Here is another problem with data from a GEDCOM

+2 votes
While attempting to import a new profile from a GEDCOM, I see this problem a lot.  An entry like this one


Husband Benjamin Strong Olds.

Child: Almira Louise Olds.

Child: Benjamin Franklin Olds.

Child: Ellen Olds.

Child: Kate Fairchild Olds.


07 APR 1831. <ref>Source: [[#S409]]  p. 235</ref>


   which shows the marriage of the parent of Benjamin Franklin Olds is imported to the profile for Benjamin Franklin Olds.  It is compiled from GEDCOM data, not taken as a unit from my GEDCOM.  I think it does not belong with Benjamin Franklin Olds, although it might be useful with the profile of his parent..  Am I right?  I have been removing these but I do not understand why the hassle is being created.

---Dan W. Olds
in WikiTree Help by Dan Olds G2G1 (1.0k points)
retagged by Dorothy Barry
I don't think of this as a problem.   It's a feature.  When it brings over the parents and all the siblings I leave it alone at the bottom of the Biography.  It's a fast way for me to check that I have added ALL the siblings that I imported, or to remind me to go back, or if someone else comes along and is looking to hook up, well there is the list of siblings right there.   I think of it as a Sibling To Do list : )

If there are no siblings, then I make sure to go back and check the No other Children boxes on the parents.

  Thanks for the reply.  It was good to see some positive light on this "problem?".  I do see some potential use for this list but would rather it be placed in the parent profile -- one of them? -- rather than being repeated with each of the potentially many children,.  But then I guess it becomes a Children To Do list rather than a Sibling To Do List.

---Dan W. Olds

1 Answer

+2 votes
Hi Dan,

Question, this came from your gedcom file, what exactly is your complaint.  The way it looks or the Source Citation? I believe you referencing Olds-718.

Question 2, If the problem is the Source Citation, are you creating your gedcom files from Reunion on a MAC?  This is a common problem with such files in the auto citation is thrown a bit off on WikiTree by something Reunion uses in their version of the GEDCOM 5.0 Specifications.  If so, then you will need to do some Profile Clean up after Gedcom Import.   We al have to fix little things here and there whena Gedcom file is used to create a Profile.  Just part of the game.

Also, here is a online searchable version of The Olds (Old, Ould) Family in England and America. American Genealogy by Edson B. Olds you may want to include in your sources.  You can use this on everyone associated with this book.  Just include the page number to facilitate any search.

example: The Olds (Old, Ould) Family in England and America. American Genealogy by Edson B. Olds P. 235
by LJ Russell G2G6 Pilot (220k points)
I believe the issue Dan is describing is the same that I always get when importing GEDCOMs. If the GEDCOM contains person A and their spouse and details of their marriage, and also contains the parents of person A and details of the marriage of those parents, then the profile created for person A contains details of both their own marriage and also their parents marriage along with a list of any other of their parents children that are in the GEDCOM.

This does not seem to be limited to particular software or a particular OS, as my GEDCOMs are created from Family Tree Maker (latest edition with latest update) on a Windows 10 PC.

As you point out, given that the profiles created from GEDCOMs require a lot of tidying anyway, I have always viewed it as just one more thing that I have to delete as part of that tidying.

Yep, you are so right Paul.  My bad.  DOH!  I was focusing on the way WikiTree treats sources when imported from different programs.

And this misplaced marriage problem is a constant no matter what program you use to create your gedcom file.  Just a quirky thing from how gedcom files have a built in link protocol for names in the file.  Each name in a gedcom is given a ID number of P###.  If you look at your GEDCOMpare Report Page, you will see these in the ID column.  This is not created by WikiTree but by the program that generates the gedcom file.  There is an internal link process built into the GEDCOM 5.o Standard that will link members of an extended family if they are linked in the original program.

So say P1 is George Jetson and P2 is Jane Cogswell his wife. P3 is Judy Jetson and P4 is his boy Elroy Jetson.  Carrying on P5 is George Jetson Sr and P6 is his wife Martha Sapcely..  P7 is Rosie Robata, Elroy's Wife and P8 is their son Astro Jetson..

Now this where the fun begins.  A program reading the file knows that P5 and P6 are related to P1 (parents) and P1 is related to P2 (marraige) and P3 and P4 are related to  P1 and P2 (children) and through P1 they are related to P5 and P6.  But the program does not know that P8, Elroy's son is related to P5 and P6, Georges's Parents

Relationships end one level up and one level down.  A grandparent P5, will be linked to a grandchild,P4 but only if the parent and or child P1 appears in the original tree. The great grandchild P8 will not be linked to P5.  Also it seems that though the Protocol does permit Grandparent to Grandchild linking, this is not used in the linkage protocol in WikiTree and I'm glad they don't cause that would probably cause more than a few problems with "How did this happen?"

OK, for some odd reason, WikiTree will take the Marriage of the Parent and place it in the Child's Profile due to this Parent/Child linkage.  Seems to me to occur mostly when you add the Parent first into WikiTree and then follow up with a child. Especially if the child does not have a properly attributed spouse in the GEDCOM file.  Though this is not always the case.  Also, the parents profile must have the children of that union linked to that marriage.  So if the marriage data and source comes through in the Parent's Profiles as Marriage 3 Jun 1908 New York <Source Yada Yada> or with the parents names Marriage 3 Jun 1908 New York  Husband George Jetsson Wife Judy Spacely<Source Yada Yada> this problem dos not occur. But if it comes through as Marriage 3 Jun 1908 New York Husband George Jetsson Wife Judy Spacely Child Judy Jetson Child Elroy Jetson<Source Yada Yada> the probability of this problem manifesting in either Judy's or Elroy's Profile is greatly increased.  I think that is the gist of the problem, but I need to see more examples.  I say this because sometimes I just see the children named as the Gedcom ID numbers as well. Child P@P34 ChildP@36 and so forth.

So in the long run, just highlight and delete and move on.  The dreaded Profile Cleanup after GEDCOM Import.  Personally, if you don't have something that needs attention after a GEDCOM Import,  you need to look again.  LOL

Thanks, Paul and LJ,

  I appreciate the link to the electronic version of the Olds Genealogy.  I have my own copy and I do use it as a reference a lot.  Too much, in fact, because it has no real sources and I am trying to supplement it with "real" sources when I can.  Most of my notes were made way before the electronic versions were available and searchability is certainly a big help although the book does have a name index.

    My GEDCOM comes from The Master Genealogist in Windows.  That could be the source of some of my problems but I cannot detect that in the text of the  GEDCOM itself.  Also, I have been reading more in G2G and the various problems seem to be more widespread  (just as you said).

  Paul, you got my problem exactly right and you both elucidated it more fully than I did.  Thanks.

  After reading more in G2G I certainly see what is meant by "The dreaded Profile Cleanup after GEDCOM Import".  From your replies I took some comfort in understanding that this problem is seen by others but also some frustration from knowing that it is well known and the result is well understood but the source of the problem (failure in interpreting the GEDCOM during Import) has not been fixed.  And I also realize that it is unseemly to complain about the no-cost-to-me work that many have put together that allows me to choose WIKITREE as the high-minded, useful product that I have chosen to use to share my genealogy (especially with the death or dormancy of ROOTSWEB).

   So, SIGH, along with everyone else, if want to upload vie GEDCOM I have to realize that a LOT of work follows (not just on this problem) and hope for some eventual repair at the source level.  And if that is too much, just don't use GEDCOM which I gather is the preferred solution of many users.


Dan W. Olds
Actually Dan, thank you for the question.  I am in the process of a GEDCOMpare now with 389 folks in it.  Which is a large gedcom file for me as I like to keep them under 300 just to make it easier on me. But back to the point, I ran across that problem the other day and I just went "Oh Well" and deleted the offending data without thinking I need to see why this occurred. Just another day at the office  In writing my second response I had one of those moments and thought "Hey buddy, you're missing your chance to document this problem"  So, I will try to get to the root of this passive error.

And no, it is not your gedcom file producing software, just a quirk in how the linkages built into GEDCOM 5.0 and variants is read by WikiTree.

And as the old saying goes, live by the gedcom, die by the gedcom. LOL  They never come out perfect Profiles.  They always need a little tinkering. And a little more  And a.......

And as Wendy said above, some folks like it.

All the best Dan and Paul


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