When proposing a merge please include evidence!

+22 votes
I'm going through the Pending Merges list and there are so many proposals going to default but there is insufficient information on the profiles to support the merges. Too often the reason is "same person" without any info on either the merge proposal or the profile to support it.

PLEASE folks, when proposing a merge, include some evidence (preferably on the profile) that supports your proposal.

This is particularly important when the spellings of the LNAB are different. What is the evidence to support one spelling over another?

Without this information, the proposal gets either rejected or postponed (with unmerged match) and we have to start all over again.

Thank you!
in The Tree House by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (781k points)
retagged by Robin Lee
Can I add, when rejecting a merge when dates and places seem inconsistent please read those profiles and notes {yours in frustration! )
I will sometimes propose merges with different LNABs where I have no idea which spelling is correct, but in that case, I'll say so in the comment. I figure, if there's an active profile manager who has some idea which is correct, they'll change the direction if I went the wrong way, and otherwise they'll switch it to unmerged match. (And if I'm the one who gets to the merge after 30 days and neither manager responded, then I can switch it to unmerged myself, or pick one based on the earliest record I can find.)

I could propose an unmerged match in the first place, but as the profile managers don't get a prominent notification for those like they do for merges, I prefer the merge request.
Makes sense to me, Sharon.

3 Answers

+1 vote
On a recent question, https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/378217/why-dont-we-have-merge-a-thons , the person proposing a "Merge a thon" stated that he proposes or completes about 100 merges a day but closed the question when most comments and answers were promoting sources.
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
+14 votes

It seems to me that users continue to stress the wrong stage of the merge process.  When proposing a merge, Wikitree policy is that a “merge should be done when two profiles represent the same person.”  https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Merging  If the profiles are the same person, the PM’s should approve the merge proposal.  This is not the stage where differences need to be reconciled if it's obvious that the profiles are for the same person.

It is the person who completes an approved merge that has most of the responsibility.

  1. Regardless of whether it’s a default approval or the PM’s approved it, there must be another review to ensure that the same person is represented in both profiles.
  2. If there is conflicting information that will need to be reconciled (i.e. dates, places, family links, LNAB), that needs to be researched ahead of time so that the info is available during the merge process.
  3. Only after those steps are completed should the merge proceed.
  4. Finally, the person who does the easy part of clicking the button to complete the merge should be responsible for the most important part that follows, combining the two profiles with a single Biography and Sources sections, and deleting all of the detritus remaining (e.g. GEDCOM junk, unnecessary acknowledgments, and, hopefully, useless ancestry.com links to nothing).
by Kerry Larson G2G6 Pilot (163k points)
+3 votes
Jillaine brings up a good point, and so does Dale. Some of the hardest merges are Brown vs Browne. I make a point of stating the correct LNAB and the source. I don't make the source a hot link, but I probably should in the future. A Merge-A-Thon is a good idea, and sourcing would play an important role in the proposal process.
by Bob Keniston G2G6 Pilot (211k points)
I disagree. A merge-a-thon is a very bad idea (I'm sounding like someone very familiar now ...:-). For all kinds of reasons - mainly quality of data and quality of research. Arboring (i.e. proposing mergers) should not be done by the inexperienced and certainly not in a thon. Verrryyy bad folks .... bad ....!
concur with philip. please no merge-a-thon.

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