Not on Wikipedia, but could she still be notable?

+11 votes
245 views

Adding some photos from my personal collection and decided to add a lady who was very dear to me in my teen years. I'm trying to decide if she would be considered notable, even though she does not have a Wikipedia article in her name. She is, however, mentioned in the book "Oklahoma City: Statehood to 1930" By Terry L. Griffith and "The Journal of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, Volume 86" by the Oklahoma State Medical Association in 1993 (mentioning her work to establish Medicaid in Oklahoma). She was also one of only two female graduates in 1938 from Tulane University Medical School. She also has a pediatric wing of a local free clinic named after her and she was one of the founders of the Urban League in Oklahoma City. She even has an award named after here, the Bertha Levy Health Care Advocate Award. I'm sure there's more I've missed.

I know her profile could use some cleaning up (I'll do that at some point but don't have time right this second).

WikiTree profile: Bertha Levy
in Policy and Style by Janettee McCrary G2G6 Mach 1 (11.7k points)

Here are a couple of link that may help, Janettee:

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Project:Notables#Qualifications_for_Profiles

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Notability_(people)

Personally, I agree with Pip's thinking, so just add that {{Notables Sticker}} anyway!

I've added her parents and sister, if you want to adopt them.
Moved to answers.

5 Answers

+11 votes
With that kind of pedigree, I would think Bertha would be Notable, Wikipedia notwithstanding. I’m not sure how wide an impact “notable” people should have, acc. to WikiTree, but I would think that someone with such a localized impact should be included. Just my thoughts.
by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
Thank you for weighing in, Pip! That’s what I’m thinking, but I’m still kinda new, so wanted to get some feedback to determine exactly how how notable someone has to be to bypass the Wikipedia requirement. I mean, I guess I could always create a Wikipedia article, but that seems a little deceitful if the only purpose if the purpose is to declare her notable.
Actually, that would be excellent! The Wikipedia article. ‘Course, that depends on how much time you have.
Rubén! Thanks!
+9 votes

I just noted that the Notables Project does not state that the qualification standard for WikiTree Notables is a Wikipedia article.  What the project states is that "we use Wikipedia's standards for notability."  And the Wikipedia article on Notables reads: "For people, the person who is the topic of a biographical article should be "worthy of notice" or "note"—that is, "remarkable" or "significant, interesting, or unusual enough to deserve attention or to be recorded" within Wikipedia as a written account of that person's life. "Notable" in the sense of being famous or popular—although not irrelevant—is secondary."  So, the WikiTree standard for notability for a profile is "remarkable or significant, interesting, or unusual enough to deserve attention or to be recorded".  Why is Susannah Wesley Notable?  She didn't invent anything, build anything, govern anything, conquer anything.  She is notable because, as their mother, she was the significant influence in the formative years of fifteen children, including the famous siblings, John and Charles Wesley.  Susannah is the subject of dozens of biographical works, articles, and mentioned in every book on either of her sons. 

Is Bertha Levy notable? Most definitely.

by Kenneth Evans G2G6 Mach 8 (83.6k points)

On WikiTree we seek to write biographies on each person.   The Wikipedia definition of a biography is: "A biography, or simply bio, is a detailed description of a person's life. It involves more than just the basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person's experience of these life events. Unlike a profile or curriculum vitae (résumé), a biography presents a subject's life story, highlighting various aspects of his or her life, including intimate details of experience, and may include an analysis of the subject's personality."  I venture to say, therefore, that we seek the notability aspects of each person.

+3 votes
These are always a bit tricky, when they don't have a Wikipedia article, but I try to go by a couple of basic "rules of thumb" when it comes to evaluating them, similar to what Wikipedia would do if they were to have an article proposed to them.

1) Did they do something unique in their lives that only that person did, or very few did, that gained them fame, recognition, awards, etc.? Note that local notoriety that does not make it to a national or international level makes it very difficult to prove that they're more than a local legend. Not impossible, but difficult.

2) Is there sufficient evidence of this listed on sources (typically websites, but also books, articles in magazines, etc.) that supports the information listed, especially the items that are their "claim to fame"?

I think these are the keys to any Notable, so applying this to Bertha Levy:

1) Most of what she did was something that others did as well, although sometimes you also have to take into account the preponderance of evidence that shows they did so much in their life that it was recognized by a larger audience. I have never heard of her, but that's not a good measurement. She does not appear to have been nationally recognized. The few items that stick out to me are:

Her graduation (one of two females for that time period) - although there are others more famous for being the first women with a degree in medicine.

Her being a part of the founding of the local Urban League in a major city, although it's hard to tell with just this information whether she played a major or minor role in this.

And her role in bringing Medicaid to Oklahoma City, and again, this was a federal program, so while OKC may have been one of the first, it by itself is not unique.

Unfortunately, there are millions of doctors, and thousands of them who have provided above and beyond care or even free care to patients, so while this may have been of tremendous impact to a certain community, it's not unique in any way. But based on the items mentioned above, I think if it was written in such a way that proved she was more than a minor participant in the founding of the Urban League and the same for bringing Medicaid to OKC, then it puts her into a gray area where she would be considered for Notability.

2) For the other, I did a Google Search and unfortunately I came up with no sources, other than My Life, Fold 3, and one for her medical practice. So while I would agree that she did some amazing things, it does not appear on the surface that she was Notable in the way that Wikipedia would typically consider notability.
by Scott Fulkerson G2G6 Pilot (418k points)
+2 votes
Anyone can add to Wikipedia. It is not a Bible of notables, per se. If you feel that someone is an important person, whether you agree with their views or not, they are notable. If someone disagrees with you, they'll let you know.
by Katie Olmstead G2G Crew (580 points)
Also if you can find multiple reliable sources.
+2 votes

Charles Doering doesn't have a Wikipedia article, but you will pry his Notables sticker from my cold, dead hands! Jokes aside, I just try to follow the Wikipedia guidelines for notability as suggested. As others have pointed out, yes, we could write Wikipedia articles for these individuals ourselves, but that wouldn't really make a person more or less notable, right? Either they are or they aren't. That said, it's so nice to have a Wikipedia article to present on a Notable profile, so at times I have found myself wondering if there couldn't be a Wikipedia-liason type project. Perhaps there are people here at Wikitree who might actually want to work on creating corresponding Wikipedia profiles? Just thoughts!

by Dale Mutter G2G6 Mach 1 (14.9k points)
As you've pointed out, Dale, it isn't necessary to have a Wikipedia article - just to ensure that one could be created and pass their standards, if we were into that sort of thing. I have access rights over there to edit and such, but I'll admit I've never attempted to submit a new article for consideration. It's an interesting thought, though, if someone were so motivated.

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