Is it okay to add an incomplete/possibly inaccurate tree?

+7 votes
Hi all.

I'm just in the starting phases of building my tree but so far have not been able to find any info on here from my family, which is fine.

I have a tree with about 200 names, and I'd like to upload my Gedcom but the thing that I am concerned about is that i am really just in the starting phases and for a lot of folks, I may only have a name and not much else.  Some are more rounded profiles but are pulled from the internet so not a lot that I have verified myself - something that I am also working on.

When I upload my file, is there something that will trigger it to ask me to merge names with any profiles that are already existing?  I have a lot of old letters and pictures from my grandmother that I have been attaching in Family Tree Maker - will those come over as well, or will I have to re-add them here.

If I update in Family Tree Maker, is there a way to move just the changes over to this tree, or should I just wait until I have my Family Tree mostly complete before I move it over?  Should I only move over a couple of things at a time?  Things that are known to me and verified?


I want to participate, but I don't want to mess up, and I don't want to wait either.  I am patient, but excitable - you know?
in The Tree House by Renee Geoghegan G2G Crew (370 points)

5 Answers

+21 votes
Best answer
Since you dont have a lot of sources, your best bet would be to manually add each and every person from your tree to wikitree.

This is what I did and I had a lot of fun doing it. I still have fun adding new profiles, especially when I have sources.

I did have to add one person today who does not have a source, but I needed to add an unknown father to connect his 3 children together.

You can look for sources for each person and you will not be under any pressure to get everyone checked which is what happens when you upload GEDCOMS.

I beleive there is a time limit to get everyone from a GEDCOM checked and added. I have heard the time limit of 30 days mentioned as well.
by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (987k points)
selected by Mary Gossage
^ THIS!!!!!!

Seriously. I would do what Robynne said and put in people manually. You may find that the people would already be in world tree. When I registered, I put a gedcom online and took it down after I saw the hundreds of connections. So I ended up connecting the dots and put people in that way.

If you have problems, people here can help you out. =D
Thanks for the best answer, Chris.
No problem. Just going with what would work best. If someone inputs a person and if someone matches it in step 3 then you can see if that person is there. Plus you may get an entire branch.
+12 votes

I have no experience with moving a gedcom file to WikiTree, but from what I’ve read in g2g, and the results i’ve seen in lots of profiles, it is not something I care to do.

Since your family tree is not large, I think the answer is implied in your posting:  “Should I only move over a couple of things at a time?  Things that are known to me and verified?” Yes, to both questions.

by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (461k points)
+9 votes
Whether you upload a GEDCOM or not, you add people to WikiTree one at a time. Using the GEDCOMpare tool can be handy if you have a lot of dates and placenames already entered that you don't want to type again, and/or relationships already figured out that you don't want to link up all over again, but my experience is that the process kills link URLs and mangles sources, so for some people, manually copying-and-pasting from an offline tree may be easier.

If your family is likely to already have members on WikiTree, then the GEDCOMpare tool is also handy for identifying them sort of all at once instead of piecemeal. However, you will not be able to make definite "match/not a match" decisions unless you have reasonably complete details on your offline tree. Therefore, if your offline tree is mostly just names, I suggest not bothering with an upload. Enter people one at a time, based on your offline tree, but using this as an opportunity to flesh out your data on both WikiTree and Family Tree Maker.
by J Palotay G2G6 Mach 6 (67.0k points)
+11 votes
When I first started, I did a sizeable Gedcom and got everything moved in... and have been backtracking and fixing ever since. It's very easy to miss one or two (or a dozen) profiles while trying to backtrack once you've fully uploaded the Gedcom and it's a bit of a pain to remember which one you've done and which you haven't, even if you go by last changed date and such. It helps if you've marked the profiles with markers like "Unsourced" or "Estimated Dates" and things of this nature, but it gets complicated very quickly.

I'd advise (and I see others have as well) on adding individual profiles to WikiTree and try to clean them up as you go along. It's much nicer when you go back to your tree, use other resources (like FTM) as your "work in progress" and send over the final drafts to WikiTree and give them a bit of polish as they come in. Plus it gives you the added opportunity as you create the profiles to look over any missing components (dates, sources, places, etc.) and you can feel free to ask in G2G for assistance or guidance on how to get what you need.
by Scott Fulkerson G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
This is so true.  The gedcom upload should probably only be attempted by a more experienced user that is completely familiar with how wikitree works.  It is good if you have a lot of profiles that connect to the tree already, but you said most of your ancestors are not on here.  Just add a few at a time and get familiar with the process and style.

Don't forget to ask for help if you get stuck.
WikiTree does not have (or no longer has) a process by which one can upload an entire tree all at once. Sure, you can successively click "add" on the GEDCOMpare and not fix or edit anything in the result, but why would you do that? It doesn't save any work in the long run. The upload/report stays available for 60 days from your last edit, so as long as you come back to it occasionally, there's really no advantage to doing it all at once.
+5 votes
From the comments I've seen on here & elsewhere about the problems caused by the uploading of gedcom files, I'm beginning to wonder if it might be best if WikiTree decides to disable the facility to do this altogether?
by Owen Lake G2G3 (3.4k points)
Please not. You can't just ask serious people to type in all their data and do manual matching of all their work. Mind you, a lot of serious geneaologists have thousands of names and sources which they will never share if they need to do 1980-ies copy-paste piece by piece.

relevant Help page: GEDCOMpare

Profiles are no longer added automatically or en masse from GEDCOMs.

When one uploads a GEDCOM, its profiles are compared to WikiTree profiles to find potential matches. Those potential matches must then be processed individually.

No new profiles are created until the GEDCOM owner specifically creates them.

note: This thread is from 2018 and may contain outdated information.

A lot of the Gedcom mess is usually because those who do upload gedcoms often balk at all the gedcomparing they have to do and they were unaware of all that before uploading. Many newbies expect their gedcoms and trees to be added to the global tree automatically, just like Ancestry and My Heritage do - but that is why they do not have one global tree.

If one must upload a gedcom, one should upload SMALL gedcoms - possibly no more than 500 to 1000 names -. that would start the tree off and hopefully make a connection to get your tree connected to the global tree.

Any further ancestors and relatives can (and probably should) be added manually.

I dont think removeing the ability to upload gedcoms altogether is the best idea.

We do not want to force everyone to have to manually input data, but I do agree that more education about the upload and gedcompare process should be made clear to newbies before they upload.

When I first found wikitree, I was very lucky in that a notable relative of mine was on the home page as a Notable of the week. So I had no trouble joining wikitree in order to connect my family up to the notable. I chose to enter all of my tree manually, and I have had no trouble at all.

This was the Notable connection - in case anyone is interested... LOL

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