Contacting PM to add children, siblings, spouses

+12 votes
309 views
Some of the content of this policy was recently pointed out to me  - the need to contact a PM before connecting another profile to the one they manage, if it involves adding a child, sibling or another spouse. Seriously? How many people actually do this? This policy is likely breached many times during "Thons". Many people only enter their direct line here. What happens if a PM is in denial about the existence of another sibling and doesn't permit the connection?

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Communication_Before_Editing#Be_Polite:_Make_Contact_First
in The Tree House by Leandra Ford G2G6 Pilot (119k points)

7 Answers

+14 votes
 
Best answer
The policy appears to be unduly restrictive.  I agree with others that it is a good courtesy when dealing with close relatives of the PM, i.e. grandparents, but otherwise, if one is adding information/links AND the good sources on which it is based, there should be no problem.  If a mistake is made it can easily be remedied.  

Adding information is very different from subtracting information, which requires a much higher level of coordination.  If you add a bad link, the link is right there to be corrected, but if you subtract a good link, a bit of research is required to determine the link to restore.
by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (364k points)
selected by Diane Darcy
+11 votes
Sometimes I add info to Research Notes and wait a little while to see if the PM reacts. Other times if the profiles are sufficiently old I go ahead. So I guess I am guilty .
by Marion Poole G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
Yes, there is a bit of a 'gut feeling' to be applied. I never had someone telling me off for adding information. The times I told them the information was really wrong they did not reply, so I started removing links (and adding the correct ones).

But at other times I get told off for more trivial things, so it is a grey area, better to be on the safe side.
I suspect most of us have breached this one.
+14 votes

You asked "What happens if a PM is in denial about the existence of another sibling and doesn't permit the connection?"

A PM doesn't have the right to forbid a connection. This is a Wiki.  The communication is a courtesy gesture, it isn't really asking permission, but rather offering the option of collaboration.  The PM  does not own the profile and the profile is not part of "their" tree.  With proper sources as evidence for the new profile, how could they even object to it ?

by Joe Farler G2G6 Pilot (122k points)

Joe, when the sources are less than complete, it is still permissible to add family members and mark them "uncertain."  Here is the policy: Help:Disagreements about Certainty.

Edited to add:  As is suggested in the policy linked above, the information on Help:Uncertain is also useful.

Thanks Julie, that's good to know.  I'd never seen that Help page before......
+12 votes
It would seem to me that if a policy is so universally ignored then perhaps there is something wrong with the policy and maybe it should be revised.

Many contributors only ever add their direct line ancestors. I see absolutely nothing wrong with growing branches on those stems - that is the only way in which connectivity is going to be increased. If you try to do this by consultation you could end up waiting a very long time for any response at all.

There is also a time element to this. If it's someone's grandparents you're looking at then that is "up close and personal" and I wouldn't interfere without communication. If it's someone born in the 1700s then any addition backed by good sourcing should be welcomed with open arms.

Subtraction from, or restructuring, someone's work is an entirely different matter and I would suggest should only be done after at least attempting dialogue with the PM.
by Derrick Watson G2G6 Mach 3 (36.5k points)
+14 votes
I can't see anything wrong with adding family members to existing profiles, provided that the relation is appropriately sourced. I've done so several times, and often received thanks for it.

On the other hand, I consider it rude to add family members to existing profiles based on unsourced myths found on the interwebs. Such things happen, and I suppose that members who will do such a thing don't read instructions anyway.
by Leif Biberg Kristensen G2G6 Pilot (113k points)
+8 votes
We see a fair number of cases where there is very likely some conflation of data about multiple people with the same or similar names.  When that occurs in a single-tree environment, it can result in the ancestral lines of many people going off in the wrong direction, and if it's not caught early, can be difficult and time consuming to clean up.  The intent of this policy would seem to be to provide a check and balance against problems like that.  It does have the qualifiers saying make contact if there's an active and responsive profile manager, and err on the side of courtesy if you're uncertain.  That doesn't seem all that unreasonable or demanding to me.
by Dennis Barton G2G6 Pilot (431k points)
I doubt there are many courtesy emails being sent in connect-a-thons. It would defeat the purpose of the thon and the daily email allowance wouldn't allow it. With the attempt at speed during a thon that's where mistakes are more likely to occur. Why have a policy at all if it is ok to ignore it during a thon?
Yeah, I know, I don't disagree with that point, but the policy doesn't say "except during -thons."  Reconciling that one is above my pay grade, and it's probably not a good idea to drag out my -thons soapbox in this thread!
+9 votes
As a WikiTree'r who focuses on/enjoys connecting profiles, the majority of WikTree'rs are very thankful when profiles are connected.  I focus on unlinked single profiles that appear to have splintered on gedcom import to WikiTree.  Through that process I also come across single profiles where someone has set up a WikiTree profile for everybody with a certain last name that has a FindAGrave profile but has made no attempt to connect them.  There is one PM that swears by the policy mentioned above no matter how many sources you add to the profile before you make the connection.  I just have made a note never to work on their profiles.  They have approximately 2,000 unconnected profiles, a lot that are single profiles that are easily connected but they want communication before you add a source or a connection.  Thus, I prefer to work on the other 4,120,000 unconnected profiles.
by S Stevenson G2G6 Pilot (108k points)

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