Template to link back to WikiTree from Wikipedia [closed]

+31 votes

Hey there WikiTree Wikipedia users,

One of our awesome members, John Dixon, created a template to use on Wikipedia that will link from a profile there back to WikiTree so visitors can see the famous person's tree in action. 

Here is the template in action: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Niven#Personal_life

Here are his instructions:

"It should be added at the beginning of the section dealing with the personal life of the person. Usually headed '''Personal Life''' or '''Family Life'''. Use this code {{Wikitree side box|xxxx}} replacing xxxx with the profile name e.g. Niven-216.

Anyone can edit Wikipedia but if you intend doing a lot it would be courteous to join their website. Note that it is customary for their users to adopt pseudonyms rather than their real names."

I am excited to see what this brings us for traffic! 

EDITED: See John's updated template and placement instructions below.

WikiTree profile: David Niven
closed with the note: The Wikipedia template announced here was deleted at Wikipedia on 15 April 2016 because "Side boxes are used sparingly and never for linking to third-party sites."
in The Tree House by Abby Glann G2G6 Pilot (749k points)
closed by Ellen Smith
Thank you John Dixon!!
I don't see where you placed the template on Wikipedia yet, John. Or are you asking if that profile is what we're intending? If the latter, yes, please go ahead and place it on the Wikipedia article, which will link that article back to your WikiTree one.
It shows up in the See Also section for that entry
Yes, It is in " See Also: " If it needs further editing please feel fee to edit it further as I am more noobier at wikipedia than wikitree. :)

That template has now been deleted from Wikipedia - it fell foul of some regulations. I have created a new template which meets those regulations so feel free to start using it. It has a new name but the same parameters. Use {{Wikitree name|pppp|name=nnnn}}  replacing pppp with the profile name e.g. Niven-216. The parameter |name= is optional. See an example at  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Niven#External_links. Note that it MUST be placed in the '''External links''' section.

Am I correct that the updated version has also been deleted from wikipedia templates?    Reading the deletion thread linked in the other answer below is disheartening -- in particular when findagrave is permitted.
That does appear to be the conclusion of the conversation. Disappointing. One specific voice carried the majority of the dissent, although no one appeared to be particularly nasty about the debate so I can't complain about any targeting or specific venom in the decision. It appears the primary concern is that WikiTree is too much like Wikipedia, and that there is a significant reliance on either Wikipedia as a primary source for Notables or that no sources are clearly defined or possibly that unreliable sources are being used.

I do disagree that sites that produce primary source material (Family Search and more often than not, Find A Grave) are considered to be purely unreliable in what they provide, but I think that point was brought out and somewhat pushed aside for the greater argument of generally unreliable source materials, frequent linking back to Wikipedia, and lack of any significant benefit to Wikipedia as a whole other than to provide a opportunity for a genealogical link, which the dissenting opinion appeared to reject for some reason.
Yes, in the second deletion discussion I did feel that I was the lone voice speaking in favor at the end, although it was very nice to see Wikimedia superstar Andy Mabbett speaking in favor of keeping it, as he is again on the Wikidata discussion.

I wonder if the deletion discussion would have gone our way if we had been more careful to only include the template on pages where the WikiTree profile and family tree clearly add information far beyond what is available on Wikipedia. The discussion often centered around instances where the WikiTree profile was poorly sourced, had erroneous "confirmed with DNA" settings, and added nothing beyond what was already available on Wikipedia. It really clarified for me the importance of our Profile Improvement Project and Sourceror's Challenge to continually improve the quality of ancestor profiles and family links here on WikiTree.

I look forward to seeing how the Wikidata proposal is received. I feel that our genealogical data on WikiTree has much to offer to improve the sum of human knowledge about our history and global connections. Thanks to John for his work on the Wikipedia template, to Magnus for his work on Wikidata, and to everyone who has been participating or following along in the discussions. This is where Chris would say, "Onward and upward for the global family tree!"

5 Answers

+13 votes
John Dixon is my new WikiTree hero!  This is fabulous, John.  I am going to add that link on a bunch of Wikipedia pages.  Thank you so much!  And thanks, Abby for letting us know.
by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (651k points)
John Dixon-2584 gets a Red Generous Genealogist badge for this contribution.
Nice, Kitty, thanks!
+8 votes
BoooHooo!  I added <pre>{{Wikitree side box|X}}</pre> to all the Arquettes and all the Baldwins to no avail.  Each one was reverted to remove the link back to the pre-edit format.  I was logged into my Wikipedia account page as I made the edits.
by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (651k points)
Kitty, I forgot to remove the <pre> tags when I posted this. You didn't include those, did you? They are much like our <nowiki> tags here.
Nope, I included them.  I will try again without the pre tags.
+9 votes

BooHoo!  Wikipedia has recommended that the link page be deleted from all their pages.  I do not understand how to use their Talk pages, so I can't respond to Irn. They don't like it.  Here is what they said.  I hope someone that understands the Wikipedia ways can intercede.  

Template:Wikitree side box[edit]

It links to an open Wiki, violating WP:ELNO. -- Irn (talk) 18:10, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (651k points)
Well, I went over and looked on Wikipedia and I don't know that it's that negative.  For one thing I don't think Wikipedia knows much of anything about WikiTree.  They seem to think that copyrighted material is welcome here.  And the list of wikis they have listed in an article on wikis doesn't even mention WikiTree.  but does listen lots of wikis with the equilivant of 10-20 thousand rather than the millions of Profiles on WikiTree. Wikipedia itself says it has 18 million articles.  and it seems to be the largest.  If a profile is about the same as a wikipedia article, WikiTrree would be in the top ten wikis.  But even if we're down in the pack, I think we rate a bit more respect than "Spammy"... but I think that's just one person's opinion, not Wikipedia as a whole.

I think they have a point that if a profile like Ball-3 don't have any primary genealogy sources we shouldn't link from Wikipedia to Wikitree.... 

A Wikipedia article shouldn't be a link page it should add value.... Links to Wikitree can be added to Wikidata see Wikidata object Q209662 for Lucille Ball same data presented in Resonator where you find external sources

AlloCiné person  1962
BNE  XX1627194
BnF  139299575
Elonet actor  226642
FAST-ID  53140
Find a Grave grave  50
Find a Grave grave  7003071
genealogics.org person  I00443319  =genealogy resources
GND  11928622X
IMDb  nm0000840
Internet Broadway Database person  30752
ISNI  0000 0000 8371 448X
ISNI  0000 0003 6851 5409
LCAuth  n80043347
Munzinger IBA  00000015328
MusicBrainz artist  939570c2-​2083-​4898-​be1f-​1d913781cf6d
National Thesaurus for Author Names  074204270
People Australia  1191058
Rotten Tomatoes  celebrity/lucille_ball
SELIBR  258369
SUDOC authorities  070665281
VIAF  34646030

If this is of intrested we should start associate the profile Ball-3 with the unique Wikidata object Q209662 using e.g. a Template:Wikidata ==>
{{Wikidata |
Q209662 }}

The unique object name you find in Wikipedia in the left frame you have a link called Wikidata
page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucille_Ball
has link Wikidata item ==> Q209662

How to add comment on a talk page

Just log in and write as a Wikitree page

Dave, I added WikiTree to the list of wikis at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wikis
How should wikitree be characterized on that list of wikis with respect to copyright?

Michael, Chris Whitten and I believe "Unknown" is a fair statement. See how we explain it in our FAQ: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/WikiTree_FAQ#Is_the_worldwide_family_tree_public_domain.3F

+10 votes
The new template {{Wikitree name}} is being discussed for deletion here:


I made some comments in favor of keeping it.
by Karen Lowe G2G6 Pilot (195k points)
wikipedia allows findagrave to post to their pages. findagrave is full of Guessed / Calculated information, members are allowed to edit their profiles as they see fit.

at findagrave some profiles of Famous people are Maintained by: Find A Grave Staff/SYSOP and they are very picky. Example: My 6th cousin 2xr: Peter Duesler Aurness Is his Birth name. http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Aurness-2 .

findagrave will not change how they have his name set, I tried twice to get them to change it. = Peter Graves : http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=49713393 .

 Here is his wikipedia link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Graves . also showing his birth name: Peter Duesler Aurness.


Karen, if you add to the discussion again you might want to use my ancestor as an example.


Wikipedia's article about him relies on a single source and lacks inline citations.  I am still working on this profile page and haven't developed the narrative, but at the moment I have more sources for his life than Wikipedia does.  I would rather concentrate on his genealogy than his encyclopedia entry.

There are plenty of minor notables that would have more genealogy sources than published articles.  Those are the ones that need the WikiTree template to Wikipedia to complete the picture.


Why not just connect to Wikidata and if people are interested they will find Wikitree.... by using Wikidata Q1554136 or a tool like Reasonator

See video

Find a Grave grave  9774
NNDB people  727/000278890
US Congress Bio  W000501
Current language Wikipedias
en Guinn Williams
Big Wikipedias
de Guinn Williams (Politiker)

Magnus, I agree that we should use Wikidata. Can you make that happen?

I am not yet convinced that WikiData is a good substitute for the current WikiTree template being discussed, as it is more suitable for the casual reader. I hadn't really paid much notice to Wikidata myself, and I have 5,000 edits on Wikipedia. I propose that we continue with the revised {{Wikitree name}} template and also begin participating in Wikidata. This would mirror, for instance the use of external links to IMDb and Find a Grave on Lucille Ball's Wikipedia entry and the inclusion of those items in Wikidata.

I let you know when I understand how ;-) I have bought the books

I think step number one is a Template in Wikitree

just to be clear being part of Wikidata doesn't mean that Wikitree can't be linked from a Wikipedia article... Connecting to Wikidata is a way to connect to the semantic web Web 3.0.....    

Magnus, thank you, thank you for starting this research. I'm a tester and not a coder, but I can help more in two days after we host my book club to discuss Desert Solitaire on Tuesday evening. Hmm, I wonder if Edward Abbey has a WikiTree profile? :)

Status is that I have requested a Wikitree property and we are waiting that it should be created see Wikidata:Property_proposal

When that is done we can start add Wikitree to Wikidata objects ==>
Wikitree Van_Beethoven-1 will be added to Wikidata Q255 = Beethoven...

If you would like to learn more about Wikidata you have an interactive tutorial see Wikidata:Tours 

  • Items tour
  • Statements tour


Thanks for your efforts Magnus!
This is excellent!  Thank you Magnus.

Now that the Wikidata property is approved, what are our next steps? Should we create a Wikidata template here on WikiTree? How would we use it? Should we start a new G2G topic to discuss?

I added the WikiTree ID property to a few Wikidata pages:


WikiTree is now using Wikidata?  Is so, it is my understanding that is really big news!  Yes, a new G2G topic is needed to discuss what we can do using Wikidata in WikiTree.
No, WikiTree is not using Wikidata to my knowledge. Wikidata has added a property WikiTree ID for us to add to Wikidata entities, making it possible for folks to develop integrations between WikiTree and Wikidata. Um, I think.

Correct Karen see also new G2G wikidata-property-wikitree what I suggest we could do... please join and suggest.....

In the Wikipedia community they 

  1. have Wikipedia pages with infoboxes that feed Wikidata with data 
  2. they also create the reverse process that if data is updated in e.g. english Wikipedia then its moved down to Wikidata and from Wikidata moved to other instances of Wikipedia e.g. Swedish version

    Wikipedia infobox --> Wikidata ---> other Wikipedia instances

    ==> if we start to use infoboxes on category pages about regions/ countries etc... we could maybe feed them automatic from Wikidata.....  

The sky is the limit.... 

+5 votes

Looks like we move in direction WikiData and Open Linked data

see Space:Wikidata

by Living Sälgö G2G6 Pilot (301k points)

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