Is 'Category: Needs Merge Cleanup' still being used?

+8 votes

Is the maintenance category of "Category: Needs Merge Cleanup" still active (  There are only six profiles on the list and I entered three of them.

Has this category been superseded by 'Data Error 811: Uncleaned profile after merge' (

An important difference is that adding a category generates a message to the PMs, while the DBEs require someone to check the error report.  The problem is, adding the "Needs Merge Cleanup" to even a notable profile like Pocahantos didn't prompt a PM to take action.

WikiTree profile: Pocahontas Rolfe
asked in Policy and Style by Kerry Larson G2G6 Mach 7 (79.1k points)
retagged by Dorothy Barry
Note: Adding categories doesn't generate a message to a PM.

PMs and other Trusted List members will notice the change if they look at their family activity feed and bother to follow up to see what was changed. If you "explain your changes," that explanation will appear in the family activity feed, and thus increase the chance that someone will see what you did and react.

Is there a reason why you didn't attempt to do the cleanup yourself?
Yes, the 'message' is the activity feed, but I also add a change comment, "Needs post-merge cleanup".  I have not cleaned it up because I am not the PM, it is a notable, it is a Project Protected Profile, I have no particular interest, and I figured a PM or a Descendants of Pocahontas Project member should have first chance.

The merge was performed on 14 March, nearly two months ago.

The merge cleanup itself does not look too difficult, but there is a lot of text on the profile that would need work - which can only be done by someone familiar with the subject. Some of her near descendants' profiles also need post-merge cleanup.

Interestingly, there is a duplicate Susannah Boling among her descendants (Boling-241 and Bolling-704), each married to one John Arrington, each John with similar ancestors but duplicated. It seems Susannah Bolling was not even a descendant of Pocahontas (see this link, Exlibris Rosetta accessed through the FamilySearch catalogue) and this G2G question.

I'd do the cleanup if I come back in a couple of days and it's still not done. Perhaps add a Project / Needs Work category of some sort. I'm definitely not knowledgeable to do more, unfortunately.

I commented about "explain your changes" because people who manage many profiles may not look at every change that appears in their activity feeds, and your explanation of "PIP tags" isn't one that would make me want to investigate the situation. If you had posted "Needs someone knowledgable to finish cleanup after last merge" that might have gotten someone's attention.

2 Answers

+2 votes

I have not used that category because I fail to understand how gathering such profile in one place resolves the issue.  The only ones I could not complete the merge for were private.  

answered by James Applegate G2G6 Mach 5 (53.1k points)
I often look under the maintenance categories, such as needs gedcom cleanup during my lunch break at work. I'm looking for something I can accomplish fairly quickly without having to do a lot of research. Having them in one place is convenient for someone like me.
I don't understand it either.  I'm trying to be a good Profile Improvement Project member (  One of the tasks is to add the appropriate Maintenance Categories to profiles.  If this is no longer being used, I don't want to waste my time, and the project page should be updated.

Lucy, do you look at the 'Category: Gedcom cleanup required' page (, a grand total of 200 profiles, or a DBE page (, currently tens of thousands needing GEDCOM cleanup?

+7 votes
This is a brand new category, which is why it's so empty.

Even I (manager of the Profile Improvement Project) have never used it. I just do the cleanup.
answered by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1m points)

I tend to tread lightly where a PM is active.  Also, if I fixed every bad profile I ran across, I'd never do anything else.  So I started trying to use the maintenance categories, so at least the profile could be found later.  But I still come back to the same question.  Considering the enormity of the problem, is it worthwhile to use the maintenance categories to mark profiles when the DBE project readily finds tens of thousands of these kinds of errors?  As a member of the profile improvement project and the db_errors project, I'm just trying to understand the recommended approach, or at least get a discussion going.

I hadn't looked at it, thinking that it's also a db_error, that is actually found, because of multiple headings. If you put it into the category, it gives people not looking at the db_errors a place to find them. I doubt the persons who created the category were thinking about it either.

I would say use the Categories... sometime Project Database Error makes mistakes....

Status today is that error 811 indicates a mess with 191 205 WikiTree profiles abt 1,5% of all profiles...

811 Uncleaned profile after merge 191205 12598 6350 24371 39423 79405 28970 88 153431 1366

Looks like its decreasing
Today 20170507 191 205

And when it started 20161002 you had 206 034

I don't hesitate to do post-merge cleanup even if there is an active profile manager because my experience has been that most PMs do not do any cleanup after a merge. It's usually the person who completes the merge. And in fact, the page that comes up when a merge is complete encourages this by taking you to the Edit page of the merged profile and including a message that encourages you to do the cleanup.

If there are content issues to be resolved, leave that for the PMs (include a comment in your Edit explanation as suggested above or place a comment on the profile itself).

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