PGM Heuristic Example

+6 votes

PGM Changes to profile of John Deane

<Tongue-in-cheek on>

It took me a while to figure out that PGM stands for “Preserving a Genealogical Mess.” ™ It’s been over a year since S Wilson posted a comment to try to clean up this specific genealogical mess ™  on July 3, 2015, and the level of paralysis achieved by the PGM team in preserving the mess of relationships and people that have never been documented by any peer reviewed source is truly impressive.  I’m glad we are taking a stand to preserve artifacts based on no evidence generated by random noise!

I remember playing telephone with a circle of children as a child. I’m sure everyone has. One child whispers some data to the child next to him or her who whispers it to the next child and so on around the circle until the final child gets the message. By the end of the circle a complete mess is made of the original data. We call this entropy. Just like the game of telephone internet trees are copied from one site to the next ad ad nauseum introducing entropy at every step creating a wonderful fictitious genealogical mess. ™   

Naysayers like Robert Charles Anderson claim that only 15% of our New England ancestors have known English Origins but we can prove him wrong citing unsourced trees! Here on PGM 100% of our New England Ancestors have English Origins. And better yet they all go back to Magna Carta Barons, royalty of all kinds and if you trace them back far enough to Adam and Eve themselves! We need to make sure these relationships are not severed based on his “evidence.” After all – how can Robert Charles Anderson prove that a person’s grandmother was not a deVere, Gray, FitzWalterm, or de Bohun??? He cannot!!! These are traditions that have been passed down for generations that a small minded man of base descent simply cannot understand. We need to preserve the royal heritage we so richly deserve! We don’t need his stinking evidence!

On Wikitree each PGM profile has at least 15 children and we have four copies of each profile! Clearly this proves we have a far larger database than Robert Charles Anderson will ever have!  Why stop at 15 children? With 26 letters in the alphabet why not add a child with a name starting with each letter? Abraham, Bathilde, Cedric, Dexter, etc. Can’t think of a name? Get out the old phone book for the family bible – they are full of names! Can Anderson prove they don’t exist? I think not.  

No other site is doing such a superlative job at preserving and sharing genealogical messes like the PGM team on Wikitree. I think the GENI and Werelate have folded to the evil powers of logic and peer reviewed evidence and cleaned up almost all vestiges of Genealogical Messes ™ completely destroying our Internet Heritage. I think that is wrong and we should fight it and preserve these genealogical messes forever so they can be copied from site to site for the next 1,000 years. Do it for our children, our grandchildren and our great grandchildren!

We will not go quietly into the night and succumb to evidence, peer review and logic. We shall fight on! If we can clog the works on this specific genealogical mess for a year just think of how many thousands of other genealogical messes on Wikitree will languish in paralysis. And think of how many thousands of researchers who have copied this genealogical mess over this past year under the authority of the name “wiki”-tree.

This specific case of John Deane should in my humble opinion be used as a heuristic example by which all future PGM projects should be measured. It is the pride of PGM. This debate started on July 3, 2015 and here we are proudly on July 7, 2016 over a year later protecting our genealogical mess. Let’s raise the bar – I think we can keep this going for at least one more year. Embrace that challenge Wikitree PGM team! Never merge! Never detach a child! Never detach a parent! We can do it!

</Tongue-in-cheek off>


in Genealogy Help by Living Baker G2G6 Mach 3 (39.8k points)
edited by Living Baker

Good luck to those of you who can proactively foment change in the PGM culture on Wikitree. I failed to do so and many of my attempts to make corrections have been foiled. I have come to like Wikitree PGM just a little bit. I handed in my PGM badge and will be working on and sourcing non-PGM profiles from now. I’ve been playing with Mayflower history instead: 

I'm also playing around with 1776 as well as more recent profiles:

As far as PGM goes I think it needs a whole new mission statement and I just don't see that happening. So I'll keep working but in areas where I feel I can have the most impact and not on PGM profiles. 

P.S. R.J. Horace - you were so right!
Roland, no!

You have been one of the better PGM contributors! I'm so sorry to see you go.

What the heck happened? (Happy to discuss this offline if you'd like)

-- former PGM leader

Jillaine, I would slightly correct your statement above by saying, "Roland, no!  You have been one of the BEST PGM contributors!"  When I wanted to join PGM, Roland spent countless hours training me, mentoring me.  While I will never be the kind of excellent genealogist that Roland is, and I'm sure he knew that, he still patiently and kindly honed my skills, making me better at what I do than I ever would have without his help.

THANK YOU ROLAND BAKER!  I will surely miss your presence and expertise on PGM.


Cheryl Aldrich Skordahl

Thank you, Cheryl; another reason why we really don't want to see Roland go...

1 Answer

+3 votes

This copy and paste attempt at genealogy is not limited to PMG, I have been wading into pre-1500 and boy is it a mess as well. I think most people, whether on wikitree or elsewhere on the net, do not understand the genealogy research process or are unable or unwilling to expend the time, energy and money, yes money, on doing through research. That being said, I don't think we should give up.
by Jeanie Roberts G2G6 Pilot (128k points)
That’s not why I quit.

The reason I quit is because of the culture in PGM. PGM is the problem. For example the current coordinator of PGM has refused to merge two identical profiles and remove children who never existed for over a year! That’s our coordinator?

When I propose the identical changes citing the same evidence and sources on GENI or Werelate I get an immediate response. The changes are made, the profiles are fixed and I can move on to the next project. People there are proactive and eager to see new sources and get profiles corrected with the latest data.

Considering we have tens of thousands of profiles to fix in PGM the only way I see this changing is:

1) We have at least a dozen proactive leaders in PGM (including you) who are committed to Next Generation evidence based genealogy. We need enough leaders to process the flow of G2G requests to fix bad profile connections. There is plenty of good talent on here. I see no shortage of candidates.

2) PGM makes a policy of removing all parents, spouses and children within 30 days unless solid positive evidence can be presented by the person who is insisting they not be removed. No one in PGM should be told they need to prove a child does not exist. That is illogical.  

3) Mergers can never be set to unmerged match on PGM profiles or profiles connected to PGM profiles. You get 30 days to present evidence that the two profiles are not the same person or you have to merge them period! There is absolutely no reason for the current coordinator of PGM to be obstructing profile merges that she knows are identical and refusing to remove children that she cannot produce a single shred of evidence for.  If two profiles are identical they are merged regardless of the people attached to them, etc.

I love what the PGM project could be. Until we have a large group of leaders with a proactive approach and commitment to bringing profiles up to next-generation evidenced based genealogical standards and commitment to cutting out all the fantasy genealogy I’m not going to work on PGM projects on Wikitree. My time would be better spent sourcing PGM profiles on Werelate or GENI.

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