Why do we have to add marriage sources twice?

+6 votes
206 views

There is a special edit screen for marriages, but you cannot add the sources from there. So you have to edit the marriage source twice, on both spouses profiles. 

I begin to feel this boring cheeky

Would it be difficult to be able to add sources only once in the marriage edit screen, so that it would be automatically added to both profiles?

in WikiTree Tech by Bernard Vatant G2G6 Mach 4 (42.1k points)

I think the point is that if you want both profiles to reflect the same particular information (a mutual experience) then you can copy and paste from one profile to the next. 

laugh Do NOT have open more than two profiles when using this method, one parent/child combo or one set of spouses -- this will help you avoid pasting into the wrong profile (the third one) 

Ignore the doomsayers about loss of data, which is easy enough to avoid -- before you copy and paste, save what's there on the first profile, then paste onto the second profile. 

This c&p from one file to the second might take all of 10 to 20 seconds or even 30 if you are at a serious physical disadvantage - but if you truly object to c&p onto a second profile, could you at least list the spouse and any children on the first profile. It's entirely possible someone in the future will be in a position to profile the wife and c&p the marriage record, and then profile the children 

Just want to weigh in in support of the option of sourcing the marriage rather than manually putting the sources in both spouses' profiles. I highly value the emphasis that WikiTree places on sourcing and I spend a lot of time tracking down sources for the profiles that I create. That said, I have wrist issues that are aggravated by working at a computer, and all those copy/paste routines add up.

My ideal would be if a source could be attached to the event (the marriage), viewable from both spouse's profiles, but stored in just one place. But even if we had the option of adding a source and indicating that it should be added onto each spouse's source list, that would be an improvement from my perspective (as noted by others, this approach means that edits in one profile would not affect edits in the other profile).

All that said, it's probably worth clarifying that even if we were given the ability to source a marriage rather than add the sources to individual profiles, I wouldn't be advocating for making that a requirement. I recognize that people may have reasons for preferring to add the sources to each profile individually.

2 Answers

+5 votes
Bernard, I create the marriage and children bio and sources on one profile and then copy it to the other. If I had census information, I would do the same. It only takes a few clicks to copy, paste and save.
by Fiona McMichael G2G6 Pilot (156k points)
Yes, but it's also error-prone, isn't it?  Having them linked would ensure consistent marriage information for both spouses.
No, Julie. I have no errors by copying and pasting.
I meant for people who forgot to do it, for example.  (And now that I think of it, I may have copied the wrong thing and pasted it where I didn't mean to, once or twice in my life!)
Julie is correct... there is a risk of error

and Fiona is correct, the risk is small.

The bigger issue is, if any corrections or changes are made to one, they are not automaticatly made to the other. So after some time, things can easily get out of sync.

It would indeed be better to have a single location to store shared sources (some people use Free Space pages for that, but that introduces a whole other set of pros and cons)
My observation is that WikiTree has members along a continuum. At one end are the “drop and dash” members who just want to create profiles and move on to the next one. At the other end are members who work towards genealogically defined profiles with good sources and biographies. These are the people we wish to encourage as they help build a more credible tree. Yes, I’m sure there could be an automatic mechanism for marriage data, but will that really make a difference to quality of profiles? I’d like to see greater recognition for quality profiles rather than number of profiles. (It strikes me that there are many members who spend countless hours fixing up other people’s slip shod work, sadly.)
Fiona, I think you've introduced at least a couple of new subjects here.  So sticking to the original one first, I think that anything that makes it more likely that profiles will be accurate is a good thing.

You have also brought up the subject of who we want to encourage on WikiTree, and how.  Regarding the first, there have been many G2G discussions about the need to attract new members and visitors so I won't repeat any of that here.  Second, the whole rewards system has also been under discussion lately, privately if not publicly.  I think that is a much tougher issue.  Who do we reward, and why?  It's worth another G2G thread, but I'm not sure I want to introduce it because I am not hopeful about the outcome.

Yes indeed, it's easy to copy-paste. But as Dennis points, the real issue is things can easily get out of sync.

I take your point, Julie. However, Bernard’s original suggestion is only required if members can’t be bothered doing an initial copy and paste and amending both profiles if changes are made. I see this as a quality issue.
OK, it's a quality issue.  But the quality issue is huge!  (And as a minor point, I wouldn't assume that every WikiTree user knows of the need to replicate already-entered marriage information.)

All anyone has to do is scroll around WikiTree--maybe during searches for profiles before adding new ones, maybe looking at people attached to one's own profiles...I do it now once a week as a Ranger...It doesn't take long to realize that there are many, many--probably most--profiles on WikiTree that just aren't very good.  Unsourced, disorganized, untouched since some long-ago gedcom upload...but what is the answer?

There are efforts to clean things up, of course, but expecting our wide range of individual contributors to adhere to a higher standard that they are oblivious to may not be among the most successful.

I agree, Fiona, I see it also as a quality issue. 

And (off-topic, though) I take your other points as food for thought also, because I tend sometimes to be a "drop and dash" member myself, in particular when creating profiles for which my main interest is that they are necessary links in a connection path. Connectors and biographers are both useful to WikiTree, in the long run. 

But, agreeing with Julie, I don't want to open a can of worms.smiley

laugh Julie, when we profile, we are all of us aware of system failures and procedural failures, or interruptions from outside that interfere with our completing an action (one kid just set the kitchen on fire said the 2nd kid). Can't let that hold us back from moving forward at the next possible opportunity and getting on with our profiling and editing.  Can't live with horrors of what MIGHT happen. 

If I'm going to live in a world of what MIGHT happen, I'm better off imagining I MIGHT win $2,000 on a lottery ticket, I MIGHT find a $10 bill on the sidewalk while walking to the store, I MIGHT be given a whole cheesecake with strawberries on it, my favorite relative MIGHT phone to talk ... 

What does that have to do with anything?

Julie, Susan is exactly on-topic. yes

During this apparently sooo-simple-and-obvious task of copy-pasting from one profile to another, just ANYTHING can happen, preventing its correct completion. 

I mean, I've created, edited, cleaned, analyzed, munched, transformed etc. tons of data in a former life. And believe me, many (most) data quality problems I encountered certainly came from "obvious and simple" tasks not properly completed because of so many tiny sand grains in the process.

But Bernard, what I said in the first place was that the less error-prone our systems are, the better, for exactly those kinds of reasons.  However, it seemed to me Susan was suggesting that "horrors of what might happen" were inhibiting my "getting on with...profiling and editing," which is not true.

OK Julie, got your point. We are on the same page.smiley

+3 votes
In some states ie Vermont the marriage license is specific for each bride and groom, so it needs to be added to the individual.
by Kevin Conroy G2G6 Mach 5 (58.2k points)

Amazing. How exotic can you Americans get. wink

When I have two marriage records - separately for bride and groom - I include both records in the citation for the marriage and still use the same citation on each profile.  The first time I encountered that, I scratched my head a bit, thinking that if I only showed 1 record, it only documents the fact that the person got married … doesn't show to whom!

Congratulations on your choice of word, Bernard - exotic is a much nicer way of putting it than anything I could come up with!

Thanks Gaile. I use this euphemism quite often, actually. 

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