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About Frauds and Fabrications Categories

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Surnames/tags: fraud disproven_existence
Profile manager: Ellen Smith private message [send private message]
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Categories: Frauds and Fabrications.


How to Use this Page

This page is intended to assist contributors in creating and working with categories to document genealogical frauds and fabrications.

If you discover a fraud or fabrication with no subcategory in Category: Frauds and Fabrications, follow the steps below:

Post about it to the G2G discussion group.

Posting to the G2G discussion group raises WikiTree awareness, creates web visibility for the problem, and can get you help with the cleanup.

Create a new Frauds and Fabrications category for it.

We generally name these after the perpetrator, if there is one. If the fraud itself has a very well-known name, use that. Otherwise, name it after the major affected family or families; location + affected family also makes sense. See the existing sub-categories for examples.
A new category tag looks like:
[[Category:My Egregious Genealogical Fraud]]
[[Category:Preposterous Family Fabrication]]
You create the fraud/fabrication category you want by putting the tag on a profile page; save, switch to profile view, and click the red link. That brings you to the edit page for your new category.
Now, to make it a subcategory of Frauds and Fabrications, just put the following text on your category:
[[Category: Frauds and Fabrications]]

Add a description to the new category page

Describe the situation:

Who perpetrated the fraud, wrote the fictitious genealogy, or made the error.
What and Where: So far as you can, list affected sources, and explain how they were affected. If a published source has described the fabrication or fraud, provide reference citations.
Insert the following text (customized for the particular fraud or fabrication) to explain that profiles in the category are not necessarily fraudulent or fabricated:
This category is a location to identify the profiles of people whose biographies or family histories have been affected by [Named fraud] (Insert Name and identify it as fraud or fabrication). "Affected" is the operative word -- listing in this category does NOT mean that the profile itself is fraudulent; hopefully it is listed because the [fraud or fabrication] has been identified and corrected.

Add profiles to your subcategory

  • Include profiles for people whose genealogy may be affected by the fraud
  • Include profiles for real people who have some false information or connections from the fraud.
  • Include false or fraudulent profiles.
  • Even if the current profile is clear of fake or fraudulent information, it is beneficial to add the profile to the category to alert others to the possibility that the information they have found (and may want to add to WikiTree) may be fabricated.

To add a profile to the category, paste the sub-category tag into the profile at the top: [[Category:Preposterous Family Fabrication]]

Clean up the affected profiles

  • Detach entirely false profiles from real ones, and document the problem in the affected profiles
  • Put your documentation about the fraud or fabrication at the top of the text section of the profile, before the Biography section.
  • If a profile for a person is part of a project or eligible for a project, ask for it to be made project-protected (or do that yourself.) This helps protect it from further false connections.
WikiTree retains profiles for fabricated people to document the fabrication and help prevent new profiles from being created for these people. The profiles will show up on web searches, and if someone tries to recreate one on Wikitree, it should show up as a match or a duplicate, thus alerting its creator to the existence of an issue.


On 26 May 2018 at 20:18 GMT SJ Baty wrote:


Pretty well sums it up ;-)

On 20 Jun 2017 at 10:54 GMT Ellen Smith wrote:

No tag has been "anointed" for this topic. After searching G2G to see what's been used, I decided on "fraud".

On 19 Jun 2017 at 22:17 GMT Debi (McGee) Hoag wrote:

What tags should be used in the G2G post about a genealogy fraud?