Challenge of the week: help clean up problematic dates [closed]

+18 votes

Hi WikiTreers,

Will you join our Data Doctors Challenge for this week?   

Aleš's "WikiTree+" data analysis has uncovered thousands of profiles with dates that need some special attention, e.g. people who lived 115+ years, or had children after they were 100, or got married before they were born, etc. Some of these are obvious typos and easy to fix. Many require research.

Here is the table of profiles with problematic dates.

After you investigate something, set the status [more info]. That will earn you a point. The member with the most points at 11:59pm EDT on Sunday night will get the badge and the bragging rights. But we'll all benefit from a neater, cleaner shared tree.   

If you're participating, please post here to let us know. It helps us avoid stepping on each others' toes, and it's nice to cheer each other on. Also post here if you have any questions about how to participate. 

Thanks for helping!

Real-time tracking results: See your stats 
alongside other participants here.


Top 10

For more results:

WikiTree profile: Space:DD_Challenge_Dates_II
closed with the note: Challenge completed
asked in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
closed by Eowyn Langholf
Challenge is active.

Spreadsheet updated. 

Livechat active there. You access it like this..

Do we get a real time tracker this week Aleš?  Thanks :-)
Do you mean this?

It is the same all the time
Yes, thank you :-)
That link is in the spreadsheet on the challenge tab as challenge tracker btw.

How the sheet looks.
Can you please give the direct URL to search for this week DD challenge by surname ... for instance the Redmond  date errors ? Thanks

This are all Redmond errors. You can work only on date related ones.
It's 11:30 a.m. Central Standard Time and there is no new challenge posted yet. We lose  2 hours from EDT time when the challenge ends at midnight EDT. And we lose more daylight hours when the new challenge is not posted at midnight EDT.  Can this be fixed?

I am afraid not. My computers are working like crazy for 30 hours, and have a few more hours to go. When they will be done, I will post new challenge.

In the meantime, have a bear.

Or you can work on next challenge theme on the old errors. It will be 600-Location errors.


"Have a bear" (beer, I assume.) Great idea, Ales! I love your humor. You made me laugh. I was really just giving people who say that the four hours at the beginning of a challenge is the same as trying to reach a goal at the end of a challenge a hard time.

 I was trying to find the challenge because I haven't been able to figure out when a new one is posted. Now I know: when Ales's hardworking computer can get to it.  Anyway, I'll just go have a beer.
Edie, each week, once Ales' computer has done it's magic, one place you can find when the new challenge has been posted is from the Data Doctor Project page. Ales posts the new information (at the top) as soon as it is available.
Yes, I would look at the end of the other challenge,  Emma, but I couldn't figure out when the challenge started. Then, I would look again mid-week and everyone would be going full-force. I was just confused until Ales explained we are waiting on his computer. Now I understand there is no set time for the start of the challenge. So if I get anxious, I'll just go have a bear. :)
LOL!  Very good choice Edie :-D

And thank you for your understanding!

21 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer

Plea to Data Doctors: While many of these problematic dates are due to fairly simple issues like typos or incorrect handling of a "double date" from the years before the Gregorian calendar was adopted, please be aware that many of these problematic dates are very tricky. Please don't delete a date to make an error go away (yes, unfortunately, I've seen data doctors do that :-( ) and please don't change a date to make an error go away unless there is a solid basis (ideally a source) to support the new date.

Some errors are due to errors in the original records. There are people whose wills were recorded for probate a full year before they made their will. And children whose births were recorded three months apart. Etc. Please don't make arbitrary assumptions about what really happened in these cases; we descendants may be stuck reporting what the records say and noting the discrepancies. Others of these problem dates may result from errors in the genealogical research, such as connecting a child to the wrong father. Resolving those typically requires careful research.

answered by Ellen Smith G2G6 Pilot (826k points)
selected by E. Compton
Ran into one of those. It took me 6 sources and an hour to sort it all out. And the very last child I fixed had a link to the gedcom they used with all the info matching what I had already done. :(

At least I was right. LOL
An excellent reminder.  Thank you, Ellen!
Well said, Ellen.  Thank you!
+6 votes
I am in for Team Tennessee.
answered by Linda Barnett G2G6 Pilot (235k points)
Linda, in answer to your question about setting the status:  

There are many choices on the status page, but we are to only choose the ONE that fits best once we clear an error.  If it is corrected, we choose "Corrected" and then the comment that applies the best.  

There are many choices to fit depending on which error is being worked on.  I hope this helps.  Emma :-)
+8 votes
This is a new one for me.   I'm in.
answered by Cindi Clark G2G6 Mach 1 (18.2k points)
+9 votes
I am coloring the sheet as I work on them. Light, then darker when finished.
answered by Steven Tibbetts G2G6 Pilot (142k points)
I'm finding toes everywhere, stepped on, tripped over, piled high. LOL link to sheet  snapshot of sheet

2 advantages of the sheet. Live chat, and you can mark what you are working on. So many toes. All over. LOL
+7 votes
I'll have another go....
answered by Steven Nimocks G2G3 (3.9k points)
+6 votes
I will concentrate on any profile with Australian connection regardless of which error  starting with 210
answered by Roger Davey G2G6 Mach 1 (13.3k points)
+4 votes
I will jump in and try my best.
answered by Catherine Trewin G2G4 (4.8k points)
+4 votes
Sounds like fun. I'll do a few.
answered by Jim Parish G2G6 Pilot (122k points)
+4 votes
I'm in will try to work on the 1500-1700's
answered by Deb Love G2G2 (2.7k points)
+3 votes
This ones a new one for me too, but I'm working on it - and adding sources to those that I can.
answered by Mindy Silva G2G6 Pilot (166k points)
+3 votes
I will try! But at the moment I'm really busy getting my new One Name Study going :)
Good Luck all!
answered by Sanne Van Zijl-Oldenborg G2G6 (9k points)
+3 votes
answered by Stephanie Ward G2G6 Mach 2 (26.6k points)
+3 votes
I'll try to fix some of these and will focus on suggestions #406 & #417 during the 1800's.
answered by Morgan Mulligan G2G6 (6.5k points)
Nice :-)  Go Roses!
+3 votes
I'll try to do a few as I can!
answered by Joyce Rivette G2G6 Mach 1 (17.7k points)
+3 votes
I'll start with 103 - 1800's Virginia
answered by Elizabeth Coltrane G2G6 Mach 1 (11.7k points)
+3 votes
I'll give it a go.
answered by Victoria English G2G6 Mach 1 (18.9k points)
+3 votes
I'm in again.  Working on New York errors.
answered by Susan McNamee G2G6 Mach 3 (31.6k points)
Awesome, Susan!  Go Roses!
+3 votes
I will try and help out!
answered by Jamie Ball G2G5 (5.1k points)
+2 votes
Hopefully I will have more time this week than I did last week.  Will do what I can.
answered by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (417k points)
+2 votes
I will work on orphaned profiles.  Go Roses!
answered by Karen Harbert G2G6 Mach 2 (26.1k points)
Woo hoo!  Go Roses!!

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