New to Wikitree

+10 votes
Hi All.  I'm new to Wikitree, I joined a few years ago but didn't really use it until a couple of days ago.

Honestly, I'm confused and I'm not sure I like it.  Don't get me wrong - I like the idea of it.  I like the ability to collaborate with other genealogists and for having a place where family members can view my tree without having to pay to join a site.  But, I've run into a couple of issues and I'm not sure how to deal with them.

I didn't really expect to run into a profile for one set of my 2x great grandparents, but I did.  It seems the person set them up, used a familysearch tree as a source (which has all kinds of wrong information) and then abandoned the profiles.  Because of the nature of Wikitree, it says I have to use these profiles, but I don't feel comfortable going in and correcting someone else's work.  I contacted the profile manager but haven't had a response yet - maybe I'm being a bit impatient. But I've spent a great deal of time finding out the true facts on this couple, and to have this profile sitting there with wrong information makes me extremely uncomfortable.  I did add a few things, but it doesn't feel right to me because I don't have permission from the profile manager to do so.

I'm also hesitate to add more to my family tree because now I'm concerned I'm going to run into the same thing again.

I'm not sure what to do now.
in The Tree House by Debbie Lamb G2G2 (3.0k points)
I can completely relate to the problems you have.I wish now I had of read more on wikitree before I joined several years ago.

Looks like you're making progress!    

As far as  "stepping on toes",   I try to remember that my ancestors deserve to have their true facts posted on WikiTree.   Wish I could straighten out some other websites too.....

6 Answers

+14 votes
Welcome, Debbie! (Love your name, by the way.)

This is a collaborative tree, that means we share ancestor profiles and we share the responsibility for making sure they are correct. If the profiles are orphaned, you can adopt them. If there is a profile manager you can confer with him via private message or by making a comment on the profile before making any major changes. If your changes are well documented/sourced it should never be an issue. Since these are pretty close direct line ancestors, I would send a trusted list request for the profiles.
by Deb Durham G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
I did send a request to be on the trusted list, but I don't know where a response to that would show up.  Would I get an email?  Same as a private message, is that somewhere on the site or would I get an email?
yes responses to private mesages and G2G comments (if you dont de-select the box) will all go to the email address that you used when you joined Wikitree.
+14 votes
If the other profile manager has not contributed to WikiTree in a long time, you should look into the unresponsive manager protocol. I had to do that fairly early in my time here at WikiTree. I hated to do it, but I tried hard to contact the other manager and they didn't respond.

Remember, when creating those profiles, the other manager gifted them to WikiTree. He or she doesn't own the profiles, they manage them. We are always courteous to other profile managers, but ultimately they don't have a right to have profiles (that they gave to WikiTree) with poorly done research, especially if they no longer even managing those profiles.

Think of it like this: on Wikipedia, no one would tolerate saying that the capital city of the state of New York is New York City, just because a former contributor put that information in mistakenly. That hypothetical contributor doesn't own the profile of the State of New York - and most importantly, they're incorrect, and it can be proven.
by Thomas Fuller G2G6 Mach 8 (85.3k points)
+11 votes
I see in the biography of one of the profiles the PM has indicated that it needs to be updated. I expect the PM would appreciate your initiative. Go for it.
by Living McCormick G2G6 Mach 5 (56.2k points)
Not sure how you found that profile, but I did some updates on the one profile last night.  I wrote that bio in 2016 and posted it last night.  I'm hesitant to do more for fear of stepping on toes,
I appreciate and commend your reluctance to 'step on toes'. However, you said that the collaborative environment was one of the things you like about this site so go ahead and collaborate. Remember, there is nothing you can do to an existing profile that can't be undone. I know that I would be very pleasantly surprised if another member found a match and added information of which I was unaware.
+10 votes
On Wikitree, it's normal to see already made profiles of ancestors. Usually it means you share a common ancestor or two with that person. It's rare to have them close like this, though. When I started a year ago, I saw that my 2x great grandparents were on here as well as a couple other people. What I did was I build the tree up to them, connected and sent private messages. We got to talking and everything worked out.

As you go further back in time, you are bound to find more profiles like this. So, what I would do is connect as much as you can. Contact people. Adopt profiles and before you know it you'll be connected to the big tree.

Good luck and Welcome to Wikitree!
by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (571k points)
+6 votes
You should never be afraid of correcting someone else's information. We have a focus on sourcing the information that we add. If you have a source (citation) and can show the correct information, then go edit the profile, add your source, and fix the information.

One of the nice things about WikiTree is that every change that is made is saved in a history. If something gets changes, and it turns out to be wrong, it can always be rolled back to a previous state.

If you run into an actual conflict with someone else over a profile, there are ways to resolve it.
by Eric Weddington G2G6 Pilot (360k points)
+7 votes

Thanks everyone.  I guess I just needed to know it was "okay" to go in and add stuff.  I've written up a bio for my 2x great grandfather and am now in the process of adding their children. 

This is the profile.  I hope I link this correctly.  Richard Martin

by Debbie Lamb G2G2 (3.0k points)
The link works fine.

Wow. That is a great biography. Perhaps in your spare time you could write some for my people.LOL
Great picture, too! Keep up the good work!
My only suggestion is regarding the notation on your current final source:

You refer to yourself in the first person only. Since the profile is open and may be edited by another in the future, it would be easier for future researchers if you referred to yourself by name, using a wiki link like this: [[Martin-27641|Debbie Martin]] so they know who you are and can go right to your profile if they do want those steps you mention.
Thanks.  I didn't think of that.  I've only been using wikitree a few days.
I've only been here a couple months. It takes a while to begin to get the hang of things. Worth the effort though.

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