Use the Chrome web browser? Try the new "WikiTree X" extension.

+57 votes
2.3k views

Hi WikiTreers,

I'm excited to announce that "WikiTree X" is now open for beta testing.

This is a Google Chrome extension/plugin created by Justin York. It helps you create and edit WikiTree profiles using data on external websites.

Here's an example of how to use it.

  • On Lorman-6 I clicked "Research" in the pull-down menu to access the RootsSearch tool, then clicked the FamilySearch button.
  • This led me directly to a number of sources, starting with a birth record. I clicked the details page for her birth record.
  • The WikiTree profile was missing her birth location, so I clicked the icon in my Chrome browser to open WikiTree X. I entered Lorman-6 in the "Update an Existing WikiTree Profile" section.
  • This let me add the birth location and the birth record as the source, without me needing to type or copy-and-paste anything.
  • I then saw that FamilySearch had a death record for her son, who wasn't on WikiTree yet. I went to the details page for the death record and clicked the WikiTree X icon. I entered Lorman-6 in "Create Related WikiTree Profile" and selected "Child".
  • This automatically filled in all the information in the WikiTree form for creating a new person. All I had to do was review possible matches before proceeding to create Hansen-7061.

This could be very handy if a census record or an external tree has a lot of family members that are missing from WikiTree.

WikiTree X is not for everyone, especially right now. I think it should only be used by experienced WikiTreers, and those who have the patience to use something new and a bit rough.

Personally, I think it's already really useful. I'm using it to add family members for an autosomal DNA match of mine after he shared his Ancestry tree with me. But it may not be useful for you in its current form.

See https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/WikiTree_X for more info. To get the extension, click here.

If you spend some time with it, please post here. How well did it work for you? Did you figure out any tricks for getting it to work? Any suggestions or questions?

Onward and upward,

Chris

P.S. Happy Thanksgiving!

asked in The Tree House by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

I do not get a blank page when I click on that link. 

@Jillaine Smith, the issue is once that page is up, using the tool to create a new Wikitree profile, it does not fill in the profile info, it is all blank entries.

I created the profile manually, see if you can update it: [[Foster-12534 | William Foster Sr.]]
Sometimes I get a blank entry page using Find A Grave.
@William thanks for reporting that. We'll try to get it fixed.

For Find-a-grave a few suggestions:

  • Middle name on females is actually surname and surname is actually married last name.
  • Please link to the entry as part of the text like this:
  • Try to process the link to turn it into standardized GRid record locator for the URL.
Thanks!
This sounds pretty exciting, I spend a lot of time going back and forth between FamilySearch and Wikitree to put sources on my profile. Will try this out soon.
I found it wonderful for several hours, and then it stopped working completely. I used it successfully on Find-A-Grave, FamilySearch, and Ancestry, but now I can't get it to work on any of the above - it simply says that there is no data on the page. I restarted everything, reinstalled the extension, etc., but no joy.

**Edit. And today it is working fine again. Not sure what happened, but when it works it is awesome - way to cure my carpal tunnel!
I appreciate the ongoing efforts to improve WikiTree. Thanks to all who work toward that end.
I just tried this extension, and am very excited to be able to get info from my Ancestry tree without typing every detail! Yay! This, even though on my machine Chrome and Ancestry don't play well together, and I had to open my Edge browser to get some of the details. But I like copy/paste, so  I am satisfied that it will help me a lot! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

It looks marvellous, but I would at best see it connect to TNG websites, such as my own. All those paid sites are mostly ripping you off, for European understandings...

22 Answers

+9 votes
Sounds like something to do this weekend after I finish my 1000 contributions for this month.  My only possible hold-up is that I have an older operating system and so I don't know if the app will work until I try it.
answered by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (371k points)
Now that I've used it for a few hours, I consider this an *indispensable* tool.  I'm used to the quirks of using it now, and I love, love, love it. So my recommendation is to try it as soon as possible.
+16 votes

I have enjoyed this new tool very much.  It works great for me.

I would like the link formed to FindAGrave to go directly to the memorial or directly to the FindAGrave search page.  Currently the link says, 

  • Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 22 November 2016), memorial page for Rev Samuel Russell (1693 - 1746) - Find A Grave Memorial.

I would like that generic http://findagrave.com to go to actual memorial number:

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=32305279

or have it go to the FindAGrave search page:

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gs&

Either of those two links would be faster and more useful. Other than that, it is a very handy tool.  Thank you!  

Edited the above source to link directly to the memorial:

answered by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (471k points)
Thanks Kitty! Going straight to findagrave memorials would be perfect. Somehow  links to only findagrave.com just aren't as good :)

Sharon
Does this occur with Find A Grave records listed on FamilySearch or Ancestry?
The FindAGrave source from FamilySearch.org does not include the FindAGrave link directly to the FindAGrave memorial.

I do not know about Ancestry.  I do not have access.

In addition to my request above, can the word "Burial" in the fact section be changes to "Memorial"?  Not all FindAGrave memorials are burials.  Thanks,

  • Fact: Burial Ancient Cemetery, New London, New London County, Connecticut, USA. 

There is a Template:FindAGrave that can be used
 

Yes this template is great. I have been changing all hard links to Find A Grave I come across to this template.
+10 votes

Oh, that's going to come in really handy. I just added the first of what will probably be many profiles.

Just a couple of notes:

  • I didn't care for the notes that were going to be placed in the biography, so deleted them before saving. Is there an operational reason I should leave the "Facts" portion in there?
  • I added a comment to the source, surrounded by one set of square brackets ([]). Upon review of the new profile, that comment was surrounded by a double set of square brackets ([[]]), causing it to show up as a link. While I like the thought of the comment being in a different color, I'm not sure the result is what you were trying to achieve. I modified it to have the formatting template for blue but you should be able to see the original in the change log of Mollie Fore. Never mind, probably a PICNIC ("Problem In Chair Not In Computer") error.
answered by Debi Hoag G2G6 Pilot (209k points)
edited by Debi Hoag

To add to that, I next did an update, this time on Isabella Fore. I added the 1900 Census source, choosing not to update any of the vital fields. Instead, I added a data extract to the source. Rather than just surrounding it in square brackets, I used the format template for blue. That worked perfectly.

I'm not excited about the description of changes that is automagically added. The description means absolutely nothing to the casual observer (i.e., someone who is not using the Chrome X extension). Is there any chance of revision on that?

On FamilySearch, the source that's being pasted in has the html code for italics (i.e. <i></i>) rather than the Wikicode of two single quotes at the beginning and end.

Is that something that can be adjusted on the back end or do we need to remember to change it each time?

When updating an existing profile, I understand the need to put the new source directly after the ==Sources== heading. After all, you have to have some parameter for placement. What I don't understand is why the <references /> tag is getting moved to the very bottom every time the extension is run. For example:

before the extension is run to add a update to an existing profile the profile has the following:

== Sources ==
<references />
See Also:
*Some sources

after the extension is run the profile looks like this:

== Sources ==
*New Source
See Also:
*Some sources

<references />

I thought the preferred method for the Sources section was that the <references /> tag should always come just after the Sources heading, then to be followed by See Also: and any other sources.

 

Just a note: I'm channeling a former life in which I functioned as a programmer, quality control tester, user interface tester, and user liaison for software projects. I worked under the theory that we couldn't make it better if no one asked the questions. If I'm getting on your nerves, tell me to stop.
Hi Debi. Don't stop! This can be very helpful. If you're up for it, I might ask you to help organize and sort the feedback a little down the road. Happy Thanksgiving!
Debi, the HTML code for italics is being added by the app, that is the only change being made to the citation that appears under the Cite this Source section on the record page so I have to wonder if that is just the programmers preference on the display.
@Chris, let me know how I can help.

@Dale, I just tested the square bracket thing again and didn't get the same results. I've got a feeling that one is a PICNIC error ("Problem In Chair Not In Computer"). I'll strike it from my note above.
Debi, I was commenting about the <i> </i> HTML coding not the bracket thing.  I only tried a couple of profiles, I am going to be busy for the next several days and have very little time to try and figure this out right now.
Ahh sorry, Dale, I thought it was a two part answer. Go enjoy the holiday and good luck with your move.

For anyone else:

Putting FamilySearch in italics is the "EvidenceExplained" method. Many of the FamilySearch citations already have it italicized but some of the older ones still do not.

My preference would be that the WikiCode for italics be placed around FamilySearch on all sources, even if it don't exist on the original citation at FamilySearch.org. Others may disagree.
Could the auto process that is creating the "Facts" also create a Research Notes section with "Clues?" For instance, some death records included the parents names and sometimes place of birth. I'm extracting the data manually right now and just wondered if it could be automated
Debi ... I just came in here to post about the <references /> thing. Thanks!! :-)

I also agree w/ Kitty up there that a link to the actual memorial for the Find-a-Grave profiles would be completely awesome.

Otherwise, I have had a WONDERFUL time using this today!!! So happy! :-)

Julie, what I've been doing manually for the FindAGrave might be the best of both worlds. This is the default as created by the ChromeX app:

Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 22 November 2016), memorial page for Lucile "Minnie" Taylor Wells (1872 - 1955) - Find A Grave Memorial.

I've been changing the very last line to include the FindAGrave template so that it looks like this:

Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 22 November 2016), memorial page for Lucile "Minnie" Taylor Wells (1872 - 1955) - {{FindAGrave|144108487}}

When seen in the narrative, it translates to:

Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 22 November 2016), memorial page for Lucile "Minnie" Taylor Wells (1872 - 1955) - Find A Grave Memorial# 144108487

I don't know if Justin can parse the memorial number to add to the template or not but that's what I would like to see.

That's a great workaround, Debi! I have a format I usually use for Find-a-Grave memorials, but what you're doing is much simpler. :-)

Ancestry sources are VERY generic, just the database name, the publisher's info, and the originator of the database. I'd like to see at least the name of the person in the record and a link to the database be included.

Both of those pieces of information can be found at the top of the screen where it says "John Doe in the U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current"

+8 votes

I'm having trouble making it work and need to know what I am doing wrong.  I am trying to add the 1880 US Census to the profile for Dora McKay, McKay-3160.  I started on FamilySearch, found the correct census, clicked on the Chrome extension symbol.  That opened the entry window.  When I click to add info to an existing profile and insert the correct profile number, I get the following message:

"No data found. To use WikiTree X, start on an external web page that has person data, such as a FamilySearch Tree profile.

 

answered by Vic Watt G2G6 Pilot (318k points)
I get the same for a couple of different records, census and death, for a couple of different persons/profiles.
Vic, I get that error message on FamilySearch if I forget to open the details page and try to use the extension from the search results page. Could that be what's happening?

Probably no explanation needed, but just in case, open the details page by clicking the sheet of paper icon on the far right side of the search result.
To follow up on that, I just got the error on Ancestry in the following manner. I was looking at one record and had used the extension to add it. In the list of records on the right side, the guy's WWII Draft registration was an option so I clicked that. I viewed the image to confirm it was my guy, closed the image, clicked the extension icon, and put in the profile number. The update screen appeared with the error message.

I went back to the record, clicked the link for the person (the only link there in this case) in the household members names section. That changed the display to what appeared to be exactly the same record. This time when I clicked the extension icon no error occurred.
I just ran across an instance on FamilySearch's SSDI database having the first day of the death month as the event date. I had already found the death record so had a good death date but it was a reminder that the SSDI date and place should not be used as the date and place of death.

The event date and place in the SSDI usually represents the date the last check was issued and the location to which it was sent.
+6 votes
Just did a quick test this morning and it seems to work fine for me. I will not have much time to work with it until sometime next week and hope to test it out better then.
answered by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
I tried a couple more but it froze up. Just for reference I am using a new, picked up 3 days ago, Acer Cloudbook running Windows 10
After trying a few more profiles with this I decided that this app is not a good fit with my process. For that reason I will not be using it.
+9 votes
Once you get the hang of it, this definitely makes it much easier to add new people.  It would be cool if you could add all children at once from a census record, but hey, this is still a great tool.  One problem I ran into, though, was that it took the information from the "last place of residence" from the social security death index and added it automatically into the place of death field.  Sometimes it happens to be the place they died, but frequently it isn't.  Thus, it is a *really* bad idea to automatically use that information as the place of death.  So far as I know, the social security death index does not give a place of death.
answered by J. Crook G2G6 Pilot (157k points)
Does that occur with the SDDI on FamilySearch or Ancestry?
FamilySearch.  I don't have an Ancestry subscription at the moment, so I didn't/can't try it there.
+9 votes

Thank you Justin. Very cool new feature. Will help with productivity. 

I used it for one Ancestry record and liked the concept. Like you mentioned there are still some issues. Here are my suggestions. Do want them submitted here or do we raised new questions? See profile https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Hunter-4731.I will leave profile as is for a few days.Some have been reported, but this what I noticed.

1. Moving the reference tag to the end makes most of the profiles I work on worse. In this profile the == Sources === were followed by <references/> then a See also: section. It flipped the order. I suggest if Reference markup is there its should not be moved.

2. Source text of "(Imported data from external site 1) should indicate what site 1 is.

3. Include the URL for Ancestry records links even though they are not in the generated linked like they are for Familysearch. Big deal as this is key to PIP efforts and ability to collaborate on facts. without doing more search to find the record. 

4. Drop the white space in the source (need to look at profile in edit mode). There is white space before and after "Original data". This is only a wiki source issue as the section looks find when just displaying the profile. 

5. I think it added an extra line before the == Source  ==. Kind of a pet peeve how much white space profile have here. As the world moves to smaller devices, these blank lines are even a larger barrier to viewing profiles.    

Let's see if I can out test Debi Hoag ;-). We have similar career arcs.

Also, I agree with comments about not picking up User Trees in Ancestry.com, Geni content, the equivalent in FamilySearch, and other non-sourced trees.

answered by Marty Acks G2G6 Mach 7 (74k points)
edited by Marty Acks
+9 votes

I tried it for FamilySearch, Here are my suggestions. See profile https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Porterfield-1157. I will leave profile as is for a few days.Some have been reported, but this what I noticed.

1. So if we are going to add "Facts:" line can we make these in-line links <ref></ref>. In one way this behave worse thing Gedcom import in that sense. Pretty please on this one. 

The rest similar to Ancestry.com comments 

2. Reference tag to the end makes is same as earlier Ancestry.com

3. Change log text of  "Imported data from external site 1" and imported form long meaningless number could be mor descriptive.

4. Include the full URL, same comment as Ancestry.com

5. er "Original data". This is only a wiki source issue as the section looks find when just displaying the profile. 

6. Adding blank lines before == Source  == and at bottom between last content and the <reference/> wiki tag

answered by Marty Acks G2G6 Mach 7 (74k points)
I want to extra-agree with the in-line references for "Facts" lines entered into the biography.  Not only is it best practice on its own, but makes it much easier to cut and paste the ref text along with the fact when manually integrating it into the main biography text.
+8 votes
On profile https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Porterfield-1156 for source https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVY9-SMLW the extension added the the same Burial fact twice. (This is not Find a Grave index related, btw)
answered by Marty Acks G2G6 Mach 7 (74k points)
edited by Marty Acks
+11 votes

So, I did a little bit of a demo video of Wikitree X this morning. 

Here are some caveats before you get started:

  • Make sure that you truly have a match between the two profiles
  • If you're transferring info from FamilySearch, make sure that the info there is accurate and complete before you start -- there are often entries on the FS profiles that were created by an automated procedure and are not always correct.
  • Check the sources that are attached to the FS profile. Again, sometimes they're not accurate.
  • In the video, I didn't transfer over all of the sources for the particular profile that I chose because I didn't want to make the video any longer. Normally, I would make sure that I captured all of the relevant citations for the profile I'm working on.
  • Please forgive any awkward pauses. I sorta did this on the fly. ;-)

And here's the video:

https://youtu.be/hJwnZoZsbDw

answered by Julie Ricketts G2G6 Pilot (266k points)
Very nice! Thanks, Julie. I love seeing these screen-capture videos, like Magnus does.
+7 votes
Thanks! Tested it out with Find A Grave, and it worked nicely. This could really improve my productivity. The only thing was that it put the maiden name as the middle name, since on Find A Grave, the maiden name is usually written before the married surname. This is not really a problem as long as you are careful to enter the correct LNAB.

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Lyon-3287

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=99403787

Also wondering, are you planning on adding support for Geni.com? I added a lot of profiles on there at one point, and this would make it easier to transfer them over.
answered by Cindy Vincens G2G6 (8.3k points)
+7 votes
THANK YOU.

Just found this and it makes life so much easier.  I have been working on adding the descendants of Robert A Samples  and this will help so much. In my naivety I did not realize how many people that would be.
answered by Mel Lambert G2G6 Mach 3 (30.1k points)
+7 votes
Looking forward to trying this out.

Would love to see this work from RootsWeb's WorldConnect databases where I regularly refresh data from my genie program.
answered by Lorna Henderson G2G6 Mach 1 (17.4k points)
+5 votes
Added it to Chrome and I had a problem with ancestry.com.au not working, but it worked on Findagrave, removed it from chrome. 5 hours later read this G2G post and found the problem with ancestry. I was using the Australia/New Zealand site, but WikiTree X only works with the USA site same as RootsWeb search. I added WikiTree X to Chrome again and use the USA version and now it works, Great Job
answered by Campbell Braddock G2G6 Mach 4 (46.7k points)
+4 votes
Using this successfully in different contexts, wonderful addition.  With one exception . . .

DNA Connections are not being added to appropriate new profiles that I create. No difference in how I begin them--Create Related or Create Unrelated.  All about the extension proceeds well, accurately, but at finish, there is only a DNA note.   Am I overlooking something about this?

Thanks.
Jo
answered by Jo McCaleb G2G6 Mach 1 (10.1k points)
Jo, It can take up to 24 hours before any DNA connections appear on a profile, because they're only updated once a day. I haven't used WikiTree X, but I wouldn't be surprised on a new profile that I don't see the expected DNA test information.
Thanks, I wasn't aware of that.
+5 votes
I tried the WikitreeX this morning and wow!! Wonderful. I added seven children to a profile (from ancestry tree) in a matter of minutes rather than hours.

Yes, some clean-up was required as I entered and additional clean-up is needed to make the profiles look "prettier"; however, entering the basic data was fast and easy. One female auto-populated with married name as her maiden name, but I caught before I clicked "save".

Thanks for a wonderful tool. I will use this often!!!
answered by Geneadiva Mere G2G6 Mach 1 (12.2k points)
Uh oh. Making it even easier to copy questionable family trees from ancestry.com? How is this a good thing?
+4 votes

This is exciting, as I am in the process of transferring a lot of information from these sources manually and it is taking me forever.  A word of caution Just because it is from ancestry or Family search, there is still room for error so, I know that I will be scrutinizing everything I import from these sources

answered by Debbie Jackson G2G6 (8.5k points)
+5 votes

I was successfully using WikiTree X for a while when it initially came out.  This last week, though, it is not working correctly.  The WikiTree page is opened, but none of the fields are filled in.  I expected to see Name, Dates of birth and death, place of birth and death, as well as a list of sources references.  

Steps to Reproduce:

1.  Open James Polk Gordon in my Ancestry.com tree.  https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/34841013/person/19983031971/facts

2.  Update information in Ancestry, including accepting appropriate hints.

3.  Select WikiTree X icon next to the URL Address bar and select "Create Related WikiTree Profile.

4.  Select "Child" option.

5.  Enter Gordon-6836 in edit field.

6.  Click Go.

Result:

1.  The following window pops open:  https://www.wikitree.com/index.php?action=editfamily&w=child&title=Gordon-6836

2.  None of the fields are populated with values.

Resulting window.

answered by Peggy McMath G2G6 Mach 1 (18.2k points)

I get values but I can't test with the profile you use as I have no subscription
see video https://youtu.be/RP1cG5h1BTA

Peggy, Ancestry changed their URLs recently. We discovered the issue yesterday and released an update version 1.2.1. Does it work for you now?
Yes.  Thank you.  It is working as expected again.  I appreciate the speedy fix.

BTW, I am a professional software tester (retired).  Is this the appropriate forum for reporting issues with WikiTree X?  Would you like me to examine specific issues?

Also, are you interested in requests for enhancements?
Yes, G2G is a good place to report issues and request enhancements. It allows other community members to see and perhaps join the conversation (which is especially good for enhancement requests).
I just did a chrome update last week 2-15-2018 and now this app does not work in the same way as this thread. Field have no data

I was using this app everyday and it is very frustrating to have it not working.

I did uninstall and reinstall 3 times and that did not help me.
Kari I don't know what problem you were having but we did just release a fix for Ancestry profiles in v1.4.6 of WikiTree X.
+3 votes
I am finding this helpful in some respects; it's not any quicker for some  things though, than using root search - which is to say, not as quick as Ancestry is for building trees, which would be a good benchmark to shoot for. When adding relatives from census, it doesn't automatically fill in the birth date. It would be great it if were "smart" enough to enter the actual bio event, e.g "Residence" or "Birth" rather than "Fact - (1905) Brooklyn"

In another instance, an abstract of Military Service for WWI merely added the source citation but no supporting fact in the bio.
answered by Theresa Myers G2G6 Mach 1 (13.1k points)
+5 votes
It sounds great! Is there going to be a version for Firefox as well?
answered by Ros Haywood G2G6 Pilot (551k points)

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