What to do with A GEDCOM Nightmare

+10 votes
For starters, I looked for my first project to do as a new Norway Project member and picked Anne Andersdatter as an "unsourced profile" from Hedmark.  What started out as a single person (you can see I found her and began building her data) turned into a complete rats nest of incorrect people.

If it were up to me.....I would disconnect everything from "North Dakota Jacob" on up until you can prove he is the same Jacob from Grue.  I can tell you that Anne Andersdater fra Vang is NOT his mother, and the Anne from Vang is also not the same person as the Anne from Grue, who IS his mother.

In my very first outing, I have spent almost 5 days on this messy GEDCOM (for the life of me I don't understand why they're even allowed - too much junk genealogy for generations) trying to piece it together and it just would not fly.  So now what do I do - erase everything and back out......do it right......let someone else do it.?

The bottom line after many days of living with "Miss Anne fra Vang" is that Anne Andersdatter (Jacob's mother) is not from Vang at all, but Grue.  Some of the genealogy for Anne of Vang has been started and stopped by me several times as it fell off a cliff....if disconnected, it would become a "floating genealogy" not really belonging to anyone but her.

If you are familiar with Hedmark - have a look.  My grandmother's side is from Vang and Ringsager so I know these records pretty well....and these lines are messy.

Not a particularly auspicious start on my part.

WikiTree profile: Anne Andersdatter
in Policy and Style by Robyn Adair G2G6 (7.5k points)
Robyn, you sound like the most perfect person to handle this particular mess!  Just the right experience and source access.  I hope you'll continue with it, and I agree with your plan and all of the advice given below.

2 Answers

+11 votes

But thank you - many, many thanks - for taking it on and doing what you have been able to do. Every little thing helps!!

As for these GEDCOMs being allowed: they were allowed back in 2011 when this import was done. The rules and restrictions implemented since then hopefully limit the problem.

There are several more huge imports of the same quality still around from way back when. I'm more familiar with the ones with many Swedish profiles. There is one rather infamous 2011 import, that ends up as many floating little family clusters once we sort out and put sources to the profiles that have identifiable names and dates; it's so put together of "green leaf findings". Out of duty we do some cleaning work now and then, when we come across a piece of it. There can be some sort of enjoyment in cracking the riddles.

However, personally I enjoy it more to either keep building out the global tree by exploring descendants of my earliest known ancestors - plus inlaws and neighbours. Or to help active and interested WikiTreers find out a bit more about their Swedish Roots.

by Eva Ekeblad G2G6 Pilot (442k points)
Should have said: sorry I cannot help with Norway.
OK...glad the GEDCOMS are being thrown in a heap somewhere....but what am I allowed to do with this?  "Somebody" singled it out as unsourced....are they following this profile for action?  Do I have permission to completely manipulate this situation:  meaning: uncouple some profiles, re-do the Jacob thing at least to his real parents?  I don't mind cleaning it all up a bit and basically creating two different families - each having a woman named Anne Andersdatter - but it isn't my family in any way and don't want to make enemies with either the original poster or the person who marked it for sourcing.  I usually only work on my own people where I feel I have "rights" to agree or disagree with information.

As for the "Unsourced" template: probably best to say what I intend when I put one on a profile (but I am convinced this is typical). I mostly use it as a nudge for the Profile manager that sources are needed. It also puts the profile in a category of unsourced profiles for a specified location, which exists in the pious hope that someone will come along and systematically put sources to the profiles. Since this is not practical in patronymic societies, I suspect it is rarely used bu Scandinavians.

I do a lot of sourcing on profiles I don't manage - but mostly I do it like you have been doing: catching on to some problem and untangling a whole family as a result.

Sources are always the king in WikiTree. Now, the tangle you have found does have a manager and when we need to disconnect incorrect parents and attach new parents it is the courteous thing to do to notify the manager before you do it. (Just sourcing correct but unsourced data this is usually not necessary). I think in this case it should be enough notification to just write a comment on one of the profiles. I don't think this is a case of disputed parentage and emotional involvement - it's just "genealogy under the lamp post" = take what you find - the PM should be grateful.

Creating two sourced families sounds very right in this case - and setting the Annas as a rejected match, as thay have been the target of a conflation.

In addition to the excellent advice from Eva, I'd like to say that if the original contributor hasn't touched the profile since the import in 2011, you're pretty much free to do whatever you want, provided that you can document it. The one thing you can't do is to change the LNAB. If you need to do that, you should request to be put on the Trusted List of the profile.

I've been cleaning up quite a few old Gedcom mix-and-match profiles this way, whenever I come across them. I believe this is the only feasible way to improve old Norwegian unsourced profiles. You can't simply pull any old random Anne Andersdatter without a single place name or identifiable source from the Suggestions list and improve it. You have to start with some context.
You all are too funny....I know a big fish hook when I see one coming.....hahahahahahah.  I've gone ahead and dropped down to Jacob (Pedersen-188) and will build up from there.  McQuery did not answer "my-query" so he should change his name (Uff da with a GRIN),  He has locked all the children except Peder who was an uagte birth (was that some sort of family comment????) .....so Jacob, it is.

I'll work a little here and there, up the tree to where I will need the bygdebok - in CA there is no chance of obtaining one - sounds like another road trip to Salt Lake in my spare time. (spare time....hmmmm, another grin).

Eventually I will go back and pick up poor Anne fra Vang whom I have adopted now, symbolically, as "GEDCOM Annie."  However, she will hang in space until someone trundles along and puts her with her people.  I will let you know when I have run of out of steam, gas and names.....thanks for all your help.  ;-D
The green-locking was done automatically upon import. (Was there a 140-year limit?)

I don't know why, but GEDCOM Annie makes me think of Typhoid Mary...

Ah, poor Mary Mallon.

@Robyn, if you're related to the green-locked profiles, you should send a request to be added to their trusted list. McQuery will usually grant that fairly quickly, but you have to file one request for each person.

+8 votes

Anne Andersdatter is one of those terribly common names that can be extremely hard to sort out. I've been doing a one-place study in Lower Telemark for more than twenty years, and I still have lots of Anne Andersdatters of whom I'm certain that many are duplicates, but I'm unable to tell for certain who should be merged with who.

I've actually been working with one Anne Andersdatter myself today, of whom there has been some confusion. I'm pretty sure about the origins of this one because of what may be called the "sponsor factor" - the sponsors at a baptism were often siblings of the parents.

You can't really do Norwegian genealogy on Ole Olsens and Anne Andersdatters unless you study the baptisms, and try to identify the sponsors.

Like Eva, I thank you very, very much for taking on one of those horrible Gedcom imports. Just take care of yourself, and stop when you run out of motivation.

by Leif Biberg Kristensen G2G6 Pilot (117k points)
Good advice as usual, Leif!

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