What first: create a profile to merge into or edit the last merged duplicate into the correct LNAB?

+7 votes

I ask this question because I got the message from a ranger this weeked that stated the following: The goal is to have all merges made directly into the one that will remain at the end. In this case [example]. The help page is at: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Merging#Merging_multiple_duplicates

I'm confused now. Taking the to be merged duplicates of the spouse of the example below, of which neither has the correct LNAB and even now after considerable G2G research and deliberation a baptismal record is at hand (wether it is the correct one is another question, I'm not even sure if the final LNAB should be patronymic or not), should I first create the presumed (because despite of a lot of sources we are not sure yet) profile and merge both profiles into that or just do as we usually do when there are countless of duplicates and just merge them all as well as the children [and the following generations profile for profile] into the nearest to correctly spelled ... , and then aferwards just edit them into the correct validated LNAB?

WikiTree profile: Sara le Clercq
in Policy and Style by Philip van der Walt G2G6 Pilot (150k points)

An express bus gets to its destination faster than the non-express bus because it makes less (or no) stops enroute. In merging we ideally want each bus to be an express bus that goes directly from where one boards (the original profile-ID) to the destination (the final profile-ID). What we want to avoid is making chains of merges where we board the bus as A then make stops at B, C, and D, before we finally arrive at our destination E - obviously this doesn't always happen, but we try to minimize the stops in between.

If no profiles exist for the surname that is most likely to be correct it is logically better to create the profile and merge everything into it - if that name is right every bus in an express bus - and if it ends up being wrong we have no more extra stops than we are guaranteed to have if we merge everything into an existing profile with a LNAB we think is unlikely and later change (changing the LNAB is effectively the same as a merge).

Indeed, I agree. Not the ideal dictates but reality and the practical issues do.

3 Answers

+5 votes
I personally don't see a problem with the way you do it Philip, it sounds like you have it well under control.  Thank you for dealing with such a large and complex project so generously.  Have a great day!
by Keith Hathaway G2G6 Pilot (603k points)
+1 vote

When you go to merge two profiles with different surnames, the following message is at the top of the page.

Do not complete this merge unless Levingood is the correct Last Name at Birth. If Liebengut is correct, click here to reverse the merge. If neither is correct, change the Last Name at Birth on Levingood-2 before doing the merge. If you have found multiple duplicates with different last names, identify the final WikiTree ID before doing any merges. Help

by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)

This has been clear to me for as long as I've been busy with WikiTree Anne. Only issue is your last statement, to identity the final WikiTree ID before doing any mergers which is either a) simply impossible at times b) or impractical c) extremely time consuming and confusing. Remembering that this period (1600'-1750) I'm dealing with has at times 10 different variations of the same LNAB (and therefore duplicates) in different languages that differ from family member to family member and generation to generation.

At times indeed it is the case that as luck would have it I'd also have the (nearest to correct) LNAB protected within this project already by then. However many times this situation (a chosen, validated profile or choice for such a profile) has not been made yet. Simply because all the duplicates are still being identified, and cross-generational mix-ups and other issues being resolved. That's why merging duplicates allows for the collation of data wich in turns allows for a better and more accurate picture which in turns facilitates the research and the validation of the profiles. We mostly do not even know what the final LNAB until all the merging and collation of the variants have taken place.

This process is not in sync with a situation of simply already having the correct spelling at hand. The latter is mostly the end result of research by members of the team solely working to validate LNsAB and cite and source them properly.

Only then a weighed decision can be made.

+6 votes

If there are duplicates and none of them have the correct LNAB, the best solution is to first change the LNAB on one of them to the correct name, and then merge all other directly into that one.

Changing the LNAB on one before merging the duplicates, as opposed to at the end, creates fewer redirects and also makes the edit history a bit easier to understand.

by Lianne Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (423k points)

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