What do I do with profiles I created that have recently been orphaned by the Data Doctor?

+5 votes
Ex: West-7120  

I am certainly a novice and wikitree challenged.  But several profiles have been gutted by Data Doctor explaining that I used the wrong location (USA) historically.  The USA was removed along with everything else.
WikiTree profile: Francis West
in WikiTree Help by Cheryl Mason G2G2 (2.3k points)
Cheryl, looks like most of the data had been restored.  I cleaned up the Ancestry citation, fixed the Ancestry link so it goes directly to your Ancestry profile for Francis West, and then marked the record 'Unsourced', because neither the WikiTree profile or Ancestry profile have any sources.  Others may disagree with me on that, so I leave it in your hands.
You mention 'several profiles', what other ones were affected?
I appreciate the stunningly fast responses to my question.  Entertaining and educational, as well.  When I stated 'orphaned' it was in the context of links to parents and children, not as referring to profile manager.  I am wikitree challenged, reiterated, and will fix up some sources.  The old ancestry file is insufficient, I know.  But I just can't figure out how the whole profile dropped the family.   The other one is John West-7121, it was wiped out as well.  But that one I proposed a pending merge with West-7467.  Then, it will be connected to the right relatives.  

I see I've opened up the proverbial can of worms--to use "county" or not!  Or pre-1776 "USA".  Oh dear.

A hearty thank you ALL!
Hey Francis & it's ok to be a novice. I'll tell you what I wish someone had told me, 1 -join a group 2-  find a mentor. It would have asked me countless headaches.

I looked at the West profile Changes tab & the family info was never added & saved. I've done that. Added a ton of info & forgot to hit save. That's another reason why it's great to get into the habit of filling in the box: Explain your changes. Not only does it help you, & everyone else who looks at your Changes tab, but it's right above the Save button. If it's the last thing you do you'll remember to save your work.

As far as opening up a can of worms...you didn't. All of this discussion is normal. A little more sarcastic than normal tsk-tsk but normal nonetheless.

Always reach out & ask questions. Like Daddy always said "the only stupid question is the unasked one.'
When you enter West-7121 in the search it comes up that there is no profile. However, if you search the surname West, you can find John West (West-7121) managed by you. If you click on John West managed by David Zuckerman, it also takes you to West-7121. There's definitely something wrong with the link to West-7121
You can't enter a WikiTree ID (West-7121) in the Search, because there is no such surname.  West-7467 (managed by David) was merged into West-7121.  Anywhere a link exists to West-7467, WikiTree will redirect you to the merged profile West-7121.  This is normal behavior.  It saves us from having to seek out and correct all the links to merged-away profiles.

There might be a 'ghost' of West-7467 still showing as a duplicate relative on another profile.  I looked, but couldn't find any.

David just merged West-7467 into West-7121 which explains why clicking on 7467 takes you to 7121.  No mystery there.

(The search thing I know nothing about.)

Yes, Melanie, that was my suggested pending merge for John West a couple of days ago and David completed it.  My original West-7121 which got disconnected with my family is now connected and 7147 is now merged into one profile.  I private messaged David to let him know I would work on the profile if he wouldn't mind, but have not heard back.  I just didn't want to start if he was working on it.  

  Basic question:  How do you search for profiles?  If I know the wiki id, I enter it up in the URL replacing my id.  Any other way to search West-7121 that Melissa is talking about?
Cheryl, URL is the way to go.  No need to search if you already know the ID, ergo no search function.
A couple more siblings of Francis had been disconnected.  I have reconnected them to the family; Mary West-7123 and Thomas West-7124.  Beats me as to how they got disconnected.  At any rate, it has me working on wikitree, which I hesitate to do. I love the perfecting that wikitree brings but for me, it is time consuming once I get going.  Accuracy is indeed the thing and sourcing is demanding.  And that is why it is an amazing platform.

3 Answers

+9 votes
Best answer
Hi Cheryl, I reverted the profile to how you had it, then removed USA. But there is not anymore info. Are you sure you remembered to ‘save changes’ when you added more info? The changes log doesn’t have you adding anything after you created the profile.
by Marion Poole G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
selected by Cheryl Mason
All the ones I have used for sources were county licenses. When I got married, mine was issued by the county.

So counties are used and, therefore, people would know which county they are in. 

Not using a named county in a mailing address means nothing.  We aren't writing letters here,  We're trying to convey something to people who may not "get" the local idiom.

. . . it behooves us to remember that the use of City, County (without county spelled out), State, Country itself is culturally defined and there are many other cultures we are dealing with where this particular way of listing places is not common. It helps clarifying what we are talking about for others with a different background.

answered Sep 7, 2017  by  Helmut Jungschaffer



If I write the location Skogen, Grönahög, Älvsborg, Västergötland, Sverige would you be able to determine which of them is a county?

When dealing in emigrants from Sweden I try to always write what is parish and county, if not in locations then in the birth notice in the bio, then you don't have to guess.

I for one would love to find an emigrant of mine with detailed instructions of where they lived instead of location just stating "New York". Is it the town, is there a county named New York or is it a State?? Just because it might be obvious to an American don't mean it is to everybody.

answered Sep 7, 2017  by  Maggie Andersson



The emphasis in the above quotes is mine, but it shows that this "discussion" has been taking place for years before I showed up on Wikitree, or G2G. 

(Those are just two I have found.  I could go on.  And on.  And on.  And on.)

And on.

And on.  cheeky

In Connecticut and other states around here, we have NO county government.  We do not have any county sheriff, elections, or anything else that you have mentioned.

I forgot one:

To avoid ambiguity, it's best to include the word "county" whenever a county name is mentioned.

Not every U.S. city or town is part of a county -- and some places that are now part of a county were not yet included in a county when a particular event was recorded, or maybe the county boundaries have changed over time.

commented Dec 3, 2017  by  Ellen Smith


Emphasis is, again, mine.


'No county' is not the norm, Linda.  I think Connecticut and Rhode Island are the only two states with no county governments.  Dissolution of county governments in Connecticut is a recent development, although miniscule Rhode Island did away with them in the 19th century.  The other states in that area (New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, etc) all have county governments. 

County is also important for distinguishing towns with the same name.  There are at least two Torreon, New Mexicos, one in Sandoval County and one in Torrance County.

Anecdotally, plenty of people in the U.S. who live in the U.S. in states where counties are important don't know where they live.

I used to work for a medical alert company. I started in the alarm/call center. One of our jobs was to determine exactly where our new clients lived, so we could call the correct long distance number for their local "911" (emergency services dispatch) center. We would ask the person where they lived, what street, what town, what county, etc. Then we would call the (non-emergency line of ) the dispatch center for that town/county.

It was very surprising how often we were told something like "No, 7805 West Franklinville Road is not in Franklin Township or even in Washington County. It's a half of a mile past the line into Jefferson County, in Green Township. Your client just thinks they live Franklin Township because their mailing address says Franklinville. Green Township doesn't have it's own post office."
Thanks for the star Cheryl
No county government in Connecticut is not a recent development. All property records and vital records are kept at the town or city level.

The dissolution of county government in Massachusetts was done within the last 10-15 years. Some of the counties in Massachusetts voted to retain a regional government as in the Franklin Regional Council of Government (FRCOG) or the Hampshire Council of Government (which is now attempting to disband). Massachusetts does still have County Sheriffs, and Registries of Deeds and Probate. Vital records have always been recorded by the individual towns and/or cities.

As far as place names go - I usually don't include the word County in the birth and death location, but I won't remove it if it is there. I will often use it in the biography - especially if a record only lists the county as many marriage records do. I am now rethinking whether or not I will change things around to use the word County in the birth and death location to make it easier overall.

On Connecticut county government:

"Almost all functions of county government were abolished in Connecticut in 1960 [within my lifetime, therefore recent by historical standards], except for elected County Sheriffs and their departments under them. Those offices and their departments were abolished by an act of the state legislature effective in December of 2000 [within the lifetime of almost every WikiTreer]." 

Massachusetts has not completely abolished county government.  In any case, for the vast majority of US profiles, the county is a relevant geographical parameter regardless of modern governmental organization.  If a county existed at the time of the event on the profile, it's an important part of the location field.

Melanie, In further research of Rhode Island at the time of Francis West's birth, 1706, the town's name was Kings Towne in the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.  The use of Providence as county at the time is for convenience as there was no county.  To this day, the name of the state is Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.  Kings Towne was divided in 1722 into North and South Kingstown.  In 1729, where these towns were located Kings County was created and later in 1781 the name changed to Washington County in honor of President Washington.
+5 votes
I'm confused. The profile is not orphaned, you're the profile manager. Perhaps you mean it is unconnected since it has no relatives?

The recent  changes on the profile mostly just amount to removing USA from the birth location, which, at WikiTree, is appropriate for the time period. I do see that it appears as if a lot of info may have been deleted, but within minutes it looks like it was all back.

Did the profile have relatives previously that were changed? Otherwise, I'm not sure where the problem occurred.
by Thomas Fuller G2G6 Mach 8 (81.6k points)
+11 votes

The data doctor made 4 changes within a minute or 2, but only the first and fourth were actual changes - the others did nothing.  Marion reverted back to before the last change, but did not put back the information that had originally been in the biography section.  That was:

== Biography ==
First Name  Francis
Last Name at Birth  West
Current Last Name  West
Preferred Name  Francis
Gender  Male
Birth Date  1710-00-0
Birth Location  Kingstown, Kings, Rhode Island, USA
Death Date  1786-00-00
Death Location  Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, USA
Father  ()
Mother  ()
Status Indicator on Birth Date  guess
Status Indicator on Death Date  guess

Although the data doctor should not have removed all that (and the comment about removing USA from locations is not at all correct for what was done), I would hardly agree with your saying that the profile was gutted - there was really nothing of any value there to begin with - all that appears in the data section and that list of data items is not what I would think of as a biography of a person in any regard.

If you look at what Marion restored, she included United States in the death location because that event was after 1776.  The data doctor should not have removed that, although it was correct to remove USA from the birth location, since that event was before 1776.
In addition, the source citation needs to be re-written because what the gedcom import process put there is not adequate.  Also, that source appears to be an ancestry family tree, which is not a valid source.  If that family tree has any sources for the person then you can enter those sources on the profile, otherwise please try to find records for birth and death dates/places and add them to the profile.

If you have any questions about how to do any of this, please post them here and you'll find lots of people ready, willing, able … in fact, anxious … to help you.  This is a wonderful community and you'll find that we all help each other here, no matter what the question is.  I promise you that everyone here was new once and had to learn the WikiTree ways of doing things and others before us provided that help generously and graciously.

by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (945k points)
Thank you for your thorough explanation.  I couldn't see how it got disconnected from family profiles.  Anyway, I have added new information and cleaned it up a bit.  Thanks again!

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