Merging Skills - Merging
1. Before proposing a merge:
- Do a thorough search for other potential duplicates, including surname lists by Date Order and Alpha Order, searching potential alternative surnames and searching under the name of a spouse or child.
- Check the biographies and sources on both profiles and add any key sources that you can find that fit with the existing profiles. Add a possible source to Research Notes, for the review of the PMs.
- Important: Do not change any information that is currently on the status indicators or within the biography of either profile.
- If you are unable to find relevant sources, post to the profile asking the PMs if they have any sources they are able to add to the profile and specifying any particular sources that are being sought (eg a source confirming preferred LNAB)
- Merging duplicate or multiple lines:
- Propose merges starting from the earliest generation.
- If necessary, take it step by step, and review the next step as the previous merges are completed.
- Proposing merges of profiles on a privacy level:
- Even if the merge is approved by representatives of each profile, the merge can only be completed by someone who is on at least the trusted list of both profiles.
2. When proposing the merge:
- Add a clear comment explaining why the two profiles seem to be duplicates
- If the LNABs are different, comment on the preferred LNAB or note if sources are required to clarify the preferred LNAB.
- Note any discrepancies in information and explain that alternative birth, death or marriage details can be added to the bio if no sources found to confirm correct information.
2. If the merge you proposed is completed:
- Navigate to the completed merge and confirm that the merge was completed correctly and the biography has been integrated.
- Fix up the biography if this is required to avoid an 811 DB error.
3. If the merge you proposed is rejected:
- Navigate to the two profiles and review the comment about why the merge was rejected and the sources clarifying this.
- If not satisfied that the merge was correctly rejected, communicate with the person who rejected the merge, and ask for any additional relevant sources to be added to the profile. If necessary do further research yourself and add any relevant sources.
- If the evidence still suggests that the profiles are duplicates, repropose the merge, outlining any additional evidence found and asking that if it is still considered that the profiles are not duplicates, that they provide valid sources to justify this.
- If the merge is rejected a second time, consult with the Arborist liaison for the relevant project, and/or post to the Arborists Google Group.
4. If the merge you proposed is set as an unmerged match:
- Navigate to the two profiles and review.
- Do further research and add any relevant sources. If it is clear that the merge should proceed or be rejected, either repropose the merge or reject the match.
- If the research is difficult and it is unclear whether to profiles are duplicates or not, add the profiles to the 'Unmerged Match needs research' maintenance category.
Using the Browse Matches Tool
The pending merges tab is located on the ‘Find’ menu on the top RHS of any profile page, and will bring up the Browse Matches Tool. Take the time to explore this, as it is an indispensable tool for the Arborist. The ‘All Pending Merges’ link, set to ‘most recently added’ is a valuable feed for monitoring new merges that are proposed. The 'Pending Merges Initiated by Me' link, gives the merges that you have proposed that have not yet been completed. You can see on that list whether a person from each profile has approved the proposed merge and otherwise when it is default approved and ready to be completed.
LNABs / merging several duplicates with different LNABs / Project Protection
LNABs can be complex. Our goal as Arborists is to do the best we can to ensure that profiles are consistently merged in to the most appropriate LNAB. So:
- When proposing any merge, always consider if the LNAB is supported by sources. If you determine it is appropriate to amend the LNAB, ensure that the amended profile clearly documents the source indicating that preferred LNAB, or add an explanation to Research Notes, explaining why in this situation, the LNAB is the preferred one.
- If the LNAB is different to either of the LNABs on the profiles, or is Unknown, then edit the profile of one of the profiles to the preferred LNAB, then merge the other profile into the revised LNAB.
- Note:You will need to be on the Trusted List of a profile to edit the LNAB.
- Always consult with the Arborist Project Google Group or Project Liaison, if determining the appropriate LNAB is outside your range of expertise.
- If still in doubt, post a question to the G2G to get advice from the WikiTree community.
- For profiles that are Project Protected, you can only merge into the Project Protected LNAB and Wiki-ID. If you consider that the merge direction may need to be reversed, post to the Arborist project google group for further assistance.