There is a way to look at orphaned and unconnected profiles in a family tree. Why not unsourced?

+19 votes
There is a category for unsourced profiles, but I can find no interface for comparing the unsourced profiles with my family list. For a site which ostensibly is all about sourcing profiles, I find the process of dealing with unsourced information frustrating.

On FamilySearch, you can attach sources to profiles and the data from the sources will be automatically entered onto the profile to some degree. Wikitree sourcing is almost entirely manual.
in WikiTree Tech by Ian Mclean G2G6 Mach 1 (13.7k points)

3 Answers

+22 votes
If you look at your Watchlist, you'll see a row of tabs across the top. One of those is Unsourced. This will give you a list of profiles within your family that have been marked Unsourced.
by Shirley Dalton G2G6 Pilot (538k points)
Links should be put in along with the Unconnected and Orphaned options. The first place I looked and expected to find Unsourced was in the "Find" option at the top right hand of the logged-in interface.
When I am on my watch list page and click on the unsourced tab, it gives me everybody's unsourced files, not just those from my watchlist.
Carolyn, If you are on your own Watchlist page and click on the the right hand box called "unsourced," that should only bring up your profiles that have the Unsourced template on them.
I just checked on my Watchlist. When I clicked on the link I only got 23 profiles that are unsourced, all from my Watchlist. (Darn, didn't think I had that many.) So I am surprised that you got such a long list.

You did click on the button labeled Unsourced which appears along with a lot of other buttons including, Activity, Anniversaries, Pending merges, Unconnected, etc.?
That's where I am clicking. I get thousands of names which are not on my watchlist, but I just noticed in the upper right hand corner of that page there is a tab for limit to watch list. hadn't noticed that before.
+11 votes

You can change the name Vickery to any name and search it. :)
by Anonymous Vickery G2G6 Pilot (263k points)
That does not seem to select the unsourced profiles in my family tree. Using Mclean for instance would be almost totally useless to me because that represents 8 profiles out of several hundred, and the above seems to show all the Mcleans on the site which is not at all what my question is about.
Ian, unless the unsourced profiles in your watch list have the Category "Unsourced Profiles" they won't show up on any list. Automatic addition of the category to new profiles is a fairly recent development.
+15 votes

Chris would be the one to answer that for sure, but without seeing the "plumbing" underlying the site, my guess would be that the difference is that being orphaned or unconnected is a fairly simple test which can be discovered through looking at fields in the database, whereas having a profile be unsourced would entail parsing the main part of each and every page. It's technically doable, but it would be extremely compute-intensive, and from other comments Chris has made, I gather that processing time is a fairly major constraint on the site.

In the short term, you can use this trick: go to the Unsourced Profiles Category and click on the "Next 200" link at the bottom of the page. That should get you a URL something like Edit the URL in your address bar to replace the existing ID with "Mclean-1" (or whichever last name you're working on at the moment), so you end up with, then hit Enter, and you'll see all the unsourced Mcleans. I see that the system is case-sensitive, and alphabetises lower-case letters after upper-case letters, so any time you're searching on "Mc" or "Mac" names, be sure to search for both lower-case and uper-case variants (Mclean-1 and McLean-1).

In the long term, I suggested some months back that there be "source" fields for the major life events (birth, christening, marriage, death, burial, and possibly a few others), and having more of a "training wheels" system to build a beginning biography from those fields, so people can see how to cite other sources that they find. That would, of course, use more disk space and processing time, so even if Chris thought it was a good idea, it might have to wait until one of us wins the lottery. But should that ever happen, then having a report showing which profiles lack sources for those major events should be pretty simple. (You could even get all fancy with it, and show reports as having sources entered for X% of the events for which there is a place and/or date.)



by Greg Slade G2G6 Pilot (702k points)
I am mostly asking about the far more doable task of grabbing on the profiles from my family list that have the unsourced category tag on them. Shirley Dalton pointed me to where the function I am looking for already exists, and my reply to that is now that the function should be in an obvious place along side the rest of the "Find" options.

FYI, processing the database to find the unsourced profiles is a pre-processing problem. It isn't feasible to do dynamically in realtime on the WikiTree server, but it is feasible to do statically on a dedicated machine with a copy of the database. It would be a tedious process involving verifying tables of profiles, and it would involve re-merging the resulting tagged database with the server's live database. It is the kind of thing that the WikiTree sysadmins would probably want to do when they migrated to the next major version of the WikiTree software.

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