Need advice when someone completely rewrites the profile, for the wrong person.

+13 votes
I am profile manager for a Phebe Arnold.  Someone with clout around here, completely rewrote the profile, attaching her to totally different people, and making her a generation older than she was.  Wrote up a nice biography, for the other Phebe Arnold.  No communication with me at all before doing it.  I had linked to a profile he manages, and he swiftly unlinked that, and rewrote my line, using good sources to a completely different Phebe Arnold.


My first thought was just to undo all the changes.  My second thought was to unlink this Phebe Arnold, who is no longer the one I was working on, and take my name off as PM, and just let her float unconnected until someone reattached her to the other Phebe Arnold.

I did privately email this individual, but have not had a reply as of yet.  

I would like to just remove his additions and keep working on her, with real data {, and not what happens to fit according to published sources for someone with a similar name.}

Would appreciate guidance.  People shouldn't just commandeer a profile, even if they have higher rank than the PM, should they?
WikiTree profile: Phebe Potter
in Policy and Style by Carolyn Adams G2G6 Mach 8 (82.6k points)
retagged by Michael Stills
I will admit, that I have occasionally written a profile and then realized I had the wrong person (I wonder if there are ones I didn't realize). As a suggestion: Is there an existing profile for the other Phebe Arnold? Maybe the thing to do would be to create a profile for her (if there isn't one). Move all the information to the new profile, with the proper links. Then undo the changes on your Phebe Arnold.

The other one is Arnold-3279

I would just move the new text to the other profile and then revert yours.  Mistakes happen.

And to answer your question -- yes, there should have been communication with you before making such major changes, "rank" or no rank.  This has been discussed here on G2G, but . . .
Carolyn , I have been where you are.    I would remove all incorrect attachments , dates and anything else .  Add all correct sourceable info and rebuild the correct person.  Add explanations of what happened.  Add a warning that there is another person of her name out there.   It won't keep people from changing anything in the future if they truly intend to change a profile.  You may have to rebuild again.  Good Luck.
Thank you for all comments.  They have been helpful.
You can 't see emotion when reading print, from my experience on facebook and twitter I think people should put more
Another thought, is that when everything is all changed and there are two separate profiles, create a "Rejected Match" between the two profiles, to help flag that these are different people.

1 Answer

+1 vote
This was the result of several recent merges of Israel Arnold that you requested.

This Phebe was attached as a child to Israel Arnold (Arnold-1577) and  Elizabeth Arnold (Smith-60829), although I could find no source/birth record  that they had a child named Phebe.  I checked the details and sources and added some other bio information prior to the merge.

After the merges I removed her from those  parents profiles and gave her the bio of a Phebe Arnold who married a John Potter, rather than leave her stranded in limbo land.

Sorry if this was not a happy result.  I haven't seen your email regarding this yet, ( just the five recent merge requests) or I would have answered it. ??
by Chris Hoyt G2G6 Pilot (772k points)
edited by Chris Hoyt

Here is what I sent:

This is a copy of a Private Message you sent via WikiTree. If you did not send this message, please alert

The following was sent via the private messaging system on

Chris, you've just turned my Phebe Arnold into a completely different Phebe Arnold who married a different John Potter.  Don't know whether to take myself off this Phebe Arnold, who is not my ancestor, and unlink her from the John Potter who is, and my Phebe Arnold Potter's children, or strip back all the additions you made.   The one you have did not live in Bennington VT or Hoosick NY.  She was a generation older.  The Arnold memorial has data on the one you did, but not on mine.  There is data, that is being worked up for an article by three of us this year, on my line.

This message is from Carolyn Adams ( Click here for their WikiTree profile:

The sender was on this profile page when they sent the message:

Sorry, I have searched your name/URL in my emails and the only emails I have from you are merge requests.  The profile of Arnold-6154  had  no sources/bio etc. : (only the information at the bottom, prior to this merge into Arnold-1711.)   

And Phebe Arnold was as follows when I removed her, no bio, sources etc  (see the data on change pages for May 16, 2016.  So I am not aware of where the bio you mention that I changed is from, unless she was also merged into another Phebe which had a bio???

Change page:

==Biography ==

''This biography was auto-generated by a GEDCOM import.<ref>Arnold-6226 was created by [[Arnold-6131 | Alison Arnold]] through the import of Arnold_Foster (1).ged on Jun 25, 2015. ''This comment and citation can be deleted after the biography has been edited and primary sources are included.''</ref> It's a rough draft and needs to be edited.''
* Source: <span id='S-862399041'>S-862399041</span> Repository: [[#R-1248466000]] Title: Ancestry Family Trees Publication: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members. Page: Ancestry Family Tree Data: Text:
* Repository: <span id='R-1248466000'>R-1248466000</span> Name:

I am guessing that the daughter Phebe was attached to 6154, but I can't remember.  I reformatted the bio of Arnold-1711 prior to the merge as the Style Guide has changed considerably since his profile was created.  In doing so, I added additional sources and information to 1711.  Looked all over for the birth of this additional child and was unable to find references to her birth.  Could not find his death date or any probate record to that would list his children.   So I removed the unconfirmed child from the parents

After I removed her, I added a bio that was for a Phebe Arnold who married a John Potter, rather than leaver her in WikiTree limbo, as I said before.  I don't know when the bio of Phebe

You should probably restore her to the profile date/page of your choosing on the changes tabs.  If you have sources that confirm her as a daughter of Israel and Elizabeth (Smith) Arnold, please let me know as I just cannot find any confirmation of this child.  

Original  Arnold-6154 :

== Biography ==
''This biography was auto-generated by a GEDCOM import.<ref>Arnold-6154 was created by [[Carpenter-3017 | Dennis Carpenter]] through the import of Dennis LeRay Carpenter Family Tree_2015-06-08 Ernest.ged on Jun 8, 2015. ''This comment and citation can be deleted after the biography has been edited and primary sources are included.''</ref> It's a rough draft and needs to be edited.''
=== Name ===
: Name: Isreal /Arnold/<ref>Source: [[#S29]] Page: Database online.</ref>
 === Birth ===
 : Birth:
 :: Date: 1678<ref>Source: [[#S29]] Page: Database online.</ref>
=== Death ===
: Death:
:: Date: 1753<ref>Source: [[#S29]] Page: Database online.</ref>
== Sources ==
<references />

* Source: <span id='S29'>S29</span> Title: Ancestry Family Trees Publication: Name: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network. Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members.; Repository: [[#R1]]
* Repository: <span id='R1'>R1</span> Name: Address: E-Mail Address: Phone Number:


As I have consistently stated, you added a lovely sourced biography for a completely different person, a generation older and married to a different man named John Potter.  Per instructions here, I took that off of my profile for Phebe Arnold Potter, and put it, though superfluous, on Phebe Arnold-3279.  I don't know why you deleted the dates of birth and death and death place from my profile without a word to me, and turned it into another person entirely.  You didn't unlink her actual husband or children, just her parents, but then in the biography gave her new parents and spouses.  I had connected her to Israel Arnold and Elizabeth Smith as parents. for which you are PM.  As such you have a right to question a child you don't think belongs, but you could have emailed me about it before lopping her off and creating a fictional life for her.  I would have told you this is a tentative identification based not just on my work, but two other researchers who have spent considerable time with town records in Rhode Island, and with whom I hope to write an article about these Potters in the near future.  Per the kind instruction here,  I have rebuilt the profile, added a warning not to confuse it with the older lady you did, and have begun a biography for the lady I am working on, who is part of the article not yet written.   I don't wish you any ill will and have not tried to convey any.  I realize you do wonderful work here and admire your sourcing and your interest in many of the same families I descend from.   I don't know why you didn't get the private message I sent, and got a copy of, and in fact attached above. Perhaps this is beyond our control, a glitch in the system.  I do not wish to continue to rehash this.  I have learned from this, and I hope others will too.

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