Help:GEDCOM-Created Biographies

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Categories: WikiTree Help | GEDCOMs | Styles and Standards

You may have seen text like this on a profile:

This biography is a rough draft. It was auto-generated by a GEDCOM import and needs to be edited.

When a GEDCOM is imported to WikiTree, the system aims to preserve everything that was in the original GEDCOM. Any data that cannot be neatly imported into a data field is put in the text of the page. Admittedly, the results are not pretty.

This page helps you decide how best to edit such a biography. The goal is to make it more readable, remove extraneous information, and make it conform with Biographies style guidelines.

Contents

Sections you can delete

Here are examples of sections you can simply remove.

Technical Information

Data Changed

Data Changed:
Date: 24 JAN 2011
Prior to import, this record was last changed 24 JAN 2011

User ID

User ID: 013AF76825EF4E448FE47A3022EDC24D7B51

COLOR

COLOR 3

PHOTO

PHOTO @M24@

Object

Object: @M24@

Additional Content

Image: Data: CONT

The CONT tag just tell the GEDCOM importer that information continues on the next line. It should be removed along with the hard return separating the lines.

Repetitive Information

In general, you can delete anything that duplicates information found elsewhere, for example:

Birth:
Date: 15 February 1563
Place: Norbury, Shropshire, England
Removed ABT from Birth Date and marked as uncertain.

An exception is when it includes source information. In those cases, be sure to incorporate that source into the narrative. For example:

William Hicks was christened 15 February 1563 in Norbury, Shropshire, England.<ref>England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, index, FamilySearch [https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/J38F-6JR entry for William Hicks] (accessed 05 Nov 2013): 15 Feb 1563.</ref>

Similarly, the GEDCOM will repeat the family structure if there is family-related information, such as a source, that could not be neatly fit into a single profile. For example:

=== Marriage ===
Husband: Ezekiel Scoville
Wife: Mindwell Barber
User ID: C087BAD4A7BF9B45B8611804CDCCC06F18EF
Child: Mary Scoville
Child: Hannah Scoville
Marriage:
Date: 23 OCT 1740
Place: Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut<ref>Source: [[#S15]] Page: Birth year: 1712; Birth city: Lyme; Birth state: CT. Note: http://trees.ancestry.com/rd?f=sse&db=genepool&h=3075855&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt3 _APID 4725::3075855 Data: Text: Birth date: 12 June 1712Birth place: Lyme, New London Co, CTDeath date: 5 August 1791Death place: Harwinton, Litchfield Co, CTMarriage date: 23 October 1740Marriage place:</ref>

If there is source information for the marriage, convert it to a proper source citation. For example:

Ezekiel Scoville and Mindwell Barber married in Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut on 23 October 1740<ref>Edmund West, comp.. Family Data Collection - Individual Records [http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=genepool&h=3075855&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt for Ezekiel Scoville] [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000: Marriage date: 23 Oct 1740; Marriage Place Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut.</ref>

You may then wish to list the children under a separate header; for example:

=== Children ===
Ezekiel and Mindwell had the following children:<ref>Place the source of their identities here (if the same source), or after each person if they each have a different source</ref>
  1. Mary Scoville
  2. Hannah Scoville

LDS Information

Many GEDCOMs include information specific to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS/Mormons) which can be found on the FamilySearch.org website and can be deleted from WikiTree. For example:

LDS Baptism

LDS Baptism:
Date: Completed

LDS Endowment

LDS Endowment:
Date: Completed

An exception is the FamilySearch ID, which will look like this: LXCD-Y7S and might be prefaced by FSFTID. It's best to move these to the Sources section, for example:

* FamilySearch ID: LXCD-Y7S.

These FamilySearch ID numbers can be useful for finding information on the individual on FamilySearch.org and in other LDS sources. It is the equivalent of our WikiTree ID.

Another exception: Events such as LDS baptisms that occurred during the lifetime of the person. These should be included as part of their biography.

See this G2G discussion for more information.

Private Information

It's important that public biographies not reveal private information or personal notes. Here are examples.

Descendant lists

You might see something like this:

"This is my 7th great-grandmother"

or

"Ancestor of Elijah Willoughby and of Francis Griswold (Chad Joy and Nathan Beeman, Gertrude Estelle Huff, née Smith), of Thomas Meador (Nancy Haile) and of Haute Wyatt."

Since WikiTree is a universal tree, first-person commentary or references to living people should be deleted from the narrative.

Sources that are living people

In Sources, sometimes a Repository will include information about someone's personal library, complete with address and phone number. Thepersonal contact information should be deleted but the reference to the person's library should be preserved if the source is unusual.

Badly-Formatted Source Information

Broken links to repositories

Something like this can usually be integrated with the source citation:

Repository: #R-1939516511
Title: Ancestry Family Trees
Publication: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com. Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members.
Note: This information comes from 1 or more individual Ancestry Family Tree files. This source citation points you to a current version of those files. Note: The owners of these tree files may have removed or changed information since this source citation was created.

Abbreviated formats

Sometimes you'll see "Abbreviation", "Subsequent Source Citation", or "Footnote" in the text of a source. These can be deleted.

Examples:

Abbreviation: Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island by John Osborne Austin

or

Subsequent Source Citation Format: Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island by John Osborne Austin
Name: Footnote

Links to File Names

Sometimes you will see a source that refers to the name of a file that was on someone's computer at some point in time. If there is no information beyond a file name you can delete this reference. For example, you could delete the following:

* Source: <span id='S566'>S566</span> Title: Robison Master File 08JUN02.FBK.FTW NOTESource Medium: Other

If you do, be sure to delete the <ref>S566</ref> wherever it appears in the narrative, replacing it with {{citation needed}} or a better citation if you have one.

Delete only after checking

Links to Ancestry.com Trees

Many uploaded GEDCOMs include as sources links to user-generated family trees such as those on Ancestry.com. The entry will often look something like this:

Source: #S-1939516510
Page: Ancestry Family Trees
Note:
Data:
Text: http://trees.ancestry.com/pt/AMTCitationRedir.aspx?tid=26833486&pid=1942554678

You should feel free to delete these unless:

  1. No other source is available on the profile, and
  2. The link is not broken (many are).

We retain such links in the absence of better source information even if the link goes to a private family tree. However, our goal is to provide better, more original sources.

Note that these links can be opportunities to make contact with other descendants of an ancestor. If it's a relatively modern or less commonly-shared profile you may want to leave the tree links for this reason.

Sections to keep, but edit

Old-Style Sources Subheaders

If you see a Sources section like this:

=== Sources ===

Change it to:

== Sources ==
<references />
See also:
*

In early profiles we made Sources a third-level section and didn't include references like we do now.

Badly-Formatted Sources

If the reference looks like this:

<ref>Source: [[#S15]] Page: Birth year: 1712; Birth city: Lyme; Birth state: CT. Note: http://trees.ancestry.com/rd?f=sse&db=genepool&h=3075855&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt3 _APID 4725::3075855 Data: Text: Birth date: 12 June 1712Birth place: Lyme, New London Co, CTDeath date: 5 August 1791Death place: Harwinton, Litchfield Co, CTMarriage date: 23 October 1740Marriage place:</ref>

First check the link; in this case the link is this:

http://trees.ancestry.com/rd?f=sse&db=genepool&h=3075855&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt3

This link doesn't go to an individual family tree, but to a collection of family information on Ancestry.com called the "Family Data Collection". (Notice the "db=genepool" in the URL.) This is not the strongest source, but if no other exists, it's okay to retain. However, it should be reformatted into a more readable and accurate source, like this:

<ref>Edmund West, comp.. Family Data Collection - Individual Records [http://trees.ancestry.com/rd?f=sse&db=genepool&h=3075855&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt3 about Ezekiel Scoville] [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000: Birth year: 1712; Birth city: Lyme; Birth state: CT.</ref>

This will appear as a footnote like this:

Edmund West, comp.. Family Data Collection - Individual Records about Ezekiel Scoville [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000: Birth year: 1712; Birth city: Lyme; Birth state: CT.
Language: en | nl


This page was last modified 07:28, 26 March 2018. This page has been accessed 4,410 times.