2 Pre 1700 questions: surname choice and gedcom imports

+12 votes
I just noticed a big gedcom import containing a lot of pre 1700 people. I thought we were not supposed to do this? 10 February 2015, Smith Family Tree-2.ged was imported. As it happens last year I manually made entries for many of the same people, sticking to my understanding of the rules which is that we should not use gedcoms.

I have already proposed Nicholas Sir Knight Le Strange (Le Strange-170) and Nicholas Strange (Strange-866) as Unmerged Matches, but anyone who looks at this case will see this gedcom is going to contains hundreds of such matches.

I am not complaining about the gedcom as such which seems to contain new information in some cases, but this way of working is really impossible as I know has been discussed many times. Why are we allowing pre-1700 gedcom imports like this again?

The second connected issue here, because it is one reason Wikitree misses duplications for families like this, is the surname. The one in the example given evolved over the centuries via many one-word and two-word variants such as Lestraunge, L'Estrange and Le Strange, to (in some cases at least) Strange. Most reference works tend to write Le Strange, but if I understand correctly, Wikitree has major issues with the "Le"? I don't want to be dragged into silly discussions so I just register the problem. We need a ruling on which name to use, in order to do the various mergers.
in Policy and Style by Andrew Lancaster G2G6 Pilot (107k points)
reshown by Eowyn Walker
Sometimes this happens by accident - dont ask me how, but I managed to upload a whole lot of pre-1700 GEDCOMs to Wikitree when I first joined.  I did not realise what I was doing and it was a headache afterwards.    I suspect this person you are referring to is in the same boat, somehow their GEDCOMs made their way on to the site

As someone who now creates every profile manually, I advocate more caps on GEDCOMs.  Could there be a limit to the number that can be uploaded at any one time, to discourage mass uploads?  Maybe this happens already and I am not aware because I do not create profiles this way any more.

1 Answer

+4 votes
Best answer

From the "Add GEDCOM" page:

  • GEDCOMs with more than 2,500 people cannot be imported.
  • GEDCOMs with more than 100 people and no sources cannot be imported.
  • GEDCOMs with more than 500 suggested matches cannot be imported.
by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (542k points)
selected by Dale Byers
Maybe I misunderstood the strict version of the rules, but I know when we upload we normally get our gedcoms sent back to us if there are concerns. So there seem to be informal rules? Anyway let me say I agree with people who want less gedcom imports pre 1700. (And I myself started here with a gedcom, and have no problem with gedcoms as such. I am talking about what works on Wikitree.)

Anyway, can anyone help on the surname aspect of the question?

You can and should read, understand and refer to the naming standards for European Aristocrats before creating or editing these profiles. They are here: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Name_Fields_for_European_Aristocrats


1. Names like St John: "St" is a prefix which stays with the surname; that is, "St John" goes in the LNAB field, and St is not dropped nor separated out into the prefix field. Do not put a period after the St and do not spell out the word Saint.

2. The common ‘de’, ‘du’, ‘le’, ‘la’, ‘de la’, ‘von’, ‘van’ before a surname does not go in the LNAB field; it goes with the surname in the Current Last Name field while the surname, ONE word, goes in the LNAB. Example: Last name at birth: "Villefort", Current Last Name: "de Villefort". The exception to this is de Vere. Members of this family should have both words in the LNAB field.

3. Names that include ‘Fitz’: Fitz- names should be written with mid-caps, that is, a capital letter for the father's name. For example, write FitzAlan, FitzGeoffrey, FitzGerald, etc. This is the same pattern as used in names with Mac-: MacMurray, MacDonald, etc. Do not include a space.

As to the gedcom import, this should not have been allowed.

Darlene, Co-Leader, European Aristocrats Project

So I understand that Le Strange-170 should be merged into Strange-866 for example.
Yes, and if you're ever worried about someone completing the merge in the wrong direction, ask a leader to PPP the correct one in advance.
Thanks Darlene. I have no specific reason to think anyone will make the wrong merge, but posting here was just meant to clarify what the right choice would be. You'll have noted that I did not attempt to merge but only flagged the two individuals for merging. (Overall I guess there might be a quite large number of such individuals now doubled after the gedcom import and I have only flagged a couple.) Concerning the surname itself, you have clarified the LNAB, but I notice you now changed the current last name also, replacing the capital L in Lestrange with a small l, le Strange. Is there any policy about that? The surname is a well known one, and there is much published about it. I do not think it is often given a small l?
We use the lower case le Strange. Both Magna Carta Ancestry by Douglas Richardson and Ancestral Roots by Frederick Lewis Weis use the lower case (only two of many books, but these are most recently published and what we consider to be authoritative).

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