History of the Magna Carta Project

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Magna Carta Project|History



From the beginning...

6 March 2014: The project began with the creation of the Magna Carta Project page. The initial goal was to categorize and improve the profiles of the 'twenty-five barons who were surety for Magna Charta, and the "illustrious men" named in the preamble.' The impetus for the project's creation was the state of those profiles and the impending 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta. From today's Magna Carta Project page:
'Magna Carta (Great Charter) was an agreement on 15 June 1215 between John, King of England, and twenty-five rebellious barons, establishing certain limits on the authority of the king.'
9 April 2014: Founding co-leaders April (Dellinger) Dauenhauer and John Schmeeckle receive the first two badges issued to members of the Magna Carta Project. Founding members Darlene Athey-Hill & Lynden (Raber) Rodriguez also received badges on this date. Click the following image for the current list of Badged members.
April 2014: The fledgling Magna Carta Project took flight, gaining members and focus, and the project expanded its goals to include the gateway ancestors documented in Douglas Richardson's Magna Carta Ancestry and improving the profiles 'of the generations connecting the Magna Carta barons to the gateway ancestors.' One reason for the expanded scope was the generosity of Professor Nigel Saul, who gave the project permission to post the full biographies of the barons that he had written for the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee.
29 April 2014: The Magna Carta Project's "Badge" for profiles that met the project's standard of excellence was born: Rhian Geleick uploaded the image for the project's logo and set to work on creating the first project box for the project - {{Magna Carta}} - for "either a Magna Carta surety baron or one of his descendants". By the end of May, it was for descendants only and Surety Barons had their own badge.
December 2014: By the end of the year, with just under 20 members, the project had set a target date 'to meet our initial goals' before 15 March 2015, in order to capitalize on publicity surrounding the 800th Anniversary on 15 June.
January 2015: Base Camp set up by PM Eyestone.
January - March: It's all a blur. LOTS of work, but really good feedback, lots of new members, and project members were rightfully proud of what they had achieved in so short a time. By the anniversary, in just over a year, project members had documented and improved over seventy lineages and hundreds of profiles on these Magna Carta trails.
February 2015: Co-leader Cheryl Hammond created a banner to identify the project's Gateway Ancestors. By June 2015, there was also a project box - "badge" - specifically for Gateways. The last of the banners was replaced in 2018.
Image:Magna Carta Image one inch high.png Magna Carta Gateway Ancestor Image:Magna Carta Image one inch high.png
This profile is being maintained by the Magna Carta Project.
Simon Lynde is a descendant of Magna Carta surety baron Roger Bigod
June 2015: The 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta celebrated!
July 2015: Project members had recovered and went back to work.
August 2015: First checklist - "Review Check List" - was created by Jack Day. It was an image file, so was replaced on 1 May 2018 with an updated and expanded checklist that was a space page. The checklist is updated as needed (click here for the project's current checklist).

January 2016: WikiTree created the "Pre-1500" badge. This led to the project developing the "Magna Carta Project" section, since now only those certified to work on pre-1500 profiles could see all the notes about trails and status of reviews that were hidden text (visible only in edit view), and the bulk of the project's profiles are for people born before 1500.
Part of Traci's work in 2020 (see Base Camp Project, below) was to review all of the project's profiles and add or update the Magna Carta Project section. BIG shout out to Traci - THANK YOU!!! - that was a massive undertaking!
Click the image above for the current list of WikiTree members with the badge. Click here for details about the badge, which is required in order to edit profiles for people born before 1500.
22 March 2016: The Magna Carta Project Account - WikiTree-36 - becomes a project member and takes over management of the project's profiles. WikiTree-36 is tied to the project's members-only Google Group.
Update - The Google Group was opened to any WikiTree member in good standing on 9 August 2021.
March 2017: "Needs" parameter added to {{Magna Carta}} and {{Magna Carta Project}} (the project sticker) and the project's Maintenance Categories got a major boost.
November 2017: WikiTree's clarified "if PPP, then project account AND project box" guideline had the project scrambling, since we only added the project box to profiles once they met project standards and were in a project-reviewed/approved trail (referred to as "badging" the profile, short for "badge of excellence").
The clarified guidelines meant we had to either remove protection and the project account from the profiles not yet ready to be badged or come up with an alternative to badging profiles that did not yet meet project standards or the trail was not yet ready to be badged, which is what we did.
A "Trail Pending" project box was developed and proposed to the Templates Project, which suggested that instead of having a fourth project box for the project (we already had separate badges for Gateways and Sureties), they could help us re-do our Magna Carta template to meet the project's needs. Which is how the Magna Carta project box came to have seven variations by January 2018.
The two most used are the project badge - {{Magna Carta}} - and the Trail Pending variation - {{Magna Carta|Trail Pending}} - which is not considered a project badge but is a project box and allows the project account to be a manager/co-manager of the profile.
Magna Carta Project logo
Magna Carta Surety Baron Descendant (see text).
Join: Magna Carta Project
Discuss: magna_carta
Project Logo with "Pending" across it
Magna Carta Trail Pending
This profile is in a Magna Carta trail that is pending
project review. See text for details.
Join: Magna Carta Project
Discuss: magna_carta
... ... ... is a member of the ERROR IN PARAMETERS
November 2017: The same guideline clarification came with additional guidance for projects to emphasize participation. This is when the "Affiliate" membership level was created and participation requirements for badged members put in place (effective 1 December 2017). It was a busy month!
Update - The Affiliate sticker was retired 9 August 2021, and the Google Group opened to any WikiTree member in good standing.
December 2017: All the "doings" in November necessitated a project glossary, since we were now using "badged" to describe project members (who had participation requirements, unlike Affiliate members) and for project-managed profiles that were in a project-reviewed/approved trail (the project-specific use, as in "badging a profile" and a Gateway Ancestor having "a badged trail"), as opposed to non-badged project-managed profiles, which displayed the "Trail Pending" project box.
2018: The focus at the start of 2018 was on ensuring that all of the profiles managed by the Magna Carta Project conformed to the clarified guidelines & on increasing participation of badged members. To encourage the latter, the "Gateway Guardian" concept was born. This concept was retired 7 February 2022 (the Team approach, adopted in June 2020, filled this need).
February 2018: The first "Magna Carta Project Challenge" was held, with "Challenge Met!" stickers awarded to those meeting the Challenge. (The initiative was retired after about a year, so those "Challenge Met!" stickers are collectors' items now :D)
April 2018: WikiTree asked projects to implement newsletters to improve communication among members and Magna Carta Project answered the call, publishing its first monthly newsletter that month (to the Project's Google Group) and continuing for a year before switching to G2G in April 2019, when WikiTree asked that the newsletters be published in G2G, where the monthly Magna Carta Project newsletter continues to be published (see the Newsletter Archive for links to published newsletters, although you'll need to join the Google Group to see the ones published there).
June/July 2018: Project policy about selecting a "Relationship Status" changed - from selecting "Confident" when the trail was badged (in place since the option was added to WikiTree in March 2015) to not making a selection unless the profile cited clear primary proof supporting the relationship (see "When to Select "Confident" on the project's "Policy and Procedures" page).
September 2019: 5-Star Team created after G2G discussion.
June 2020: The project adopted the team approach, enabling people to participate as full members without committing to developing a full trail from a Gateway Ancestor to a Surety Baron, and providing more opportunities for those without pre-1500 certification.
17 October 2020: Guests on WikiTree's "Live Cast" (prepping for this gave us a good overview of the project - check it out at Space: Magna Carta Project October 2020 Live Cast).

25 October 2020: The "Base Camp Project" was completed. This project was a complete update of all of the project's managed profiles. It included running all of the trails listed on Base Camp; adding to each Richardson-documented Gateway Ancestor's profile a "Magna Carta Trails" section that lists all the profiles in each badged/proposed trail; adding Magna Carta Project templates, project sections, and project management to every profile in every trail (if they werent there already); and updating all project sections on every profile to include a link to the "Magna Carta Trails" section of the Gateway profile, the trail "ends" (Gateway and surety), trail development status and profile development status. A summary of what was done can be seen in our November newsletter.
November 2020: "Magna Carta Project Datafield Guide" published in the wake of EuroAristo Project changes and the creation of the Medieval Project (see the announcement in the December 2020 newsletter).
February 2021: The project got a new sticker, which alerts readers when a profile was featured as the "Profile of the Month" in the newsletter. The sticker also adds the category Magna Carta Project Featured Profiles.
April 2021: The sticker was replaced with a line of text at the top of the a featured profile (the category remained the same).
9 August 2021: The project's Google Group was opened to any WikiTree member in good standing when the Affiliate membership option ended and the Affiliate sticker was retired.


Project Leadership

Project Coordinators
Team Leaders

Founding Members

The founding members mentioned in the timeline (Darlene and Lynden) were the only members to receive their Magna Carta membership badge the same day as the founding co-leaders. We've expanded the definition of founding member to include known members from the crazy days of massive merging efforts and getting as many profiles as possible into some semblance of shape, and then getting as many of those as possible into good shape by the project's 15 March 2015 target date in advance of of the 15 June 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta.
After that, things calmed down a bit, but there was still a ton of work to do. The project has been fortunate to have so many members making significant contributions over the years, and also the help of lots of people across WikiTree who were not members of the Magna Carta Project. THANK YOU ALL!
Many of the following names of the project's Founding Members will ring a bell, as you'll see them in Base Camp's completed trail table as developers and reviewers, and in the changes list of oodles of project profiles.


Comments: 2

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Thank you; this provides insight into how the project developed, what it's goals are, and how it's proceeding. I was confused about 'joining' and getting a badge because the commentary suggests that it is an all enclusive group. I realize now that it requires extensive experience with WikiTree and genealogy to establish one's credetials.
posted by Melissa Kelly
It is a bit complex. It's one of the reasons why we have nearly as many Affiliates as "badged members"! (Since the Google Group is member-only, you need to be one or the other to join the group.)

Cheers, Liz

posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett