Should I link to immediate family in the Biography?

+4 votes
What's the recommended policy on including links [[Name-1|First Last]] to a person's immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, children) in their Biography? The links to those people are already in the profile, so should I take the time to link to them in the Biography, too? Or should I just use person links if mentioning a person who's not in the immediate family?
in Policy and Style by Mark Yanker G2G Crew (610 points)

As they already show up on the profile page, it can be considered somewhat redundant. Some feel that you can do it so that you can show in-line references to your proofs/sources verifying all of those familial connections. 

Others feel that if you have all of those connections made and have supplied some sources for the other connected profiles then even the most novice of genealogists should be able to follow your reasoning for connecting them in the first place without all the redundancies....... 

I rarely use the links when everything is shown on the profile already (spouse, parents, siblings, children)...IF I'm going to an unrelated person or even to a grandparent or etc.... I will usually add the links to save everyone as many clicks as possible. 

Links are a feature of wikis and aid navigation. Although there is no policy, it is considered a profile improvement to link to other people in the bio if the profile exists.

8 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer

As part of the Profile Improvements Project (PIP) Voyage, we teach members to use profile links the first time a name is mentioned for several reasons:

  • to make it easier for the reader to get to other profiles. Depending on the length of the biography, a considerable amount of scrolling could be required to get back to the links in the heading. This reason is included as an additional tip in the More Tips portion of the Additional Subsections part of the Biography FAQ:
    • "Help the reader navigate WikiTree by linking to profiles of other individuals you reference in the narrative, such as parents, siblings, spouses and children"
  • to help reconnect profiles in the event they are ever inappropriately merged or disconnected
  • as a way to increase valid internal links for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purposes
by Debi Hoag G2G6 Pilot (352k points)
selected by Mark Yanker


Thanks for pointing this out. It is one of the main reasons I use the links.  It has been very useful several times when parents and siblings have been disconnected  incorrectly.

To help reconnect profiles in the event they are ever inappropriately merged or disconnected

+6 votes
I think that is your own choice. There's no policy on that. So do what you like.
by Eef van Hout G2G6 Pilot (165k points)
+5 votes

Hmmm...I don't know if there is a recommended policy. I couldn't find one, but perhaps someone else can.

However, since internal link(s) for parent(s) are created automatically in the "basic bio" if the person is being created as a "child of" the parent(s) then I made the assumption that when the profiles of children were created, they too, could be given in internal links also. There is a difference, though, in can be and should be. I like it, so I do it, but I don't know that it's required that it must be done.

by Nelda Spires G2G6 Pilot (469k points)
+10 votes
I don't know if it's any kind of policy (official or otherwise), but please don't clobber me too hard if I'm not remembering correctly - I vaguely recall seeing something once that said that the more links we include in the biography section, the higher a rating the page will have in search engines for hits, therefore more is better for WikiTree's public relations.
by Gaile Connolly G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
I think that is right Gaile, though like you I'm a bit vague on the details.
As far as I know it is a bit out of date. Search Machines use algorithms to score pages; match the most current ones to the search queries. They used to do the scoring based on number of external links. But... that failed with all the catologue type of websites back in the days that would earn money by showing tracker links.

So now it is far more important to have accessible, machine structured data. That is something WikiTree can improve a lot.

So yes you are right, but there are many other things more important.
+4 votes

As others have said, there is not a policy on this but I think it depends on what you're trying to accomplish with the page. I like to put links in the biography because I think it makes it all easier to read. Not just because of clarity but visually too.

Here's an example of a simple bio with links:

Alonzo Philabaum

Here's a more complicated example with all kinds of links:

Johan August Johannesson

I think we should take advantage of what we have here in making interesting and easy to navigate pages, as long as time and desire permits.

by Dina Grozev G2G6 Pilot (155k points)
+3 votes
Once you start adding siblings and their spouses and children, to each new generation of ancestors, those profiles will automatically be linked in the family tree - when you click the black ancestors and descendents buttons.

So you dont really need to link the family in the bio again. They can easily be seen in the tree.

Linking them in the Bio is redundant IMO. But that is just my opinion. You are free to do as you choose.
by Robynne Lozier G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
+11 votes
Although there is no policy, I do it for two reasons. First, as someone said, it adds another link that makes it easier to navigate.  But, the more important reason for me is that, when I list children in the Bio, it is easy to tell if they have profiles when I add the link.  This many not be important for someone with 3 kids, but with 15 it really helps.
by Vic Watt G2G6 Pilot (336k points)
+7 votes
I used it today in an 1884 will. One of the executors was a relation by marriage. A casual reader would not know of the relationship.
by Jean Price G2G6 Mach 4 (48.7k points)

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