It is easy to get in a groove creating profiles, tracing ancestries, adding sources, and making connections on WikiTree, and in that groove, forget to build a profile to its fullest. Many profiles on WikiTree, even from our best members, have sources but no substance-what do those sources tell us? What has your research revealed? Who was this person? That's what the biography section is for and this Biography Builders challenge is a personal growth challenge to encourage members to create biographies for the profiles they work on, not just find connections and sources.
Each month, we'll set a theme to the challenge, asking participants to create biographies for different people in their family tree or from certain projects and categories.
Those who participate can challenge themselves to do a little more on each profile by working through our checklist of what makes a profile "complete." We know no person will ever be completely researched, and so no profile will ever be completely done, but there are certain points in building a profile where you hit logical stopping points and can "call it" at least for awhile. Each time you do this, you can share that profile in that month's thread as an example for the community as well as have a chance to get thoughtful feedback on other things that might make nice additions.
Each time you hit a milestone in your participation you'll get a template for your profile to show others you've been making WikiTree a better place to share family history. The first template is placed when you've completed 10 profiles for Bio-Builder challenges. The numbers are cumulative, so it could be the first month you participate that you hit that mark, or it could be 5 months later. It's up to you. Just number your profiles as you go and put them in the Builders thread.
Here's our ideas for what to put on your profile:
names of parents
marriage date/place and spouse name
- Written sentences stating the facts above, adding inline sources to each fact.
- Baptism, burial, military, and other life events with inline sources.
- Something to "humanize" the person, such as career or avocation with sources.
- List of children with at least one pertinent fact.
- Explanatory remarks, if needed (i.e. Disputed persons sections, Research Notes, Disambiguation, whatever needs extra explaining).
- Photos or pictures, background. Not a must, but nice (If you own the copyright or if they are in the public domain).
- Categories/Project templates.
- Connection to the Global Tree.
- Links to persons and events, perhaps from Wikipedia.
- Historical context as related to the person's life.
- Sources, Sources, Sources, cited inline!
This month the theme will be broad to get us started; we'll be more specific in the future. The theme is profiles born during the 1800s. Look at your watchlist and find some of your profiles that fit that criteria and start going through the list to see what you can do to build them up. Share your "finished" profiles here.
Post any questions here as a comment.