adding person with neither birth nor death date

+5 votes
I'm surprised that this hasn't been asked before, but I couldn't find it.

Why do I have to have either a birth date or a death date to add a person?
in WikiTree Help by Jim Berry G2G5 (5.2k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

3 Answers

+13 votes
Best answer
Flashback to a few years ago, when I was a new member. You couldn't do a search on Wikitree without finding gazillions (exaggerated) of profiles with no dates and no places to identify them. Imagine looking at a list of 100 Sarah Clarks that say nothing but her name (really happened). It meant you had to open every one of them to see if you had a match. And of course the problem got worse every day. So the "profiles need at least one date" rule went into effect.
by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
selected by Patricia Roche
And it's still true with many common names if you don't exclude undated profiles. Do a search for John Smith born in 1815, and the first page of results is undated John Smiths.
+10 votes
You can add a person with a birth or death date (you don't need both). If you don't have either you can try an approximate date (I usually round by the decade) and then mark the date as "uncertain".
by Allyson White G2G1 (1.6k points)
+8 votes
One key reason is that there are different rules that apply to profiles that are very recent, vs. those that are within the last 100-150 years, vs. those that are older than 1700, and also those that are older than 1500. By putting at least an estimated date in one of the fields, the system will understand how that profile is to be handled. Technically if you don't put a date in there, the system "could" imagine you meant born year zero and died year zero and lock it out for all except those who have a pre-1500 badge (I don't think it would "technically", but it's a possibility)
by Scott Fulkerson G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)

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