Do we need a catetory for "Family_Merge"

+11 votes
I received a merge request yesterday which I have not yet approved - it is a match, HOWEVER - when I clicked my version of the profile I see there are two spouses ~~ and two children ~~ and so the series of duplicates begins.

I believe may be a need to identify when we have whole families that need to be reviewed for merging.  Some come from GEDCOM imports, others I'm not sure of the origin, but I know we are spending a tremendous amount of time trying to clean up the profiles because there are multiples and in many cases they are not sourced outside of an old GEDCOM or the information entered at the time the profile was created.  The worst of it appears to be the 1600s through the end of the Revolutionary War.

As I've seen posted more than once, Genealogy without Sources is Mythology.  Mythology doesn't help us break through the brick walls.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts on the subject.
WikiTree profile: Mary Yeomans
in The Tree House by Elizabeth Townsend G2G6 Mach 2 (22.3k points)
retagged by Keith Hathaway
Perhaps i'm wrong, but it seems to me, that the only way to get rid of this plague of duplicates and triplicates (most of which are sourceless gedcom-uploaded profiles) is to start merging. Begin with the merger of duplicates of one member of the family, usually the husband or the wife. At least that way Relationship Finder will immediately be able to begin to connect the descendants to one another. After the one spouse, then the other spouse. After them, the children can be merged. Ideally, the duplicate members of a whole family might first be prepared for merging, by clearing the gedcom-uploaded profile of all junk, then trying to make the biographical data of the to-be-merged profiles to correspond, saving alternative names and dates to their proper places. After that they could then be merged one after the other. The problem is that all these profiles have different managers, who must agree to a merger, which usually makes the ideal preparation and merger scenario impossible. So, the best we can do is to merge duplicate profiles as we come across them and not forget to clean-up after the merger, esp. if we have not prepared the two profiles before the merger. And then patiently wait for the managers of the profiles of family members of the merged profile to respond and approve of further mergers.

While I don't disagree, I believe there are two inherent problems when people look at profiles for merging.

1.  They do not look to see if there are Spouses, Parents, or Children - WHOLE FAMILIES!! - which need merging.

2.  Lack of Coordination/Interest.  Our lowest profile numbers do not always have an active or responsive profile manager which makes the merges cumbersome.

What sort of Best Practice ideas might we ask be considered for low number profiles and/or "significant" people / families for a Family Coordinator to facilitate sourcing, merging, and overall health of the tree?

I checked out the profile and noticed that even though they had been noticed as duplicates, no one had proposed a merge. I did so.

We have a lot of arborists that help to work these profiles, however, there are also a lot of Profile Managers who are reluctant to merge just because the city may differ when all other vitals and relationships match. The rule here is to go ahead and merge and add the differing information into the biography and collaborate with the other PM.

All profiles need to be sourced. Unfortunately, most of the Gedcom uploaded profiles have no sources at all, or a non-source such as an '' Family Tree'' (which is unsourced). What to do then with profiles already created which have no sources, and for which no sources can be found? For the profiles that i adopt and merge i always seek sources. But for many of the profiles that i have adopted or merged, i have searched and found no sources available. For better or for worse, an already created WikiTree profile cannot be uncreated, but exists for ever. This situation is difficult, and i donot know whether the perfect solution exists.

3 Answers

+19 votes
Best answer

Perhaps you have never noticed that under the matches and merges section on every profile, there is a link that says [more merging tools Merges for Mary Button]   If you hit that link, you get a descendants view of the person and all of the current duplicates.   I usually go back one or two generations from a merge and start looking and proposing all the merges I find.  That said, always do another search, to make sure you  have the lowest number ID.

by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (889k points)
selected by Lynden Rodriguez
Robin, thanks for pointing that out.
That's fantastic! Why had I never noticed that before? Thanks, Robin.
New to me too! Thanks Robin - and thanks Elizabeth for starting this thread :D
Great feature--I had no idea!
Never heard of this! I'll have to remember!
+1 vote
We do already have a number of categories which identify a profile as needing further action.  The proposed "needs family merge" category would be one more.  

While this could be helpful, it amounts to kicking the can down the road.  At some point research has to be done, and a narrative with good inline sources placed on the biography.  Then discrepancies of facts between profiles regarding dates, marriages and children can be resolved based on actual facts.  Otherwise, you tend to be stumbling in the dark.

Where there are whole families that need merging, one thing I often do is cross-attach family members.  For instance John Jones A is married to Mary.  John Jones B has no spouse shown.  I make the same Mary to be the spouse of John Jones B.  Now there's a cross connection -- which will just go away when the two John Jones' are merged.  If only one of the John Jones has a father shown, I'll make the second one the son of the same father.  Again, the duplication will disappear when they are merged.  Meanwhile, it makes it easier to flip back and forth between them as you are looking to add data.  

The difficult family merges occur when the individuals appear to be identical, but their parents, grandparents and farther back are all different.  Then you really need to do the research.  Perhaps one line is an error.  Or perhaps there really are two different John Jones which have gotten their data put together and now you need to tease it apart.
by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (478k points)
I agree, Jack.  If anyone is interested in "improving profiles", we have plenty of maintenance categories full of things to do!
+1 vote

Elizabeth I'm afraid you have encountered a genealogy-on-line problem which has already been address in Wikitree - posted by GeneJ X Dec.14th 2014 as "PROPOSAL TO SERVER SARAH LEWIS (ALIAS MARY AND WIFE OF JOHN LEWIS) AS DAUGHTER OF MATTHIAS BUTTON

MARY BUTTON IS NOT THOUGHT TO BE THE WIFE OF JOHN LEWIS despite endeavours to record her as such in other on-line genealogies


by Valerie Willis G2G6 Pilot (119k points)

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