Should we connect profiles where parents are still living by creating a profile that is anonymous

+5 votes
In doing a cemetery study, I now have about 100 profiles where the parents are still alive. I know how to connect them.  Should I leave the profile unconnected or should I create an anonymous profile to complete the connection and still keep the info on living people private.  So far, I have left the profiles unconnected but I seek input for best practices.
WikiTree profile: Kyle Jones
in Genealogy Help by Gurney Thompson G2G6 Pilot (311k points)
I will add another question, which way is Wikitree leaning.  DO we want to connect profiles as long as we meet the privacy standards or do we want to go more towards protecting privacy than connecting profiles?

5 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer
I'm not sure of the site guidelines for creating profiles of living individuals to whom you are not related. (I searched the index but could not find.)

I definitely would not go the "anonymous" route.  

But I see potential problems even if you have names...Do you know their exact birth dates? You will need that or an approximation to create the profile. What if that still living person (or their close family member) wants to join WikiTree? They could create a profile for themselves (or their close family member) without knowing there is a profile for them already on WikiTree, especially if you are only using an approximation of their birth date. So, there is a huge potential for duplicate creation. You'll also need at least one source for their profile to be in compliance with WikiTree standards.

Personally, I wouldn't do it. If you are related to them and/or have their permission, that would be totally different. Others may have different thoughts...these are solely my own.
by Nelda Spires G2G6 Pilot (466k points)
selected by Gurney Thompson
Just to add to the info.  In many cases the names of the parents are on the headstone and in many of those cases they have their birth dates listed as well.  This particular one is a case in point.  So a reference and a birth date are already handled by the picture of the headstone.

But as you point out, I do not know the people and as such I do not have their permission even though the headstone makes it public knowledge.
Well, re the second question you added to your initial post... I'd say WikiTree (as an entity) deems privacy highly important. Respecting privacy is point five of the Honor Code. It says we will privacy protect the info of the living and we will remove any info that our living relatives object to us posting. would these individuals know you are posting their "private" info in order to object unless you contact them? Yes, I know that the info is engraved on a headstone which might indicate that it is "public knowledge" but I think some of us even privatize the names of living individuals who are listed in obituaries. I think that is policy over at FindAGrave now (I've seen notes referring to that.) You are bringing up an issue which we really need to give careful thought.
Nelda, that is great insite and much appreciated.  Thanks.
I am going to add to this. I agree about creating profiles of living people that are not directly related to you. My own profile and my parents and siblings were duplicated by my cousins daughter. For years I couldn’t get them merged. She never responded to my requests. Finally most of them were merged by someone on wikitree but now they have a shared profile manager. So even my own profile has someone else as the profile manager n addition to myself. Someone that never comes on here anymore. I don’t know how many profiles of my family she has migrated from  I wouldn’t do it unless you know those people and know if they will never create a profile for themselves on here.
I would think it perfectly in order to remove the other profile manager from your own profile.
Thank you, Gurney, for the star.
+3 votes
If the people are still living it will be private even if you enter it. You can still see it as the profile manager and could add specific people to the trusted list, but the rest of us would just see "Living <lastname>"
by Jonathan Crawford G2G6 Pilot (219k points)
+9 votes

Generally, you would not want to add profiles of the living unless you plan on maintaining those profiles yourself since they will be Unlisted and not searchable/viewable by others.


  • If you don't mind maintaining the profiles, go ahead and add them.
  • If you plan on orphaning the profiles, do not create them.
by Steven Harris G2G6 Pilot (589k points)
Good advice Steve.  You cannot orphan a profile of a living person so I must remain the manager.
+3 votes
Like you Kyle I also worry about unconnected profies. If the parents are living but Grandparents are deceased ,I create profiles of the grandparents and put the links to their profiles in the unconnected persons Bio section. Hope this helps.
by Jeanne Pepper G2G6 (8.8k points)
+8 votes

Sorry but I think we also need to remind ourselves about the policy on creating profiles of recently deceased strangers

by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (543k points)

Related questions

+18 votes
2 answers
577 views asked Jan 12, 2016 in Genealogy Help by Star Kline G2G6 Pilot (571k points)
+5 votes
2 answers
198 views asked Dec 2, 2016 in WikiTree Tech by anonymous G2G6 Mach 1 (18.0k points)
+18 votes
9 answers
359 views asked May 30, 2019 in Policy and Style by W Counsil G2G6 Mach 2 (23.7k points)
+9 votes
1 answer
+15 votes
3 answers
+7 votes
4 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright