Challenge of the week: Clean up as many location names as possible

+12 votes

Hi WikiTreers,

Will you join our "Data Doctors" Challenge of the week?

This week's challenge focuses on location fields.

Aleš has prepared a report of profiles from around the tree that have potential errors in their locations. These are usually simple typos that are easy to fix. But a thinking genealogist needs to give them a quick "reality check" and consider the intent of the original member and the sources before making any changes. Will you try some?

Click here for the list.

After making a change, click the "challenge tracker" button and then the edit the status. This will record 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's nice to cheer each other on. Or post 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 Participants

asked in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
edited by Eowyn Langholf
Challenge is active.
Thanks, Aleš !
This is a difficult issue.  I have been researching for over 20 years and found that the names AND spellings of names of the locations changed from time to time and/or were mis-spelled by various public document writer/recorders of the day and even by web-page transcribers at genealogy web sites like

I had several serious instances where location names changed (i.e. a town changed its name from Johnstown to Livingston) and original or transcriber errors threw me way off-track in my research. ALSO consider i.e. that even my own GGF threw his descendants off-track by mis-stating his birth location as the nearest Train Station which was in an adjacent County, and mis-spelling the sir-name of his foster family.

Regardless, one must seriously consider the value of each document on-its-own merits as to which spelling is either valid or appropriate to the researchers record keeping.  Best to double check historical sources and just as name variances, note variances in the reference section of a subject's page.
I'll try a few. This is the first time I've tried one of these challenges.

So I'll copy the sheet and see if I can muddle through. If anyone is thinking of giving simple directions, I'd like to see them.
Unfortuantely there is a bit of backlash regarding this one. Note that in some cases the word "County" in the location is neccessary.  Desginating the County is, as yet, not the suggested route on Wikitree. However, it is by all means more accurate than the suggestions provided by the drop down menus. If a location explicitly states "County" or "Parish" please be sure to preserve this in your edits though Wikitree will not like it.
The challenge tracker is not registrating what we are doing. It seems stuck.
I just tried and it works.
The challenge tracker is not registrating what we are doing. It seems stuck. Again.
It seems to be stuck again.
It seems stuck again.
The challenge tracker seems to be frozen or stuck.
Linda, it seems you are the only one with the problem

Here are the results and they increase every 5 minutes.

What exactly do you think is not working?
I was going to help but couldn't figure out how you know which ones on the list have been done and which ones haven't. The instructions are not very clear for first time users.
Whilst trying to figure out how to do this challenge I happened to scroll through the "Location too Early" list and wondered why only Northern Ireland is on it. How about Australia federated 1 Jan 1901?

19 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer
I'd like to participate. I do this every day. Just did one but don't see "challenge tracker" button. Where is it? I don't understand the directions.

Please explain. Thanks!
answered by Marj Adams G2G6 Mach 3 (32.9k points)
selected by Kate Schmidt
I'm a n00b, and I'd like to know the answer to this question, too.
OK. I found the HUGE challenge button/bar after I removed "Colonial America" from John Adams and clicked the save changes bar.. BUT it took me to a page with a Add Action button and when I click that, nothing happens. DUH!
Hello both!  I don't know if you figured it out yet or not, but for Data Doctoring, we track by using the Status button.  If you are working from a suggestion list, the status button is on the right side of each profile on the list.  If you are working profile to profile, after you save and click challenge tracker at the top, there should be a suggestion at the bottom of the new screen with a Status button on the right.

Clicking the status button takes you to a new screen where you will mostly likely choose "Corrected" and choose which suggestions you cleared. Then save.  Here is a help page for setting the status.

And if you have cleaned up some profiles without setting the status, you do not have to resave.  You can just go back and set the status for those.
+6 votes
I will work on as many profiles as I can.
answered by SM Reaper G2G5 (5.8k points)
+7 votes
I am in as I am already working on locations


Sent a couple of PM the link to their suggestion list last week had a great response from them.  Didn't seem to be aware it existed so lets involve them too by sending them their suggestion links will potential help clean up other suggestions too


answered by Janet Wild G2G6 Mach 2 (28.3k points)
+6 votes
I'm in - opening the sheet now...
answered by Mindy Silva G2G6 Pilot (185k points)
sheet got updated for the new challenge.
Thx Steven!
Where is it, the sheet, Steven?
+7 votes
I will look at a few.

Last week was my first day challenge. I learned that date suggestions are a good way to find unsourced profiles without the tag and areas of the tree with some underbrush that needs cleanup.
answered by Kay Sands G2G6 Pilot (174k points)

Sharpen your machete - you'll need it to get through the underbrush!  ;~)

+4 votes
I'm in. I'll be looking at capitalized place names to start.
answered by Bruce Codère G2G6 Mach 1 (16.1k points)
+4 votes
I took a look at "Locations too short" in the 1500 to 1700 time period. In noticed that a number of the instances of errors there are place names that will be a challenge to correct without violating "use their conventions, not ours." An example is  "Kiel" -- a city with a short name in a country whose current name (Germany) wasn't in use when the person's life event occurred -- and and whose former name could require a good bit of research to determine.

I did correct one profile (two errors), but I forgot to use Challenge Tracker until after I had updated the db report, so my correction is not logged in the challenge.
answered by Ellen Smith G2G6 Pilot (852k points)
It tracks when you update the status for that error.
I had a grandfather who served in the German Navy pre-WW1 and "Kiel" Germany was a vital port for their operations.  His birthplace is early called "Halle on the River Salle" !  The region is certainly one of constant geographical and political turmoil.  My c.1970's research there became so complicated that I hired a genealogist in Germany, which was relatively very expensive, but resulted in good information.
+4 votes
I will work on as many locations as I can
answered by Martin White G2G6 Mach 5 (50.4k points)
+3 votes
I'm in.  It's back to work after the holidays.
answered by Cindi Clark G2G6 Mach 1 (18.3k points)
+3 votes
answered by Julie Campbell G2G6 Mach 1 (16.6k points)
That does look confusing doesn't it??
+4 votes
I have cleared suggestions 605, 635, 637, 655.
answered by Darren Kellett G2G6 Mach 7 (73.7k points)
Are those all 1800's Darren? And should the 655 be 665?

Thank you for working hard on these suggestions!
Yes it was 665. Have now marked the ones I did on the sheet
+4 votes
Sheet is updated and active. spreadsheet instructions

Please mark your items. Darren, we tried to figure yours out.
answered by Steven Tibbetts G2G6 Pilot (161k points)
+2 votes
I'll be working on some France specific errors starting with 669

answered by Emma MacBeath G2G6 Pilot (518k points)
edited by Emma MacBeath
+2 votes
I am in for Team Tennessee as their leader.
answered by Linda Barnett G2G6 Pilot (240k points)
+3 votes
I have a question. Does it have to be on the list? I ask because this family group I have been working on for the sourcing almost always in missing United States at the end of it. In the case of Fewkes-74 not only is it missing in both DOB and DOD but Illinois isn't capitalized in them either.

If correcting these count I'm all and am with the Tornadoes. I can kill two birds with one stone if this works. =D
answered by Amanda Frank G2G6 Mach 4 (40.9k points)
In order for it to count for this challenge, the profile has to have one of the locations errors that you can mark the status as corrected after fixing.  But no, you don't have to work down a list.  

After correcting an error and saving, you can click on the challenge tracker at the top of the profile to see if there are any errors attached to the profile.  If so, click the status button to update.
Well I'm seeing some of them right away after going to suggestions on that lady and I'm pretty sure they are going to be unsourced too. So you can officially count me in.

Unfortuantely there is a bit of backlash regarding this one. Note that in some cases the word "County" in the location is neccessary.  Desginating the County is, as yet, not the suggested route on Wikitree. However, it is by all means more accurate than the suggestions provided by the drop down menus. If a location explicitly states "County" or "Parish" please be sure to preserve this in your edits though Wikitree will not like it.

While I have haven't had the need to add county because I haven't gotten back to Ireland yet where I know it comes in handy. I have recently been including the word county if it was there already when I correct locations. I'm so use to entering locations without though that it will take a little time. My most common location that I enter is Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States and it's basically now muscle memory that I'm not sure that is one I could change or would ever look right with the word County added to it for me.
+3 votes
HI! am a bit late but am in!
answered by Bonnie Saunders G2G6 (7.3k points)
+3 votes
I'll help with these!
answered by Carrie Rolph G2G Crew (310 points)
+3 votes
I'm gonna work on the Death Locations in uppercase in the 1800s. Let's see where we end :)


And a question: When I have a WT-profile in which is the date of death is put also as place of death, when I delete the date in the place but can't figure out the real place of death, (Example is the profile Cotton-3000) is that given a point in the challenge as well? I mean it's cleaning up the tree...
answered by Jelena Eckstädt G2G6 Mach 5 (51.9k points)
edited by Jelena Eckstädt
You get one point per suggestion cleared.  So if there is no suggestion, but you cleaned up something, there is no point for it.  But if you clean up multiple suggestions on one profile, and set the status for each one, yes, you get points for each one (as long as they are location errors since this is a location challenge).

You can also pat yourself on the back for a tidy profile :-)
Jelena, in this case I believe your edit cleared the error. By clearing the date from the place field, the next error report will not trigger this error again. So you can earn your point by going back to the suggestions list, click on the Status button for Cotton-3000, and enter that you corrected the error.
+3 votes
I am in. Always doing them anyway, but this now part of a challenge.
answered by Neil McNicol G2G5 (5.8k points)

Related questions

+16 votes
28 answers

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

disclaimer - terms - copyright