Help:Pre-1700 Profiles

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Categories: WikiTree Help | Pre-1700 Projects

Before creating or editing profiles of people born before 1700 you need to:

  1. Read and understand this page.
  2. Self-certify for advanced contributions. To do this, you simply need to:
  3. Coordinate with a project, if there is one that covers profiles from the time period and location. If you're not sure whether there is a project, click here.

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 how to coordinate with a project on pre-1700 profiles.


Creating Pre-1700 Profiles

Make sure there isn't already a profile

For people who lived hundreds of years ago:

  1. There is a high probability a profile already exists.
  2. 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, find out if there is a project that covers the family and then ask the project members if the person might already be on WikiTree. This could be done through private communication or through a G2G question with the project tag.

Carefully observe style rules

Once you know you're not creating a duplicate, you need to make sure you understand the style rules, most especially naming conventions for the Last Name at Birth.

The WikiTree community has evolved a variety of styles and standards. For modern family members, these rules don't usually matter much. 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. They are how we avoid and resolve conflicts.

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.

Cite reliable sources

Derivative or second-hand information such as a family tree that was handed down to you or a tree found on another website may be used to create a profile of a modern person. But even with modern family members, it should be a priority to find and cite original sources.

We have a higher standard for deep genealogy. You must never create a pre-1700 profile without citing an original or reliable source.

A family tree on Geni, Ancestry, MyHeritage, Family Search, or any other user-generated tree (like WikiTree itself) is not a sufficient source for creating a pre-1700 profile. They may be valuable resources and may help you find original sources, but they must never be the only source.

If there is a pre-1700 project that covers the profiles you are creating, other project members can help you evaluate whether a source is reliable. If you are not sure whether a source is reliable, always contact the project before creating the profile.

You don't need to communicate about every new person once you're confident about the sources, understand the naming conventions, etc.

Editing Pre-1700 Profiles

If there is a project

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 a project member. However, it's important to understand that the profile is part of the project. The profile may be project protected or project managed.

Although you may be the first person to create a pre-1700 profile, you won't be the last to edit it. Others will want to collaborate. The project is the forum for collaborating on the big decisions.

Communicating about changes

Minor changes and clear improvements in accordance with style rules generally don't need to be discussed.

Major changes are usually discussed in G2G using the project tag or in the project's e-mail list, if the members use one.

See Communication Before Editing for tips.

If there is no project ... yet

If the person you're adding or editing doesn't fit within an existing WikiTree project there may be nobody to communicate with. This is unfortunate. You want people to help you. We all do. Collaboration is what WikiTree is all about.

Eventually, people will be collaborating on the profiles you are creating and editing. You will have been the trailblazer that led the way.

As a trailblazer, you will do things that later need to be changed. 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 and the profiles you have created will become a part of it.

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.

Merging Pre-1700 Profiles

Never hesitate to propose a merge when you see duplicates. However, 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 you're unsure about naming conventions or other issues, ask in G2G using the project tag.

See also: Pre-1500 Profiles.

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This page was last modified 14:43, 17 December 2018. This page has been accessed 13,034 times.