Who needs a profile on WikiTree? Everybody!1
One of the questions which comes up frequently on the G2G forum is some variation on "Why isn't there a WikiTree profile for [insert famous or important person's name here]?" The tone of the question often seems to imply that there is some prejudice on WikiTree against that person, and possibly everybody else who came from that country, worked in that occupation, or whatever.
The answer to that question goes something like this: "You know about this person, you know why they're important, and you care enough to want to see a profile for them on WikiTree, so we would love for you to create and source a profile for them." WikiTree is a collaborative effort. There is no board or committee somewhere deciding to include some people and include others. Right on the home page, it says that what we're trying to do is "to grow an accurate single family tree." As in, one single family tree, for the whole world. So nobody is excluded. Not by country, or skin colour, or religion, or political views, or any other factor.
This is a volunteer effort. The leaders on WikiTree aren't here to add profiles on request. It is our task, as WikiTree volunteers, to add profiles, source them, add categories, add family members, and eventually connect everybody into one big tree. The task is simply too big for the leadership team (which, when you think about it, is tiny in comparison to the number of WikiTreers) to act as free genealogists, adding profiles by request.
The problem, when it comes to getting profiles added, is that it's everybody's job, and when something is everybody's job, it becomes nobody's job, because everybody assumes that somebody else is going to do it. So when you know about somebody who should have a profile on WikiTree but doesn't, the solution is to create one for them. (Well, first check to make sure that they don't already have a profile, possibly with a different spelling of their name.)
Now, some people think that the profile should be extra-special because it's for an important person, and they may not feel qualified to create an extra-special profile. There are two factors which should help to address that concern:
- First, everybody matters: you, me, my father, and your mother. The goal isn't just to have a profile for everybody born since 1 AD (or at least those who are deceased), but for each profile to be as top-quality as possible, because everybody matters. Granted, more people may care about somebody who was famous than about my father, but he was the best father I ever had, and I want the world to know how special he was. So every profile should be as good as we can make it, not just the profiles of famous people. So if you can make profiles for your own family, you can make profiles for famous and important people, too. (Besides, since everybody is connected to everybody else anyway, famous and important people are your family members, even if you don't know how you're related to them yet.)
- Second, there are people (Data Doctors, Sourcerers, Connectors, members of dozens of other projects, and general dabblers) who would be happy to come along and improve the profile once you start it, but they can't improve a profile that's not there.
Which countries belong on WikiTree? All of them!
The same thing applies for countries as it does for individuals. If you think your country doesn't get enough attention on WikiTree, you're almost certainly right. But again, it's not a matter of anybody deciding, "We don't want those people on here." Instead, it's a matter of people from a given country not seeing many profiles for people from that country on here, and concluding that WikiTree isn't for them, instead of adding more profiles and helping to solve the problem of that country being so under-represented.
How to increase a country's representation on WikiTree
So here are some suggestions on making sure that your country is fairly represented on WikiTree:
- Start with your own family. Build out your family tree as much as you can. Eventually, you should be able to make a link to the main tree (the Connectors Chat page has some Hints and Tips on connecting), and then the main tree will contain at least some profiles from your country.
- Then, build a few lines through time: if your country is a monarchy, you can make sure that your Royal Family all have profiles and are connected to each other, even if it takes a while to connect them to the main tree. If it's a republic, you can list the heads of state (presidents, or whatever term applies), and link them to each other using succession boxes. (For a good example of how this works, take a look at the profile for Adolphe Thiers, the second President of France, and follow the links through the succession boxes up to Georges Pompidou. Even the presidents who aren't yet connected to the main tree are at least linked through the succession boxes.)
- Besides heads of state, you can build other lines through time: heads of government, chief justices, national archivists, poets laureate, or any other position which can be connected through succession boxes.
- You can also add profiles for other notable people: actors, athletes, authors, military figures, musicians, Nobel laureates, scientists, etc.
- Then, as you (and hopefully others) add sources, build out family trees, and eventually connect your family and the various lines through time that you build, you'll end up with a framework of families which are connected within your country (as opposed on having to go outside the country to other countries where people have emigrated to make connections). The more those interconnections happen within each country, and the bigger that network of interconnections within the country gets, the easier it's going to be to connect other families to that network.
|Subject||Countries||Total Great-Grandparents||Great-Grandparents Still to Find||Percent Complete|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Australia Edition||Australia2||176||61||66.8%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: United Kingdom Edition||England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales||128||19||85.2%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Canada Edition||Canada2||120||57||52.5%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Archivist Edition||Albania, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America||112||79||29.5%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Hymn Writer Edition - Verse 1||Wales, Scotland, United States of America, England, Germany||112||82||26.8%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Rocket Scientist Edition||Argentina, Canada, England, France , United States of America, Ukraine, Scotland, Austria, China, Japan, Russia||112||78||35%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: France Edition||France||128||11||91.4%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Orbital Edition (Stage 1)||USA2||112||34||69.6%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Orbital Edition (Stage 2)||USA2, Netherlands||112||16||85.7%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Royal Edition||Cambodia, Denmark, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Thailand, Turkey||112||52||53.6%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Goodie Edition - First Helping||USA, England, Canada, France, Netherlands, New Zealand||112||50||55.4%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Kiwi Edition||New Zealand2||128||69||46.1%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Fizzy Edition||USA, England, Canada, Spain||104||79||24%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Literary Edition||Belgium, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, United States of America||120||76||36.7%|
|Zoektocht naar overgrootouders: Nederland Editie (deel twee)||Netherlands||112||4||96.4%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Medical Edition||Scotland, USA, Jamaica, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, England, China, UK, Australia, Hungary||112||82||26.8%|
|Zoektocht naar overgrootouders: kinderauteurs editie||Netherlands||88||2||97.7%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Hymn Writer Edition - Verse 2||Ireland, Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, France, England, Austria, Iceland, Finland, South Africa, USA||112||79||29.5%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Goodie Edition - Second Helping||Ireland, Hungary, USA, Finland, Austria, England, Scotland, Canada, Germany, Australia, Switzerland||112||97||13.4%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Storytime Edition - The First Chapter||Denmark, England, Netherlands, Wales, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Scotland, USA, Canada||112||22||80.4%|
|Zoektocht naar overgrootouders: Nederlands Architecten editie||Netherlands||112||11||90.2%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Storytime Edition - The Second Chapter||England, Scotland, USA, Egypt, Australia, Netherlands||112||63||43.8%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Musical Edition - Opus 1||Germany, USA, France, Poland, England, Czech Republic, Canada, Hungary, Scotland||112||54||51.8%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Orbital Edition (Stage 3)||USA2, Netherlands||112||74||33.9%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Medical Edition - Second Opinion||Australia, USA, England, France, Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Scotland, Malaysia||112||70||37.5%|
|Quest for Great-Grandparents: Space Opera Edition||USA, Russia, England, Scotland, Ireland||112||55||50.9%|
|How cold is it?||Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Scotland, Sweden||112||88||21.4%|
So if any of the people in any of those challenges are from your country, you can help by working their family tree back far enough that we can add them to a relationship finder list, and thereby make your country that much more visible on WikiTree.
There are also G2G threads which are about trying to connect the profiles of people whose profiles are not (yet) connected to the main tree. These posts can either be requests for help connecting a particular person, or they may be lists of people who have something in common. There is a list of these challenges on the Places to find unconnected profiles page. So if any of the people in any of those challenges are from your country, you can help by helping to connect them to the main tree, and thus help to make it easier to connect other unconnected branches from your country.
Here are some places to look for profiles and other content about your country which is already on WikiTree:
- Check through the lists of regional projects (Geographical Projects, Asian Projects, Caribbean Projects, European Projects, Latin America Project, North American Projects, Oceanian Projects, and South American Projects), to see if there is a project for your country. If not, there may be a project under Ethnic Roots Projects for people who have come from that country (many of the projects which cover emigrants also cover people who lived in that country, too).
- Look at the top of the Categories page for the orange bar with codes for those languages which have category hierarchies on WikiTree. It may be that you are missing content about your country on WikiTree because you're looking in the English hierarchies, instead of within the categories in your country's language.
- Look for your country in the subcategories under the Regions category. Most country or ethnic roots projects have links to the project page from the category for that country.
- Check the Unconnected Notables page and its sub-pages for unconnected notables from your country.
- Check the Let others know what locations you are working on page and its sub-pages for lists of unconnected and unlinked branches from your country. (If you don't see a section for your country, post a comment, and we'll add one for you.)
- Well, almost everybody. WikiTree only covers people born since 1 AD, and you shouldn't create profiles for living people unless they are your relatives (and you can't create profiles for living children aged 13 or under unless they're your children), but aside from that, everybody deserves a profile on WikiTree.
- These lists include large proportions of people who are children (or grandchildren) of immigrants, and therefore could potentially provide connections into other countries as well.
- Quest for Great-Grandparents: Space Opera Edition Mar 27, 2022.
- Quest for Great-Grandparents: Medical Edition - Second Opinion Mar 15, 2021.
- Quest for Great-Grandparents: Orbital Edition (Stage 3) Jan 24, 2021.
- Quest for Great-Grandparents: Musical Edition - Opus 1 Dec 29, 2020.
- Quest for Great-Grandparents: Storytime Edition - The Second Chapter Dec 11, 2020.
- Zoektocht naar overgrootouders: Nederlands Architecten Editie Nov 5, 2020.