The thinking behind stripping people from GEDCOM's???

+2 votes
I am trying to get my head round the thinking about removing people from my GEDCOM on import.

If I have them on my family tree for whatever reason, then all I am going to do is re-add them.  I may or may not choose to merge them with "Historically Significant" people providing I have the evidence, but this would have been no different had you left them in.

All it does is mean I am now wading through the trees trying to tie up all the loose ends left by the deletions.

I exported a GEDCOM and the program I uploaded it into alerted me to the fact that I had 10 people stranded without links to my tree.

Surely, things should have been left as I had them originally until someone else comes along at a later date proposing a merge or correcting my data??

All that the deleting has done is give me a headache and make me retype the information.  The tree is as correct/incorrect as it would have been originally.
in Genealogy Help by David Mee G2G4 (4.1k points)

2 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer
I know leaving all the 300+ year old people out of GEDCOM imports is not a perfect solution, but believe me when I say it was worse the other way! We end up with far fewer duplicates of historically significant people than we used to.

That's why the user groups were originally formed. There were certain people, like the Mayflower passengers, who had 20 or more duplicate profiles! It was a lot of work to get them merged and the profiles cleaned up, and this work is still being done today. As long as people could keep importing duplicates of those people, the work was always sort of one step forward, two steps back.

Now, people still manually create duplicates, but not at nearly the same rate as when they could do it automatically. So that really does make a difference. A lot of people will instead see that there's already a profile, and connect to it rather than creating their own.

by Liander Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (439k points)
selected by Wendy Hampton
+2 votes

I am curious if your people were deleted or merged?

One of the challenges, for some, is the fact that on WikiTree we are not trying to create a repository for individual trees.  Our goal is unification of a World Tree  which means that as you join your ancestors to others a certain amount of compromise and collaboration is required. 

There are many sites both free and paid which allow you to manage a large family tree without worry that someone else is going to make changes.  Having said that nobody should be deleting profiles unless they contain sensitive, profane or personal information about living people without your full knowledge.  If you upload a tree and do not respond to reasonable merge requests over time an admin might make a decision to merge profiles.  This is all well stated in our Honor Code. My personal preference is to reduce the capability to upload GEDCOMS because there is no easy way to preview for duplicates.

The end result of you uploading your information to WikiTree should be that you find new connections for you and your ancestors.  These new connections will lead to new discoveries about how we are all connected.

I hope that you stay with us as we continue to grow but please understand once your ancestors are loaded here there is a good chance that someone else may share new information, and we feel that is a good thing.



by Ed Burke G2G6 Mach 2 (23.3k points)
Some were outright deleted ( the GEDCOM import warns this will happen - just trying to figure out what use it is) others were left stranded.
Were the profiles deleted from 300 or more years ago or did the GEDCOM have more than 2000 profiles? If so the following link may help to explain:

Also, if you enter the profile information individually, you can search for duplicates as you go instead of adding many potential duplicates to the worldwide tree all at once and not realize they are duplicates.
Sure. As I said. I understood it would be about to be done. They are all 300+ people.


Just don't really follow the logic. Goes against the grain to delete data you have worked hard to get.

I would have thought a separate "Historically Significant" page which listed them all and asked you to check them would be the way forwards. As it is I have to wade through checking who's missing and re-entering those deleted. More weird is where spouses have been left high and dry with no connections anywhere.
What  a wonderful way to waste some days! <NOT>


Ok, something's gotta change in your import routine.  As I said, I have loads of stranded individuals (is there an easy way to find these?)

I think I have figured what's happening.  They are all spouses of deleted people, or they are children of deleted people where that was their only link into the tree e.g. Ancestor Bob, who has links all down to me has brothers and sisters that the only info is their name, their parents names and a link to Bob as sibling.  Deleting mum and dad leaves them high and dry.

For me, if you're so panicked by the older "significant" people then there has to be a way of leaving them in, generating all the hyperlinks, then going back and convert mum and dad to blank profiles.??


This is all presupposing that Bobs parents were actually significant! If your search routine were better it could at least narrow down matches based on info in Gedcom and see if this was their first entry into the wiki


So.... Can I find all my stranded people easily without having to sit guessing who has been wiped and who has been stranded.
Dunno what happened there "anonymous" was me again. :-)
Hi David. A change related to this is actually coming in the future. We're working on a feature that will allow people to check their GEDCOM against WikiTree before committing to uploading it. So that'll make it easier to know if there's duplication or not.

As for your suggestion that we import the 300+ year old people and then just blank their profiles, that kind of defeats the purpose of removing the profiles. That would mean the duplicates would still be created, and blanking them would just make them harder to detect and merge into the existing ones.

There's no way of seeing all your profiles that aren't connected to your tree. However, sorting your watchlist by date of birth could be helpful, since profiles of people who are almost 300 years old would probably be the most likely culprits.

Would this new routine keep an ancestor if you marked them as not duplicate??  That would be excellent.

In fact, if you could build on that and it was sufficiently intelligent this could also end up allowing re-importing of gedcoms. Whizz through the GEDCOM doing duplicate matches but just on my tree. Anything different gets flagged, checked and merged.

That way a prog that moans about errors in GEDCOM could be used external to wiki tree. Amendments made and then uploaded :-)

As to not easily finding lost people, there really needs to be a routine for this. You created them :-) so at least let me find them. You even have a page on creating someone not in your tree yet but to keep the info should anyone ever need it. How would you find them again??

This answer helps encourage me: "We're working on a feature that will allow people to check their GEDCOM against WikiTree before committing to uploading it." (In a comment by Lianne)  My gedcom has 1500+ names, some of whom were born in the 16th century. There's bound to be some duplicates. Being a very newby I am waiting before uploading that list. A tool as described would certainly simplify things. Thank you.

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