Why should someone be forced to wait a month before being allowed to write a qualification test?

+10 votes
What is the purpose of causing an applicant to have to wait before being allowed to become qualified in a given area, e.g. pre-1500?
in Policy and Style by Upton Criddington G2G4 (4.1k points)
retagged by Robin Lee

4 Answers

+12 votes
Best answer
Have you taken a look at http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Pre-1500_Profiles?

I think it explains the reason for the qualification in addition to the fact that one needs to learn how to use Wikitree.   A demonstrated understanding of our Honor Code, Naming conventions and Style guide is all a part of it.   With this approach we have limited duplication of profiles, and are able to improve the profiles that exist with collaborative efforts.
by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (707k points)
selected by Julie Ricketts
+18 votes
Wikitree is not one of those applications where you know immediately how things work.  One needs to know how to do inline citations. There are Policies, Style Guidelines, naming conventions, and Projects, all of which are different than one finds at other websites.  It takes a while to learn it all. Just knowing a lot isn't enough.  You need to know how to fit it into Wikitree.

Think of the time as an opportunity to find your way around.
by Vic Watt G2G6 Pilot (330k points)

Just for demonstration, I've added the computer-speak version to Barber-4818.  You can delete it or revert it.

Personally I prefer your version, which seems better in every way, and easier to do.  The <ref> stuff comes from Wikipedia, but those guys made a real mess of something that should have been so simple. 

Thank you RJ :), that's really appreciated. I'll leave it there for now and bookmark the profile so that I can use it as a guide. I'm assuming you could alternatively name the sources with numbers? Eg: <ref name="1"/> ?

I prefer my version too ;) Thank you for saying that, it makes me feel a lot better about my work here. I do think the computer-speak way is scruffy looking. I'm an artist so things like that offend my eyes :o I get that all the

  1. ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3

at the beginning of each source is there to identify the relating facts and so you can pop back up the page, but urghhh. It's a pity the source title details aren't on the line underneath all that stuff. 

Still, very good, and that input by you does show me exactly how to inline source after every fact without creating a shambles of duplicate sources, or the need for notes. I'm on the last branch of my to-do list now, but when I've finished it, I'll go all the way back to the start and revisit every profile and inline source. It will probably drive me mad lol ... them's the breaks I guess!



Actually I think you can't use plain numbers as ref names, for some reason, though you can do fn1, fn2, etc.

I wouldn't bother reworking your profiles.  Leave them alone and show the way forward.  The current system is unpopular in many quarters and I don't think the last word's been said.
Cheers RJ :)
I looked at Barber-4818.  Your way works well and looks OK and most importantly, it accomplishes the purpose of adding citations.
The benefit of the Wikiformatting, in which <ref>Citation text</ref> creates a footnote and assigns a number to that footnote, is that it automatically accommodates additions and revisions made by a subsequent contributor. This is really important on a Wiki site because it's very likely that another contributor will show up later to add new information and new sources, or to rearrange some of the existing content.

In the example profile, currently there are just two records. Consider what would happen if another contributor (or perhaps you!) found additional sources (for example, census records or a school record) and wanted to revise the profile by adding some information to the middle of his life story. The manual approach to numbering the footnotes would normally require that the footnotes be renumbered (meaning carefully tracking to ensure that all of the footnote callouts are correctly labeled), whereas Wiki formatting creates auto-generated footnotes whose numbering is updated automatically when contents change. Footnote numbering is not a big issue in the example profile, but it can become a significant challenge in a complex profile with a more detailed biography and many sources. Auto-generation of footnotes also is a big help when duplicate profiles need to be merged (something we've had to do way too much of at WikiTree).

To be honest if I had more info to add to the middle of a profile, rather  than re-number them all, I'd just give the new source the next number. Especially in the likes of the one profile I linked to above where there are 27 sources with many of those associated multiple times to multiple facts. And if the person who has come along afterwards that wants to add info/sources, isn't among those who understand and can type up all the wiki-formatting-speak, it's not going to work anyway if I've done it all wiki-speak. It will achieve only a mess. At least with the way I've done it is really easy for everyone to understand and duplicate. The sources are there, they are clearly labelled and associated - it all makes sense whether you are a computer whiz, a genealogist, or a member of the public. 

Both ways have their disadvantages/advantages the way I see it. But at the end of the day in wikitree's own words ...  "But don't get hung up on this. The important thing is citing the source, not how it's done."

So again I ask ... why isn't competent sourcing enough? Really? Why are folk being stopped from creating great profiles pre 1500 if they have excellent information, are prepared to spend hours typing it up clearly into wikitree, and have the passion for good genealogy? Why isn't demonstrating that enough? All these be involved in a project, be active in g2g, and the like conditions too are a tad pressuring. It's like blackmail to be honest. 

Re inline sourcing, I understand in the likes of wikipedia which is more clinical, it is an encyclopedia after all, more clinical formatting is all good, well, and necessary. But this is a world wide family tree, we are a community, as is cited time and again here in g2g - we are collaborating, working together, sharing, a family. So why the ostracism? Why statements like "to be eligible for pre-1500 certification you need to understand inline sourcing, you need to fit in"?? It is our birth right that we already fit in! 

The pre-1500 certification is almost something of an elitist award, the nobles of the tree. The peasants need to know their place, even if they do have decent brains. Sorry, but that is the way it is starting to make me feel.

I was sitting here this morning thinking about the pre-1500 profiles I have the potential to add to the tree and the best way to go about it given I can't add them. I was thinking, ok, so that I'm not a pain to people sending heaps of private messages or posting 20 (the limit) public messages a day, I'll type everything up in word, one profile at a time, and copy and paste it into g2g in a question "Can a pre 1500 certified person please add this person to the tree". I'll do the same for each child, spouse, etc ...... until they are all done. But then I realised since I work up one branch at a time, bookmark where the branch branches out while I continue up, get to the end of that one, come back down and up the next, in a pattern, always bookmarking as I go with notes attached - ie - add siblings, parents, until eventually I work my way through all the bookmarks and all the way back down to where the original branch started .... what an absolute nightmare it would all become doing it via questions and c&p word documents. I would be spending all my time waiting and hoping that someone has the time to do the profiles, always checking back to g2g, pretty much waiting for that person to come along who has nothing else to do except all my work. Does that person exist here?

Seriously, I understand some of the pre-requisites for pre-1500 certification, but not all. I don't know how many currently have the badge today, it was 186 people a couple of days back, 186 I would assume very busy people.

At the end of the day, do wikitree want the profiles or not? Are we a family or not? And what does "But don't get hung up on this. The important thing is citing the source, not how it's done." mean, if it doesn't mean but don't get hung up on this, the important thing is citing the source, not how it's done?



Thanks Vic :)

Nicky --

There's much more that goes into a pre-1500 profile than using inline references -- those are important, and it was decided some time ago by the community that they should be part of the WikiTree-wide Style guide -- however, there are other equally important issues that need to be understood with this era:

  • Ability to identify accurate sources for the time period
  • Experience with extrapolating information from genealogical references
  • Understanding naming customs, cultural customs and migration patterns of the time
  • Ability to identify existing WikiTree profiles using name variations
There are others, but this is not my wheelhouse. :-)
The pre-1500 and pre-1700 restrictions were developed out of necessity. They are meant to help educate people before they get in over their heads and start creating more work for project members who have volunteered to be caretakers for some of our earliest ancestors.

I had to look up extrapolating :/




gerund or present participle: extrapolating

  1. extend the application of (a method or conclusion) to an unknown situation by assuming that existing trends will continue or similar methods will be applicable.

    "the results cannot be extrapolated to other patient groups"

    • estimate or conclude (something) by extrapolating.

      "the figures were extrapolated from past trends"


      extend (a graph, curve, or range of values) by inferring unknown values from trends in the known data.

      "the low-temperature results can be extrapolated to room temperature"

So with that ... I will continue the way I'm going and when I get to my well sourced pre 1500 folk ~ I'll retire. I give up. Over & out :)
+11 votes
Well, for one things, this allows them to show that they have the patience to keep at a process which often requires patience.  And to allow them to build up a portfolio of genealogical work which can allow them to be judged.  However for most things there is no minimum time to have been in WikiTree (mores the pity when it comes to GEDcoms.)  There are a very few other positions such as leader which have prerequisites.
by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (408k points)
Thank you. I have no problem with patience being a virtue on Wikitree as elsewhere (or at least most of the time). What I think could be a bit problematic is the requirement to wait's being made willy-nilly with no explanation. This could discourage, or dare I say, offend some qualified and very experienced researchers. Not me of course...;)
+6 votes
I've been meaning to do this for a while, so I took a couple of minutes and threw together a video for how to add inline references. You can see my post here:


Hope this helps!
by Julie Ricketts G2G6 Pilot (395k points)

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