Would like opinions on way I write profiles.

+10 votes
I've been slowly adding individuals, trying to do several each day. Problem is that I'm a bit OCD when it comes to both clearly written profiles, and especially about citing REAL sources that can be checked out. My own "style" has been evolving with almost every new profile.

Nothing drives me crazier than seeing a profile with no sources, or that cite only other family trees, whether it be here, or Ancestry, or MyHeritage, or anywhere else. (And yes, I have been guilty of this myself, especially way back when I was first starting out in this hobby (read: obsession), in the 1990's.)

So, I'm putting a link to a profile that I posted recently, and would like some opinions on whether it is clear and easy to follow, if the source citations are sufficient, and any other thoughts that someone might have.
WikiTree profile: Fannie McMullen
in The Tree House by Ron Johnson G2G6 Mach 3 (39.0k points)
retagged by Maggie N.

6 Answers

+13 votes
Best answer

It looks good, but lots of work.

You might find it advantageous to use the inline ref for sources. See https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Sources

My style has evolved. I will typically just keep info about children and parents under the Research Notes until after I have added them when there are links that can be followed from the profile and the notes are no longer needed. I tend to use prose not bullets, but that’s purely a personal preference.

by Kay Knight G2G6 Pilot (625k points)
selected by Lizzie Griffiths
+7 votes
it looks good to me.
by Living Jones G2G6 Mach 2 (20.5k points)
+9 votes
It looks fine to me.

I tend to work more like Kay Sands and put things in Research Notes until profiles are created. Inline sources, as Kay mentioned, can make the numbering simpler since it will automatically do the numbers. You can refer to an earlier one by naming the reference. Alternative, use '#' rather than '*' for the list. It will automatically number as well.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (557k points)
+11 votes

If you enjoy it, you sound like a good candidate for the Profile Improvements project! 


by Maggie N. G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
+4 votes

It is all in how you wish to list your information. When I started up wikitree I looked at what I was putting into the profiles and made a notepad document that had the basic format that I was going to use for my profiles. It has changed as I went along and learned more ways to do things. That being said, I did see three items that I would change.

1. You might want to add a listing with spouse information or at least link their profiles to your biography listing, and also provide links to the profiles of the children in your biography as well. This would eliminate having to go all the way up to the top to click on a relative. It also is a good way to see if anyone needs a profile made in the family.

- example: instead of William Tobias McMULLIN you would put [[McMullin-1510 | William Tobias McMULLIN]]

2. Inline notes should be made using the "ref" tag and when a source is made multiple times the "ref name=" tag. See: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Sources for more on how to do this. The <references /> tag in the source section would pull all the ref tagged sources down to the source section.

3. Your sources state that you accessed the information, but do not say where you accessed it from. Also whenever possible these links should be from free sites like familysearch. So instead of

  • 1900 U.S. census, Sangamon County, Illinois, population schedule, Springfield Ward 6, Capital Township, enumeration district (ED) 100, sheet 12-A, p. stamped 258, dwelling 232, family 263, William McMullen household; (accessed Jul 3, 2018)
    citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623
    Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.

I would put : 

On this citation there would be 2 links, the first one I place where the page information would be and links to the actual census image and the second is in the ( ) spot which links to the database. I also include the roll number of the National Archives publication, which can get tricky to find sometimes, and the film it is on in the Family History Library. It allows for if anything should go wrong with any of the links that a researcher could always go back to the original document.

I am currently working on this individual for reference: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Unknown-430643 . She actually has a duplicate that I am trying to get merged with her as her maiden name is now known so she hopefully will be merged into her duplicate's profile: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Monroe-2468 before I release control to the manager of that profile since I was working on identifying the orphaned unknowns and I am not related to the family. In the profile, I just sourced the familysearch database listings as they were given. I should have put it in Evidence Explained format, but as I try to identify an unrelated individual I find that it is easier to copy the source as given and not have to put it in its proper format. I usually go back later and fix them, but I am awaiting the merge and do not want to step on the profile manager's format of doing things.

by Jeanne Howell G2G6 Mach 1 (11.5k points)
I'd be very interested in a copy of your template, if you don't mind sharing. I'm still finding my way a little here and a template would make things much easier!

Also I never even thought to link to the census records somewhere, since I access my records via Ancestry and know it's not accessible to everyone - so thank you for the suggestion!
I hope this is not too confusing. This is my current format. Inserting the items in " " and choosing the correct items in the [ ]. If more than one marriage I label each marriage or spouse section with the Marriage # ie. Marriage (1) or Spouse (1). Each individual that is named that has an associated profile is linked to that profile when they are first mentioned. Source citations are placed in the ref tags with any sources used more than once being named so that there will be only one listing in the source list. Any items that do not have a source go in the to do section of the Research Progress heading and the ref tag place holder for that information is deleted:

== Biography ==

"Name" was born [about / on / before / after / between] "date" [in / probably in] "place"<ref>"Source Citation"</ref> and died [about / on / before / after / between] "date [in / probably in] "place".<ref>"Source Citation"</ref> [He / She] was the [son / daughter] of "Father's name" and "Mother's name".<ref>"Source Citations</ref> [He / She] is buried in "Cemetery name and location.<ref>"Source Citation"</ref>

<b>Residences, Before Marriage:</b>

: "Year / Date": "Location"<ref>"Source Citation</ref>


"Name" was married [about / on / before / after / between] "date" [in / probably in] "place" to "Spouse Name".<ref>"Source Citation"</ref>


"Name" was born [about / on / before / after / between] "date" [in / probably in] "place"<ref>"Source Citation"</ref> and died [about / on / before / after / between] "date [in / probably in] "place".<ref>"Source Citation"</ref> [He / She] was the [son / daughter] of "Father's name" and "Mother's name".<ref>"Source Citations</ref> [He / She] is buried in "Cemetery name and location.<ref>"Source Citation"</ref>

<b>Residences, Before Marriage:</b>

: "Year / Date": "Location"<ref>"Source Citation</ref>

<b>Residences, After Marriage:</b>

: "Year / Date": "Location"<ref>"Source Citation</ref>

<b>Children of "Name of Father of children" and " Name of Mother of children"</b>

# "Name of child"<ref>"Source Citation</ref> (Born: "date" in "Place";<ref>"Source Citation</ref> Died: "Date" in "Place";<ref>"Source Citation</ref> Buried: "Place"<ref>"Source Citation</ref>); Married: "Date" in "Place" to "Spouse"<ref>"Source Citation</ref> ([Son / Daughter] of "Father's Name" and " Mother's Name;<ref>"Source Citation</ref> Born: "date" in "Place";<ref>"Source Citation</ref> Died: "Date" in "Place"; Buried: "Place"<ref>"Source Citation</ref>)

== Research Progress ==

"Notes, where you have looked with both positive and negative results, theories properly noted as such and your reasoning behind those theories, conflicting data on any fact and an attempt to explain why the difference, etc."

<b>To Do:</b>

# "item needing to be found, completed"

<b>Known Dopplegangers<b>

: "Person" is often mistaken for the profiled, "Name".

:: Reasoning why "person" is not the same as the profiled.

== Sources ==

<references />

: See Also:

* "Sources that pertain to the family, but were not cited in the profile"

== Acknowledgements ==

* "Acknowledgements of help of others"
Thank you so much for that! I really appreciate it!
+4 votes

I think we all evolve over time...I'm constantly changing my profiles as I discover new ways of doing things, and still going back to my early profiles to edit them.

I also prefer a more fluid biography with in-line sources which makes it easier to attach the same source to multiple facts within the biography. 

But it all comes down to personal preferences really.

Here is one of my best ones so far, that I am happy with. James Henry Mitchell . However most of mine start off a lot more basic, and I slowly expand on them over time.

I also use Ancestry/Find My Past as most UK records are not available for free, but you can still cite the full citation and provide the link. I do this more for myself so I can easily jump to the original record.

I also find tabulating information with multiple people (such as census) really useful as you can then just copy and past the whole table and source citation across from one profile to another which really saves time.

by Michelle Wilkes G2G6 Pilot (176k points)
Looks great.

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