Early Nevilles disconnection proposal

+5 votes
I'll take the extra step of posting here because I guess this family is in a lot of trees. I propose to disconnect this Gilbert de Neville from his current brother and father. (Note: I am not proposing to merely mark it as uncertain, but that is what I am doing to all the generations down to Gilbert and his brother Alan in the 12th century.)

In a nutshell: the above (both the disconnection and the marking as uncertain) is what all better modern sources do, and the only thing the sources can really justify. I am posting here to give a chance for any new sources to be brought forward.

There appear to be no serious proposals at all about the parentage of the very minor figure Gilbert (no surname) who was a tenant of the Abbey of Peterborough at Domesday. Even the ideas about another record which might be the same person, let along his connection to later generations or other English Nevilles, are all tentative only. (But currently being treated as clear and proven on Wikitree.) The old proposal to link his ancestry to a royal relative Baldric the German is apparently only based on Baldric having a son who was associated with a Neufville (a common placename) but based on a proposal about where this Neville is which is incompatible with the modern explanation given by Loyd, and accepted by Keats-Rohan. But even if they are wrong and there was a connection to Baldric, there seems no possible way of knowing what the connection is. (Wikitree just has Gilbert and another even less known English Neville as sons of the son of Baldric with a Neufville association.)

Complete Peerage, Keats-Rohan, and for that matter MEDLANDS all stop at Gilbert. In terms of modern postcodes: 61120 Neuville-sur-Touques which is inland near Camembert is a completely different place to the 76460 Néville near Saint-Valéry-en-Caux and Fécamp.
WikiTree profile: Gilbert de Neville
in Genealogy Help by Andrew Lancaster G2G6 Mach 8 (81.9k points)
retagged by Isabelle Martin
Hi Jillaine, by blocks I just meant project protection, and by problems happening less I am referring to for example repeated attempts to keep adding back parents who we've decided were wrong.

This happens less now in pre-1500, thank goodness. One of the main causes was gedcom imports or other types of uncareful importing from people's private trees, but another thing which has changed is that the number and quality of the editors in pre-1500 has been restricted. We are now more consciously a group of people who know we have to work together and who more or less understand similar standards of proof. (In other words, by having that restriction we can potentially work with less of other types of restrictions?)

Also, I see no reason to believe there has been any kind of aggressive editing in the case which is under discussion here. I'd say it is an old popular theory, so an innocent mistake to at least some extent. We see these a lot, and particularly while I've been working on Domesday people nearly every single family has one or more which leave tell tale signs. It has probably come from dozens of imported gedcoms, and has probably been in wikitree for years.

What I think many people in pre-1500 now prefer to do is to leave a nice clear explanation about older theories and why they are wrong, or what doubts and ideas exist. I have not seen this approach fail yet. To be honest, it also seems like exactly the type of flexible genealogical article we should actually be writing. (I am not a fan of the big school project "they won't let me on Wikipedia" biographies, made of cut and paste internet trees and 19th century vanity publications.)
BTW, to avoid misunderstanding, my ideas about this do not constitute a strong opinion about whether or not to put PPP in place, just a bit of general philosophizing about how I think it can work. My main point in this whole discussion is still a practical one: we have an old genealogical story which we should sit down and think about and then almost certainly it seems to need pruning.
the profile makes a good case for removing the parents.  But I think the various people mentioned in the narrative should include links to their respective profiles.

Then detach the inaccurate parents and PPP the project under the England project?
I agree, Jillaine's plan would be best.
Just to throw an extra opinion in, my gut feeling is that requiring pre-1500 certification effectively replaces the need for PPP in all pre-1500 profiles.  PPP is protection against irresponsible people doing irresponsible things; if that happens to a pre-1500 profile, the individual involved ought to be losing their certification.  

That's different from project management.  These "deep" profiles should all end up managed by a project, although I generally don't propose a project take over until I feel a profile is in decent shape!
Co- management by a project doesn't mean taking over. It does however enable project volunteers to track changes and comments to affected profiles.  This has become one of the most important (and time consuming) aspects of the PGM project.

And we need to be doing this whether or not the profile is "finished".
Jillaine and Isabelle, I'm not 100% sure I can translate the advice to actions. Please check my understanding.

Basically I think you are saying to disconnect but first add wikilinks on some profiles, connecting to some other profiles? So I need to define: Which profiles should get the extra wikilinks, the ones for real people or unreal people or both? And how many other people should they be linked to?

(Even with a small pseudo-family there is a large number of potential links, once we would say it does not matter if they are not real.)

I suppose the simplest assumption to make is that you mean I should link a cross reference between the 2 founders of the English families. But the wording above implies more than that?

Should I add a linked reference to the disconnected pseudo-father also?

Missing anything?

Which profiles should get the extra wikilinks, the ones for real people or unreal people or both?  -- Both

And how many other people should they be linked to?  -- Only those who would have a direct connection (parent/child, spouse if applicable) are necessary, I think

Basically I would add a discussion paragraph about the disconnected father on Gilbert Neville's profile, with a cross link to the "father"'s profile. And the "father" profile should contain a discussion about "his" uncertain existence status, with links to the disconnected son(s). 

My sense is that who a disproven profile should be linked to in the biography is a function of our public education responsibility as genealogists.  Who is likely to come across the disproven profile which now is no longer part of any family tree on WikiTree?  Someone who is looking for that individual because they found that individual on Geni or Ancestry and they believe what they saw.  So the disproven profile needs to contain enough information to help the seeker understand why the profile has been disconnected, and who the profile used to be connected to -- many of them may also be disproven.  So once we're done with a disproven profile, what it contains is no longer for our benefit, but for the benefit of those who find the profile, who at that moment know less than we do.
In this particular case it should be doable, but even though I am for trying to educate and explain, I think we have to be honest with ourselves that with some people there are many different options, often not really argued out in the first place, on the internet. We simply can't give them all a hearing without making a joke out of the profiles, and making this our main job. Furthermore many of the type of mistaken proposals are placed in Wikitree years ago or in any case by people who are not really going to read through any explanation.

I am concerned that we already have a lot of bloated medieval profiles which have dozens of options for everything from name spellings to small differences in birth year guess, citing different webpages on geni or rootsweb or whatever. And just saying that's a temporary thing is not all that convincing. Making a profile this way actually makes future editing harder.

So I think this approach you are proposing only works when there are really well known mistakes that can be pointed to efficiently and usefully. Where there are several options, and none of them really with much going for them, then I think we have to keep it short like saying "Please do not re-attach A, B, C, or D as parents without prior discussion".

2 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer
It's been 10 days now and I can't see any objections to the disconnection, so it can be done now.

What should be done with Ernius? Did not exist?
by Isabelle Martin G2G6 Pilot (302k points)
selected by Darlene Athey-Hill
I have marked now as Uncertain Existence

Will also do the other edits.
Hopefully done acceptably. Feedback welcome of course. I kept Ernius attached to Richard the French Neville. I have not attached Ralph and Gilbert in any relationship. (I considered create an Unknown Neville as their uncertain father to show that they are possibly brothers. It seems debatable whether that adds much. )
Ralph's profile is linked from Gilbert's biography and vice versa, so the conjectured relationship is not lost. It could be featured more prominently if necessary, but that's only bio editing work.
+3 votes
I know nothing about the material discussed but if there's no evidence then I'm all for disconnecting.
by C. Mackinnon G2G6 Pilot (198k points)

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