Question of the Week: What is on your wishlist for 2020 WikiTree improvements?

+40 votes
3.6k views

Hi WikiTreers,

What is on your wishlist for 2020 WikiTree improvements? If there could be just one new feature or change, what would you want it to be?

Happy holidays!

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.7m points)
Great question! Hope you generate some good suggestions from the community discussion.
Why does G2G keep doing this to me? I click "answer", fill it in, and submit, but now suddenly somehow it's a comment. You can convert an answer to a comment, but not the other way around.
How to deal with pre-existing transcription errors, mainly from commercial sites like My Heritage and Family Search?  For instance, in the 1881 Canada Census for Halifax, Nova Scotia, under children of James Francis Rodgers there is a son whose name appears to be labelled Zarene,  and so cited in a Family Search file. Well, "Zarene" does not exist, never has, but lives on in the world of pixels. The name of that individual, it turns out, is "Lawrence", documented through Nova Scotia archives, but misspelled "Larenc/Larens" on the handwritten original and OFFICIAL Census for Halifax, in the 1881 census. Someone misread the capital L in longhand for a Z and Laurence becomes Zarene, all over the place. . . I can make the notes and enter the correct information in my Wiki tree, but the OTHER non-wiki files preserve and spread the error(s). Meanwhile, in that same document "Hugh" is "Huie",  Patrick is "Batrick", Margaret is "Magie", Jerome is "Romi/Roni", Matthew is "Mathiu". It is beyond frustrating.
(Nitpick: FamilySearch is not a commercial site.)

Marilyn, first, don't mistake the finding aid for the historical record. What's in the index doesn't change what's in the record; it just makes it slightly harder to find.

Second, the 1881 Canada census is among the collections that now allows editing of names in the index on FS. This means that you can correct "Zarene" to whatever is actually on the image: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MV6P-MQZ (For what it's worth, I think it says Laranc.) And you have always been able to correct names on FS's Family Tree: there is absolutely no reason for his profile (https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/L81P-WK5) to still say Zarene.

I really really, sincerely wish the Categories box would be visible "inside" the profile area, ...not at the very bottom of the page where they dont even seem relevant, ...way under the Memories box, ...way under the Comments boxes, ...way under the Matches and Merges box, and even ...way under the x degrees from random people connections box.

Please seriously reconsider this improvement which would improve nearly every profile I create and work on.

Thank you and, Happy New Year to all our amazing volunteer teammates!

I took a walk through this thread and collected what I like to see and added a few things that were not mentioned before:

1. In the Private Profile view there are buttons to "add child", to add the parents and to add one spouse. Considering how many people married several times because the spouse died, there should be an "add spouse" button as well.

2. I would love to have an optional modern day location field. This is important especially for the German roots profiles, because there were so many administrative changes in the German areas, that a modern day location field can show in which country a document has to be ordered, which archive is "responsible" for the person etc. etc.

3. Remove the middle name fields. I showed my reasoning in the respective thread

4. Eliminate the "unsourced tree" as source. 

5. Give us a "between dates" option. This can further narrow the dates of an event.

6. The "edit the section" button on FreeSpace-pages helps loads when you have Pages that have a ton of names on it.

7. For the internationalization of Wikitree a polyglott interface is paramount. I know of many not English-native users who complain that they have problems to use the site because it is only in English.

8. Restore the Categories to the top. Down there on the botttom they are virtually invisible.

9. Bold threads that have changed since a user was logged in the last time. This is simplifying the usage of the G2G-forum.

This is my quarter Dollar to add to the thread.

Regarding #1, Jelena, when editing a profile, on the right side under spouse, you can add as many spouses as needed.
I know, I do that all the time. But why do I have to go into the Edit menu for spouses, when I don't have when I want to add children?
Sounds like the transcriber was a drunk monkey. They let you add corrections on ancestry for stuff like this there must be a way on other sites surely?
Would love to see GG better organized or explained better for beginners... I constantly have trouble locating specific thre ads...
I agree. It used to be at the top. After the change when they were moved to the bottom and weren't clearly visible I contacted a project manager and told her a bunch of categories were missing from all the profiles we had added to, and if they had been removed because they no longer existed. Thinking that was a lot of work for nothing, lol. She informed me they were now at the bottom of the profile.

I know it would be quite some work, but would it be possible to follow up on the responses given here and give an overview of which ones are still open, which ones are not going to be implemented and which ones have been granted?

I am assuming there will be a new call opening soon wink

110 Answers

+32 votes
Require a location (birth, death or marriage) for a profile to be created.
by Kay Knight G2G6 Pilot (394k points)

Edie, you don't seem to get it: If a location is put as mandatory, this means I cannot create profiles that do not have a location. This means that person is missing on WikiTree aka WikiTree is not as correct as it could be. A profile created without a location is still more correct than a profile that is not created at all, because there can't be found a location. 

As I said above (somewhere in my earlier replies) I DO NOT read anything in sources that don't tell any location.  A profile with a German name can come from these modern days locations (and I am only counting the locations since the start of the German Empire 1871 and am not sure that I recollect all of them): 

Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, South Tyrolia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, the Ukraine, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, France, Belgium, Luxembourg. 

And you want me to tell where the person is from when I only find a source with a birthdate or a date of death? Ok. Then the Big Tree stays more incorrect than it would be without a mandatory location. But this actually cannot be the goal of the WikiTree-team. 

I have reacted earlier on in this thread and from what I've read so far I notice that a lot of people fail to think outside of the "easy research" part where there's censuses, civil registration and church records. Records that prove direct evidence for some pinpointing towards a point of origin. I get that from that point of view it might be very nice indeed to require locations.

However, I love to take up some medieval research every now and then, working with charters. Most of those really don't provide any context on the birth or death location of a person. In most cases in literature, you will find that those people are mentioned by their "mentioned in records" years. I can get why a date is needed, and often you can estimate some "after" or "before" death date to fill out that field. However, for locations you cannot do that. WikiTree doesn't allow for burial locations, and requiring a death location would require users to just fill in more information there is just no evidence for, because of the nature of the data they have to use. The fact that you in your situation do not experience many of such situations doesn't mean that it will really create big issues to quite some WikiTree users.

Believe me, I do love to fill out my birth and death locations, up till "house level" if I have evidence for it. It's great to be able to see the right context (which really is house level for my European families that stayed in the same villages for hundreds of years, unlike other users state "municipal level" really is not enough detail), but sometimes you just have to accept there is no further evidence on the birth or death location of an individual. Sometimes I'm able to fill out the exact house someone was born in, sometimes a city, and sometimes a barony or county, and sometimes, sometimes, just nothing at all. In those cases you have the biography to show evidence of events during the life of a person, which I think should be enough.

Please don't create any standards that will just stop WikiTree to function for a group of users, when there is no necessity to do so. Like Edie already arguments, we care about sharing information. Information that is right. Following her argumentation, we really cannot force users to put in locations when we have absolutely no clues about birth or death locations. Being able to distinguish profiles with ease is a whole different problem, which might need different solutions - like displaying the names of partners and children by default on mouse-over.

I agree with  @Jelena_Eckstädt and @Willem_Vermeulen

a-  Making BMD locations mandatory for profile creation makes Wikitree impractical for most European users, it will stop working,  at time of creation of a profile I will be looking at someone else documents where none of these data a mentioned. the closest thing is a living location with a applicable date.
b- I understand the problems regarding matching and i do agree that most 20th century data and a significant number of late 19th century data from cities provide relevant data, those form rural areas are not quite as accurate we could wish for,  and you might need historical background to determine the exact denomination of the location, 
but that doesn't imply one should not mention a location form any document (even with the qualifier uncertain) or even when an incorrect modern denomination  for the correct location   

c- burial and death locations and birth and baptism are in many cases "closely linked",  but might be in a significant portion of cases be far apart, so it's safer not to make assumptions not even with the qualifier uncertain , BTW an increasing number of people are buried  several 1000 miles away form the location where they deceased (due to migration or tourism) with the births happening in maternity wards people are not born where they live  and were "baptised" ( we need to find another term for this)  

Fraser-7892

This is the kind of profile I have a problem with. A country listed for birth or death marked uncertain would save everyone else looking at the profile a lot of precious time. I work 6 days a week, so my research time is very valuable to me.
?? This profile has complete birth location and death location. It has dates, which will let you find his death certificate in Canada. The death certificate names the father.

I really don't understand what your problem with that profile is. Or didn't you have a look at it for a week? It was edited a couple of days ago.
Sorry, apparent typo. Fraser-7896. And I looked at it this morning from the WikiTree genealogy feed.

I might have found something. David's wife has a LNAB that is a typical South African name. So I opened RootsSearch from David's profile, added South Africa as death location and here is what I found.

"South Africa, Cape Province, Civil Deaths, 1895-1972," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2QM-7T8R : 13 August 2019), Dawid Johannes Fraser, 02 Oct 1939, Prince Albert, Cape Province, South Africa; citing National Archives, Pretoria; FHL microfilm 1,645,098. 

Over to you...

Duh. I found that. What I'm saying is that it wasted my time figuring out that is not in a geographical area that I am researching. It would have been simple for the creator to have added South Africa as the country of death or birth. I added South Africa as the POB to his wife this morning. I need to know location for my research and I don't always have the time to go in and edit other people's profiles just to figure out that I am not interested in them. I don't think adding a country or continent should be unmanageable for most profiles.
Well, the profile had a marriage location, didn't it? So what did Google Maps tell you? It lead me directly to South Africa. When researching places a genealogist never heard of, Google Maps is the genealogist's best friend :)
You obviously don't understand what I'm saying about adding a location to the profile to assist researchers without opening the profile and spending time researching it, so we will have to agree to disagree.

Edit: You and I have different goals in using WikiTree and different needs, so we have different wishes. So there we are.
+17 votes
Personally, I think it’d be cool to have a list of all of our GEDcom matches, if we don’t already have one.
by Logan Gavin G2G6 Mach 1 (18.2k points)
Could you expand on this wish? I don't know what is meant by GEDcom matches.
That's my bad, I guess by GEDcom matches I meant WikiTree's "DNA Connections". I want a list of all the people that share DNA with my ancestors.
Yes, please!  Good  idea Logan ! All your family start to think you must be nuts , because you say "I'm related to , or connected to, xyz famous person, or this famous person." Show them a list pulled up from the site and maybe you can convince them you don't need therapy, LoL!  Trish -adopted born Loretta Morrison
+17 votes
Removal of the sidebar on profiles (we are one step closer to this with the profile comments enhancement just released).
by Steve Harris G2G6 Pilot (468k points)
I don't like that I have to go into "Edit mode" to add a second spouse. Why not put a "add more spouses" button on the profile?
Steve, why do you want the sidebar removed?
+37 votes
Addition of data fields - or at least radio buttons - for christening and burial (because records far back do not have birth and death details).
by Ros Haywood G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)

Hi Ros,

I know that many members would like this.

Since it has been proposed and discussed many times we even have a page about it: Help:Christening, Baptism, and Burial Fields.

You might want to search for some of the old G2G conversations too.

Chris

I do agree with the wish for such life event fields but then we should also modify our current setup for the union of 2 people
Marriage is a christian concept not a universal one, but "UNION " is 


i would like to change the basic idea of events
birth and death are truely universal events and unique elements in an inidivudals life.

the Union is another TYPE of event, in that it is a ritualistic event but a person may have multiple unions, burial or baptism/christenig are  alos ritualistic events

imho we should use following concept for such ritula events:
-Field  type of event :  values  start of life, end of life, union/partnership, conversion, rites of passage 

-Field name/description of event :  values, baptism, christening, marriage, civil union, civil partnership, nikkah, bar mitzvah, burial

- other fields decribing the event would be   location , date , source  , comment to clarify

but I do get that this would complicate matters

+41 votes

Removal of the middle name field! It causes lots of confusion right now, and is not in line with the WikiTree standards, as the concept of middle names is far from universal (see Help:Christening, Baptism, and Burial Fields ). Just putting everything in the first name field would avoid cross-cultural problems.

Up until the removal of the middle name field - get rid of all middle name field warnings.

P.S. Why do I want this so much? A lot (and I mean a lot) of non-Dutch people are putting in Dutch names the wrong way, and removing those middle name fields errors or the field 100% would really improve the quality of the tree :)

by Willem Vermeulen G2G6 Mach 3 (30.5k points)
Yes on labeling it "given names" (plural), but to do it right, get rid of "last name", too: "surname" (or possibly "family name", but that would be ambiguous for patronymics).
Good idea Willem, I totally agree with you!
I have been following this discussion and i hope my contribution will bring different views closer to consensus.

In view of universality of wikitree, i would say that  "removal of the middle name field" might be a little too far fetched.
In many countries the given name concept exists, with mulitple names given to a new born,   where alos and the "first name" represents the "call name"  or a name that would be in preferred name field. That preferred name is sometimes the first in the line of given names, and might a combined name ( like marie-jeanne or jean-pierre) or an abbreviated or translated name ( like Frans for Franciscus) .

I would suggest that  the middle name field is made conditional that means  the user will have to indicate that this profile uses middle names, or was born in a area where the use of middle names is common or habitual,  and then the user  can enter the middle names  for that profile .
If you are in area where the concept of middle name is alien but mulitple first names are given  all the names are put in the same field ( currently first name) and the call name would in the preferred name field.

I think we should use common sense and settle this locally with naming conventions
I'm an exception in the sense that I live in the dutch speaking part of Belgium where the middle name concept is unknown.
on my Birth certificicate i'm called :  Dirk Emile Victorine ;  however I introduce myself as Derek V. (for Victor), i use my names like a first and middle name.

From a longer answer I made--some countries say there is no such thing as a middle name so put all given names in given names. Others the majority say it is an error if you do that ,as middle name is to go in middle nameThis could easily be solved by being more flexible and changing labels to "first given name", "Other given or middle names". and we all follow the same pattern.

I really don't see why this causes such angst. If a person has 6 given names and that country doesn't have "middle names", are you all running around calling everyone by 6 names? At the end of the day, what difference does it make to the profile if you place 1 given name in the first name field, with the other 5 in the middle names field, or all 6 in the first name field?
The alternative all 6 in the first name field would always then require an extra edit, The preferred name I believe comes from given name field when entering data.

Local preferences means users have to learn a a lot of different rules instead of just one. For many users this is not a problem as they only work mainly on a few areas. For those of us that work on worldwide profiles it makes using wikitree a lot more difficult having to remember what rules apply where.

@Leandra Ford: "Are you all running around calling everyone by 6 names?" : No, you call someone by their "call name" or "preferred name". For example Benny Andersson of ABBA is called ... well, you guessed it ... "Benny Andersson". You don't call him "Göran Bror Benny Andersson", and you don't call him "Göran Andersson". If he was an unknown person from the 1800s in your tree which you had just found the birth notice for you would just write "Göran Bror Benny" in the given name field of your genealogical database program and not fill in the call name field at all until you find some information about that.

"At the end of the day, what difference does it make to the profile if you place 1 given name in the first name field, with the other 5 in the middle names field": Being forced to enter data in a bogus way leads to problems and misunderstandings every day. The fields are handled differently on the site (of course), and every way that they are handled differently is one source of problems.

Below is an example of how name entry can look in proper genealogical software, in this case Gramps. There is a field for "Call [name]" where "Sara" or "Lotta" could be entered if there is any evidence for that, but in this case the field is still empty. In Wikitree that is not possible.

The problem with the WikiTree name presentations is that they work so badly when the call name is not the first of the given names. I remember when Abby contacted us about having Sven Palme as profile of the week. Like: who is Sven Palme??? I hadn't worked on his profile and never before noticed that Olof Palme's first given name was Sven.
Wikitree has a preferred name and an other nicknames field. It works very nicely for my grandfather Howard Clive Engstrom, who was known as Clive to family and friends.

I'm from South Australia, where Prussian immigrants often had 3 and sometimes 4 given names, with a custom to using the name immediately before the surname as their preferred name. When they registered BMDs, which was interacting with a British based system, sometimes the record has their full name, sometimes only the first given name, sometimes only the preferred call name. The Wikitree fields handle all of that. A middle name is simply the name between the first and the last one, and its interchangeable with the term "second given name".

Here's an example of a profile for a Prussian immigrant that I manage. His full name is Friedrich Wilhelm Albert Carl Launer, and he was known as Carl to his family and friends. No matter whether Friedrich or Carl has been used in records where only one of his names is recorded, anyone can search and find his profile here. How is this a problem?
https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Launer-63
+20 votes
Maybe it would be a good idea to improve the menu's and get rid of half the options in there. Right now it's impossible to find your way through the non-profiles-site using the menu - Google is the menu of WikiTree right now. I think that rethinking the menu and navigation could significantly improve the ability of new users to integrate within the community.
by Willem Vermeulen G2G6 Mach 3 (30.5k points)
Please explain further.  I like most of my menus.
I never use Google to search WikiTree.
Using google can be a lot quicker.
The problem is that a lot of new users will not be able to find the important pages easily. According to the current menu bar "everything is important but some things are more importanter". By removing stuff that is not really important to all users the general user flow will become much better.
ABSOLUTELY. I am a new member and I really struggle to find almost anything here.
Sue, I know many WikiTree users keep lists of their most-used WikiTree pages.  Some people put the links on their own profiles for convenience.
Yeah Julie, I think that might the way to work around the current mess without Googling! I still hope it will be fixed this year so that new members can easily use the website without hacking the system :-)
I would if I knew how to do that Julie Kelts. Any page that has this info on it easily understood for newbies to the site?

Sue, if you look at my own profile, there is a section after the Biography called "Some links and free-space pages."  I've just pasted some links there (not anything you would want, but it's an illustration of what I mean).

Here are some links you might find useful.  You could copy them and paste them somewhere convenient for you:

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:How_to_Get_Started_with_Genealogy

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:New_Member_How-To

https://www.wikitree.com/index.php?title=Space:G2G_FAQ&public=1

+20 votes
Addition of more [official] source templates, like the Find A Grave template.  E.g. to census records.  Advantages would be better ability to properly define the sources, and to provide links to records that could be readily updated if the source url changes.  In the long-term, the use of standard templates will eventually allow more automated assessment of profile sourcing extent.
by Paul Gierszewski G2G6 Mach 4 (48.2k points)
I dutifully went to the Chicago Manual of Style to learn how to source and reference. It was many, many pages of irrelevant stuff, so I gave up: TMI.  Wiki volunteers have been more helpful. However, it often seems like I'm arriving into the middle of a discussion - wth are the comments about? I agree that specific templates are most helpful. It is annoying to - for instance - document a provincial archive with year, location, date, name and reference/book/page/line number and have someone "correct" it with a two inch thick addenda that says the same thing but takes several billion more pixels. I LIKE the Find A Grave template. We need more like it ON THE SIDEBAR so we can Copy and Paste.
Until I started helping on Data Doctors , I didn't know that there is a standardized way to cite Find A Grave on Wiki Tree and most do not do it correctly.  Go to the bottom of the Find a grave page of person and click Source Citation, copy what comes up paste in profile.  Copy URL link paste at end.  After memorial page for xyz  place the symbol I (it's above the\ , forward slash on the keyboard  ). Type profile name and-#.  This will link to the profile.    Now I am not saying I have fixed every profile of mine after learning this.   And I personally think just a URL link to Find a grave is fine.  Just saying that Wiki Tree already has a standard for citation. Would be much easier with some kind of template.
I partially agree with this (some kind of standardisation), but I think better approach would be to let users insert only pure data and let WikiTree handle the rest. Imagine inserting an url and (if the website is known - FindAGrave, Billiongraves, FamilySearch,...) let WikiTree prefill all the fields with with the option to correct it by hand. After confirming data, WikiTree would format it using some standardised way.

That would have other implication - easier work with data itself (sorting, filtering,...)

Moreover, many resources are referencing more than one person (birth certificate = child + mother + father + their parents; census = all people living at that place at that time; school records = all children visiting the school - or particular class; ...) so it's nonsense to have resource so tightly coupled with only one person without any possibility to reuse it at another profile.
+23 votes

No middle name option when creating profiles.

Connecting historical place names in our database with geographic coordinates so that locations can be used more effectively.

Internationalisation of Name fields and LNAB

by Louis Heyman G2G6 Mach 6 (67.1k points)
+14 votes
A limit on the number of profile managers tied to one profile.
by Lydia Vierson G2G5 (5.4k points)
Is this an issue? Do you have any examples of a profile with too many PMs?

You know you can just remove PMs from the profile if you are a PM? Particularly if it's a pre-1700 profile and the PM doesn't have pre-1700 badge.
Unfortunately, I have several examples.  However, to list them/link them would be naming several WikiTreers - and we don't do that.
I would say that when a profile has more than like 5 managers especially including managers with very little experience/contributions there is a very high likelihood of edits, merges and trusted list additions that are either wrong, not useful or create more work to undo.

In know how to remove PMs but there really isn't much of a criteria for responsibilities one assumes as a PM. I think some researchers feel like they "own" that ancestor and are very inflexible to even consider that information needs to be updated, better sourced etc... Newbies seem to want to be PMs on everyone and on trusted lists even when a profile is open. I think it is an education issue more than anything.
I agree, Lydia. Some people want to stick all of their living relatives as profile managers on the profiles of their ancestors ... and their family members aren't even active WikiTreers.  I asked one WikiTreer to not add his nephew as a PM because there were so many PM's. Then he asked if I wanted to be the only one. I said not at all and explained the purpose of PM's. So that fixed one profile. But he has another one which now has 7 profile managers. The way this happens is he creates a duplicate then forces a merge. Now he's a profile manager ready to add more and wreak havoc. And yes I went through the problems with members process.

Edit: That wasn't the main problem I was having with him. It was the purposeful creation of duplicates, and hundreds of edits and changes in parentage without collaboration with the other PM's.

"There really isn't much of a criteria for responsibilities one assumes as a PM."

See https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Profile_Manager

What's it missing? 

The Profile Manager Help page currently states: "If a profile has more than four or five profile managers, it becomes unwieldy. Any profile manager can remove another profile manager in these cases, but it should be discussed first."

I think this already covers your concern. If someone too inexperienced is a PM, be bold and kick them off. 

"It should be discussed first." Those conversations become somewhat confrontational.  You would think the WikiTreer would get the hint and stop doing it.
+15 votes

Add Watson to Wikitree, to find/add family members, sources, and build the biography. OK so I'm dreaming. Maybe someday. But for 2020 I'd like to see some work done on location fields.

Make Location field a relational field with date, location name and event. This would allow for a nice chronology of their life. This would also solve the problem of christening, burial and would allow for search on someone who moved many times.

On the lookup of the location field, it could link to a date range. This secondary relational field would then add the correct location name for that time frame and add the location Category. This would solve most of the 600's errors.

by Richard Devlin G2G6 Pilot (304k points)

Very good.

There is already an implementation of your suggestions:

Take an unique ID for any Place, Entity, Political Connection, Country, etc. (with or without coordinates), and connect any of those ID's within timeframes.
A exhaustive example will be http://gov.genealogy.net/item/show/DINDE1JO31HS (or search for "Dingden" at the site and click on "Dorf Dingden"), that shows the historical affiliation over time of a small town.

+24 votes

For one, I'd like to have an invite link tool that helps connect DNA matches more quickly to WikiTree, as previously suggested. The invite process really could be streamlined. Right now it's either (A) you have the person's email and a profile set up for that person already or (B) just "hey, you should join WikiTree, there's a profile for your great grandfather here...." But getting that person connected is a massive hassle. 

Another change that would be small but beneficial: Having visible roles on G2G. It does not help me, the random user, to know that Eowyn is a "G2G Astronaut". It would help me to know that she's "WikiTree Staff". Or that Jillaine Smith is a "Project Leader". The Astronaut, Pilot, G2G6 names are cute, but not very informative when it comes to providing clear lines of communication and authoritative answers, especially when an "official answer" is provided. Many other forum sites do this, including permitting the "moderator flair" to be turned on or off, depending on whether they are giving an official answer.

by anonymous G2G6 Pilot (128k points)
Love the idea for visible rules in g2g.  Totally concur that our roles would be much more useful than the "titles" we're given due to the counting mechanism.  In fact I'd get rid of that counting mechanism all together.  I've never liked the points system.
Murphy, I agree with both of your suggestions. I do think however that we should add one more to the roles thing - a designation for replies by the original poster (similar to different name color OPs get on Reddit) would be an improvement, especially when searching through disastrously long threads where you want to be able to answer subsequent questions that may have arisen.
+40 votes
1. Eliminate "Unsourced family tree" as an acceptable "source."

2. Add a between option to date fields. I have a date a will was made and a date it was proved. Using just after the date made or just before the date proved for the death date leaves it open-ended and therefore of limited utility. Same situation for date a marriage intention was published and first child was born.
by Stu Bloom G2G6 Mach 6 (61.0k points)
edited by Stu Bloom
Yes, I really would like to see a date range option.
Yes, yes, yes, to #1.

"Before {date}" , "After {date}", "About {date}" aka
"< {date}", "> {date}", "~ {date}"

or

"Between {Date1} and {Date2}" aka
"{date1} .. {date2}"

RootsMagic allows entry of before, after, or between dates in a single field and is able to sort on them. The logic can't be rocket science to implement.
Mark all profiles that contain"Unsourced Family Tree" as {{Unsourced}}
Just move Unsourced family tree references to bottom of "Sources" area with sub-heading "See also:" just as is done for FindAGrave references...been doing this for a couple years already!
Yes Russ, or move to a Notes section.... same just different heading.  Probably should have admin decide a heading name and move all them there and add Un-sourced.   I spent time trying to source about 30 gedcom dumps , I call them, that had only family tree as a source recently.  Maybe sourced a third  of them.  And moved the rest out of source section and added Unsourced tag.  What a pain!  I know it would discourage folks from contributions,  but many of us are on here because we didn't want Wiki to become an opinion based tree like so many other sites. More fact based.

According to the new draft FAQ on sources, "Unsourced family tree" is an acceptable source for post-1700 profiles, and they should not therefore be marked Unsourced. I don't agree with that, but management has decided that getting to the next million is more important than insisting on real sources.

It's okay to get started with, but then should source it or get help sourcing it especially if it's your own family

Good work Loretta!

Wow Stu, I hadn't seen that yet...ughh
Yeah wow Stu, what? I thought Wiki was going for quality before quantity?
+18 votes
This may already exist.  If so then I will learn from those who show me how.

I would like a cross referencing tool that shows something like the census page and all the profiles that can use that page as a source.  Or at least show the other profiles that have already referenced it.  I am thinking of something more robust than categories.
by Gurney Thompson G2G6 Pilot (183k points)
The format is similar for wt space pages: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Special:Whatlinkshere/Space:Name
MediaWiki has index.php?search=blah, which will search the stored raw wikitext pages for blah.  But on WikiTree it always diverts to the search form, and there's no way to access the core functionality.

It would be especially useful to find all links to the same book or site, because the Google search doesn't do it - they don't index the hrefs, so you can't search for URLs.

It would also be useful to search for commented-out text, template parameters etc that Google never sees.

WhatLinksHere produces pretty useless results for template calls, because it doesn't show you what parameters are passed.
+18 votes

I have a few ideas, so I'm putting them as separate answers (hope that's ok!)

Develop a separate "location" namespace that you can link profiles too rather than just clicking through to a google map.

WeRelate did this quite well - eg see https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Place:Wimbotsham%2C_Norfolk%2C_England

You can also link in the GENUKI and FamilySearch wiki pages

by Andrew Turvey G2G6 Mach 3 (33.4k points)
+25 votes
Idea #2

Develop the matching algorithm to also use location fields.

As a broader point, WikiTree is growing quickly and now has more than 22m profiles. Whilst this is fantastic, we need to look ahead and realise a site with 20m, 30m, 40m profiles is going to work differently to a site with 5m, 10m profiles. One example of this is matching: the results will start to get less and less useful with growth. Adding location will enable this growth.
by Andrew Turvey G2G6 Mach 3 (33.4k points)
Uploading a Gedcom to WikiTree is an incredibly slow business, largely due to the need to check through possible matches before adding each profile.  This might not seem like much of an issue to those who don't want to do things that way, but it will be putting some people off WikiTree I'm sure.

Even when adding a single profile, it is a pain to have to go through pages of suggested matches for John Smiths or Thomas Woods, checking each one, and it would help immensely if even rudimentary checking could be added to eliminate ones that were born or died in obviously different places than the person one is adding.  When in both cases the country has been specified and differs, surely the suggested match could be suppressed relatively easily?  I understand places can be named in varying ways and eliminating all inappropriate suggestions could be very difficult, but getting rid of the obvious ones would be a great improvement.

This is probably the wrong place to mention it, but I'm pretty sure there are also currently some bugs in the suggested match generation process - I've occasionally found a profile for someone already existed after creating it that I don't think had been suggested, and sometimes when I add the person's birth date after their death date, the match suggestions don't update unless I tinker with the death date field again.
I have found that too. The match to within a valid time frame and some radius of a location if listed would be nice.  I currently check birth date and scroll for a match , but if the user didn't add one or entered wrong , would easily miss a match.
+31 votes
Develop a better system for identifying unsourced profiles.

At the moment we put a lot of work into sourcing unsourced profiles. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg because most profiles that lack sources don't show up in the list!

This is because they haven't been tagged as "unsourced". It would be goodd to have either a bot that goes around tagging unsourced profiles as such or just another algorithm for identifying profiles that are likely unsourced.
by Andrew Turvey G2G6 Mach 3 (33.4k points)
Andrew, this is because sourcing appears to be of such a low priority on WikiTree. Basically any thing stated is sufficient to qualify a profile as sourced. It is very discouraging to me as a sourcerer.
Implementation:  Adding "{{Unsourced}}" by default on profile creation. Don't insist of adding "Unsourced family tree handed down to xxx" or add it also by default.

Let the user remove it by hand when entering sources.
I understand how furstrating it is to have unsourced profiles

I inherited my family  approx 3500 profiles from my parents who lived in a different era.

They had a off line DB tool called Aldfaer, which is very appreciated. BUT they put in references
so when they located/read a BMD document teh duely noted
What document, what registry, year and number, and 99.99% of their documents are in either the national archives of the city archives ...
However the volumes and microfilms they consulted 25 years ago are no longer available
although my tree is sourced i cannot in all honesty say that their work contains a valid source.
So i do mention unsourced family tree ... while i revisit all the sources and correct the references and collect photographic copies of those documents for my personal archive ( which was also impossble 20 years ago)
Adding the registry, year, and number is wonderful sourcing .... regardless of the microfilm. It gives researchers a basis for recognizing the info as valud,

The current definition of a source on the draft https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Sources_FAQ page would make this very difficult. As I read it, any unsourced family tree is now a source and any identified tree on another website is now a source. The vague name of a birth, death or marriage registry would be considered a source as would something like 1891 census without specific location identifiers, I presume. I think a bot would have trouble identifying what is unsourced. (I’d like the parameters for unsourced profiles for births pre-1920, for example, to be much tighter. After 1920, in some jurisdictions, finding official online records can be a challenge.)

It is EASY to source from official document, but those have timeline exclusions - in BC, Canada, no birth documents after 1903 can be found on-line - for privacy reasons. So, I list my mother's KNOWN day, date, and place of birth, from family records. We don't have her birth certificate, and we cannot document from official sources. Family records - and living memory - are the ONLY information we have to go on. So, we HAVE sources for her data. They are just not OFFICIAL sources.
There will always need to be exclusions for “contemporary” profiles. In NZ, there are no 1920 births online yet and no 1940 marriages. Deaths are only available if the person who died was born 80+ years ago and the recent ones show DOB. Officially, I don’t exist unless you actually know where to look! I follow these same rules for creating non-immediate family profiles regardless of any other sources I have. There will always need to be the unsourced family tree option for contemporary profiles - maybe it shouldn’t be available for older ones.
Agree with this. I wonder if a bot could tag all profiles that don't even have a "sources" heading. I've found a ton of old gedcom profiles that don't have any headings at all. and were never tagged as unsourced since they were created so long ago.
+23 votes
Restore categories if 3 or fewer to the top of the profile again.  I miss categories on those rare occasions when I remember they exist.
by J. Crook G2G6 Pilot (202k points)
Or maybe put categories in their own tab.
+12 votes

There were some great ideas from this thread last year:

https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/736826/question-week-what-wikitree-improvements-holiday-wishlist?show=736826#q736826

In particular:

- Follow a profile's changes

- List of pending merges waiting for action

- Default merge Open profiles after 30 days, etc

Did anything happen with these?

by Andrew Turvey G2G6 Mach 3 (33.4k points)
Some of the ideas from the thread got implemented, but not the ones you listed.
We already have the second and third. Please clarify.

@Jillaine, when you say "second and third", do you mean "List of pending merges waiting for action" and "Default merge Open profiles after 30 days, etc"?

Are you saying they have both been implemented since they were suggested last year?

One can already find List of pending merges waiting for action. 

And Default merge Open profiles after 30 days, etc already happens. 

I tried to go to the thread you linked to above for further details but the link went to some other part of the discussion and I couldn't find the details you mentioned. 

In the previous wish list thread there were improvements to those two features that were suggested, such as adding additional filters to the pending merge list.
+20 votes
Restore the size of the suffix field so we don't have to use workarounds for what should be standard nomenclature.  Having to put titles into the nicknames field creates ugly, inaccurate display names which are frankly embarrassing to wikitree.  The inability to get something as basic as names right is one of the reasons wikitree is not taken more seriously.
by Joe Cochoit G2G6 Pilot (216k points)
+36 votes
Move images to the images tab where they belong.  They can be put on the front page of a profile with a check box if desired or in the biography.  Really most images do not belong as clutter in the sidebar of a profile.
by Joe Cochoit G2G6 Pilot (216k points)
Interesting approach Joe..... the side bar makes it evident there are images available but this could be handled differently.   (perhaps thumbnails?) .... The main reason I'm drawn to your recommendation is because you can't change the ORDER of the images.....

Merry Christmas!
How about, on the image tab button, it shows a number next to the word "Images" to indicate if there are any.

Most profiles would say something like "Images (0)"

Adding an image would cause it to say "Images (1)"

If a profile had say 6 images, it would say "Images (6)" and those 6 images would no longer cause you to have a very long profile page to scroll down.
Adding my voice to Joe's here.  I despise the amount of "acreage" that photos in the right column take up.

And then move categories into their place.
You have a point D. and Jilliane,

I agree the  "acreage" for photos on the right column should be diminished...... just hope it doesn't end up like  "Categories"  which are almost invisible now that they've been moved to the very bottom and have a tiny tiny link.   Just thinking of those unfamiliar with the WikiTree profile layout,   an actual image thumbnail  (maybe just one.... with a number by it???).... is more likely to be noticed by  "surfers".  Or put the number by the Primary Photo.... or .... maybe just Merry Christmas to you all.   There are a lot of bright people working on things like this!
I like this suggestion, because I think it's ugly to see all the images on the side bar. I do know that therefor people are creating separate free spaces for images to avoid this happening.

Related questions

+12 votes
17 answers
+15 votes
29 answers
+24 votes
53 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright

...