Unapproved use of stickers by one-name study? [closed]

+6 votes

The attached profile contains a sticker that says:

"Samuel Belden was married to a descendant of the immigrants William Beardsley and Mary Harvie."

Another member suggests this might be related to the Beardsley one-name study.

I'm concerned about creating a precedent with this kind of sticker.  Pretty much every profile could have numerous stickers like this.

Can we get an opinion / decision on this from -- I dunno? -- the one-name studies folks? whoever makes decisions about the use of project stickers? 


WikiTree profile: Samuel Belden
closed with the note: My concern about precedence has been addressed (off g2g)
asked in Policy and Style by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (657k points)
closed by Jillaine Smith

The Beardsley-Beardslee Name Study has 10 stickers so it really jumped out at me but there are several descendant stickers for individuals or couples who don't really seem to be of particular importance as far as projects go. Most do not seem to be related to name studies at all but rather just individual progenitors.

An example

Those stickers can be done by anyone.  I have two on my profile .. descendant of blah.  They can be personalised with an image as well.
Those aren't the same stickers. These are designed for specific purposes and cannot be changed to accommodate other ancestors. The one above is {{John Clark}} not {{Descendant|id=[[Clark-15784|John Clark]]}}
Ahh .. ok .. they looked just like the ones I used.
They display in basically the same manner but are not the same template and certainly aren't being used in the manner the descendant template was intended to be used.

There are others though that are different than the descendant template. For example, one template is used for spouses of profiles in the ONS.
Those templates used to be Project Box or others. They were corrected to use Stickers. They could also use Descendants template, but it is not always the case. See https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Database_Errors_Definition_Templates/Stickers#Others
Thanks, Aleš. I still find it odd that these templates are approved. As I said in another comment though, these decisions are well above my pay grade. lol In any case, it probably shouldn't have been attached to a PGM profile without consultation,
I do not see the sticker under discussion on Aleš's approved list.
Ah, I didn't scroll down far enough. Thanks, Ros. Still seeking the link to the July 2018 g2g policy discussion where this was approved.

4 Answers

+5 votes

I think the purpose of this template has been "lost in translation"

This user box is for use on profiles to show their link to ancestors.

It is an excellent option for those members who do not want to actively participate in the project but want to indicate their connection to ancestors from a certain era (i.e. Pocahontas, George Washington, King Henry VIII)

I believe this template was for use on a members profile to show who they are related to, not to add to all profiles that are descendants of "some couple"

answered by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (473k points)
I agree the descendant sticker is for members, but that isn't the sticker being used. These are stickers created for very specific progenitors or in one case (a large group of related stickers) designed specifically for use with profiles in a specific ONS. They may produce a similar result but the templates themselves are very specific to their purpose and not general use templates. Please see my response to Melanie above.
No, that is about the ONS sticker. These aren't general use stickers w named parameters that allow you to customize the stickers for project/descendant use. They are very specific to their purpose for a specific name study or a specific progenitor.

I believe they were probably created when rules for sticker use and template creation were probably a lot more relaxed.
Ahh, ok.  Thanks for the answer.  (Still trying to wrap my head around all these different things .. and I work on the premise that the only stupid question is the one never asked.  (Because you can't learn if you don't question.))

So very true. I learn something new almost every day around here. smiley

I couldn't easily determine who added this particular one but can I remove it?

Per the help page rules on adding and removing stickers, PGM can remove any sticker it doesn't like on any PGM profile since PGM is on the Trusted List and actively monitors changes to the profile.

+1 vote

According to the help page on sticker use, (1) stickers should only be used to highlight an important fact about a person, (2) unless the prior permission of the PM is obtained, they should only be added by a "contributor" to the profile, which is defined as someone who either (a) is on the Trusted List for the profile and been following changes to the profile or (b) has contributed to the profile, and (3) any sticker can be removed by any "contributor" to the profile who doesn't want it there.

answered by Chase Ashley G2G6 Pilot (106k points)
edited by Chase Ashley

 I fall under "(b) has contributed to the profile" Chase. For my One Name Study I believe " (1) stickers should only be used to highlight an important fact about a person" applies as the use of the sticker or category adds this surname to the list of surnames whom married into my surname family. This "important fact" is highly subjective to me, and I acknowledge it might not be to many others. I would ask though why what is important to me has less value than other member's?

There is no other method to make a list of surnames like this that I am aware of, if there is I would love it if someone would let me know how it can be done, and how I could convert the existing sticker/category to that method without destroying the years of work I have put in towards this integral part of my One Name Study.

If the sticker offends some members of WikiTree's sensibilities I am willing to add just the category if that is acceptable . . . though with the way things have been moving in this community lately I'll take even odds that just adding the category will offend just as much.

John - I'm no expert on either stickers or one-name studies, but from what I can tell, it looks like categories are the way to go. See Categorization and Profile Stickers in One Name Studies. Categories are much less intrusive and, while there is a WT policy that allows any contributor to remove stickers, I don't think there is a policy that authorizes removal of categories.

I find it rather .. interesting that there is such a kerfuffle over something that was in place for more than 2 3 years and was approved by by Aleš.

Colour me perplexed.

Melanie - What are you saying was approved? It does appear that the template for the sticker was approved, but all stickers are subject to the policy that allows their removal. The One Name Study guide seems pretty clear that categories are what should be used to group profiles into a one-named study.
Chase, removal of categories is just the same as removal of stickers, the PM and any other contributor, members of the trusted list or members of projects that the profile is in can remove either. For some reason I do not understand there has been a militant removal movement lately intent on getting rid of stickers and/or categories that don't fit within a small group's ideals.

Melanie, the template, then converted to a project box, then converted to the current sticker was discussed and approved by the original One Name Studies and Template project's leaders when I started my Name Study. I was an early member of the ONS project. The sticker in question is the result of attempting to stay within the ever-changing goalposts about ONS stickers in particular.

My ONS is multi-faceted. I do not focus on just a few important individuals, which just BTW is NOT how a ONS is defined by the Guild of One Name Studies which I am a member of, my study is a true ONS in that it researches everyone with the surname, with a sub-project that collects a list of all the surnames that marry into my surname family. My ONS is complex, I set up a number of categories in order to, hopefully, create some order out of the madness. I think it works pretty well.

I am not so firmly rooted into having the sticker on profiles if other members object, I could just add the category if that didn't offend. I'd love the opportunity to collaborate and come to a positive compromise, but instead of reaching out to me first the issue was brought here. That puzzles me more than why some people are objecting to the sticker.
John - Where does it say it is OK for people to remove categories? I hope there isn't a policy that allows that because my understanding is that they are the basic tool used to group profiles. They are functional and minimally intrusive (although there has been some discussion about placing them elsewhere or hiding them).

Stickers, on the other hand, are, by design, much more intrusive than categories, and are supposed to draw the readers' attention to something notable about the person. What one person considers notable, another may feel is of no significance and unnecessarily distracting, hence the rule that permits their removal.

I'd love the opportunity to collaborate and come to a positive compromise, but instead of reaching out to me first the issue was brought here. That puzzles me more than why some people are objecting to the sticker.


I think that's the part that puzzles me the most,  Although, to play devil's advocate, if it had been done privately, there'd be some saying it was the wrong thing to do.  (Based on some other recent conversations on G2G.)  Can't win either way, I guess.

I'm still new enough here that I have yet to "get" many of the nuances .. and I haven't a clue about project management / project managed profiles.  It's why I stay in my own little corner and research who divorced whom and when; and how many grains of salt are needed. 

rofl . . . grains of salt laugh

I was doing a water change on my saltwater aquarium while participating in this discussion . .  . synchronicity always amuses me.

Chase, I don't know if you follow the Category Project subject and discussions. Whole categories are being removed and the number of categories which are acceptable on profiles have been and are active discussions. The number of categories on profiles has always been up to the PM(s), and they have always had the option of removing categories they either don't care for or to thin out the total number of categories on the profile page. Removing categories pretty much follows the same rules as adding them . . . if you can add them you can remove them as far as I know. Any members of the Category Project following this discussion able to verify or correct this?

Well, totally off topic (which is usual for me, I must confess):

rofl . . . grains of salt laugh

I was doing a water change on my saltwater aquarium while participating in this discussion . .  . synchronicity always amuses me.

commented ago by John Beardsley


Well, back in the day, before "no fault" divorce, it was almost always a case of "he said" versus "she said".  So, if a wife said the husband beat her and drank excessively every day .. where was he?  He could counter with she was argumentative (a "fishwife", or "scold" so to speak), had been having an affair, that the children weren't his etc etc etc.  Hence the need to read with grans of salt.   (Although in one of my cases, she had reported him as having deserted her and their two surviving children at least 10 years before he apparently did it again and she filed for divorce.  And HE is my blood cousin x times whatever.)

I, too, appreciate the seeming synchronicity of things.  cheeky  I hope your fishies enjoy their "fresh" water. 

There was no quick way to tell who had placed the sticker on the profile, and as this type of sticker seems to only exist for a single ONS, it did not appear to be something that was generally approved for use.

If you carefully read the original question, you will see that there was no reason for a "kerfluffle." The concern, and it's a valid concern, is that if these types of multiple sticker templates are allowed for one ONS then by extension they are allowed for all ONS. There are 10 stickers for the Beardsley/Beardslee ONS alone. If allowed for all ONS we will have a massive number of stickers.

I think the more important point is that WT policies do not view stickers as content or anything functional or material, but just as an optional cosmetic element to highlight something about the individual -- eg, this guy came from England! or this guy fought in the Civil War! Since they are not intended to serve as a functional element, but a subjective cosmetic element, the policy on sticker removal does currently not require discussion for their removal, since the discussion would just be similar to "I don't like it and don't think it is appropriate to highlight that fact" versus "But I do". The issue in this particular in this case arose is that the sticker was being used for a functional purpose -- ie in lieu of a category. The one name studies help page states that categories should be used to group profiles into the study, not templates/stickers.

Since it now appears that some people are using templates/stickers in lieu of categories to group profiles, it would be advisable to change the policy on sticker removal to say that the person interested in removing a sticker should check to see if a separate corresponding category has been added to the profile. If so, OK to remove the sticker without contacting the person who put it on. If not, just replace the sticker with the corresponding category for the project/study.

You are incorrect on many counts Deb. I have not caused a "kerfluffle", nor have I intended to. If I had been approached before this discussion was raised here MAYBE it could have been somewhat more polite.

I found the change entry where I had added the original template with 3 minutes, pretty quick. Any ONS can make use of the descendant stickers, which are very similar to my ONS ones and appear to be "approved for general use", I think mine might have been created before those. The purpose of mine is just to add the related categories to the profiles, I would be just as happy only adding the categories, however even they are under attack it seems. The number of stickers I use for my ONS project is not relevant, it is only one of the which created this drama. There are already "a massive amount of stickers", depending on your definition of massive . . . the 10 I use a very small part of the total count.

I think that addresses most of your inaccuracies.

If you carefully read the original question, you will see that there was no reason for a "kerfluffle." . . .


Oh, I know .. hence my puzzlement.  I was participating and learning things by asking questions.  :)  

At least it didn't raise to the level of a brouhaha!  


(I guess I just don't understand why stickers are so disliked by some, tolerated by others, loved by some, and ignored by the rest.  They can convey quite some information in a very small space.  Ok, I'm off back to my dead people search!)

"The one name studies help page "

I am trying to do a true One Name Study, as defined by the Guild of One Name Studies. The WikiTree One Name Studies Help Page was not put together and does not follow that definition. The One Name Study project here on the WikiTree was meant to follow that definition when it was created, but now that definition is not supported. My study was started when that definition was still supported, I and others have spent years now working on my study and seeing that work dismissed and/or destroyed is very hard to take personally.

+2 votes

Beardsley Spouses is a project within a project.

It says on the Beardsley Name Study "This Category is generally used for spouses of Beardsley's associated with the immigrant William Beardsley of Stratford, Connecticut."

answered by Ros Haywood G2G6 Pilot (523k points)
Yes, but that doesn’t mean the sticker should be used or even exist. Who authorized it? Should we expect requests for multiple templates of this type to cover everyone’s pet projects or favorite progenitors? I still think these were created at a time when there was little oversight and wouldn’t be approved under current guidelines.

Aleš authorised it back in July 2018.  We were having problems with the forward slash and use of project boxes, so Aleš converted them all to stickers.

So this single name study had multiple project boxes? Sorry, now I’m totally  confused. Not that that’s necessarily unusual. blush

Yes, a complex structure meant multiple project boxes.

Thanks, Ros. I’m sure others better equipped than I will sort it out. Well above my pay grade. cheeky

+7 votes

The project and sticker(s) are for the One Name Study I started for my surname. The Spouse sticker is used in order to build a list of the surnames that married into my own. There is no other method to build such a list other that through adding a category or sticker (which adds the category) to these profiles.

I would hope that rather than destroy the work I and a few others have done on the One Name Study that members of the WikiTree community would discuss this with ME rather than going first here. I am pretty easily found and am mostly cordial and polite when members seek to collaborate.

Thank you,

John Beardsley-386

answered by John Beardsley G2G6 Mach 3 (30.7k points)
I personally think that ole Samuel Beldon would be irritated that the one aspect of his life that was stickered as notable was the fact that his second wife was descended from Beardsley immigrants. I think it is understandable that people who worked on his profile and cared about it/him might feel the same way.
Chase, I didn't add the sticker to make his marriage to a Beardsley notable (as defined by the Notables project), but to add his surname into the list of surnames that have married into the Beardsley family, and that this is the only method to build such a list as far as I know.. As I've said many times now, I would be happy just to add the category if the other contributors to his profile dislike the sticker. I'd also point out that the sticker could be moved all the way to the bottom of his profile, out of sight if not out of mind. So far no one has indicated they would be ok with me adding the category back to the profile, in fact Jillaine seems to be objecting to that in her responses.

I disagree in principle that Samuel would object that a member of the family of one of his wives would make an observation of that fact. Genealogically it is a common event that such an observation is made note of. If the family genealogists of his other two wives also made note of the same I'm sure Samuel would be well pleased, and so would they.

As for the other contributors to his profile, I wonder if and why their opinions about my attempt to track his surname among the many many others deserve more weight than mine . . . especially when I am more than willing to be as minimumly intrusive as the system of WikiTree allows. A key principle of WikiTree is that NO ONE owns the profiles of the ancients, but the actions illustrated by this debate doesn't seem, to me, to follow that principle very well.

"but I have not heard of people removing them"

Have you seen any Veteran categories lately?

I have restored the profile to re-include the sticker because I see no category associated with it. Sure, place the sticker at the bottom if you'd like or change it to a category.

I have been assured via email that the use of this specific sticker/category will NOT set a precedent for other ONS projects. (My primary concern and why I brought this topic to g2g.) Therefore, my concern has been addressed.

Thank you Jillaine.
Isn't the category just: [[Category:Beardsley-Beardslee Spouse Name Study]] ? As a test, I added that category to my profile and it worked to add my profile to the project. (I have since removed it.)
At least in the case of a long profile with multiple sections, I think I like the idea of putting stickers in the sections about the fact to which they relate rather than having them at the top. For example, in Samuel's profile, you could have an English immigrant sticker in his immigration section and a King Phillip's war sticker in that section, which I think would be preferable to having all the stickers together at the top.
That is where I have the sticker now Chase, with the section concerninghis wife Mary Beardsley.
Yes, saw it there. That's what led to think that that might generally be preferable positioning, at least for some stickers and some profiles.
I've been doing that for a while .. kind of treating the stickers as though they were a type of reference: place it near the "fact".  (I try to position images the same way .. backing up my "fact".)

It just always felt better.

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