Most annoying user habits

+9 votes
What are the most annoying Wikitree user habits you have encountered? (Queue the, "people who ask these type of questions on G2G are the most annoying"" responses, haha). My pet peeve: users who create profiles for people with no birth or death dates, when the profiles are clearly from 200 years ago, then set a privacy level in those profiles.
asked in The Tree House by Anonymous Nagel G2G5 (5.5k points)

"....people with no birth or death dates, when the profiles are clearly from 200 years ago, then set a privacy level in those profiles..."

For those, the second column in the drop-down menu has an open profile request.  Is there an example of one of these profiles?

8 Answers

+13 votes
Best answer
Not only creating profiles with no birth/death dates but with no locations added to the profile. Makes trying to find sources like looking for a needle in a haystack!!
answered by David Selman G2G6 Pilot (523k points)
selected by Anonymous Nagel
Absolutely! I spotted one this morning where the body of the profile made it reasonably clear the person was living in Queensland, Australia just before she died relatively recently. There was no place of death. How hard is it to add Australia - uncertain? I know some people don't like educated guesses, but often it's not that tricky to at least come up with a country.
When you discover that they're the grandfather of a person born in the 1800s, and the profile is green privacy level, so you can't even edit it. And then you realise there's about 40 other linked profiles in the same state, all with GEDCom cruft.

And when you ask to be added to the trusted list (hoping that the profile manager who hasn't made any changes since 2014 won't respond, so you can open up all these profiles) ... They add you to the trusted list of that single profile. So you can only edit that one, and not their wife "Unknown Unknown born unknown in unknown, died unknown", and their three children all named Unknown, born and died unknown.

THAT drives me crazy.
+9 votes
I think I've noticed someone that follows recent deaths/obituaries in the region where they live. They create the most basic profiles and then stop with so much more information and source material that is available to be added. Maybe this is just their plan and they will come back to it later. But it's annoying, at least to me. Hope this doesn't sound like a rant!
answered by Bart Triesch G2G6 Pilot (188k points)
I saw a raft of these once, the profile manager had thousands of entries (hit save after every line item?). From obits and it looked like cut and paste in some bios since there were partial sentences. Lots of info which was in the obit was not added.

Why would someone do that? Some were infants who were just set free on WikiTree without the bereaved parents from the obituary entered on the profile.

Bart, mine is a rant! Because I don't think those profiles are very helpful (although on some there were live links to the obit).
+11 votes
I was just thinking about a topic like this.  Thanks for making this thread.

For me, it is the users who go on profiles and change one detail of a profile to a style that they prefer, and make no other contributions to the profile.

For example, awhile back when we first had the place name suggestions from Familysearch added as a feature, there was a user who added "British Colonial America" in the place fields for several of the profiles I manage for people who lived in Colonial America.  These were all collateral relatives of mine, so it wasn't something worth quibbling over.

Really though - you "add" one thing to a profile and it's a change to "British Colonial America" - a term which wasn't even used back then.

Every time I think about myself being annoyed at this, I think to myself "Ray Jones is NOT a Wonderful Wikitreer."  :)
answered by Ray Jones G2G6 Pilot (136k points)
+9 votes

Mine is people who decide to make profiles Anonymous instead of doing the merge into the duplicate profiles that they had created. And deleting the dates as well to make it harder to find the duplicates.

Note this is not people making them Anonymous for privacy reasons. 

Also when people disconnect duplicate profiles instead of doing the merges that they should have done. 

answered by Darren Kellett G2G6 Mach 7 (73.2k points)
Ah yes, the accidentally duplicated wife or child that then gets changed to anonymous anonymous to try to "hide" it. I found a few of those that were open and fixed them, but I'm waiting to fix one that is "green" locked even though they are long deceased!
+8 votes
On of  the recent system additions really is most annoying.

<ref>Source will be added by [[XXX-3899|Z Dxx]] by 29 Aug 2017.</ref>

I know it is not a user habit but who is checking that these Profile managers are actually going to add these sources.
answered by Esmé van der Westhuizen G2G6 Mach 7 (77.8k points)
I think a bot could check for this entry and if it is still present 30 days after the date one could block the PM from creating new profiles?
+4 votes
I have another pet peeve. People with major amounts of unsourced profiles yet they are continuing to add new profiles without sourcing the current ones. I found someone who is the profile manager for 1/3 of the New Zealand location unsourced profiles. That is over 2000 open unsourced profiles.
answered by Darren Kellett G2G6 Mach 7 (73.2k points)
Is that person still active, Darren, or are these historic?

Still active.  Currently has 2015 unsourced profiles in the lists at as of 14 November. Looking at his contributions for 16 November he is doing some of his unsourced but also has created new profiles at the same time. 

I often source profiles for that particular profile manager, I think. I'm now finding sourced profiles from him, which is a definite improvement. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution unless the "powers that be" do something fairly drastic.
+6 votes

Adding sources to profiles (even as a sourcerer) that have any of the following with no further information provided:

  • Ancestry DNA Circles
  • family history
  • mybadlinktofamilytreewebsite
  • 18x0 census
  • as remembered by xxx
  • FindAGrave

These are closely followed by sources that have a link but no other information and those that don't bother to add information from the source (like those mysterious birth/death dates/places) to the profile.

answered by Kay Sands G2G6 Pilot (173k points)
I agree! When I was first starting out I did this too. I typed in "" as a source and thought it was fine. But I quickly realized that I was not quoting a source at all and went back and cleaned them up, adding real, primary sources.
"Personal recollection" for a profile for someone who died 200 years ago.
I don't think Find A Grave is all that bad unless it has little information, to begin with. I have found some very good information listed on Find A Grave. with tombstones. I have also found some very good biographical information on Sure, there are many with no information or sources there but there are some that provided information I was not able to find elsewhere.
Yeah, I think FindAGrave is great when it's a source for a tombstone or burial info. When it comes to the embellishments, they don't seem to exercise much quality control.
+1 vote

Using the Familysearch drop down list for German locations, putting ancient births, marriages, and deaths in places that didn't exist until after WWII, and in English for that matter. Still cringing every time I look at our Charlemagne entry having him die in Aachen, Rheinland-Westfalen, Deutschland. 

answered by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (438k points)

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