Are there guidelines for use of prefixes? And blocking editing?

+2 votes
I fear I've displeased someone.  While working on merges and adding evidence to profile pages, I came across the use of "Mrs." as a prefix.  I deleted it while adding details about the person because i hadnt seen this practice elsewhere om wikitree. The "owner" put the prefix back in and blocked me from future edits which will prevent me from completing the colonial merges that I'm helping with.  

A. What are the guidelines for use of prefixes here?

B. is it typical practice to block editing rights  when  someone disagrees with an editing action? (I'm used to the presence of talk pages for discussing differences of opinion.). What's the appropriate way to proceed? Thanks.  

And sorry if I stepped on toes.
WikiTree profile: Judith Rogers
in Genealogy Help by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (817k points)

3 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer

Hi Jillaine,

Blocking someone for disagreements or even editing mistakes is not appropriate. As Mike Lechner pointed out in his answer, it's in our Honor Code to assume good intentions and be courteous. Only vandals and spammers should be blocked.

As for whether including "Mrs." is appropriate or necessary, I'm not sure we have a set style on this. The general style rule would be to go by what the person would have used in their own time.

I know Mike had input on this. Maybe others do? If appropriate, we should add more to

Like Gloria, I wouldn't delete a prefix like this unless it was clearly wrong. If I did delete it, I'd definitely include an explanation when I save the edit.

Also, a note on the profile's bulletin board would be a good idea. That's the equivalent of the Talk page on other wikis.


by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
selected by Allen Minix
+2 votes
I would just advise that you dont edit things that dont make any significant difference to the profile, such as a prefix. Some people like prefixes to show the surname is from a marriage not a maiden name, so that, in such a case, would be a significant error to remove such a prefix. My suggestion would be to privately write and apologize if it was an action that was significant for some reason, or ask for an eplanation before taking further steps.
by Gloria Lange G2G6 Mach 1 (11.4k points)
One note on this: It should be clear whether a last name is a married name or maiden name, because maiden names should be in the last name at birth field, while married names should be in the current last name field. If only the married name is known, then the last name at birth should be Unknown.
+5 votes

We collaborate. When we share ancestors we work together on the same ancestor profiles.

Anyone can view the full profile and any member who has signed the Wiki Genealogist Honor Code can edit it.
Required for people over 200. (Born about 1618 in Chelmsford, Essex)

Mrs.     Mrs. was most often used by women when married, in conjunction with her husband's first and last names (e.g., Mrs. John Smith). A widow was and still is addressed with the same title as when she was married. Mrs. was rarely used before a woman's first name, maiden name, or before a hyphenated surname her husband was not using. For example, Mrs. Jane Miller (wife of John Smith), Mrs. Jane Smith, or Mrs. Jane Miller-Smith were considered incorrect by many etiquette writers, especially of the early 20th century. [Other view points in article.]

Mr. Richard Warren (Warren-2883)  Warren is among the less documented of the Mayflower pioneers. Clearly a man of rank, Warren was accorded by Governor William Bradford the prefix "Mr.", pronounced Master, used in those times to distinguish someone because of birth or achievement. [If we use Mr. everywhere we diminish those that were properly given the title.]

"Misunderstandings and disagreements are common with profiles from hundreds of years ago. Collaboration isn't easy when you have thousands of people trying to agree on the same facts. Please be patient and assume that all WikiTreers have good intentions."

by Living Lechner G2G6 Mach 6 (62.1k points)

Yes I use the title as my father did also.

Mr. Michael Ray Lechner, CW2,

Mr. Ted Harold Lechner, CW4,

Mr. a title given to Chief Warrant Officers in the U.S. Army.

Documentation and sources should settle all these issues.
Example Mr. Richard Warren.
Great explanation.  Thank you, Michael!

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