Who cleans up after merges?

+4 votes

There seems to be more merging of profiles recently.  Once a merge is complete, who is responsible for cleaning up the date, duplicates, references to gedcoms etc.? and who decides what stays and what goes?

Sometimes the merge is  proposed by someone who is not one of the profile managers in the first place.  I have seen both of the following:

Merges that leave profiles in a mess and

others in which after the merge, details such as biographies etc. have been entirely removed by the person doing the merge, even though they were not the manager who originally entered the data.

An example of a messy one is SarahCurtis formerly Marvin aka Goodrich


in Genealogy Help by
recategorized by Keith Baker

Anonymous wrote:


"... after the merge, details such as biographies etc. have been entirely removed by the person doing the merge, even though they were not the manager who originally entered the data."
this often happens when original profile managers abandon or do not or can not take responsibility for merging their own profiles with other dupes.  I estimate that at least 50% of the PMs of dupes are long gone.  Maybe much more. This is especially true in the HSA space. 
if you know that good bio info has been removed you can pull it back in by looking for it in the Changes tab. 

2 Answers

+3 votes
Best answer

On Open Profiles, any genealogist who has signed the Honor Code should find themselves able to edit, unless the profile is already locked as an HSA*.

The merges are merely the first step in the painful-but-necessary pruning (cleaning-up) process.  Unless the duplicates are first merged into the Lowest common denominator (meaning the lowest Wiki ID number for that person) it is pointless to do any of the other editing.

Once all the existing duplicates are merged into the Locked Profile, then the work of removing duplicate/conflicting resources, date and biographical info can begin.

Lianne Lavoie's excellent comment responding to a similar question is here: http://www.wikitree.com/g2g/8590/how-to-clear-up-multiple-entities-after-merge

And please feel free to volunteer to help with this project.  After all, this IS  WIKItree!smiley

*HSA = Historically Significant Ancestor being managed by/for a Project Work Group

by Keith Baker G2G6 Pilot (106k points)
selected by Wendy Hampton
Great answer, Keith! Just to clarify, anyone can still edit an HSA profile. The only thing that stops people from doing is merging that profile into another.
+2 votes
Merging and the resulting cleanup is a messy and sometimes long process. Once a group of duplicate profiles is merged, one then has to go through and merge, for example, the duplicate spouses and the duplicate children. Not always possible to do all of it in one sitting.

As far as cleaning up the narrative goes, it depends what's there. Frankly 99% of the time, the original uploaders included nothing beyond the event dates and places. No sources, no narrative.

If I have narrative and sources in my own files, then I'll add them.

I delete references to GEDCOMs and to Ancestry family trees, but leave in-- in a section I create called Contributors-- the wiki-names of those people who uploaded or otherwise entered the pre-merge data.

Here's one example: Thomas Cornell had about 12 duplicates. I finally got through the rest of them tonight.


This merge was complicated because there is disagreement about who his parents were. I conducted research of published records to see what the most current thinking was and added it.

That meant detaching Thomas from all his theorized parents until such time as confirmation is found. (I need to add links to those theoretical parents in the narrative still.)
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (917k points)
Jilliane - what a great piece of work - must have taken a very long time - a much appreciated example

Wendy :)

Related questions

+4 votes
1 answer
+7 votes
2 answers
97 views asked Nov 29, 2015 in WikiTree Tech by Norm Lindquist G2G6 Mach 7 (75.4k points)
+11 votes
4 answers
+2 votes
1 answer
93 views asked Nov 9, 2014 in WikiTree Tech by Stuart Hateley G2G2 (3.0k points)

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

disclaimer - terms - copyright