How do I deal with people trying to change my verified profiles

+11 votes
458 views
How should I deal with individuals who keep trying to change my verified Native American genealogy profiles? I have a few individuals who keep changing profiles, such as an changing the parent. One person recently changed a mother, inserting someone else with no verified data. I have changed it back, but this kind of thing keeps happening on my Cherokee genealogy. It's beginning to get really old. Seeking advice.
WikiTree profile: Jackson Morgan
in Policy and Style by Duane Poncy G2G6 (6.1k points)
I have the opposite problem. I am trying to add to or help correct existing profiles on some of my ancestral lines. I have sent comments and questions to profile managers often with no reply. I have placed my suggestions with verification sources in the comments, no reply or action? I do not want to step on anyone's toes. I only want to add to any existing profile[s] accurate info. This might involve changes. I usually wait to see if they are made by the profile manager or a reply. These are almost always ancestors or related persons I would make any changes to. I am good with #'s and spot things that do not seem correct. A lady having children in and after her late 40's? I often find errors on other sites that frustrate me. I am not going to reach out to all the persons on those sites. With Wiki this should be an easier and more accurate process! We all contribute to a common tree. That is the reason I work on Wiki. To have accurate profiles and eliminate incorrect info as much as possible. I wish you were a manager of some of the profiles I follow . You seem to care about accuracy.
Ken, a woman can have kids until around 50, menopause is the determining factor and it is variable as to when it starts and ends.

If the profiles you want to add data to are open, then you add your data on the profile.  If there is controversy of any nature between the data you would add and what is already there, you can put it in a ==Notes== section and explain the details there..
Thanks it is less common after the mid 40's. I have a few persons in my family research who married late and had children in the later 40's. When I see someone posting a woman is having children in her 50's that raises a red flag for me! I often then send a comment to check dates. I have an ancestor that someone on "Find A Grave" added a second husband to. They also claimed that his youngest children were from my ancestor as a third wife? All publications for her family and that of her [only] husband mention no second marriage. Her husband died after her. And she would have had these other children from 47 years old into her 50's? So I challenged the information they have on Find A Grave. The manager asked me to change it to what I believe. I believe she didn't have a second marriage!

5 Answers

+14 votes
Don't know if it will help - no one should change a parent without contacting the PM or posting a comment with documentation - but I added some better sources.  James Hicks' on-line trees are not totally reliable.  

You might want to contact the person who made the change and ask him/her what sources they had.
by Kathie Forbes G2G6 Pilot (377k points)
+24 votes
I have a couple of suggestions that might help. I would recommend a two-pronged approach.

1) Reach out to those who make the changes and let them know nicely that while you appreciate their enthusiasm to help you with the profiles you manage, you are trying to only document source-verified evidence or whatever evidence you feel is appropriate, and if they can prove their changes, then they are more than welcome to participate. Or something along these lines, to let them know that you would value their input IF they have valid inputs.

2) If these mythologies exist in the internet (and many do), then I would document them on your profiles so that it makes it clear that you are aware of their existence and that they are clearly not proven and shouldn't be added without additional source evidence. Something along the lines (in the biography) of "John Smith has been noted as his father on many unsourced family trees, however, because there is no source documentation to prove this, he is not being added as father at this time. Further research is required." This may help, provided they read through the biography, so that maybe they won't try to add "John Smith" anymore without asking about why that note got added.
by Scott Fulkerson G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
I agree with Scott, to provide the information that was attempted to be added is known to be false, or at least quite uncertain.  You can use a === Discussion === entry to include the presumed incorrect information so all points are known and considered and explained as to why not used.  You could also use some type of NOTICE at the top of the biography that says the same thing but shorter.  Do not add [[wikitree id|name]]  as mother as she . . .  Or [[wikitree id|name]]  has been removed as mother because she . . .
+15 votes

If this is happening more than once perhaps you should ask the Native American project to co-manage the profile and add PPP?

by Maggie Andersson G2G6 Pilot (128k points)
+9 votes

I personally would opt for some protection by a project.

If you fail to get a response from the members, you can follow the guideline 'problems with members'. Link is also in the help menu.

by Michel Vorenhout G2G6 Pilot (223k points)
+9 votes
I looked at the Change log and saw only one instance of changing the parents and that was back in July 2019 over a year ago.

Is there some other profile where you are seeing repeated changing of parents?

One of the best ways to fight changes is to source the heck out of your profiles. And if there are disputes about origins, include a disputed origins section under research notes and explain the evidence for/against the origins.

If origins are disputed, wikitree's Native Americans project is happy to co-manage and protect the profile so that relationship changes and changes to last name at birth cannot be made by just anyone.
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (781k points)
The problem is not just this profile. It happened that this was the one I was most recently working on. A similar thing has happened on other profiles, including attempts to tie them into fake genealogies that are all over the internet.

I could ask that they be project protected, but I wasn't sure if  nineteenth century profiles would be eligible for that treatment. I would feel more comfortable doing this if there was a Cherokee Project with a coordinator.

My main problem is that I want to do genealogy and historical research, and not engage in arguments with people. I guess I'm just ranting now.

Thank you for your response.
The criteria that the Native Americans project use for PPP aren’t as much about age as whether a profile is a frequent subject of added/disputed names, incorrect parents, spouses, or children, is connected to a myth, or is easily/often confused with someone with a similar name.   I spend much of my time on Wikitree working through Cherokee profiles, adding sources and documentation and raising questions where they are lacking.  Sometimes a disputed or confused origins statement at the top is helpful in forestalling changes.  Sometimes the problem is mixed-up generations.  There is just so much junk on the Internet, including Family Search and Ancestry, that it’s an endless task.
https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Project_Protection

Above are the guidelines for PPP, age of profile has no bearing really, if someone messes with them because of errant trees on the net, then this way they can't just be changed and you then have to fix them.  I would definitely ask for PPP as being a subject of controversy is one of the criteria for project protection.

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