Disproven Existence Notice - Hanover Clayton

+22 votes

The profile of Hanover Clayton was created without any sourcing. The lone source previously cited was an annotation "Ancestry Family Trees Publication" without link or reference number. This profile was linked as a child of Prudence (Lanckford) Clayton, wife of William Clayton. Both William and Prudence have been exhaustively studied and there are no records whatsoever for a child with the name of Hanover. The Claytons did have a daughter Hannah and it is possible that "Hanover" was a typo or a conflation.

A search of Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org reveals MANY unsourced family trees showing Hanover as the child of William and Prudence. On Family Search, there are 22 records for Hanover as the child of William and Prudence and each one is cited as an unsourced "Pedigree Resource File" (a link to a member-generated family tree) or a link to an unsourced Ancestry.com tree.

There are NO SOURCE RECORDS WHATSOEVER for any person named Hanover Clayton, born anywhere, in the mid-17th century. It appears that this record was created once, likely by accident, and has been re-copied and repeated again and again. Records exist for the other children of William and Prudence and it is probably impossible that the creator of the original unsourced tree had access to birth records that are not included in the database that contains the remaining (actual) members of the family.

Additionally, some of the trees show that "Hanover" migrated to the new world and died in Nothingham, Chester, Pennsylvania in 1737.  The Clayton family was prominent in Chester, William was even on the Pennsylvania Provincial Council and was a judge in Philadelphia. It would be nearly impossible for a member of the Clayton family to migrate to Pennsylvania and die some three decades later and escape being recorded on a single Quaker Monthly Meeting record.

WikiTree profile: Hanover Clayton
in Genealogy Help by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
edited by Maggie N.
Thanks for catching this error!
Beautiful job, SJ.  I have one suggestion - would like to see your last paragraph (the warning) moved to the top and outlined with stars.  I can't edit this profile because I'm not pre-1700, but look at the notice that is currently on my profile for an idea of what I have in mind.  If you want, I'll do the code for it and give it to you to put there.
How does that look?

I'm in 100% agreement about the last paragraph being on top.  I'm only 50/50 on the stars - will leave it a day or two and look at it again.  I tend to think that the huge circle with diagonal line Disproven Existence project box at the top of the profile is maybe enough eye catch for a fabricated profile.  The downside is that we want - within the project profiles - some conformity.  I'll also see what Isabelle thinks of it.

I did add, in the sources section, "Intentionally left blank because this is a fabricated profile."  You know, don't want to be unsourced ;-)
I agree about the stars not looking good the way you have it.  My idea was to have the text centered and only part width, with the stars the same length as the text.  Also, I think maybe only the first paragraph of the warning needs to be at top.

Another thought - how about maybe eliminating the Biography section heading?  That would also remove the table of contents, although you could use the code to suppress that (2 underscores, then "NOTOC", followed by 2 underscores) on the top line of the text area.  Other projects have their own rules about style, name conventions, and all sorts of stuff so I see no reason why disproven existence project couldn't have a completely different format than profiles of real people.
Still another thought - about the logo (the circle with the slash line) … I could make that animated to flash or fade in/out or something else maybe to REALLY draw attention … Isabelle has an idea of what I can do with that stuff from the circle/slash I put on top of a phony coat of arms for her.
That (remove bio section) would require a rules change. All profiles MUST have a == Biography ==, == Sources ==, and </references>.
It's also a rule that non-people cannot have profiles.  Although that was intended to prevent people from adding profiles for their pets and such-like, there are profiles for non-persons that are permitted as an exception - the project profiles and editbot, for example.  Since ALL profiles in the disproven existence project are, by definition, for non-persons, it seems to me that we have another exception here and I cannot imagine anyone disagreeing with an exception to the format rule about biography and sources that are so totally inappropriate for a non-person!
I just checked a couple of project profiles and they do not have biography and sources sections, so there should be no problem for disproven existence project to specifically exclude those sections from project profiles as its own established style.

I hope you are joking about the flashing and fading, if not, let's think carefully about that. I'm pretty sure I have read that is "not recommended." See Help:HTML_and_Inline_CSS

Bennet, I am certainly not joking.  There are many places where animated images are used on WikiTree and there are numerous appropriate situations for their use.  Images have absolutely nothing to do with the help link you are offering, nor are they "not recommended", although it is expected that good taste and web development best practices will preclude use of design elements that result in a circus-like appearance.

For one example of an animated image in use here, check the Holocaust Project icon.
In my opinion, the project box is enough.
SJ, thanks for cleaning up this fiction in the family tree.

2 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer
Hanover has been migrated to {{Disproven Existence}}.
by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
selected by Maggie N.
+5 votes

Thanks for getting the records straight on this "Hanover Clayton", SJ. I fear the amount of bad trees like them are not going to go away. I love that WikiTree has genealogists that care about accuracy here and that is a great thing about our site.smiley

by Maggie N. G2G6 Pilot (906k points)

Thanks for the thanks Maggie.  Been working this profile since mid-Summer.  One thing I've learned on Wikitree (and genealogy in general) is to be patient and to keep copious notes!

Edit to add: the Disproven Existence Project is a great way to block further reintroduction to Wikitree of duplicate profiles of known disproven profiles.  Hopefully, if and when someone comes to import their copy of Hanover Clayton, they'll see this profile and learn that it is incorrect.  If the profile was merely merged to Hannah Clayton, a new Hanover would appear and we would have to start over to clear that bad profile.

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