Bogus Profiles

+8 votes
I have adopted a couple of profiles for which I can find absolutely no confirmation or corroboration that they ever existed.  Is there a sensible way to handle these?
WikiTree profile: Phila Lakin
in The Tree House by Robert Atwell G2G1 (1.7k points)

Her "husband" has the same dates as a Nathan Blood from Pepperell. He is also 9 when he died. I can't find any possible match for Phila Lakin.

Nathan, s. David & Abigail, b. March 31, 1763.

Nathan, s. Dea. David & Abigail, fever, May 30, 1772, a. 9 y. 2 m. CR1

There is the Disputed Existence category but I don't know if that is for totally made up profiles that don't seem to appear in any other source. 

1 Answer

+2 votes
There is a big difference between "I can't find anything here" and "I know there is nothing here."  In this case you can't find anything about Phila, but it appears that her father William is a real person.  So in your case I'd focus my attention on William, to greatly expand what you know of him.  Right now there's information from Geni which is a start, but you don't know where the Geni researcher got his information from -- it's not documented.  There's a reference to a book about the Lakin family which you definitely need to look at -- but right now the reference only goes to a pdf file of a link to a Family Search description of the book -- and you need to find out what's in it.  Use Google Advance Search, where you can put in various combinations of names, dates and places, and it's amazing the documents that turn up on your screen.  Look for Census records of William's family -- if you can find census records of all the years he was alive and there is never a Phila in his family the you know she doesn't exist.  And add all the information to his profile with inline sources so that others' questions are answered.   I don't have time to help you on this guy, but just talking about all the ways to dig up more information makes me salivate.  Good luck!  

Oh, and to answer your original question, since Phila has brothers and sisters, once you're absolutely -- and I mean absolutely -- convinced she never existed, and she was basically just created by mistake, change the name in her profile to one of her sisters and then merge them.  That will make her profile go away.  If you discover that she never existed, but her name keeps appearing in others' family trees, then you might want to call her a legend and keep the profile in existence, but put a {{questionable}} tag at the top to warn others from taking her seriously.
by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (472k points)
Thanks,  Understanding the difference was what prompted the question to begin with.

I have been through the Lakin family reference and found nothing.  I have searched Butler's history of Groton, Pepperell and Shirley to no avail, and I have searched "The story of the Bloods" for her alleged husband and again there is nothing that remotely fits.  I have spent most of the last month trying to clean up the Lakin family based on these and some other reputable sources and have run into a number of this particular Geni's orphaned profiles and every one of them has been wrong to some degree or another.
So I just looked at the profile of Oliver Lakin, the father, and put in paragraph headings to help visualize what information you have.

There's a discrepancy on marriage year between the data field (1764) and the narrative (1754).  

I made a list of the children currently linked on WikiTree with their birthdates.  Their birth years start in 1765, making a 1764 marriage more plausible.  I trust the full birth dates more than those with just a year, whih makes Phila suspect -- unless she was a twin of the first Oliver, she was not born in 1765.  I didn't look up the Olivers, but I assume one died so that a second was given the same name?  

I take it you have not been able to find anything for Oliver the father, giving the names of his children.  No will?  I'm assuming everything you've found is already on the profile, right?
Thanks for the headings.  I think the second Oliver is BS too.  He has the same birth date as David but his given (unsupported) birth location is over 100 miles from where David was born.  Not possible!  Geni gives the father Oliver's death location as Hancock, NH so it certainly possible that there was a later son born in Hancock, NH that would not appear in Butler's History.  Hayward's "History of Hancock" lists four children for Oliver; Oliver and Peter both born in Groton and John and David, both born in Hancock, NH.  This agrees with Butler's history of Groton and so I will edit this family as documented in these two sources.  

By the way, great format for the biography, I will try to emulate this on all my later edits.

Thanks,  Bob.
Don't give up on her quite yet because there's stll more research to be done.  I saw that she's associated with Peperell, MA, so wondered what other members of the family might be assocaited with that.  Did a Google Advanced Search and found a Find-a-Grave entry for Elizabeth Shattuck Lakin, buried there.  Found her profile on WikiTree and added the Find-A-Grave information.  Then found we already have a category for the Walton Cemetery there and added the category label at the top.  

Now it would be worthwhile to find your other Lakins and associated people buried at Peperell and add that category to their profiles.  Do a mini "one-place/one name" study of the Lakins in Peperell and get a feeling for how they came to be there, how many families lived there, who they intermarried with, etc.  By then you will have an even better understanding of whether Phila is bogus, plus you will have acquired a lot more documentation for other families you're working on.
I did search the records of Pepperell as given in Butler and she was not there.  She very clearly was not the child of the parents she was given in the original merge, She may indeed exist and she may have married Levi Blood although there is no Levi Blood mentioned in "The story of the Bloods" who fits the dates or marriage.  I will leave profile with the marriage and dates but I have disconnected it from Oliver Lakin's family since that is very well documented and she does not belong there.

Thanks, Bob.

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