Is it time to separate locking a profile from Historically Significant designation?

+16 votes

I tried to revive this discussion through an existing, older topic, but got no response, so I'm creating a new topic in hopes of discussion and perhaps resolution and moving forward on a mutually agreeable solution:

I think it's time that we separate the locking of profiles (so they won't be merged away) from "historically significant". One is a technical solution; the other is a type of categorization. 

In fact, it seems to me that Lianne's new project templates are a much more appropriate way to identify historically significant people but in more specific ways.

In the meantime, we need a way to lock profiles from being merged away, whether or not the person is historically significant or part of a project like Mayflower Famlies or EuroAristos. What would it take to do this?

Thank you.


in Policy and Style by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (704k points)
Sounds like a good idea.  I had Maggie lock a profile that kept getting merged away, The person had an unknown maiden name and people kept wanting to give her their favorite names. Documentation on her elimlinated all possible maiden names.

Yes, she was significant, but not in a historic manner.

Update: HSAs are now PPPs, i.e. "Project-Protected Profiles" instead of "Historically-Significant Ancestors."

If anybody sees bugs or problems, let me know.

5 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer
I am always reluctant to mark someone as an HSA when I am really just trying to make sure they don't get merged away.

A separate Name Lock would be helpful, but I don't think the "lock" needs to be any different from the current HSA lock, just a different name.  Of course, the HSA lock impies that a group is responsible for the profile, and with a Name Lock, that wouldn't be the case.
by Vic Watt G2G6 Pilot (320k points)
selected by Michelle Brooks
I like "protected" very much as an adjective. I hesitate, though, to say that it makes sense to confine protection to the projects. What about the New Amsterdam Dutch?
Hi Roger. Lianne and I were talking about this very question. What if there isn't a current project, but there should be? I think the policy and instructions should allow for this. Encourage that a profile be Project Protected even if the project isn't active yet.
"Project Protected Profile" would make for a nice triple-P acronym. What do people think of that?
I guess if we're willing to say that there will eventually be projects to cover every MCA (massively-common ancestor)--as there really, of course, should be--that's a fine solution.
Or you could simply use one word


(said the editor)

Chris, I thought that there was more that locking/protecting did than just prevent merge-aways. I thought it also prevented LNAB from being changed unless you're a Profile Manager.
It prevents anyone from changing the LNAB, even if you are a profile manager. Changing the LNAB is the same as merging away.
Ah, of course, changing an LNAB *is* the equivalent of merging away, isn't it? got it. I think of them differently because the steps you take to merge (as a user) are different than the steps you take to change an LNAB. But you're right, the end result is the same. Well kinda. A merge doesn't create a new ID (a rename does).
Right. Changing the LNAB creates a new profile and then merges into it.
Now, Jillaine, why would we use one word when we can use three? :-)

I'm not sure "protected" is enough. Like "locked," we use that word on WikiTree in privacy contexts.

Part of why I like "Project Protected Profile" is that the acronym PPP is unique, memorable, and short -- fewer characters than "protected" -- and would fit in lists the same way HSA does.


Update: HSAs are now PPPs, i.e. "Project-Protected Profiles" instead of "Historically-Significant Ancestors."

If anybody sees bugs or problems, let me know.

+9 votes
Hi Jillaine. Sorry I didn't reply on your original post about this. I did point it out to Chris, and he's asked me to look into what it would take to do this. We'll be discussing it in our Thursday meeting.

At first glance it doesn't seem like it would be difficult to separate the two, so I'm hopeful! I'll keep you updated on this.
by Lianne Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (420k points)
LL, I meant to wait until I heard your outline, but I ended up writing my thoughts on this below. See my comment on Vic's post.
+8 votes
I agree 100%. And I would like the locked status to display in the "Family Tree Seach" directory. Thanks for suggesting this.
by Becky Syphers G2G6 Mach 3 (35.2k points)
This is a good point, Becky.

We have the "HSA" indicator in various places. This is important because it makes clear which profile should be merged-into.
+7 votes
That is not a direct answer to your question (I agree with you).

Could people revisit their HSA and locked IDs: in many cases, they are not the lowest in their LNAB and merges are blocked. Thanks in advance.
by J Pictet G2G6 Mach 3 (30.1k points)
How would we do this? (review our HSAs)

Is there a way to find all HSAs?
Remember that any Supervisor can unlock any profile, not just the ones they locked. If you find a locked ID that isn't the lowest numbered one, feel free to unlock it and lock the lowest one.

That being said, do not use this ability to change the LNAB without discussion, because you might give the other Supervisor a heart attack if you do. :)
Oops, I have been unlocking HSAs when I find a lower number all the time, without consulting. Sorry.
If it's just a lower number of the same LNAB (exact same spelling and capitalisation) I don't seem the harm in that. It's only when changing the LNAB that I think discussion is really important.
So I might be the only supervisor who cannot do that.
Jacques, you should be able to unlock any locked profile. Can you give me an example of a locked ID that you can't unlock?
I will link here the next time I meet one.
I think Jacques is talking about when there is a "lock" on the Edit *tab*. Not the "lock" click-box on the Edit *page*.
It took me a minute there to have any clue what you were talking about, Jillaine. :) You're talking about a public profile, and by "unlocking" you mean "making Open", right? That's a totally separate thing from locking an ID. This is why I don't like calling opening profiles "unlocking" them, because that already has a meaning and it creates confusion like this.

But in Jacques' original post it seems he was talking about locking IDs, so I'm not really sure where we got mixed up here.

Ah, well, perhaps it's the visual image of a LOCK on the Edit tab of closed profiles that led me to use the *word* LOCK. ;-)


lol, fair enough!
+8 votes

Reviving this... I realize I was distracted by the fact that we came up with a great replacement for "Historically Significant Ancestor" so I didn't see that the original issue I raised was not fully addressed. Namely:

We still need a way to lock a lowest-numbered profile, whether or not it's connected to a project. See this discussion where-- at least initially-- Liz felt she could not lock a profile because it wasn't (then) part of a project.

That just seems plain wrong to me that we can't protect a lowest-numbered profile from being merged away-- in Liz's example it's because of spelling variations. I'm going to run into this as I flesh out my husband's deVeaux ancestors who have gone by such spelling variations as deVeaux, deVeau, de Veaux, De Veaux, Deveaux, Deveau, Devoe, and more! They are not currently part of any Project. 

What's a girl (or boy) to do?



by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (704k points)

Hi Jillaine,

Another change we made -- besides just the name change -- is a shift from "must fit into a current or soon-to-created project" to "must fit into a current or future project."

See for the guidelines.

A profile doesn't have to be part of a project. It just needs to theoretically belong in one. Almost any 200-year-old profile would meet this standard.

Is there a reason these French ancestors wouldn't fit in a project? If the spelling of their last names is controversial, a project is the venue to discuss, resolve, and enforce the standards.


I'm loving the broad definition of "Project" that's implied here. I'm all set. I can let this one go now. 

Actually "my" Devoes could be part of a Hugeonot project-- there was a whole wave of them that came to the NYC area, often through Amsterdam, but interestingly, *after* the time frame covered by Liz's New Amsterdam Settlers project. Right after.

And it's interesting history. French Protestants in a very Catholic France. They were being massacred by the People In Charge. They escaped first to Mannheim, Germany, then a bunch of them came to New York. See Wikipedia

Letting it go? Okay.  But first off, thanks a whole lot for starting and sticking to it in the first place!   Great work.yes

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