Should I re-attach unproven parents

+4 votes
I have struggled with this family for the past 5 years on Wikitree.   

My husband is a descendant of   This is one of the two brothers that have a "proven" relationship. is the other, he is attached to this profile as a son.  The rest of the children on this profile are "questionable".  

Here is my dilemma..   While everything indicates that the parents are unproven, should I add them back in?   The important thing I want to do is to protect the relationship between John and Thomas, and every time I turn around someone has recreated the relationship, anyway.
WikiTree profile: Richard Burton
asked in Policy and Style by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (460k points)

4 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer

While everything indicates that the parents are unproven, should I add them back in?

There are a couple options at this point, including the {{Uncertain Family}} template, if it is applicable:

{{Uncertain Family}} is a Research Note Box for when a person's position in their current family group is so uncertain that it borders on speculation, and/or when two or more of their relationships are highly uncertain.

Otherwise, use the Relationship Status for Uncertain and Research Notes (to document the reasons they are uncertain).

answered by Steven Harris G2G6 Pilot (150k points)
selected by Gary Kueber
+4 votes

I was going to suggest PPPing one or both profiles, but I see they are both already protected.  How, then, are people adding in the wrong parents when your back is turned?surprise

answered by Ros Haywood G2G6 Pilot (487k points)

You need to be a manager of the profile, or a Project Coordinator or Leader to edit the parents of a PPP

A leader added the parents back as part of a merge.....

I Give UpI give up

+9 votes
The reason you have struggled with this family is because it is wrong.  You have an obvious conflict in dates which say the Virginia immigrant cannot be the son of Francis Burton.

In my mind it is important to break lines like this and project protect the profile so the internet errors do not get repeated.  What makes this especially important is the profile is acting as a false gateway to English nobility and royalty.  To leave the parents and mark them uncertain is to turn wikitree into, where the error rate is so high that people cannot trust the personal trees found there.

The uncertain button should be used in cases where there is some evidence that connection might be true or even probably true, but there is still some doubt.  In this case, you have no contemporary evidence to support the connection (baptisms, wills, land records, court cases, etc.) and some very direct evidence that it is wrong (impossible dates).

The great advantage of wikitree is that we can correct the errors of the past and those found on the internet.  In the PGM project we are very aggressive about breaking unproven lines and project protecting so the relationship cannot be recreated.  Break the line; if anyone can ever come up with actual evidence as to his parents it can always be recreated.
answered by Joe Cochoit G2G6 Pilot (165k points)
edited by Joe Cochoit

"The uncertain button should be used in cases where there is some evidence that connection might be true or even probably true, but there is still some doubt."

This makes a lot of sense to me - is there a policy that states this explicitly?

Converting this to percentage probability, that might mean something like this:

>95% ("reasonably certain") - Link parent, no comment

>50% - 80% ("probable") - Link parent, flag "uncertain"

20% - 50% ("possible") - Don't link parent, perhaps reference in the text as a possibility

<20% ("unlikely") - Don't reference in the text, but perhaps include in the research notes or comments if it is regularly linked on the internet.

The line is also problematic in that the next generation also needs to be broken.  Edward Burton who married Ann Maddocks did not have a son Francis.
Joe, You share my pain.....there is so much incorrect with this lineage.   The Southern Colonies project is in charge, so waiting to hear from them.
You may be waiting a long time.  Last I knew, that project is currently lacking active leadership / tracking.

If the two men are known brothers, you could add an Unknown Burton as father in order to ink them, and protect the heck out of all of them.
+4 votes
I have a case of this in my family research.  There is an Ancestry member who recently decided to add my gr-gr-gr-grandfather to her tree - and the evidence simply is not there.  I added a detailed research note at the end of his profile about the parentage dispute:

I will not add profiles for these disputed parents as his parents though.  The evidence points strongly against this, and I refuse to give any credence to the Ancestry member's unsupported parentage claim.

It sounds like you face a similar situation, so it might be worth your time to add the detailed research note explaining your conclusion.
answered by Ray Jones G2G6 Pilot (148k points)

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