Should we merge unconnected profiles to make them go away?

+12 votes
I have come across a number of profiles with no relationships and no primary sources.  Should we just leave them alone or merge them so they disappear?
WikiTree profile: Thomas Betts
in Policy and Style by Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz G2G6 Pilot (862k points)
Lucy, I left a message in the profile for the PM but I don't expect a response. She hasn't been on wikitree since April 2015.

4 Answers

+17 votes
Best answer
This is the specific area of db_errors that I work on-- error #902. I focus specifically on the subset that are orphaned profiles where there is no PM, no data in the fields and no connection to another profile.  

I do an initial scan to see if I can find any facts about the person. Sometimes there are clues in the narrative. The privacy tab reveals if anyone is on the Trusted List. The changes log will reveal who created the profile. If either are still active on wikitree, I post a comment in the appropriate places and hope for action. (90% of the time there is either no response or the response is some variation of "do whatever you want with it...").  

Only then will I "merge away" the profile.  I search the surname list for another profile with the same name and NO profile manager (but one with data and connections) and merge with that one.

Failing that, I find a willing PM who will support a merge  but be careful with this last. If the PM doesn't fully understand what you're trying to do, the data of the "solid" profile might get messed up. That's why I prefer merging away into an orphaned profile.
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (929k points)
selected by Ellen Smith
Excellent method Jillian. If an orphan profile is empty except for a name it makes good sense to merge it into a profile of the same name, making sure to clean up afterward of course.
+5 votes
I've merged unconnected ones with no information to others with the same name in the past.  Have you tried contacting the profile manager about entering the correct data for the person to see if it's a possible duplicate?
by Darlene Athey-Hill G2G6 Pilot (558k points)
+2 votes
It would be etiquette to ask the profile manager if they agree. I'd be a bit annoyed if I'd added a group of names from a parish register and was working my way through adding sources to them all when someone ruined my work by merging them away. If the profiles are old and either empty or full of gedcom gobbledegook (like your example) and you get no reply then it may be appropriate to merge. or you could try sourcing them yourself.
by Gillian Causier G2G6 Pilot (298k points)
edited by Gillian Causier
Gillian, assuming you entered dates for each of those people and the source citation for the parish records, then your profile would not qualify as an empty, disconnected profile. It might be disconnected but it wouldn't be empty.
+8 votes
Please don't EVER change a profile without first contacting the manager. I've had to redo several profiles corrupted by overzealous "helpers," sometimes indeed when I am in the process of editing and updating the information.

There is no rush to merge or edit profiles managed by others. Genealogical research often takes time and all of our research is a work in progress. Deep breath, take a daisy, fiddle with your worry beads and chill out. There's plenty of work to do with abandoned profiles to worry overly much about managed profiles.
by Michael Lewis G2G6 Mach 1 (13.0k points)

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