Seeking collaborator/mentor/guide

+2 votes
275 views
I have clearly been doing everything wrong and offending everyone here.  I believe that information posted for William Hacker-62 is unsourced and possibly incorrect. I would not, unilaterally, make a drastic change on this profile without consultation - even if it weren't a pre-1700 issue - but no one seems willing or able to consult.  This is not how I conceived of Wikitree.

 If no one has information on this profile, can someone perhaps point me to a person who might?

Or is participating on this site going to prove a case of futility?  I don't want to keep bringing the issue up over and over.
WikiTree profile: William Hacker
in Genealogy Help by Lois Tilton G2G6 Pilot (103k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

Have you attempted direct collaboration with the profile's manager?

In my opinion, your first step should be to send the profile manager a courteous private message, stating your case, your questions, and/or your proof.

If you receive no reply, you should then request assistance via G2G or through your Greeter (see public comment on your profile).

If you receive a discourteous or a "keep out/my tree" type of reply, then you should consult the Problems with Members help page for assistance from a Mentor or Leader.

In the meantime, understand that each of your fellow WikiTreers has his/her own priorities, that collaboration may take more time than you've anticipated, and that learning the WikiTree system will take a great deal time and effort.

Just "chill" a bit while you learn the "WikiTree Way!"laugh

No one has been discourteous, I have no beef with any person here.  But I either get no reply or a reply that I need to consult with someone else.  People here seem to be specialized.

I was told that G2G was the place to ask.
Lois, first Welcome to WikiTree!  I think you will find that this is the friendliest place in the world.  I can't believe that you have been "offending everyone here" - almost everyone is very understanding of the learning curve for new members and always ready to help in any way they can to get new members up and running comfortably.  If there is someone whom you have offended, that is probably a person who doesn't belong here!!!!!

Yes, people here do tend to be specialized.  The field of genealogy is so vast that it often takes a person who has a narrow focus on the area of your question to be able to answer it knowledgeably.  As an example, you won't see me answering genealogy questions - that's something that I ask a lot of questions about about because, even after almost 5 years here, I'm still too new at that to know what I'm doing.  I will answer questions about the technical side of using WikiTree or even anything to do with computers or the internet - that's my specialty.<grin>

Whoever told you that G2G is the place to ask was absolutely right - and it doesn't matter what you're asking about - there are so many active members here that you'll get a fast and accurate answer to just about anything you ask in G2G … which brings us to your question now.

Ellen (one of the best and most knowledgeable here) added something called "tags" to your question.  That will bring it to the attention of the people best qualified to answer it.  When you ask a question, try to add tags to it that will help get the right attention this way, but don't worry too much about it - if you don't know what tags to add then Ellen or another moderator here will probably add them for you.

About your question - it's not specific enough for someone to answer.  Can you add information about what you think is incorrect and why and what you think it should be changed to and why?  That's the kind of thing that plenty of people will be able to discuss here, which will lead to resolution when there is a consensus.
OK - William Hacker-62 is generally believed to be the son of Francis Hacker III - 63, but neither profile provides a source for this claim.  I suspect it may have originated with some 19th-century relatives who wanted a connection with notoriety - they could get kind of heated on these matters. At any rate, there seem to be no records showing William as the son of Francis, or Francis as the father of a William, but I believe he was the father of a Francis IV, which is another issue.

Recently, William's birthplace was changed to Andover, Hampshire.  There is an Andover baptismal record for January 1 1691, giving a John Hacker as the father of a William Hacker, with a mother Ann[e], who could turn out to be Ann Bunney.  That would be consistent with the birthdate generally attributed to William.  If this is correct, he would have nothing at all to do with the Francis Hackers.

Slight as this evidence is, I think it is preferable to no evidence at all, but I would like to see confirmation from someone else.
Without evidence, I think its best to disconnect (or not connect in the first place) to parents, especially when you're talking about immigrants. And the fact that you're even discussing two possible sets of parents says to me that his parents are unknown.  

There's such a strong desire to find that connection point to the old world that people are willing to take leaps of faith. Its easy to just accept the "generally believed," but I think one of the things we can offer here on wikitree is offer a more nuanced perspective.  We've all seen how DNA has over turned "generally believed" pedigrees.  Anyway, I think your first instinct to question and track down the "origin of the origin" is a good one.

As far as William, son of John, we know that William Hacker bp in Andover was a real person, but we don't know that he lived to maturity or that he  crossed the Atlantic.  To assume either is a pretty big leap to me.

Once you're up and running with doing pre-1700, you may want to create separate profiles for William bp in Andover and then you can link to it in the text of the bio for William of Virginia.  If research reveals they are one and the same, you can merge them.

Anyway, that's my two cents.  But you'll have to wait until you qualify for pre-1700.
That's a good strategy, I like it.  Looking at Andover, I'm seeing a whole lot of Johns and Williams, many related. Who's to say that any of them left.

It's very true what you say about connecting the immigrant with the European antecedent.  So many Williams, even more Johns, too easy to assume.  Places like Ancestry encourage this affirmation bias.

That text at Findagrave could be more of the same, but it has me buzzing with curiosity about where it came from.

4 Answers

+5 votes
You can find a list of mentors by going to the upper right of this page to Help. Click on Mentors at the Help menu. Read over the description of each of the mentors and contact one that you see as being most appropriate.
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.1m points)
+8 votes

That profile is desperately in need of sourced information -- reliably sourced information, I should say. If you have such information to document what is (or isn't) documented about this person, please add it to the profile. I suggest that you shouldn't delete the unsourced information just yet, but do add text to indicate that it is not supported by sources (and, if true, that no sources have been found that support it).

The pages in https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:Reliable_Sources_for_Pre-1700_Profiles are supposed to provide guidance on identifying reliable sources to use and unreliable sources to avoid. The guidance for the "Southern Colonies" project and the United States Project is fairly general, but it ought to give you an idea of what's needed.

BUT, before you can be authorized to edit that profile, you need to have some additional WikiTree experience under your belt. Work on adding your recent ancestors to WikiTree, or connecting your family to existing relatives who already have profiles. That will give you some experience working with the editing interface here.

by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
Well, that is what I started to do, but I can't edit the profile myself with my neophyte status [it would seem an act of hubris], and I'm not sure what's considered acceptable here in terms of adding commentary.  Asking a question didn't seem to be productive.
If you come across information that would add to a profile or that suggests what’s on the profile is incorrect just put in a comment like “Are you sure xxx was born in xxxx?  This seems to be his will at  [wherever  ] and he says he has lived more than ninety years.”  Or “This seems to be the marriage record for xxx [link to record].  It shows his wife as xxx.”  The PM will see the message and that can start a discussion at least.
Yes, starting a discussion has always been my aim.
Unfortunately, the manager of this particular profile hasn't been on WikiTree for several months, so it may be unrealistic to expect her to respond to profile messages.
So I supposed.  In fact the managers of both -62 and -63 seem to have gafiated, afaict

Are the profiles here linked?  Would making the change for William automatically make the same change for Francis et al, or would this have to be done independently?
If I understand your question, no. Marriage information and children will show up on the other spouse's profile, but nothing else will automatically show on another profile.
+4 votes
Hi, Lois. When I try to contact a profile manager I usually look to see if they are still active. You can do that by going to the PM's own profile page and clicking on "PM's Contributions." If he or she hasn't made a contribution in six months, I won't expect a quick reply or even one at all.

Also, people other than the PM do make changes to a profile and you can see who did by clicking the green Changes button. Then you can contact that person to find out why, if they did not leave sources or an explanation.

It is perfectly alright and appreciated for you to add sources to existing profiles. That is a real contribution. And you could leave information about where you looked and what theories you might have in a Research Notes section. However, I would suggest you not make changes to the data fields (the bold birth, death, and marriage info above the biography) of profiles managed by others until you get a little time on WikiTree under your belt. You've only been here a week. You'll learn quickly.

I agree with the comment above that you should start with your recent ancestors and work back. There are plenty of mistakes on WikiTree, especially profiles made in the early days and very especially with immigrants. You'll have opportunity to work on those when you get some experience.

Best of luck.
by Bennet George G2G6 (9.7k points)
Lois isn't eligible for pre-1700 certification yet, so she cant edit this profile yet.
Ah, yes, asleep at the wheel. Thanks.
+3 votes
Hi Lois,

Wikitree is BIG on collaboration, so while you're finding your feet and getting used to the layout, functions etc of the site by adding your own family, feel free to leave messages on profiles if you have information you think might help, or send a private message to the profile manager. If they're not very active, I'd recommend leaving a message on the profile AND sending them a private message. That way if there is something in a profile of great dispute, they can't say you didn't try and make contact. Pre-1700 status will come, but you need a little more user experience to do the edits :) Welcome!
-Raewyn.

I had a total stranger send me a family tree of my step-grandmother's family. While not blood, I named my child after her because I loved her dearly, so hope to get that tree up and on the site soon. I've had cousins get in touch whom I've never met, all because they found a relative they knew was theirs, as well as mine. They've been able to supply images and more details that I never would have obtained any other way. I've been able to reunite family that didn't know each other existed and what an awesome feeling that is. The collaboration is here on site and also via visitors looking up information.
by Raewyn Vincent G2G6 Mach 5 (51.5k points)
I have previously been such a visitor here, using the site for fact-checking information found at the Society For The Propagation of Error.  The idea of collaborating with informed persons lured me into joining
And we're honestly all learning from each other and that's why we collaborate - not to mention I've met some great people here and actually have been able to expand my knowledge on various resources, as well as historical footnotes. There will always be that one person that gets upset if you touch their managed profiles, even if they've done nothing more than upload a file, only to leave it with nonsense for the next five years, but most with that longevity tend to welcome the extra help as some have very large trees that have been uploaded and I think they've found it overwhelming.

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