What do we think about items copy pasted from Ancestry Life Story

+4 votes
116 views
I keep running into biographies that have items copied from Life Story. I very rarely look at Ancestry life story, mostly because a lot of it is just duplication of information on the facts page. The other items:

Such as " Thomas Grindle Davidson of Westmeath, Ontario, might have enjoyed access to lower priced hydroelectric power after the Ontario Power Commission was established in 1906 ".

Or " Thomas Grindle Davidson of Westmeath, Ontario, may have been shocked to hear that a woman was elected to parliament in 1921."

Some of it is world history, some of it is vaguely connected to the country where the person is living, or where they were born.

Personally I don't think these items belong in a biography unless they have a definite connection to the person profiled.

 Should I delete them?
in Policy and Style by M Ross G2G6 Pilot (175k points)
I'm an Ancestry member and I've found most of the "Story" suggestions they make are not that relevant. My decision about whether I would remove it from a profile here would be guided by several factors...

1. Am I the profile manager of the profile to which the snippet was added?

2. Is this the profile of an active manager or an inactive manager?

3. How closely am I related to the individual in this profile?

4. How closely related is the person who added the info?

5. Is the life story snippet totally irrelevant or could it be made more relevant by weaving it into the biographical narrative better with possibly additional sources?

6. Is this something which perhaps needs communication with the other WikiTreer?

So, I have no hard and fast rule one way or the other. I ask myself most of the same questions above whenever I am considering making any changes to a profile which someone else manages.

Thanks Nelda, you have given me much to think about; 

1. Am I the profile manager of the profile to which the snippet was added? No 

2. Is this the profile of an active manager or an inactive manager? Active but completely unresponsive 

3. How closely am I related to the individual in this profile? My husband's 2 x grt grandmother

4. How closely related is the person who added the info? Second great grand niece 

5. Is the life story snippet totally irrelevant or could it be made more relevant by weaving it into the biographical narrative better with possibly additional sources? Other than that the events from Life Story happened, they are irrelevant 

6. Is this something which perhaps needs communication with the other WikiTreer? 

I have tried to contact the PM in the past to ask for a change in LNAB for another relative, the result was an unresponsive manager request and being added as a second PM for that profile. 

Previously I have deleted parts of some biographies for related family members that suggested an ongoing pattern of infidelity based on second marriages made within 6 months of the death of the first spouse in the mid 1800s. 

Biographies, I think should include additional material which is not obvious from sources such as census, marriage and death records, that helps to tell the story. Personal details or gossip that you would not want your neighbours to be chatting about should be left out. 

Another perhaps lesser issue is copy pasting without attribution to the source. 

Hmmm...I hadn't considered the copyright issue and the not sourcing issue. The lack of responsiveness is concerning, of course. Since this profile is in your husband's direct line,  since the other PM has not responded, and since the material is irrelevant, perhaps some "diplomatic" editing is warranted to somehow better incorporate the information and to document the source. Evidence Explained says you do not have to source facts which "everyone" would know about (though the examples you gave don't appear to be general knowledge events) but if the wording is left exactly as Ancestry had it, that might require giving them credit and formatting it as a quote at the very least.

1 Answer

+3 votes
I don't think you should.  The person who wrote it was trying to weave a little known history into the begats, which are exciting the first time you discover them and then get pretty boring.  I love Life Stories and I write long ones, weaving together the facts I've gleaned and what I know about the place or family.  I put them in bio, and put all the sources below, because it irks me no end to have every phrase interrupted by a reference.
by Sue Knight G2G1 (1.7k points)

I don't agree. I think the person may have just wanted to copy/paste the Life Story to avoid writing a short biography. It needs to be re-written simply for copyright consideration anyway. 

There is no need to remove the general history facts and weaving them in your own words, as I am sure YOU do, is terrific. I usually would take information from the example above:

"after the Ontario Power Commission was established in 1906"

and find a link for the Ontario Power Commission history and put that in rather than an inline citation. That way if someone doesn't know what it was and its significance, they can click the link to read about it.

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