The sources for everyone in a family added to one individual's profile

+11 votes
I am doing a bit of WikiTree tidying this evening, working on Find a Grave errors from the Data Doctors spreadsheet. 585 FindAGrave - Multiple profiles link to same grave ID.

The first pair of people I was given to assess are these: Nathan William Adams Adams-23373 Joshua Adams Adams-26705

They are brothers.The brothers had lots of siblings and lots of children.

Their profiles are managed by two different people, but they seem to use the same Timeline style of naming all the events that happened to the individual's family members too (not just the individual) and then adding sources for these other family members' events in a big list (not referenced from the pertinent event).

So this leads to the same Find A Grave reference being cited in several different profiles.

So my question is: How do I manage this specific correction? As well as the correct Find a Grave reference for Nathan William Adams in the reference list, there are at least 13 other Find A Grave references for other members of his immediate family. So I presume that if I went to their profiles, I would find the Find A Grave reference for Nathan William Adams there too, and this "Multiple profiles link to a single memorial" problem will come up again many times in the spreadsheet.

And also, should the PMs limit the sources and references on an individual's page to just that individual, or is this multiple sources/references from multiple individuals an accepted style on Wiki Tree? Is there "house style" for this?



Edit 11pm UK time 3 July

Thanks to everyone who has left a reply. I can see what a variation of views there are here on Wikitree, and also some very useful tips. Thanks again, Jo.
WikiTree profile: Nathan Adams
in Policy and Style by Jo Fitz-Henry G2G6 Pilot (131k points)
edited by Jo Fitz-Henry
The timelines on both are recent edits by the same "editor" and are clones of the way the Ancestry tree is "time-lined"
As others have said I would inform both PM's when I contact  PM's about suggestion errors I send them the link to their suggestion/errors list. Generally get a positive response. You could also send links to relevant help pages.

Always difficult when they are so active don't wish to upset or offend anyone

Good luck

As a general rule a Data Doctor can fix errors with relative impunity if it is a technical or grammatical error. If however it is a style error, that requires a bit more cooperation. Otherwise it rapidly escalates into one group undoing what the other group did and bad feelings all around.
I would err on the side of encouragement. Though not the suggested style, this is certainly better than blank or lacking profile. That this person is taking the time to contribute is great.  If I felt compelled to do something other than to mark as a false error, I would find the correct FAG and mark it same as = yes.

If it really bugs you or this person is an ancestor of yours, simply put in some subdivisions like == Research Notes == and === Timeline === so that you can write an actual biography as well.

Knowing when events happen in someone's life are very important.  Dates of other events in family members lives also coincide with major changes in our lives.  If those dates are public perhaps we can gain insight into other things.  Perhaps someone takes a trip across the country on a specific date that coincides with the death of an in-law and has a photo taken.

These little clues, when known and shared, are going to give us greater insight.   Having them organized in a timeline is very helpful.

When I have time, I do this with my sources and arrange them by timeline as well.
Wow, what busy profiles, so much information.  I’d like to see inline references to tie the paragraphs to the source.  Not my style but then I like things simple.  Perhaps worth asking the PMs to add the siblings using links to their profile so that so the source information is in the relevant sibling’s profile.  Perhaps one paragraph for the siblings with links to each one. Etc.

8 Answers

+15 votes
Best answer
Just because a db suggestion is on the list does not mean it HAS to be corrected by a data doctor. If the pm is active, as these two apparently are, the best response from a data doctor is a private message to inform them that their data entries are triggering errors, and how they might avoid that. In this case the error is avoided by the use of a template. They can add {{FindAGrave|(memorial ID number)|sameas=no}} to each of the profiles that are not the memorialized one, and the error is avoided.
by Stephanie Ward G2G6 Pilot (102k points)
selected by Jo Fitz-Henry
Stephanie, I concur.  The two PMs are active and although everyone doesn't agree with how they write profiles, they've done a ton of work and I cannot fault them.  Your {{FindAGrave|(memorial ID number)|sameas=no}} suggestion is most excellent!

oddly enough, if they find the "correct" one and put {{FindAGrave|(memorial ID number)|sameas=yes}} then it will ignore all other references to findagrave on that profile because it matched the correct one. If you only use the "No" template, it has to be done for each and every reference to findagrave, even the link in the citation that keeps giving the 571 error. That is why I always try to have a yes, or I remove that link from the citation.

It will take some searching to find the correct one, but worth it to fix the FAG error thing.
I did not know that! Makes sense, though. Thanks, Steven!
Just for clarity, one PM has not been active for 4 years and the other PM has not been active for about 6 months.
I've emailed both of them - no replies yet.
+14 votes
Wow.  I looked at those profiles.  If I were a someone visiting, I'd be mad about all the extraneous information - I would be looking for information directly related to the profile.  

I've had a few of those "Multiple profiles linked to same Findagrave ID," too.  I took all the extras out.  

I would like to see profiles with information directly related to the profile person.  To me it seems best if someone wanted information on siblings or children, that they should be able to click to the sibling or child and get the details from that page.

I'm not a pro at these, but those would be my personal preferences as a visitor looking for information.
by Kathryn Morse G2G6 Mach 4 (43.5k points)
Thanks Kathryn, this is my feeling too.

OK my bit. Sources for other people need to go but I would check the other profiles to make sure the source is there before deleting.

A simple list of mother father spouse and children (maybe links if possible is OK I wouldn't bother to add it or find links.) if someone messes around with links on the main profile or a mistake is made the information remains and could recover a mess! Also you need to stop somewhere! If you don't want to continue adding profiles to a family but know the missing people make sure that you leave that information in the biography.even in hint form.

I think the one exception to other sources is on census returns. Removing them from a census source makes comparing a family difficult. With the full family left on each census,if sorted in order, is as good as a written biography. You can tell when children leave or disappear or even change name for instance. The one proviso is that I would not leave behind a census that does not include the person whose profile it is on.on!

For me there is nothing more frustrating than a long flowery written biograhy that adds absolutley nothing new that isn't already plainly written in the sources and has then stripped the sources of the details. It takes for ever to plough through when trying to sort out a match and achieves nothing. .
Sometimes the census without the person the profile is for indicates an upper bound for the persons' death if the actual date is not known. Sometimes it just means the family member was absent when the census taker came around.

Sometimes the marriage of a child has the name of the parents. This is valuable for verifying the name of one parent (the profile or his/her spouse) for whom there are no other sources.

Sometimes the children's profiles don't exist yet and you want to keep all the source information in one spot until they do.
+5 votes
Anyone want to work on a co-operative effort ?

I am willing to move the info from the timeline to paragraph format if someone else is willing to look up the fag sources, etc. to see which profile some info should be moved to.

Here is an example of one I did ...

Most of the timeline was made up of his children's birth, death and marriage dates ... I moved it all into the usual children's listing seen on wikitree.

edit: Thanks Jo for sending the message to the PM.

The timeline was not made by the  profile manager. I try to follow the style guidelines, but no one is perfect. Since nobody is replying to my suggestion about moving the fag citations to the correct profiles and there are lots of varying opinions, the profile's original version OR the timeline version can be easily restored.

Is there someone with "some authority" who decides these things? Or is it up to the profile manager to make the final decision about whether to restore their own version OR the timeline version OR my paragraph version with inline citations as outlined in the style guide ?
by N Gauthier G2G6 Pilot (218k points)
edited by N Gauthier
I will send a message to the person who has been creating the Timeline type profiles for this family.. She has obviously done a lot of work on them and it would be fair to give her warning if these are going to be extensively changed.
I concur about talking with the profile manager first.

While this would not be my preferred way to write a narrative, s/he did put a lot into it, and I don't think we should just be coming along and wiping out the person's work.

In the meantime, mark the db_error about multiple FAG entries as a false error.

<soapbox on>

I despite the FAG errors on db_errors and wish they'd be pulled. WHY we're comparing wikitree profiles to other user-generated sites is beyond me.

<soapbox off>
I would like them to do away with them as well, I site multiple memorials in my profiles because when I do a profile I do a writeup on the whole family (spouses & children) and those include sources for each individual. If they have a find a grave memorial I cite that as a reference. I do this especially if no wikitree profileis available for the individual. It helps if I need to go back to that individual to note what has already been found when I get to their profile.

I also use find a grave as a clue source only unless there is a tombstone picture that clearly shows the dates that are mentioned. Anything else is actually an unsourced record like a family tree. We do not know unless it is sourced where the information originated from so it should not be considered the greatest source available. I have one profile that the find a grave memorial has no tombstone and the birth date is several years off from what the census records suggest. There is just no way she could have been 18 years older than she was listed in the census records even if the census records in question are pre 1850. I have tried contacting the memorial owner, but they refuse to change the data or give a source to where they got the erroneous date. It also gives a place of birth, but there is no way to determine that information as she disappears from the record around 1840 and her parentage is unknown. Of course whenever I run a suggestion report these pop up and now I am getting false errors because I use commas in the citations as well. The errors popping up for say a memorial # 35 coming up for someone with a link to memorial # that starts with that #.
+3 votes
The only thing missing?  LDS tags.  I added 'em as they are sourced.

How did two different profile managers create the same type of profile?  Both PMs are very active members, both are working on their profiles today.  I would tread carefully.
by Jo Gill G2G6 Pilot (128k points)
what are LDS tags?
{{LDS}} or {{LDS_Project}} for Latter-day Saints, AKA Mormons.
+5 votes
You certainly started one wonderful timeline to do some cleaning up on.

They are identical to an page. It appears that they just copied and pasted every single one. For me to gather any information about a particular person would be fruitless.

I agree with everyone else. As long as both profiles have active managers, I would leave a concise message to both of them explaining what needs to be cleaned up.

It would take countless hours for a data doctor to clean up all of the profiles that are attached to the first one.

Thank you for pointing this one out.

Great job!
by Cheryl Hess G2G Astronaut (1.7m points)
edited by Cheryl Hess
Thanks Cheryl

One person is doing all the editing for this family in this style. I have sent a message to them.
Thank you Jo for choosing my answer as the number 1 answer.  Guess you were over-ridden.

I appreciate your vote of confidence very much.

Keep up the great work you are doing. You are what keeps our family tree clean!
Cheryl, your's was my joint top answer but in the end the one from Stephanie just edged at as she had included the tweak to set the FAG reference so it didn't appear as an error. Thank you for replying to my question though, and the kind words. Jo
+3 votes

Nathan, lots of good suggestions all around.

I agree with some of the others, specifically that you break it up a bit, the long list should go under == Timeline == and you should have (before it) a short bio, maybe an == Early life ==, == Family ==, == Occupation ==, etc.

Now, regarding the "timeline," I have a timeline in a profile I'm working on - when I started, I think it is all that there was.  I added the early life, family, occupation, etc., and the timeline wasn't so noticeable.

But even so, I found that it was difficult to pick out the details of the person in the profile, it was a bit blurred by the info about the deaths/births of so many relatives.  I tried this, and (in my mind) it worked swimmingly:

I indented (using a : before) all of the facts that were for others.  Here is the profile,

Samuel H. Baty

 if you scroll down to "timeline," you'll see what I mean.

But it looks like something like this:

1885 Birth of Joe

     1887 Birth of Joe's brother Mike

1900 Census records family living in Macon

     1903 Birth of Joe's sister sally

1910 Census records family living in Macon

1911 Joe marries Mary


As for putting sources and info for others, I think that it is fair only so long as it has a bearing on the profile.  Listing the birth/death of a sibling plus that source is valid.  Much beyond that should be on the other profile.  Merely hyperlinking the sibling's name should suffice for that even.

good luck!

by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
Edit to add:

Wow!  I answered before I fully scrolled down that profile.

That needs to be cut waaaaay back - a bit too much info about others LOL.
0 votes
Without having looked but read this whole thread - might I suggest this may be a great place to put the new category Needs Profiles Created which will if the others mentioned in these bios are not yet having their own profiles - then some on with time can do that
by Navarro Mariott G2G6 Pilot (151k points)
0 votes

That timeline could work better if it were on a free-space page (Space:Family of XXX) that could be mentioned on profiles for each family member. Adding a summary for each person on that space page using a subheader for each family member makes it easy to cite that page on the individual profiles. That makes only one place on WIkiTree to store that entire timeline and removes the clutter on profiles. 

Here's an example of one of my free-space pages that sorts out a family that has discrepancies among sources. The Special:Whatlinkshere page gives the link for the free-space page and all profiles that link to that page.

by Pat Credit G2G6 Pilot (162k points)

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