Please, a WikiTree developer involved in GEDCOM imports take a look...

+5 votes

Name fields are accepting quotation marks (") coming from GEDCOM records:

Calkin-44: You can see Ada" Marie" Calkin (1910), like if her nickname were included here (A Nickname is never displayed in this area).

When the profile was created, (Scrolling down) we have:

First Name +Ada" Marie"     
Preferred Name +Ada" Marie"
Nicknames +Marie

The name Ada" Marie" displayed is the content  in the First Name field passed from the GEDCOM record (Even though the boxes for Proper First Name and Preferred Name in the Edit page don't show up the characters string " Marie", it is there).

Above her DOB (Born 3 Dec 1910), you can see Ada" Marie" "Marie" Calkin, like if the Nickname were duplicated, but it is not: Ada" Marie" is the First Name field's content and the following "Marie" is the Nickname shown.

Other profiles alike:






in WikiTree Tech by Rubén Hernández G2G6 Mach 4 (49.4k points)
retagged by Abby Glann

I don't have access to view the original gedcom, but I can verify through the api that the quoted middle name is being included in the database in the first name field (as visible on the profile), yet not visible in the edit field.

$ for wid in Calkin-44 Marshall-10482 Worthylake-95 Allison-3232 Foster-12713 Hall-25687; do curl -s -b cookie.txt -X GET "$wid" | jq -r '.[].profile.FirstName'; done
Ada" Marie"
Charlotte "Lottie "
Allison Zenas "Al"
Lillian "Lily"
Georgia  "Hannah"
Ruby Cleola "Clara"

I suspect if the profile(s) were re-saved, it would fix it, but your point is that it indeed looks like a gedcom import bug.

Many thanks for your prompt attention Dennis.

As you say, the appearance issue can be fixed re-saving:

I have re-saved Worthylake-79, but when I first entered by keyword "William Frank" in the Proper First Name box I got a yellow banner "You have not made any changes to save", so I changed it to "Anonymous", then I entered "William Frank" and saved again.

But I think there's undoubtedly a GEDCOM import bug.
Sorry, I totally overlooked where you already pointed out that the field data contents is already verifiable in the change log diff. So my comment is just a glorified "me too" post :)
This may well be the most glaring, but it is only 1 of many bad things that happen in the GEDcom import process here.  My impression is that nobody is interested in improving the import process, so I wish you luck in getting somebody to fix it.

I'm sorry you have that impression Gaile, but I don't think that's true at all. Changes and improvements have to be very carefully thought out and planned, or else they can do more damage than good, if implemented poorly and not well tested. There are many scenarios to consider.

Particularly, in this case, I, myself am now leaning towards this not so much being a Gedcom import bug, but rather an edit profile display bug (once the data is there, we need to see it and be able to edit it).

Not using quotes and other special characters in a name field is more of a Style and Guidelines issue, and is not strictly prohibited in a Gedcom file format.

It proves to be quite problematic in trying to programmatically choose what to do with them when encountered. There's just not a "one-size-fits-all" solution available.


Thank you for trying to provide the other side of the coin here.  You are as entitled to your impression as I am to mine.

I wouldn't attribute this issue to a bug, whether of GEDcom import processing or processing to display the edit profile page.  I consider it a flaw in the algorithms employed by the GEDcom import process.  As I mentioned, this is only one of many import decisions that result in either poorly worded and/or formatted bios and/or bios that violate stated WikiTree policy and/or style specifications.

Just because some piece of data is a valid item in a GEDcom file does not have anything to do with decisions of how to enter it in WikiTree's database during the import process OR of how to subsequently display that data on either edit or view pages.
Hi Ruben,

Thanks for your post.  With Ales' help, we're about to look at re-doing the entire GEDCOM process and the way things are done now will likely change quite a bit. I wish I could give a definite time frame on when that will happen but it's a major overhaul and hard to say exactly when we'll be able to implement it.  Because of that, we probably won't spend too much time reconfiguring what exists now. It's not that we aren't interested or don't care :)  It's more that we are a very small team and so we have to focus on where we can make the biggest differences and spend time most effectively.
There is a leading space in " Marie". Is this intentional? Does the software treat the name as different from "Marie"?


I´m happy to know you're considering to re-do the GEDCOM process.

Regarding an implementation date, Rome wasn't built in one day. We all know Aleš and the team are always doing their best, as you are.

1 Answer

+2 votes
I've run into that as well. I found that if you type the nickname in the appropriate name field and save it corrects the problem.
by Shirley Dalton G2G6 Pilot (477k points)

sure, but Ruben's post is not so much about fixing the resulting problem, as much as its about preventing it in the first place (or at least properly displaying it).


  1. the gedcom import should be refused (until corrected)
  2. the quotes blindly stripped on import
  3. the edit screen should display the actual contents
I think when checking the GEDCOM file, this records should be marked something like "Invalid character in Name field". After correction, No. 2 wouldn't be needed and No.3 would be fullfiled.

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