no descendents

+9 votes
I'm sure this question must have been addressed somewhere, but I can't find it.

I've been reading with great interest the discussions regarding cluttering the WikiTree with duplicates, etc. and wondered what the position is on entering people who have no descendents.  I have just discovered that my gggrandmother's brother drowned in the family well when he was 2 years old. Obviously, he will have no descendents. Should I simply add it in her bio narrative (and that of her parents and siblings), or should I open a file? Any advice would be appreciated.
in Policy and Style by Denise Chiasson G2G6 Mach 1 (17.9k points)
retagged by Keith Hathaway

6 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer

From the help page on collaboration:

The first point of our Honor Code reads: "We collaborate. When we share ancestors we work together on the same ancestor profiles."

To grow one shared tree we need to share the same profiles. Every person who ever lived should have one and only one profile on WikiTree.

Nowhere does it say a person must have lived for a set amount of time, or must have had descendants, or even a name. If you look around the site you will find lots of things that support entering people with no descendants: Unnamed Infant is an acceptable use of the proper first name field; there is a check box on the edit tab for "no children" which displays in the descendant view to help you remember that it's not just an unfinished branch.

If for no other reason, it is useful to add people with no descendants simply so you can try and keep all the records straight - take for example the family of Jan Ton one of my distant relations - 5 children born and died with the same name (Aart Gijsbert) by two different wives. How easy would it be to mix them up or not see a duplicate where a date from one of the earlier births is used for the child that lived (possibly long enough) to have descendants?



by Rob Ton G2G6 Pilot (274k points)
selected by Denise Chiasson
One third of my WikiTree watchlist is full of end-of-line relatives. Many were children or young adults whose lives were cut short by illness, accidents, crime or serving in wars. Many were in religious or missionary occupations and frankly, many of them had more interesting lives. In the old days, they were considered as the main supporters of many families who lost parents or took care of elderly parents.
One third being end-of-line is about the same as what I have (so far). Out of the 307 descendants of Ton-75 who have profiles so far, 92 are known end-of-line relatives.
+11 votes
I think you should make a profile for him :)
by Keith Hathaway G2G6 Pilot (605k points)
+11 votes

Thanks for asking.

Adding a single profile for an individual, even if they died young, is fine. It's not the same as cluttering Wikitree with duplicates.

I do believe that the person needs to have been born. I.e., we do not create profiles for those who died before being born.
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (771k points)
+9 votes
I have pofiles for everyone, even the infants who were baptised and buried within a day or so. I've also one family where they lost 3 little girls, one after the other, all with the same name. The fourth little girl survived.

These children deserve their own profile. It isn't cluttering up WikiTree with duplicates to have them listed with the sources.
by Rosemary Jones G2G6 Pilot (232k points)
+8 votes
Yes, make a profile. Even if there are no descendents, this person is still a part of the family tree. This is not regarded as cluttering WikiTree. :-)
by Anonymous Kaiser G2G Crew (780 points)
+3 votes
Thanks to everyone for your responses - glad to know I was on the right track.
by Denise Chiasson G2G6 Mach 1 (17.9k points)

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