Is John M Giffen "Notable"?

+3 votes
Can someone please take a look at John M Giffen (Giffen-260), my 2nd cousin, three times removed and click on the link under footnote 3. This is a Biographical Sketch on John appearing in the "United States Biographical Dictionary"

Is he qualified under current WikiTree policy to be categorized as an "American Notable" under NOTABLES and if so under what Caregory?
WikiTree profile: John Giffen
asked in Policy and Style by Skip Magyar G2G4 (4.7k points)

1 Answer

+3 votes

From the Notables Project:


Notables are people who are worthy of note, remarkable, eminent, or persons of distinction. They may be famous, now or in the past. Or they may be less than famous to the general public, but well-known among their own esoteric accomplished peers.

Examples might be people listed in Who's Who, or in encyclopedias. In general, if such a person's names appears in a number of print references or published lists as a leading figure in a field, and especially over a period of time, then they can be considered notable.

answered by Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz G2G6 Pilot (257k points)
Generally speaking, if they have a Wikipedia entry, then they're considered to be Notable. If they do not have a Wikipedia entry, then we have to ask - "Would they qualify for a Wikipedia entry?" - Then, we have to determine under what criteria they qualify and how are they Notable?

Keep in mind, there are many interesting people in the world who have done many interesting things. This doesn't make them Notable - it just makes them interesting. Notability tends to be something they've done or are doing that would push them into a "famous" zone. First to fly a rocket. First of their gender/race/religion/etc. to own a company in the US. First to hold a particular office. And so on. And the old story about "Fame is Fleeting"? True. What was yesterday's Notables might be old news tomorrow. I've seen Wikipedia pages deleted from time to time as their moment in the sun fades away.

So the bottom line - if you feel you have a potential Notable, explain why you believe they are Notable in a way that makes them different than any other person who has done what they did (or do), why they have achieved the "fame" zone in what they did (or do), and if necessary, why they don't currently have a Wikipedia page but you believe they should have one. It's harder than it sounds, but can be done.

Hi Lucy,

Thanks for your response and I'm sorry my question wasn't stated more clearly. I wasn't asking for a definition of Notables but rather what the current WikiTree policy is regarding a profile being included in that category.

If it is, as Scott commented, having or being qualified to have a Wikipedia entry then that would seem arbitrary in the first case and subjective in the latter.

Since you represent the Notables Project can you please explain your present policy? In addition I would very much appreciate your opinion, and that of others, as to whether or not John M Giffen qualifies to be included in Notables or not and why. Of course this requires ones reading of his Biography and his Biographical Sketch in The United States Biographical Dictionary: Kansas Volume...

I am not advocating for Giffen's inclusion or exclusion from the Project but merely seeking a clear understanding of what is by its nature a very broad category.

Thank you,


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