Musty Dusty Pre-1500 Team Chat Spring 2018 Clean-A-Thon

+12 votes

A big hello from Ilinois to the Musty Dusty 2018 Source-a-thon team (and anyone interesting in joining. We perhaps have on of the toughest jobs around trying to clean-up the pre-1500 profiles.    

This post would be a great place to start talking about what profiles or suggestions you want to work on. 

I plan to help out in the fall on the Pre-1500 Source-a-thon. As I am addressing each suggestion during this clean-a-thon, I also plan to tag unsourced profiles as unsourced to a specific a location to jump start our fall source-a-thon.

We are small but mighty as we have to pull from a rather small group of Pre-1500 certified members. Feel to free to rustle up some more members for our team. 

Please let us if you have any further suggestions or ideas! 

Even though this is not a sourcing project, the Pre-1500 Resource page may help determine what is correct and add a source at the same time.

in Requests for Project Volunteers by Marty Acks G2G6 Pilot (131k points)
retagged by Isabelle Martin
Thanks for your help!
Still looking for some more pre-1500 certified people to jump on board to the Musty Dusty Team. Just a post note to the clean-a-thon G2G post or  here and we will get you registered!
Woo hoo! Go Musty Dustys (or is it Dusties?)

14 Answers

+8 votes
I'm going to start by focusing on the easier errors like 824/841 and the period 1300-1500

While we are doing this, is there anything we can do to help regarding pre-1500 profiles with no pre-1500 certified profile manager?

Are they easy to identify so people could adopt if appropriate as they are going round?


Rather than "adopt" I should say add ourselves as an additional Profile Manager
by Andrew Turvey G2G6 Mach 3 (37.6k points)
edited by Andrew Turvey

I tend to not be that interested in adopting profiles. It just seems to be of value when needing change the LNAB. Other than that we tend to be free to make changes to profiles as we deem useful. I may be in the minority here as many other place weight on being a profile owner.  

Andrew, pre-1500 profiles with a manager who is not certified are like any profile with a PM... they are not adoptable.
+7 votes
I am actually on the Southern Super Sweepers Team but will also be working pre-1500s as there are some showing in the areas covered by that team.  I am gong to mainly concentrate on Louisiana because I read French and Latin.
by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (713k points)
Knowing Latin sure would help on some of the Scottish sources I have come across. Appreciate the Pre-1500 help even if it is not for our team. We are probably the hardest team to fill due to the pre-1500 requirement. if your team starts to max out feel free to consider switching to Musty and Dusty.
I do a lot of work with old Scottish records.  I have Scottish ancestry for 25% of my paper ancestry.  Feel free to tap me for help if you need it Marty.

I did Musty and Dusty for the Source A Thon.  Last year I was a co-leader of a team and can't do that this year do to stuff going on with family and my business partner's family health wise.  So I was asked to join a couple of teams and went with the one that asked me first and I have strong connections to folks on that team.  If they split us and I need to go elsewhere I will let you know.  

One thing i would concentrate on for the Musty and Dusty which can clean up a bunch of those is the Unique Name error.  Those can be more quickly researched generally speaking.  Also things like Country names before say Germany existed...  And some of the formatting errors where a reference tag is missing or Biography and Sources headings are missing.  

Make sure to look at the pre-1500 source page located at

There are some great sources to help you there!

Thanks. I've been trying find a library copy of Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families, in 5 vols. in the Chicago/Illinois Area. Wow is this hard to find. NewBerry does not have it. University of Illinois (8 million volumes does not have it). Closest library is Urbana, Illinois. Allen County also has it.

Library of Congress has:



Plantagenet ancestry : a study in colonial and medieval families /Catalog Record Only"This work is an expansion and extensive revision of an earlier work by David Faris entitled Plantagenet ancestry of seventeenth-century colonists"--P. xi. Includes bibliographical references (p. [807]-884) and index.
  • Contributor: Richardson, Douglas
  • Date: 2004
Magna Carta ancestry : a study in colonial and medieval families / Catalog Record OnlyIncludes bibliographical references (p. 927-1020) and indexes.
  • Contributor: Richardson, Douglas
  • Date: 2005
They often do inter-library loans
According to we have several here in the St Louis MO area.  Come to catch a Cubs / Cards game and do stay to do some research!
Is there something specific you want?   I can make a trip to the library with the main genealogy dept.  It was listed as being there. 
The People of Medieval Scotland database is a really good starting point for Scottish pre-1500 profiles.

It can be found here
Totally agree  I know it well!   And it is one of the approved resources on our Resource Page for Sources for pre-1500

I have spent time on Renfrewshire and Ayrshire profiles, that sometimes dip into pre-1500 profiles. What are the groups thought on the following types of sources that tend to be written in the 19th century. Most cite sources of their own.

These are generally chosen to add sources to existing profiles, not to create who new lines.  

The Richardson 2004-5 books were single volumes.  The 2011 books were 3 and 4 volumes, and they were merged and extended in the 2013 set, which is 5 volumes.  But self-published, which is probably why they're rare.
+7 votes
Thanks Marty for taking on leading this group.  I'm not going to have much time that weekend (I've taken on some post-graduate study in medieval history and assignments are due soon) but will do what I can.

I think I'm going to tackle some of the 802 (empty profile) suggestions.
by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (542k points)
Thanks.  Every bit helps. I've got a birthday this weekend. My wife seems to think doing Source-A-Thon 3 straight days is not a proper way to celebrate my birthday. I will be taking a break or two!
+6 votes
I won't be full time.....but, I will be there!!!!!
by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (755k points)
+6 votes
I won't be full time either as I'm celebrating a birthday this weekend and oddly enough, my family insists spending it "always at the computer like a hopeless nerd" is not the proper way to celebrate.

Still unsure which suggestion I'll tackle.
by Isabelle Martin G2G6 Pilot (488k points)
I tagged with Unsourced Germany and changes some formatting to align with what is done today. I also set to false the unique name suggestion. The GED2Web "sourced" would seem to be in the same quality category as other unsourced trees. I leave it there until we have information that is better.
Are the pink cartoon illustrations OK?

I also landed on the profile for "Dracula" and gave up working out a proper name for him. Was just on - I think this one should have all its connections removed.
I am not a big fan of the page backgrounds. That one kind of looks like it was pilfered from Disney. They also tend to make the page look very 1990's as that was a think long ago on web pages. Long term (multiple years) I think (or at least hope) we move towards more standardization and consistency on profiles like Wikipedia. We are already moving in that direction with standard Biography and Source sections and gedcom removal efforts. For now, unless the image is totally unrelated to the profile, I leave them and move on.

As for Dracula, there is a lot of work to set more specific guidelines as to what is in and what is or is not a real person and whether that person is related to someone else. Not sure we have concensus on this today as there was some discussion of  this on G2G a while back. WikiTree today errors on the side of retaining all profiles... though the BC profiles are largely gone now.

Marty Acks
Dracula is supposed to be based on a real person and a Prince (or Voivod) of Wallachia or Transylvania.  Given EuroAristo prefers the dynasty name as the LNAB this might be the best option

As to the pink backgrounds and images, I do remember coming across them before and a few others posted by the same profile manager and I was never quite sure how to diplomatically say that I didn't think they were appropriate, but I notice they haven't been active for a few years now.  It should be safe to remove them - I think like profiles, you can't actually delete images, but you can set them to not display on profiles or as backgrounds.
Here is the profile (or someone from his family):

That is in fact his son. Here is the real Dracula:

I had a mind to change the LNAB (for the names in allcaps in that branch) to something better, but wasn't sure if it should be Dracul or Draculesti.

There is a bit of work in this family group, hope someone can work on it.
Now that I see it, I'll start by giving him a birthdate.

The profile for his father Wallachia-13 is the one who is meant to be Dracula.

Sorry, I've just realised you already said (wrote) that.
Yes, and fortunately it is a bit better.
No problem - I edited my post to add that, actually.
+4 votes
Here is a page that provides details on how Clean-A-Thon works.
by Marty Acks G2G6 Pilot (131k points)
+4 votes
A heads up for everyone on this team.    Every week I look at the new errors being corrected and the #1 new error is always "odd names".   But, #2, 3, 4 have to do with text.   Please remember to make sure that ANY profile you touch has the headings of Biography and Sources, (and only one set) and has a <references/> tag.   Otherwise, the errors you correct will just create new errors.....
by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (755k points)
We have one person signed up for up 802's (empty) so that should help. I may take up the 803's (almost empty).

Should we just set all 8000+ unique names to blanks after a nominal review? Particularly for pre-1500, I think they tend to have very little value.
Here is the issue with the "names"  Having all those names actually helps me find duplicates because of Wikitree's "fuzzy" logic on names.   I can remove dates and just search on the name and sometimes I find duplicates.  Let's see how we go with the other items and then see if we want to do something with the names.    In a lot of cases, there are sources on the profile and a "false error" is totally appropriate.
Robin - Not sure I followed. I thought most fuzzy (Variants) logic is limited to LNAB in WIkiTree. Also, tagging them as false errors would not change the ability to search. I agree that time is better spent fixing content that an actually user of the site will notice.
LOTS of pre-1500 profiles are flagged for Error 511 Unique Names (spelling) because:

- the system is biased for Anglo-Saxon names (for statistical reasons), so any no-too-common foreign combination of names is likely to trigger an error (a lot of Medieval names are "odd" by current standards)

- titles in the Nickname field (a recommendation for aristo profiles) also trigger the error, and it should be marked false

- also many medieval profiles have variants and translations of names in the fields (for the reasons explained by Robin above)

In all 3 cases, the error should usually be marked false.
I may tackle some of these when I am looking for a break or some mindless work, when watching TV this weekend. (If I am allowed a break)
Perfect answer, Marty!
...Or if I get a competitive streak...
Yes working on these would do a lot of good to the team statistics (though the added value is less obvious).
+4 votes
I'll attempt the Hinton/Hynton/Hyntin lines.  I image I'll find a LOT of Ancestry data listed as "source".
by Debra Allison G2G6 Mach 3 (38.3k points)
+3 votes
What time zone are we in? And are we jumping on tonight (from a US perspective)? I am US Central time zone and will jumping on at 11pm for an hour or 2.
by Marty Acks G2G6 Pilot (131k points)
I'm on the east coast of Australia, and from memory, I can't officially start till 1 or 2pm Saturday afternoon my time.  If I was at all competitive with these 'athons' it would be a real downer.
I'm in France so the start is at 6 am here. I'll get offline soon now (it's 10 am now) and be back... hopefully... if I still have my mind clear after celebrating a 50th birthday :D
I hit 61 on Sunday
Well, congratulations! And go Marty!
+4 votes
From experience....please make sure you have updated the chart to show which errors you are working on....
by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (755k points)
+4 votes
Good night. We are in a respectable 8th place after 3 hours. I'm going to bed.
by Marty Acks G2G6 Pilot (131k points)
17th when I woke up now 14th after a few additions as there was some bunching of us. I'm off until later in the day..
I should be able to do a couple of hours this afternoon...PDT.
+3 votes
Got into two rabbit holes in a row, and'_Alsace-7

I need a few easy ones now!
by Isabelle Martin G2G6 Pilot (488k points)
+3 votes

Congrats All. Don't forget to add your badge to your profiles.

{{Clean-a-Thon|team=Musty Dusty|year=2018}}

by Steven Tibbetts G2G6 Pilot (350k points)
Thanks Steven!
+3 votes
Ok, so the Clean A Thon is now over, and we are all in recovery mode... but I have an idea for this pre-1500 group...  what if we did something that is similar but different.   What we do takes time and speed is an enemy, so what if we do a series of monthly challenges to clear up some of the old stuff out there.  We work together rather than as individuals in the pursuit of ponts.  

We pick say 10 profiles per month and then we work them as a team to clear up some of the clutter?   Any body want to do something like that?
by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (713k points)
No idea what shape it would take Laura, but we really should -slowly but surely - make an effort to clear the "Date" errors - when fixing the Unique Name errors, it seemed like half of the profiles also had an error like "Parent too young or not born" or "Parent too old". These errors take time correcting and that involves carefully checking sources. Not something "thons" are about. So yes, the answer is definitely to make sure we clear a little bit of those each month, even each week.
I am on the Challenges Committee and have been thinking about how to do a challenge that makes sense for pre-1500.   I do not see speed as being part of it.   So I am thinking we could form maybe teams that work together to research and tidy up some of these profiles.   Also flag the ones we believe are truly non existent people and figure out how to deal with them.

I am thinking we could track like the data doctors a specific suggestion for our time period and work down the list of all the suggestions.  I think it is much more involved to track multiple ones like during the clean a thon but will check with Ales later... he needs to get some sleep!  Thinking we could maybe start something during the summer?

Some random thoughts

1. I'm game in general.
2. Not looking to run this as I'm over committed. Hint Hint
3. I think starting small is not a bad idea. Also, like the idea of quantity over quality.
4. Not sure about us working on same profiles, but will give it a go. Challenge for me will be to get decent sources to prove/disprove.
5. I have worked mainly in Scotland. I will need some guidance in areas outside of Great Britain and even within.
Marty I would run at least the first one or two with some like minded corunners!

My idea is that we can learn so much from each other and pre-1500 has its own oddities in different regions.  We may have one expert in an area and it would be great if we can spread the learning around to make it easier for all of use to work on these.  

So I am trying to look at working like a research group and the work is done in chat and when agreed upon we post it and then group does an approval and we put some kind of approved sticker on it.  Don't know if we need to PPP it but someone slate it as approved by pre-1500 team.  Hopefully that will keep these safer.  

For quantity I see doing the "easy" stuff like 863s and non research based pre-1500 stuff.   I think a lot of those likely got done during the CAT but until the new dump is out I won't know.  Quality is were the research ones lie like the mother dead before child is born stuff and other date problems.
Sounds good.

I faded/cheated to more unique names suggestions towards the end to sneak into 13th (I think) place.. Though, I did have a few unique names that did need changes. First names ending in " ap" and ' de" for example.
I started with the 511s Unique Names and did a bunch in Louisiana.  I then switched to faster errors for the duration.  But I plan to continue working some of the errors for the pre-1500 time period that are not substance based but more system stuff like the 863s and the too early to be USA stuff.

I was sick and so was my granddaughter.  We both got sick on the same day so we probably got it from the same place.  So I switched to easy things my head could handle. I was on the team that came in second.  Cleaned over 1000 but was in the 30s for rank I think.
... 13th place was for the team, not for me. Hope you are on the mend!

Related questions

+8 votes
20 answers
+7 votes
8 answers
+7 votes
5 answers
+5 votes
4 answers
+7 votes
4 answers
+5 votes
2 answers
+5 votes
1 answer
+7 votes
1 answer

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

disclaimer - terms - copyright