Two tree branches,different names want separate indexes for easy searches, but under 1 ancestor as important as merges.

+4 votes
in WikiTree Tech by H C G2G Rookie (280 points)
retagged by Julie Ricketts
I'm not sure that I understand your question?
Hard to do a question (of any detail/magnitude) in 120 characters, so shorthand is necessary.

Question:What is a resolution for two branches of a tree who seem to want /need lines indexed separately (have different spelling variations, thus different branches/generations), but  are connected to one root ancestor with dual/differing/conflicting names -- due to  new conflicts/perhaps substantiated or unsubstantiated findings of historical data.?

 Can both the branches be indexed in separate lines/databases, under each different root ancestor? It would seem the only resolution, and has been suggested here. This issue seems to be a database and coding resolution, and a merge does not resolve the conflict.

Changing a family ancestor is tricky, and people don't like their branches broken off going another direction, with another ancestor's name created primarily for merges, to control the whole family, to help a website, especially when they don't agree with the new ancestor name that does not follow history completely.

  Any resolution/suggestion on the tech  database side to this? Thanks.
Judgement of Solomon.  Threaten both sides with an answer that nobody likes.

1 Answer

+11 votes
Best answer

It is a fundamental characteristic of WikiTree that we have one profile per person.

The "root" ancestor should be kept in a single profile. His Last Name at Birth should be spelled according to the earliest document showing his surname. Any variations that may be found on other records can be documented in the Other Last Names field.

It's also a great idea to include notes on the biography about any discrepancies in spelling -- a discussion about the evolution of the name is very helpful. It might be especially helpful to work with your fellow genealogists to construct a One Name Study. There's a project here on WikiTree to give you guidance on that. See: One Name Studies Project

In regards to any descendants: They should have as their Last Name at Birth whichever variation was used on the earliest record found. It's not at all unusual for descendants to spell their names differently than their father or grandfather, so it's OK that descendants have a different spelling than their ancestors. There's no reason to separate the branches from each other, they should still converge at the same "root" ancestor.

Does that answer the question???

by Julie Ricketts G2G6 Pilot (502k points)
selected by Shirlea Smith
I understand the one profile issue and I understand not putting more than one name in the last name at birth field. However, with a family line that includes Condict, Condit, Cundict, Cundit, and Cunditt at a minimum, it would be very useful in building a surname list, if you could either use regular expressions or boolean logic to generate the list. For example, C?ndi* or Condi* OR Cundi*. Is that within the realm of possibilities?


When you are doing a search, you can enter * as a wildcard at the end of a name.

When I'm searching for duplicates in situations where there are several variations of a surname, I'll open a separate tab for each of the variations, sort the lists by birth date, and look for duplicates by comparing the lists.

Not an ideal situation, but workable.

As for using boolean and other wildcard search constructs, that would require a programming change. That is something that may be possible in the future, but given that we are a free site with limited programming resources, technical changes do not happen quickly. :-)

Perhaps someone else can weigh in here with other suggestions on how to do effective searches in situations like this. I'll add the "arborist" tag to this question.

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