Personal computer Family Tree Maker files causing errors on error list

+5 votes
139 views
My error list has grown tremendously since a new genealogist has made over 3000 contributions, and many, many of the profiles have external files from her personal computer Family Tree Maker listed on the profiles.  Can someone from Wikitree advise her to remove these files?  There are so many of them, it doesn't seem fair for other genealogists to have to correct the mistakes, and these errors will continue with every profile created.  I have listed only one of the profiles....
WikiTree profile: Minnie Lauderdale
asked ago in Policy and Style by Victoria Crosley G2G1 (1.4k points)
retagged ago by Ellen Smith
Sounds like it's time to add a second option to the Changes page. In addition to "Thank person for this," maybe "Not so much."

See comments below.

Victoria, many of us feel your pain. You ask if "someone from Wikitree" can ask her to remove the junk she's added to profiles. Any WikiTree member could do that (we are all "from Wikitree"), and you are the best candidate to make the first contact since you discovered the issue. Advise her to look at the profile she is creating with her Gedcompare imports before she saves the profile (she might be horrified to see what it looks like). Show her which content is bad. If this is more than you can handle, see the Problems With Members page for your options and consider filing a Mentor Intervention Request.

Thanks Ellen - I had sent her a private email a week or so ago, and didn't receive a response.  Perhaps, being a new PM, she didn't understand what I was referring to.  It seems like a lot of folks don't look at their Suggestion List - mine was long enough before; now it's a behemoth!!

I will give it a try again, and if I don't get a response I will go though the Problems with Members page.  I appreciate your good counsel.
Hello Everyone!!!

I am guilty of this.  I have added only 7 people from my Gencom and stopped.  I am working with an experienced Volunteer on WikiTree to get these 7 cleaned up and will not be adding anymore from the Gencom.  I've decided it was way easier to add manually.  It will take me a bit of time to fix these 7 as I am learning "WikiTree Language" at the same time.  I am also triple checking my facts at the same time.

Thank you for your patience, I do really appreciated it.

4 Answers

+8 votes
Perhaps the policy permitting gedcom uploads needs to be revisited. I have seen so many profiles based on these uploads that are full of useless “stuff.” So many people who upload these large files do not do the follow-through; although certainly there are those that do. Why should someone else have to come after them and do the clean-up?
answered ago by George Fulton G2G6 Mach 9 (98.1k points)

Wow. What a mess.

... to say nothing about citing a source named "File" with a repository on a home computer (URL: C:\Users\USER\Documents\Family Tree Maker\...)

Thanks, George - I agree that there is a lot of "stuff" left behind on the gedcoms, and I'm not experienced enough to know what to delete to clean them up.  The above situation really falls outside time frames for anybody to go in and delete all the external files in the profiles...I have enough of my own profiles to improve, but I can't get these off my error list unless I change what I follow....
Yes, those are the files I was talking about.  There are many profiles full of the same kind of "local user files."  It would take an extraordinary amount of time to edit them out of the profiles....
+2 votes

This is one of the reasons I think the ability to import data from a GEDCOM file should be along the same requirements for Adding/Editing a Pre-1500 Profile.

Oh!  You can't change that Pre-1500 Profile until we are sure you understand WikiTree's Rules, Policies, Guidelines, etc.  But you can add thousands of Profiles on day 1.

I load about 95% of my Profiles from GEDCOM files.  I am not throwing stones at my glass house. My earlier work, when I was a newbie, is quite atrocious and I am going back over all of my Profiles to clean them up. 

Some folks load GEDCOM files to WikiTree to see if they have any matches and possible hints from those.  No problem as these folks are not planning on adding their names to WIkiTree...at that time. But, before you can import from an uploaded file, you should understand WIkiTree and it's goals, at least a bit. ;)   JMHO

answered ago by LJ Russell G2G6 Mach 2 (29.1k points)
Thanks LJ - I am not in the least knowledgeable on Gedcom, and I have only been a member since Feb 2017.  Not having much experience with genealogy, it was a pretty steep learning curve with Wikitree, just to learn how to enter profiles manually, which is all I have done so far.  But it has given me a pretty good working relationship with profiles, at least enough to know when and when not to do editing.  What needs to be edited in the narrative sections still remains somewhat of a mystery, as I don't have access to Ancestry and cannot figure out what some of the Ancestry files are.  I thought the actual links were supposed to be used for online references, but apparently a repository reference is all that is required for those sources?

Perhaps new members should be required to create a few profiles manually before they can import from a Gedcom.  That at least would give them a better understanding of what sources should contain....it seems silly to me to have all that information in the bio section, when it is also contained in the data section right above.  Or it is listed in the bio section, but doesn't appear in the data section.  There's no experience quite like doing it the hard way first...

Yes Victoria, even though I use Ancestry as my mainstay for research, some who do don't understand that using someone's Ancestry Member Tree from the Hints section is not a good source. Sort of like getting 3rd hand information from a 2nd hand source who is a friend of a friend.  LOL.  Who knows if the person who made the Tree actually knew what they were doing. 

Some folks just have an aversion to what they call "pay-wall" sites.  I'm not paying to look up that source, so it must be a bad source.  Funny thing is, I consider when someone use an esoteric book that is not in print and not on an online free archive, they have no problem in using it as a bona fide source because it was printed in some hardbound book a long time ago in a galaxy far away.  I consider that a "pay wall" source because I am probably going to have to spend money to drive to a library that has it, if any, and then pay a fee to photocopy anything from it, if permitted.  And what about the lost opportunity cost of my time lost in the travel to and fro? Sort of a Catch-22 to me.

I don't complain about not having ready access to their "published" work used as a source.  They just need to understand that today, what is put on the internet is considered published as well. Paying a monthly subscription is basically the same as buying a book that has the data you need.

So, if a source is used from Ancestry and the sourcing data includes a factual record: i.e. Birth Certificate, Census, Telephone Directory, etc.  It is a source.  Even if you can't actually see it for yourself.

But if it just says Repository ######## Ancestry com, or just US Census Ancestry Com with no year given for the date of the Census. it really can't be considered a source.  What is the actual source? Or if it says the source is Ancestry Com Family Member Tree or some other compilation sources like I think one is called Family Name Records that Ancestry has available, that is not a source either. Who put it together and where di they get their info.

If it looks like this: Source: S-2075425904 Repository: #R-2141425458 1910 United States Federal Census Ancestry.com Publication: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.Original data - Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, :  Well, that is a viable source.  Not having access to it because you are not a member of Ancestry does not discount it's use as a viable source. And here, the reference to repository number(s) is just something that is included n the GEDCOM file and is actually superfluous. I'd remove them from mine, but sometimes I just a tad lazy.  LOL

Yep Victoria, learning WikiTree is not a hop, skip and a jump.  It takes time and observation to learn it's little nuances.  Took me months to figure out what I was doing badly or outright wrong.  And I'm still learning and fixing Profiles.  So if folks are going to use gedcom files, they should know WikiTree first and learn it like you and I did.  A little time and effort.  And in my case, more than a few mistakes.   ;)  All the best.....

+3 votes
Please proceed with caution.  These are new folks just getting started.  The system encourages newcomers to upload gedcoms and use gedcompare (unfortunately) so we should be gentle with new folks who are simply following Wikitree's newcomer guidance.

While gedcompare is an improvement over the previous gedcom upload process, this and other examples demonsrate that the tool still generates results that are a mess when it comes to how it handles sources in the original software.  

Newcomers are only following directions and guidance. It's not their fault that the result looks the way it does.
answered ago by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (611k points)
+1 vote
I agree with Jillaine

...and, while these references are ultimately useless in this format, they are actually still quite valuable to the original owner, as they point directly to their own local files, that they may want to eventually upload here and replace the references to point to the newly uploaded files.
answered ago by Dennis Wheeler G2G6 Pilot (286k points)
Jillaine and Dennis:

I would never complain about how a PM's profiles look. My complaint is the suggestion list I have to scroll through now to get to any regular profiles that need to be worked on.  One of these error listings on the suggestion list is the full length of my screen from top to bottom. Multiply that by 3000....Do you have any of those on your suggestion list?
I agree that the suggestion reports could be better designed. It was designed by a computer programmer, with more thought to functionality than to usability.

but certain errors, when corrected, can be flagged to automatically "correct" the whole lot at the same time. And if not correcting (or marking as false), then that can also be hidden for a time.

if you'll tag your question with the "data_doctors" tag (or make a new post specifically about this issue), then the programmer can review your issue and maybe make some improvements to the report.

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