Categories: WikiTree Help
Before creating or editing profiles of people born before 1700 you need to:
- Take the 15-minute Pre-1700 Self-Certification quiz.
- See if a project exists where members collaborate on profiles from this time period or location. Be sure to visit the project page and contact the leader(s) with questions or use their instructions to join the project.
WikiTree is all about communication and collaboration. It's important that members working on the same profiles know about and help each other. Experienced project members will be able to show new project members a project's help pages and help them to understand style guidelines.
See below for more about what it means to work with a project.
When Creating Profiles
Does a profile already exist?
Before creating a profile on WikiTree you need to know if a profile already exists. The most reliable way to find out if a pre-1700 profile exists is through communication with project members.
With pre-1700 profiles (an arbitrary and often inappropriate cut-off date):
- There is a high probability a profile already exists.
- There is a high probability that the profile won't appear in searches because of the variety of naming conventions and the uncertainty of dates.
Therefore, before creating a new pre-1700 profile you should find out if there is a project that covers the family and ask whether a profile already exists. This could be done through private communication or through a G2G question with the project tag.
You are not asking permission. You're asking for help avoiding duplicates.
You might also get help evaluating sources. Project members are other genealogists who have experience researching the same time period, location, or topic as you. They may be able to help evaluate whether a line is mythical.
You don't need to communicate about every new person once you're in contact with a project and aware of which lines exist, how they're managed, naming conventions, etc.
If a profile doesn't already exist
The WikiTree community has evolved a variety of styles and standards. If you don't carefully adhere to style rules when adding and editing your close family members, it doesn't cause many problems. As you go back further in time, style rules become more and more important because more members have to collaborate on the same profiles. Agreed-upon standards are essential for productive and enjoyable collaboration.
Projects are the forums for working out the finer points of style rules as they apply to various time periods and locations.
The style rules that the projects have established should be published. As long as you're aware of them, you may only need to contact others when you have a question about applying them.
You will have questions. Style rules can be complex, and new style rules are added as you and others raise new issues.
When Editing Existing Profiles
If you manage the profile or there is no manager
If you are managing or editing a profile that fits neatly under the umbrella of a project you are participating in the project.
You do not need to be an official project member. However, it's important to understand that the profile is part of the project.
Although you may be the first person to edit this pre-1700 profile, you won't be the last. Others will want to collaborate. The project is the forum for collaborating on the big decisions about it.
See the notes above about style rules. You need to try to make sure you observe them and communicate with project members when style questions come up. This can be as simple as asking a question in G2G using the project tag.
If you don't manage the profile
Minor changes and clear improvements in accordance with style rules generally don't need to be discussed.
Never hesitate to propose a merge when you see duplicates.
Don't complete a merge or significantly edit a merged profile without knowing whether or not the person fits within a project, and if they do, without being familiar with the project's naming conventions.
This is especially important on pre-1700 people if the two profiles don't have the same Last Name at Birth and neither one is a Project-Protected Profile.
It's less important if no significant decisions about name fields, dates, or relationships need to be made during or after the merge.
If There is No Project
If the person you're adding or editing doesn't fit within an existing WikiTree project you're under no obligation to communicate with anyone about what you're doing. There may be nobody to communicate with.
Which is unfortunate. You want people to help you. We all do. WikiTree was made for collaboration. Collaboration is what WikiTree is all about.
Eventually, people will be collaborating on the profiles you are creating. You will have been the trailblazer that led the way.
As a trailblazer, you will do things that later need to be changed. It's not because you're a bad genealogist or a bad WikiTreer. It's because some collaboration problems can only be discovered and worked out in practice.
Issues will come up when others try to build on what you have started. New style rules and standards will need to be worked out. Eventually, a project will be created.
Even though others aren't working on the exact same profiles, don't hesitate to reach out for help. G2G is open for questions of any sort. One of the best things about WikiTree is the generous cadre of members who want to help each other.
You might also get help from the projects that are the closest or parallel what you're doing. A Volunteer Coordinator will help you find them.
See also: Pre-1500 Profiles.
This page was last modified 14:25, 27 December 2017. This page has been accessed 5,156 times.