No upload as yet, Still trying to decide the value of wiki tree?

+6 votes
My genealogy projects  go back to the  early rootsweb days and  their  free web sites. At that time i received  many requests from my web  pages for info and i sent out many ged copies of my files. Now  I am  at a  point where  I am trying to decide about creating/hosting my own web site with a domain  name or  use your site as a way of making my research available to a) my interested direct family and b) to  others who may be  related engaged in serious research.  MY file has  embedded pictures (very old ) and recently added DNA results. If  I  proceed with upload will visitors be able to view and  download pics as well as info??

Still  looking for the value  added...
in Genealogy Help by John Kenny G2G Crew (520 points)
edited by Keith Hathaway

3 Answers

+13 votes
Best answer

Hi John,

As Doug mentioned Wikitree is different from many other genealogy sites because we are aiming to create a single (well sourced) family tree that everyone can contribute to rather than maintaining a large number of individual family trees. Some of the benefits that can be realized by having one collaborative tree are:

1) creating one profile per person with numerous contibutors working to constantly improve it is a way to 'stem the tide' of bad genealogical information - If you use FamilySeach or Ancestry or other sites I am sure you are familiar with cases where one researcher makes an error or unsubstatiated conclusion which then propogates to other trees to the point where the 'error' is the first thing returned in every search. By 'pooling' profiles together and encouraging collaboration there is an opportunity to address the errors 'once and for all'. With that said, since we allow upload of Gedcoms, Wikitree is also often a 'victim' of that bad information and we do spend quite a bit of effort on fixing errors introduced from other sites.

2) allowing many interested people to colloborate on each profile can help to limit the duplication of effort in researching and analyzing sources that have already been found and to allow re-evaluation when new facts are found; it also means that people who have access to different sources than you do can bring new pieces to the puzzle - perhaps a cousin has inherited a photo or original record you would not otherwise have known about or had access to. Of course people being people, collaboration can be a real challenge in and of itself.

3) As the tree grows it is increasingly likely that users will find relationships to other researchers, and can further coordinate their efforts on solving the inevitable family mysteries.

Wikitree also has excellent search engine optimization so that profiles frequently top the results on internet searches for specific names - what people can access (and edit) is governed by privacy settings - and to support our goal of building one collaborative tree we have rules about privacy settings that largely depend on the age of the ancestor. Older profiles must be open, meaning any Wikitree user can edit them - it means they can be improved, although there is always the risk people will add errors. (the best way to combat that is to point out commonly held facts that have been disproven or are not substantiated)

As far as sharing your existing research, GEDCOM can be uploaded to Wikitree (with limits on number of people per upload), however when a large number of research is already completed many people find it an onerous task to go through the matching and merging process (i.e. trying to limit the number of duplicate ancestors in the one shared tree) and then 'cleaning up' the profiles to remove 'gedcom artifacts'. I personally hand craft each profile so I am not overly familiar with gedcom uploads but as far as I am aware, any images would have to be uploaded individually - I imagine the DNA results would also need to be redone.

Something you should absolutely be aware of in making your decision.

Once you upload your research, as Doug also already mentioned, it becomes part of 'the one family tree' and you will no longer have ownsership (i.e. absolute control) over all of it - and perhaps more importantly you will not normally be able to delete it. The reason for this is rooted in the collaborative nature of Wikitree - quite simply, if a profile already exists then other researchers should not create a new profile, but add their research to the existing profile - if you were allower to delete the profiles you added, you are potentially making holes in the research others would have contributed if the profiles you created did not exist.

I definitely prefer Wikitree over other sites I have looked at and/or tried for documenting and sharing my research - my research has already intersected with others here on Wikitree; their existing contributions limited the effort I needed to expend on certain branches, and I have been able to spend that time adding new information to their existing work and to researching and documenting other branches that are not on Wikitree.

by Rob Ton G2G6 Pilot (275k points)
selected by Kathy Rabenstein
Rob, very well stated, IMHO!
Thanks to  all  that replied ....I found  all comments  most helpful... I particularly found Rob's comments informative and  would  recommend that his  insights be  front paged for  all newbies such as myself.   The only outstanding question that remains  is  if  I  create a 5.5.1 gedcom with embeded pics are the pics  auto  uploaded....I  will do further research on this

Again many many  thanks
I dont think the pictures will be uploaded automatically - you may have to upload those one at a time at a later time.

I'm a fairly new newbie - been here just 6 weeks - and I like wikitree because anyone can see my family tree and it will be here for the future generations of my family who may wonder about their ancestry.

I cannot afford to use the pay sites and I dont like the idea that my personal information is uploaded and other places (like FMP and Geni, and Genes Reunited and Ancestry) will SELL my personal family details and make a profit while I get no money at all.

All my research comes from Family Search and the New Zealand  BDM/DIA websites
+4 votes
The goal of Wikitree is to create a single global tree. If you choose to participate your tree becomes part of the global tree. No one owns the global tree. You do have privacy options for profiles less than 200 years old. See help index for privacy options.
by Doug Lockwood G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
+8 votes
Hello John

All the comments made so far are very valid.  If you do join wikitree, start small so you know how it works.  I would suggest  just a small direct line tree.  Then as you know how wiki treats gedcoms you can be more confident in moving forward.

You asked about the value add.  Well from my perspective the main value is the legacy you leave for future generations by having the info on a website that will be maintained into the future.  The DNA features are also fantastic and will help you to connect with others and perhaps give you new clues to help you break down any brick walls you have.  Finally I'd say the collaborative nature of the tree is  something everyone here is proud of.  Many of us share ancestors and it is great to be able to learn more from others and develop our profiles even more..  You know what they say, two heads are better than one!!

i hope you decide to join us.

by Veronica Williams G2G6 Pilot (147k points)

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