How long for bio and USA or United...

+3 votes
I have been researching for more than 30 years and have accumulated a great deal of info on some of my ancestors. How long is too long?  

And USA or United States... Is there a policy?
in Policy and Style by Claudia Scarbrough G2G6 Mach 2 (26.1k points)
No length limit.  USA or United States of America, not just United States.  I use USA, but I think policy is to spell it all out.
The database for the location fields uses United States, which would be the current preferred name to use in the location fields. But USA and United States of America are considered just as acceptable.

I usually use United States of America in the biography. You are free to use your own preferred version. Just be sure to match it to the temporal name of the location - e.g., no United States/USA/United States of America before July 4, 1776 (later for states 14-50, some territories and possessions, etc.).

Most policies on WikiTree are somewhat loose in interpretation and usage, in my opinion, which gives us lots of room for lively debates!!

To be nit picky, July 4, 1776 is when the United States of America officially declared independence but there weren't really any "states" until the war was over and Delaware entered the Union on 7 Dec 1787. Rhode Island was the last to join on 29 May 1790. 

Anyway, wanted to live up to the comment about lively debatessmiley

LOL There couldn't be a Union until Pennsylvania joined up 5 days after Delaware.  wink 

The name United States of America was used in the Declaration of Independence, so in hindsight I think it's fair to date our existence to 4 Jul 1776.  The war started over a year before that, and if we had lost the war, it wouldn't matter now.  You could just as well use 3 Sep 1783, the date the Treaty of Paris was signed.  In between, we were what, 'Colonies in Rebellion?'  'Disputed Territory?.

You could also argue that 'states' as such did not exist until our current Constitution took effect when New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it, on 21 Jun 1788.  And so on.

I think the USA was born 4 Jul 1776, and it has been a work in progress ever since.  Cue patriotic music! 

Just contributing to lively debate. I do believe that 1776 was the birth of the United States but the people of the colonies still referred to themselves by the colonial name until they technically joined. They had lots of lively debates.
Absolutely!  Lively, to put it mildly.  Someone said (Shelby Foote?) that until the Civil War, Americans considered themselves. and identified as, citizens of their State first.  Afterwards, they considered themselves Americans.
I didn't think about the independent states joining the union at different times. Good info.
Yes, no two joined on the same day. Rhode Island, the first to declare independence was the last of the 13 to join the Union.

2 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer

To answer your length Limit question. Anything over 150000 letters will likely show up on the Database suggestion report. Those profiles in the suggestion 801 big profile ( mostly profiles that have repeated sources with the references bloated and are not a good thing. However there are some profiles on there that are well researched and are big only because of the detail put into the profiles. 

Just ensure that references are not repeated unnecessarily and you will be fine. Just be aware if it does become too big it may show up in the Database suggestion report

by Darren Kellett G2G6 Pilot (223k points)
selected by Barbara Roesch
Thank you Darren, I'm in the same boat and this really reassures me I'm not overloading unnecessarily!!  Great for history, too.  Barb
Thanks Barbara.

If a profile is too big then it becomes hard to read. That doesn't mean that you don't include relevant information though.

One profile I looked at had the Fathers LDS information repeated 15 times which is unnecessarily and detracts from who the profile is supposed to be about. Keep the sources and references about the person you are making the profile about and the connections to their parents/children and it makes for a better profile
Thank you Darren, which brings up another question.  I had to request a merge. The other person automatically became a co manager and started adding stuff like that - tons of "garbage" that doesn't do anything. What now??  She made some typos and I've tried to help her but well, she doesn't respond and maybe she's stopped . . . but can I now remove all those sources that go nowhere?

Thanks again, Barb
+5 votes
USA is perfectly acceptable as an abbreviation, as is UK.  Other abbreviations (such as for states) should be written out in full.
by Ros Haywood G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)

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