points)
edited by Clare Spring
Welcome to Spring! Clare.

I'm not much concerned about Category Structure. I agree that Shipping needed to be sorted with so much confusion between which ship?; when was it built?; which year did it leave on a voyage?; when did it arrive?.

Unless it becomes confusing, then I don't think regional categories should be be broken down to lower levels. Townlands in Ireland are useful, but I do not agree with pushing down all profiles to this lowest level.

I think yours is the majority view, Steve (otherwise this change would not have been made). 

I'm sure I'll get over it, but I'm certainly still a little in mourning for the higher-level categories we've lost. To expand more on my thinking behind the country-level being more "genealogically relevant" to me than lower-level categories:

  • citizenship is at the country-level
  • I think quite often the lower-level categories are telling a "lie" that shows a direct migration (say from birthplace Cornwall to Victoria, when in reality perhaps the migration was from London or Devon, where perhaps the person lived for 20 years before migrating)  
  • when I talk family history with Australians, they talk at the country-level about genealogical heritage (for example, they might tell me they have two great-grandparents who were born in Ireland, and one born in Scotland, the rest were born in Australia)
  • I want to be able to 'limit to Watchlist' and see the country-to-country migrations that have happened (for example, to see my Watchlist migrants from England to Australia, I don't want to have to click into 8 different state/territory categories mapped to 48 different English county categories)

2 Answers

+3 votes
The unsourced Victorian profiles seem to generated by one person... I have run into a few from this person and have had to find sources and this morning had to 'untangle" the children of two husbands. Can someone have a quiet word to her?
by Roslyn Chandler G2G Crew (590 points)
Depending on who it is, maybe someone already has.
This is why I once suggested that new profiles be required to include at least two real sources (not, I'll add something later, or Amazon said) before the system accepts the profile.  Since being 'knocked back' I've become guilty of 'unsubstantiated family records'.
I like your suggestion Ken. My ambition is a bit lower, I'd be happy with one real source.

I believe the person in question has generated these profiles in good faith and has probably connected many profiles that wouldn't yet be connected without her work.

The profiles she has generated do include sources. These sources are of the style "Victorian Pioneer Index 1836-1888", or "Victorian BD&Ms", we have to remember that it's only very recently (December 2019) that this style of sourcing has come to be considered 'completely vague'. Previously, this type of sourcing was not considered inappropriate.

When adding sources and biographies to these profiles, I've found the data-field information is generally good.

I agree 'untangling' can feel frustrating, but we all make mistakes, and this person's work has been substantial. Would Wikitree really be better off without the work she has put in? I don't think so.

I concur. My support also comes with a feeling of embarrassment. I've been spending minimal time on some of the profiles I've created for migrants from Europe to Australia. In my defense, I think I have made a good number of connections to families that did not recognise the different transcriptions of family names.
Don't feel embarrassed Steve, you have done fabulous work. There are no obligations with Wikitree beyond the honour code, and really I think the general feel for whatever is on Wikitree is appreciation. It's obvious we have a pretty amazing volunteer community who have put in huge amounts of effort to have created what is on the site today.
I was just venting. So thanks for contact and input. Seems there has been a quiet word or two and I am content to leave it there.
+3 votes
The wording 'Needs Profiles Created' has always intrigued me. If no profile has yet been created, hence needing to be created, how is it a maintenance category.  There's nothing yet to maintain. Am I missing something?
by Kenneth Evans G2G6 Pilot (162k points)
I believe it deals with profiles that mention other family members (parents, spouse, children, siblings) in the bio, but no profiles are yet created for them.

I don't like 'Needs Profiles Created'. I agree with your comment that a thing can not be maintained before it is created.
I think the recommendation is that if you name family members in a profile, the family members should also have profiles. I also find the category title 'needs' a bit pushy. I'm happy to extend the family profiles in my own time.

Such a category can be useful for things such as the Connect-a-Thon, or for people looking for something to do while they stew on a brick wall.  I have had someone add the category to (a) profile(s)  I manage, and it is helpful as a reminder (to others, as well as to me) that there can be family members added once sources are found.

I don't believe the intent is to "herd" anyone.
That makes sense. Thanks, Mel.
Maybe it 'needs' better phrasing, Steve.

I'm working on a family line at the moment where I mention the parents (but have no profiles for them), mention the spouse (am working on getting the sources for that) and mention the children (one child has a profile, which is why the profile on which I am working even exists).  I may never have the energy, or time, or what I call the "oomph", to create all those extra profiles.  Adding a "needs profiles created" category will allow other people to look for the sources and add the family I don't add.

If it is the phrase "needs profiles created" that is problematic -- remember that it is WT-wide in usage, not just something the Aus Project dreamt up. 

Perhaps asking for a change to something less "pushy" could be put out there.  Maybe something such as "has potential for family members", except that's a tad long for a category name.

"Needs Profiles Created" is blunt in its phrasing, but it's one of my favourite maintenance categories.

I can leave alone a family-line that I'm working on and have a "bookmark" to come back to at my leisure (or else for someone else to pick up), to create more profiles from.
I'm with you on this Clare, I quite enjoy adding the source information (sometimes that's all that is possible). I have also been guilty of creating some very basic profiles for some of the branches of my own tree. I have lists of names of descendants and the year of birth but little other information. I am starting the profiles though, anticipating that either I will go back and add more details, or I will find a link to another family tree which will enable me to connect with family and get more information - which has happened.
Well said Nan.  I thoroughly agree with Clare's approach of bookmarking a gap to come back at leisure.

I have a different concern with the plethora of Categories In my view the Categories exist like a skeleton to maintain some structure. There are way too many categories and should be reduced. The categories might help find your way in a search but they are there are different search engines.

I'm more a fan of the Wikitree Space pages which are more flexible.

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