Placing Recently Deceased Unrelated Former Colleagues on WikiTree

+6 votes

A moral issue for me.  I would like to place recently deceased former members of my regiment on WikiTree with some history of their force antecedents.  The individual is unrelated to me.  My question, do I need to clear this with relatives before I do it?  The information concerning the death is in the public domain; on a web site and in the regimental community.  I see this as a way of honouring the person concerned, but clearly some people get a little touchy about this.  What is the legal and moral standpoint of WikiTree on this position.
WikiTree profile: George Thompson
in Policy and Style by Andrew Field G2G6 Mach 3 (31.0k points)

Hi Andrew, 

Speaking strictly as a fellow member with no formal authority on WIkiTree, I can appreciate the questions you are asking yourself. Is this a genealogy project, or is it something else?

I have added profiles for people who are unrelated to me to WikiTree in the context of a genealogy project, but I have also set aside information that is unrelated to genealogy for another project, such as my memoirs.

I don't think there is a one-sized-fits all answer, as each person you may wish to add will have a specific context and their own unique considerations. The legal framework, for example, varies across jurisdictions.

I understand that the Honour Code we each signed serves as a guide when exercising our individual judgement about who we add and when we do so, what facts we include and how we support the facts with sources, and how much effort we invest in connecting a person to the greater family tree.

You're raising some good questions to chew on! Thank you for posting.


Thanks for you comment Laurie.  This is an extension of a personal history project and is intended to remember those who gave their lives in combat and then link up their ancestors in a genealogy initiative in the spirit of WikiTree’ global tree. It is my contribution to the Roll of Honour project.

2 Answers

+2 votes
Yes, I would add them but not give reference to any living family.
by Sheri Steiner G2G Crew (900 points)
Thank you Sheri for your comment...  Just out of interest I do not place living people on WikiTree, unless the person has authorised me to do so AND that living person is a generation between me and the rest of my ancestors.  My mother is such an example...  I also believe that this encourages living people to open up their own profile and manage it.
+1 vote
It's like putting flowers on someone's grave.  I's a way to memorialize them; to remember them.  So of course you should add whomever you please.  We have projects like Cemeterists who are supposed to add profiles for everyone in a cemetery; and one place studies, where we add profiles for everyone in a certain place.  It's another one of those things that Wikitree does as a matter of course.
by J. Crook G2G6 Pilot (209k points)
I agree.  I am a volunteer for Find A Grave, and I add any memorials that I take photos for on Wikitree and make profiles for them.

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