Should I create a new subcategory of Category:Frauds_and_Fabrications for "WHITNEY ORIGINS REVISITED" ?

+5 votes
This looks legit to me:

However, I see no evidence that anything is affected, so adding the subcategory would be preventative. I have Whitney's in my pedigree and would like to head off trouble.

Further, would creating the fictional profiles involved be the correct thing to do?
asked in Policy and Style by Dana Burns G2G3 (3.2k points)
I don't understand why you would want to create fictional profiles.
I think any genealogy that has been published in a book or genealogical magazine should be documented here on WikiTree. If this genealogy is found to be false/fictional, it needs to be documented here on WikiTree too, including the sources and explanation of why the information is false.

If we don't do this, someone else, unknowingly, will add the profiles in anyway. If we then deleted these profiles, they would probably keep getting recreated by others, based on the false/fictional information they see in the publication.
Thanks for the explanation Rick.
added more so made an answer
The idea of creating a fictional profile feels wrong to me as well, but the idea is to head off future problems the bad source could cause. The profile would not be connected to any other, and would contain appropriate explanations.

4 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer

In my opinion you would be correct to create a page  and category for this fraud. There are already profiles affected by it 

Back in 2014, the parents of Henry Whitney, Whitney-63 were removed  . His parents  were Mary Roach (Roach-313) and Thomas Whitney (Whitney-550). Though  Thomas is mentioned in the article, the name of his wife is not. Ellen posted a note about the fraud in May of this year

But was left behind  when it was inlinked  in 2014 is not labelled in any way so still a trap to the unwary.

 The line from the unlinked Thomas (Whitney-550 ) goes back to the Penelope Pardoe mentioned  in the article  along with her father William and her husband  George Whitney. It does not appear that these people existed.   The wikitree profiles have no sources and none of the detail from the fabricated wills and IPMs ,many are orphaned. However,  with no warnings in place and no category linking to a description of the fraud there is nothing to prevent someone adopting them and fleshing out the incorrect detail. More pragmatically, there is nothing to stop the sheer waste of time involved when some unfortunate sourcerer stumbles across the profiles and spends time trying to find sources in England for them.

I have no idea where Mary Roach originally came from and whether she was named in the original fraudulent book.  Nevertheless I suspect that what is there would also not bear any scrutiny. 

(Her  parents  are named as  Sir John Chester Roach and Lady Margaret Elizabeth (Elizabeth) Roach formerly Gay aka De Lisson

Mary Roach also has sister  named as   Lady Dorothy Dameron (formerly Roach ) .Dorothy is married to another emigrant * with a whole flood of descendants in the New World who  will  link back  and into the Whitney/Pardoe  line 

* ​Lawrence Dameron. On his profile it says " nothing has been documented about Lawrence before he received a land grant in Northumberland County, Virginia, in 1652"  His wife seems to be a Dorothy but I suspect she should be Dorothy Unknown.

answered by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (195k points)
selected by Dana Burns
+3 votes
This is my husband's pedigree and if we're voting, I cast mine in favor of putting it right, whatever that entails.  Truth, validity, and being a trusted source here in WikiTree is the most important thing.  You'll probably offend a few people along the way.  So be it.
answered by Lynn Wiggers G2G6 Mach 1 (13.6k points)
+2 votes

Thanks for highlighting this false genealogy. I may be mistaken, but this appears to be a fabrication of a single pedigree that rather specifically affects the profile of John Whitney (1592-1673) (who is my ancestor, too) and his ancestral connections. It's not part of a massive pattern of fraud and fabrications of the sort that Gustave Anjou and Horatio Gates Somerby perpetrated. Accordingly, it seems to me that the issue is best treated by discussions in the affected profiles; I don't think it warrants a Frauds and Fabrications category.

answered by Ellen Smith G2G6 Pilot (892k points)
Ellen, I tend to agree with you that we should keep the fraud category as uncluttered as possible, but the information Helen provides makes me think there is enough to investigate here to create this new "fraud" subcategory until the scope becomes more clear. I assume there is a way to move the information into the person profiles later and "erase" the subcategory, if that is the consensus way to go.

Your thoughtful response and sage advise is appreciated!
+2 votes
I don't think the question was about creating fictional profiles -- something we don't do.  It was about creating a category in which to group them, which is a good thing to do.

If the origin of the bad information was a specific fraud by a specific person, it's good to identify the source in the category name.  If it developed as a legend over hundreds of  years, then the word Legend is appropriate.

While we don't create new fictional profiles, we don't delete the bad ones because they are interlinked with all the other profiles in our One Family Tree.  What we do is identify what's wrong with them.  Some are real people who have been connected to the wrong parents or children;  we change that and document it.  Some are fake people.  We have a Disproven Existence procedure to address them.  

Whatever we do, we the goal is to have everything on WikiTree be true.  That won't happen overnight, but it's a goal to never give up on.
answered by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (248k points)

The fraud categories (which have been one of my pet projects) have proven to be somewhat problematic. Some members assiduously remove fraud categories from their ancestors profiles. It seems that some folks are deeply offended by seeing the word "fraud" associated with a revered ancestor, or by the suggestion that some of their ancestors or relatives were once duped by a fraudulent genealogist.

Ideally, each fraud would have at least one free-space page to discuss the fraud, in addition to any categories that we use to group profiles that might be affected by the fraud. In this instance, I think a free-space page makes a lot of sense, as it is difficult to explain the whole situation in a concise form. I didn't think category was needed because this didn't look like a situation of a fraudster whose work may have contaminated the histories multiple families. Rather, seems to be a situation where multiple frauds were all focused on the same few individuals. However, if it turns out that the people connected to them as ancestors (for example, Whitney-550) didn't actually exist or have been given fabricated biographical details, I guess we need a category -- and appropriate templates and project protection on affected profiles.

Related questions

+1 vote
2 answers
25 views asked Jan 20 in Genealogy Help by Carol Fuchs G2G Rookie (190 points)
+3 votes
4 answers
177 views asked May 13, 2018 in WikiTree Help by Robin Anderson G2G6 Mach 2 (29.2k points)
+5 votes
2 answers
+4 votes
1 answer
+3 votes
4 answers
+3 votes
1 answer
0 votes
1 answer

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright