Dutch Roots Wikitree+ Suggestion questions

+7 votes

Hello Netherlands/Dutch Roots Team,


At the top of my ancestor suggestions now are many Nederland profiles. I have some questions as to handling these suggestions as they tend to be of a different nature and wanted make sure I am following Dutch Roots conventions.  If the answer is leave them some of the profiles alone, for more experienced Dutch Roots researchers or reach out to individual profile managers, that works.



Is Nederland preferred over Netherlands/Holland in the location fields? I tend to like consistency here as I use the WikiTree ancestor fan map with the color by country of birth feature.


I am happy to join the Dutch Roots Project/Nederland, but my focus would probably related to my ancestors (and pre-1500) as I am knee deep any other projects. I have reviewed the Dutch Roots page. I suspect some of my questions are answered on other pages I have yet to read. Feel free to point out more reading material.


Finally, does the Dutch Roots project include people from West Flanders in earlier time frames. While my Dutch roots tend to be distant via New NetherIand, my wife's parents immigrated from Bruges, Belgium in the 1950s and she strongly identifies with the location and culture.

in WikiTree Help by Marty Acks G2G6 Pilot (131k points)

Marty you are a star asking for help anyway. I see Koen and Jan are with you. They are great at findings.

I just hope you find the answers you need.  Yes, we are still dealing with templates that changed.

Maybe we need to start a challenge to solve these errors.

Errors 727, 737, and 797 are many times wrong errors but to be sure we need to find the baptism record to source if it is right or wrong. Takes some time. Especially as there are so many! (THOUSENDS!)

Error 895 - result of changing rules at WT. blush All profiles.......... THOUSENDS provided of templates but they changed........ Many of our project are working on that but not all can be resolved in a short time because of big numbers, even not within two years......

Our leader Bea was about putting that on the list of Ales to see if he can solve (BULK changes) this with his bots. But........

Our leader is, as Jan says not able to do as much as normal so we need to be patient.

As Jan suggested, please do not use your energy on that error please.

About using country name. Please use The Netherlands or Nederland. But never Holland. Some village are named Holland and will point to those.

I know from the past - and still do - as I started here how nice it is to get answers on the things I was not sure about.

For now we do include people from Belgium. Although we are not experts on them.

Filip Beunis is (was), he did start up a Belgium Project, but he had to leave soon as the Corona situ started. He is since the Corona Epidemic not able to be active at WT as it seems he has his hands full at real and we respect that.

The DRP took Flemish into the project as there was no Belgium Project at WT. I am sure we will do all we can as the Belgium Project is at pauze.

Thank you Marty for asking.

I am sure if you point out at whom you like to find docs etc one of us will reach out.


I think Jan and Koen said this all.........

My wife has done her Belgian family tree pretty far back. Mainly using BMD records that seem to be in one or two main places as nearly everyone is from West Flanders for centuries. Lots of records have come on line for her in the last few years. On one hand I am jealous. On the other hand how boring.

Yes, all those online records are boring laugh.

To add a bit of background: Brugge in Vlaanderen in Belgium in 1950 is really a different country and not part of the Netherlands. When you get to records before 1840-1850 it is a different story. West Vlaanderen is used in that era. Records are kept in different systems in different countries as well.

For the name of the Country: 'the Netherlands' is the formal spelling (no Capital on the, but you will see it going wrong often). It is commonly shortened to 'Netherlands'. But, 'Nederland' is preferred by many. Nederland is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which includes more than the low countries.

2 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer

"895 - Using Deprecated parameter in template - is it safe to remove these lines. Cited deprecated parameters are: plaats, regio, gemeente. Example:  https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Hegeman-56"

All parameters below the provincial level in the Dutch Roots template aren't used and are now depreciated. We have something that can replace their function: location categories. In this case you can add this profile to the categories 'Harderwijk, Gelderland, Nederland' and 'Elburg, Gelderland, Nederland' and remove the parameters regio, gemeente and plaats from the template. This way you don't remove information by removing the parameters.

"864 Almost empty <ref/> tags - many have a pattern of  "<ref>fol. 195</ref>". Is "fol" an abbreviation of Ibid or page? Should these suggestions be ignored as this a common convention in Dutch profiles or are more expansive references desired? Example: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Ten_Olinchave-2"

Fol is probably an abbreviation of folio, which is sort of a page in a registers. A source citation 'fol. 195' doesn't say enough to find the source, so it should be expanded if possible.

About the unique names. I usually double check the spelling, because I could have made a typo, but they are often false positives.

"Is Nederland preferred over Netherlands/Holland in the location fields? I tend to like consistency here as I use the WikiTree ancestor fan map with the color by country of birth feature."

The rule on WikiTree is "use their convention, not ours", so the location fields should be in Dutch, not English. So Nederland instead of the Netherlands, Zuid-Holland instead of South Holland, etc.

"Finally, does the Dutch Roots project include people from West Flanders in earlier time frames. While my Dutch roots tend to be distant via New NetherIand, my wife's parents immigrated from Bruges, Belgium in the 1950s and she strongly identifies with the location and culture."

West Flanders is part of the Belgian Project.

by Koen van Hoof G2G6 Mach 6 (61.4k points)
selected by Marty Acks
Thanks for the quick response! That helps


Location categories replicating basic data items can be used if you like of course, but are not official project guideline. I am very much opposed to it for valid reasons. Please see my reply to Linda below.

All unmanaged redundancy results in data conflicts. In the Dutch Roots template there is a parameter "jaar" that is redundant with the year of birth data item, giving conflicts. Same would go if category checking with basic location data items were implemented.

+8 votes

Hi Marty,

  • 895 - Just leave them. Will probabaly be solved with an EditBot run. Parameters were initially introduced for future use in generating category membership. Never implemented and no plans to do so. Would also be largely redundant with Birth Place elements. Wikitree+ queries superior to category searching.
  • 864 - fol. is abbreviation of folio, a double page (usually) in a register consisting of a front side and a back side (referred to as Verso, usually simply as v). So fol. 76vº refers to the backside of folio 76). Only 5 suggestions on Dutch profiles with Fol-like tags.
  • 727/737/797 - All kinds of reasons for uniqueness but usually not typos (the prime purpose of these suggestions
  • Country name: Nederland is the correct name. Netherlands the tolerated English version. Holland is wrong in all languages. Referred to a part of current Nederland.
  • West Flanders up to 1830 might be considered part of Nederland (and its predecessors). No clear disitnction is made by the Netehrlands and Belgium projects afaik.
by Living Terink G2G6 Pilot (276k points)
Jan, I don't think EditBot is going to fix the 895 Suggestions unless a project has asked Ales to do that.  It sounds like something that the Dutch Roots project should ask about since there are a lot of Suggestions.  Wikitree+ is showing over 15,000 profiles. Using the information that Koen posted above, the project should probably ask if the template can be revised, as well as create a Category entry.


I noticed the massive amounts of 895s already late September and we (the project kernel members, including the Project Leader Bea Wijma) discussed this issue and agreed that Bea will ask for that EditBot operation and template revision. Apparently she did not get to it yet because of hectic real life.

In the project there is no policy on creating and using location categories. I personally see no use for replicating elements of the basic data item Birth Place in categories:

  • Additional effort
  • Redundancy that sooner or later leads to data conflicts (discovering X was not born in Y but in Z, updating Birth Place but not category, or vice versa)
  • Unknown relationship type as seen from the category (did the person run a barber shop there, did he marry there, go to school?)
  • We have over 350K of Dutch profiles, with hardly any having a location category, so very, very sparsely populated, giving a very incomplete and unreliable view of places
  • WikiTree+ queries are far superior to painstaking category navigation
Personally, I don't use Categories normally. I agree that they are a duplication of information in the Data section at the top, but everything is not necessarily up there on many profiles.  If that template has been loaded with information, to safeguard that nothing is lost, it would probably be better to add the category, if that is appropriate, because EditBot isn't going to add 'text' to the Biography, If the information that is in the template is not in the Data section, it will be lost if not put into the Category as Koen recommended.  

I was concerned that you were saying to ignore 'all' 895 Suggestions, not just the Dutch Roots ones.

All parameters of the template can just as well be recorded in the Birth Place Data Iitem, no need to use a category. There is quite limited use of the current parameters, see this report.

As the scope of the question clearly was "Dutch Roots" my answer was within that scope.

The URL Jan has posted gives an error (script did not finish removing the first part). For completeness: https://www.softdata.si/wt/Templ_20201011/Template_Dutch_Roots.htm

Aaah, thanks Michel!

Didn't notice the error. Shows again I have to test the links I supply...

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