Unsourced Categories - is an effort underway to clear out England Unsourced Profiles category?

+19 votes

Hi! I'm noticing more than one person changing {Unsourced|England} to, say, {Unsourced|Colchester} - which doesn't exist - with the note "Added regional unsourced profiles category" or ""Added regional category". But they're not adding a category (even when the new category exists). They're changing the profile from being in the categories Unsourced Profiles & England Unsourced Profiles to either just Unsourced Profiles or to Unsourced Profiles and a category deeper down the hierarchy than England. (Same thing happening for Ireland Unsourced Profiles - {Unsourced|Ireland} changed to {Unsourced|Derry}, which removes the profile from Category:Ireland Unsourced Profiles but doesn't add it to Category:Derry Unsourced Profiles because that category doesn't exist.)

Last week when I first encountered a wanted category created this way (without a reason for the change), I simply changed it back to {Unsourced|England} so the profile wouldn't have red (non-existent) categories on it. But now I'm seeing the same change notice, and the same change (removing England Unsourced Profiles category) by more than one person (and more wanted/red categories being created).

If this is a concerted effort under the Categorization project, I missed that memo! Could someone point to the G2G post that started it? I personally think that for Unsourced profiles, more (categories) is better, contrary to normal categorization guidelines: Whatever will increase the chances of the profile geting a source (or sources).


in Policy and Style by Liz Shifflett G2G6 Pilot (527k points)

Hi Liz

No there is no effort underway to clear out England Unsourced Profiles. 

Derry should be Londonderry  I've fixed that. Colchester is in Essex, so I fixed that as well.

I don't think I saw that memo either. Obviously a well-intentioned member who is not aware that the sub-categories don't exist and doesn't double check back to see if they do or not. My suggestion would be the next time you find one, communicate with the people making the changes and remind them to make sure that the category exists.

I love your point about leaving them in the bigger category Unsourced|Country and just adding Unsourced|State/Province/Smaller geog. Unit.  I hadn't thought about that at all.

And I think everything that now says Unsourced "smaller Unit" should also say just [[Category:Unsourced Profiles]]. That did change. The template now generates placement into two categories, the larger unsourced and the smaller Unsourced GeographicArea.
Thanks y'all!

2 Answers

+11 votes
Best answer

I am one of the people who is changing Unsourced England.  But I always change it to, say, Unsourced|Wiltshire (if all three BMD locations state Wiltshire).  I only ever change it from 'England' to a county, and make sure Unsourced | County xxx is set up already.  If the profile just says 'England', I leave it.  If it is a Project-Protected profile, I leave it.  If there is only one County in there (say, against the birth location) I leave it as England.

My thinking is this: a) profiles are supposed to be in the lowest-denominator category, not a top-level page if they can possibly help it; and b) the PMs are much more likely to get help from people who are concentrating on a specific county and know quite a bit about it.  So if a profile was born, married, and died in Lancashire, and their spouse was born, married, and died in Lancashire, and all the children were born in Lancashire, I figure it would be better to have the category Unsourced| Lancashire.  It is kept in Unsourced but reassigned from the Unsourced|England page.

There was no 'memo'.  I just did it off my own back when I kept coming across profiles which were in Unsourced | England when they had counties in every location field.  If I found a profile which only had the name of the town, I looked it up on Google, put in the county, and if the county was repeated enough times on the profile, changed Unsourced | England to Unsourced | County.  And yes, I checked.

Well-intentioned. I was only trying to help.

by Ros Haywood G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)
selected by Andreas West
Thanks for all your work Ros! As I mentioned, I think that for Unsourced profiles, the more categories it can be in the better. But I didn't want to keep adding back Category:England Unsourced Profiles if the Categorization project was trying to clear out that category.

Cheers, Liz

I'm in the "the more categories, the better" camp when it comes to unsourced profiles. I started out sourcing profiles from British Columbia Canada (partly because that's my home turf, and partly because it's very easy to source there). But then, after I cleaned out BC, I started looking for unsourced profiles with names in my family tree (because, hey, you never know whether I'm going to find a connection to my own family). So while I applaud those putting in the effort to make the unsourced profiles more geographically specific, I would like to plead that you use {Unsourced|place} rather than [[Category:Unsourced_Place]] so those profiles show up both ways. 


I use the {{Unsourced|County}}, which puts the little "This profile has no sources" sign up, an Unsourced Profiles category AND puts a category link to the county.  Then, if the profile was born in one county in England, married in the same county in England, but died in Massachusetts, I add [[Category:Massachusetts_Unsourced_Profiles]]

So then the profile would have:

Categories: 1) Unsourced Profiles AND 2) County_Unsourced_Profiles AND 3) Massachusetts_Unsourced_Profiles (if relevant, of course!)

PLUS the graphic that says "This profile has no sources"
That's awesome, Ros. Who could ask for more?

Thank you, Greg!  I was starting to feel a little scared that I had done something horribly wrong.
+8 votes
I'm one of the Sourcerers who is working to clear out the all the English unsourced categories - I'm doing that by adding sources to the profiles. I do find it helpful when they are categorised by county, because that's how many of the sources are arranged, so it's easier to work through a single county than to try to pick out from the England list.

Having said that, the Sourcerers project would make more rapid progress if more people were sourcing and less people were categorising!
by John Elkin G2G6 Mach 8 (83.4k points)
edited by John Elkin
Thanks for all your work John! I helped clear out the English category when we first went to "no adjectives" and moved them all to England. I still keep up with clearing out the Irish Unsourced Profiles, but there were just too many for me in the English one. Now that I know others are working on it...

But. Couldn't we switch it to England and also add the county location? I agree that the chances are better by county, but I still think Unsourced Profiles should be included in any and all categories where they might be found and sourced (at which point, all the unsourced cats get removed).

Or is the argument that they should only be in the local category so that the source will be more relevant? e.g., I might add Richardson or the Marlyn Lewis database as a source for a profile in the England category, looking by surname, but not if it were just in a subcategory. However, someone sourcing profiles in the subcategory might be using a primary source - a better source that the profile wouldn't get if it had been deleted from the Unsourced categories when a more general source was applied.

Cheers, Liz
I thought that, by reassigning them to Unsourced|County, then that would remove the possible dangers of a town-level category not having been created yet - a sort of compromise between too large an area and too small an area.  I also think that, by removing the profiles to another area, those left on the England page stand more chance of being noticed and picked up by some generous genealogist.


(And btw, John, I am participating in the Sourcerer's Challenge as well, and have beaten my personal best this month) :o)

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