Why does the WiKiTree site design exclude genealogical information before 1612?

+5 votes

I was a little surprised to learn that pre-1612 genealogical data was expressedly excluded from the WikiTree site design. I simply must ask...

Why? Isn't the purpose of a family tree to trace your ancestry back as far as possible provided that the data is reliable?

In my case, I have painstakingly gone back through direct-line descendants for many generations; in one branch all the way to ~750 A.D. The data is from reliable sources. Given the 1612 cut-off on WikiTree, I am not sure that I want to invest my valuable time into a project that automatically loses 862 years of my work; a span of 12+ generations. As in... Wow!

For my tree, which currently spans a period of 1,262 years, a loss-reduction of 862 years is almost a 70% decrease in the timeline alone. With respect to family trees, the farther back in time one does their research with the ever-increasing power-of-2 exponential increase in the number of profiles involved, that 70% decrease would be over a 95% reduction in the number of affected tree-members assuming all branches were fully populated.

While that level of completeness would rarely be seen on most family trees going that far back in time, the effective "limitation" to a serious amateur genealogist such as myself is heartbreaking.

Was this impact considered in selecting the 1612 cut-off?

I would like to see a discussion on this topic by other serious members; perhaps in an entirely new thread. As for me, within 24-hours of signing up with a global project that sought to bring the world's population closer together by a common family tree design, my bubble of interest and excitement just burst. Before I lose all of my enthusiam towards this worldwide project, please help me to try to understand the rationale for the 1612 cut-off.

Thanks for everyone's time and assistance on this discussion. I really am disappointed in learning about this desiged-in limitation. It probably shows... <sniff, sniff, sniff...>

Dave Hamm, K4EET

WikiTree profile: Dave Hamm
in Genealogy Help by Dave Hamm G2G1 (1.1k points)
Hello Dave, yes a very good question and what a lot of good research you have done.



Roger Bates
Rev. Hamm, have  you come to understand why we limit GEDCOM imports? You don't seem to have followed through with your contributions.

You're welcome to manually enter your ancesters.
Forgive me for not replying sooner. I am terminally ill and have lots of memory issues. I don't quite understand what I have not followed through on. Could you please elaborate to refresh my memory? Thanks and God bless you! Dave

1 Answer

+10 votes
Best answer
Hi Dave,

We do not exclude pre-1612 genealogy. The limitation you're asking about only applies to GEDCOM imports. The reason for having that limitation on GEDCOMs is that the farther back you go, the more likely it is that someone else has already added that person. Before we put that limit on imports, we had a whole lot of duplicate profiles for people like the Mayflower passengers, royalty, etc. We have groups dedicated to merging those duplicates, which is still a big job, and would be a lot bigger if there were still as many duplicates being created as there were a year ago.

So, you're more than welcome to create profiles for people from before 1612. They just have to be entered manually. This encourages people to first check to see if that person already has a profile.

by Lianne Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (428k points)
selected by Erin Breen

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