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MatchBot Monitors Project

Privacy Level: Open (White)

Surname/tag: MatchBot
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Categories: Functional Projects | MatchBot MPs.

Welcome to the MatchBot Monitors Project

For a list of pending MatchBot-proposed merges
click here

If you're here to figure out why a MatchBot MP posted a comment on a profile you manage or why it matters that a profile is the lowest-numbered one for a person, see Goals (below) or this section of the WikiTree Help page about Merging, respectively.
Looking for a way to see if you have more pending MatchBot-proposed merges? Click the feed link above (or click here), then click "My Watchlist" (the second option on the first row).


MatchBot Monitors Project (MP)

Thanks for stopping by and Welcome!

MatchBot MPs keep check on the 100 matches a day that MatchBot finds and proposes. You can see the proposed merges in MatchBot’s contributions list.

click here for a list of non-rejected MatchBot merge proposals

When MatchBot proposes a merge, ideally the profile managers or folks following the surname(s) will take a look and take appropriate action. But many of the pairings MatchBot finds are between profiles that don’t have active managers. When the match is a good one, that’s not a problem. But if no one sees and rejects a bad merge, then it receives default approval in 30 days and the merge can easily be completed, even though it shouldn’t be.

There are lots of reasons why a merge should or should not be completed. WikiTree Help and the Arborists Project have a number of pages with great information about merges. See the links on these pages:


The mission of the MatchBot Monitors Project (MP) is to increase the value of MatchBot merge proposals by reviewing them. MatchBot MPs reject merges when the profiles do not represent the same person and comment on others to show that a person checked the automated proposal.


The daily goal is to review the merge proposals MatchBot makes that day and take appropriate action.

The primary goal of MatchBot MPs, after the immediate imperative of rejecting bad merges, is to provide information about MatchBot-proposed merges that can be used by profile managers, other WikiTree members, or Arborists to complete or postpone the merge.

How to Join

  1. Answer Yes to this G2G post.
  2. Send a private message to Liz Shifflett so that she can send you an invitation to the MatchBot MPs' Google Group.
  3. Add [[Category:MatchBot MPs]] to your profiles page. The MatchBot Monitors Project is a Connectors sub-project, so if you don't already have the Connector badge, Liz will award it to you. Closely related to MatchBot MPs are Arborists and Data Doctors, so you might be interested in those projects, as well as other aspects of the Connectors project:
  • Connectors Project: connecting profiles to the main tree - finding duplicates and bringing them into the fold is a part of that.
  • Arborists Project: functions similarly, but completing merges is not on our to-do list.
  • Database Errors Project: both this project and MatchBot seek to identify duplicate profiles (see links in the Feeds section below).

MatchBot MP Leaders

If you have questions or need help, contact Liz Shifflett. For questions about related projects, you can contact the MP Leader who is liaison for that project.

MP Liaison Team

Collaboration makes everything run better in WikiTree, whether it's between members, profile managers, or projects. The Liaison Team for the MatchBot Monitors Project serve as the focal point for collaboration between another project and this one. Some specifics that may apply:
  • Serve as liaison between the MatchBot Monitors Project and their project. For instance, Bea, as liaison for the Database Errors Project, is that project's voice in our group – whether an issue needs to be brought to the attention of me or all MP members, Bea would be our Corrections Officer contact. And vice versa – any MP issue that needed to be raised to the Database Errors Project would be communicated to Bea.
  • Serve as a point of contact for group members who may be interested in joining their project or just have questions about it. For instance, if an MP wanted to become an Arborist and had questions beyond what's posted on the Arborists Project page or that project's "new Arborists" page, Shirley would be the person to ask (although if project pages aren't answering a question, it might be better to post to G2G so the WikiTree community could hear the answer too).
  • Serve as the point of referral when an MP encounters someone needing help or watching (e.g., referral to the Mentors or Rangers project). For example, WikiTree Greeters encounter lots of new folks who need help – so much so, the project has its own version of a Mentor Intervention Request that they submit to the Mentors' Google Group. The Greeters also have a system in place with the Rangers for guests who need to be blocked or removed (e.g., advertisers and spambots). I don’t anticipate that MatchBot MPs will encounter anywhere near the numbers of such folks that the Greeters do, if any at all, so rather than send a message to all Mentors or Rangers if we need to refer someone, we can ask the Mentor or Ranger liaison to take a look & take whatever action they feel is appropriate. (Note: Until another Leader MP volunteers, Eowyn Langholf is serving as the Mentor & Ranger liaison.)


For the project's founders, see the volunteers who responded to this G2G post, which led to the creation of this project.
MatchBot MPs add [[Category:MatchBot MPs]] to their profile page, making this page our membership list.
For public discussions, please use G2G, with the tag MatchBot. For "member-only" discussions, there's the MatchBot Google Group (members of other WikiTree projects are welcome—send Liz a private message if you would like an invitation to the group). You can also post a comment on this page & it will be sent via e-mail to the profile managers.

To-Do List

Primary daily task: compare merges listed on this feed of non-rejected MatchBot merge proposals &
  • if they're obviously not duplicates: reject the merge
  • if the merge can proceed: post a comment (on both profiles), including that
    • the proposal looks appropriate
    • that you checked for a lower-numbered profile for the person and there wasn't one
  • if the profiles appear to be duplicates but additional information is needed, say so (be specific & suggest a next step)
  • if the merge is between duplicates with different last names at birth, your comment should include
    • that both profiles are the lowest-numbered profile for the person with that spelling/styling (if they are)
    • which way the merge should go and why (if that's clear, or your recommendation/reason, or what they can do if they need more help - if neither profile has an active manager, post a request for help to G2G)
  • if more research is needed: post a comment (on both profiles). See the Working section below for more information. See also Tips for some quick looks that might reveal that they're different people.
For examples of comments to post, see Sample Messages below.
Add {{Unsourced}} to profiles with no source, including a location if there is one (e.g., {{Unsourced|Virginia}})
Check the MatchBot-proposed feed for 3- to 4-week-old proposals for Open profiles. If they have issues remaining, postpone the merge by setting it to an unmerged match. When you do this on behalf of the MatchBot Monitors Project, add [[Category:MatchBot MP-postponed merges]] to both profiles. Under the category, include a line with both WikiTree IDs and then what the issues are. For example:
[[Category:MatchBot MP-postponed merges]]
Postponed: [[WikiTree-15]], [[Profile-25]]
*LNAB: no sources in either profile indicate which LNAB might be correct (WikiTree or Profile).
*Parents: the profiles have the same mother but different fathers. Sources are needed for the mother’s second marriage or the death date of WikiTree-5 (her first husband, shown as father of Child), as well as the birth years for Child WikiTree-15 and Child Profile-25.


Remember — our role is to make sure that MatchBot's actions are helpful not hurtful. Focus on rejecting bad merges and providing info that others can use to appropriately complete the merge. We should not be either completing a merge or postponing it.*

First thing to do is to review both profiles:
  • read the profiles' text & any posted comments
  • check for G2G links
  • look at locations (I use Family Tree and Family Group Sheet views)
When a proposed merge involves different spelling/styling for the LNAB, check for an affiliated project and this page for project-specific name field guidance.
Check also this page for Arborists who might list the surname as one they work with. You should also check the two surname pages.
If you post to G2G about a merge, be sure to tag it with MatchBot and any surnames involved as well as tags for appropriate projects. If it's a LNAB question, the tags LNAB and name_guidelines can be added (if you haven't already included the maximum of six tags; I'd recommend dropping MatchBot in favor of another project).

* Did you know that only the person who will be performing the research needed to determine whether and how a merge should proceed should postpone a merge by setting it as an unmerged match? That's because unmerged matches pretty much fall off the radar and can languish for years without any work being done (check out the dates on the umerged match list to see what I mean).



If you're looking into a proposed merge, be sure you put a comment on both profiles that you are. For example:
Hi! I'm a MatchBot MP & I'm xx [what you're doing - e.g., "looking into which spelling/styling might be better."] Please let me know if you have information not on the profile that [e.g., shows that his LNAB is xx].

Sample Messages

Rejecting a Merge

If you reject a merge, post something like the following:
These profiles are for different people. ~ MatchBot MP ([[Space:MatchBot_Monitors_Project|MatchBot Monitors Project]])
Hi! Based on the information provided, I believe these profiles are not intended to represent the same person, and I rejected this MatchBot-proposed merge. If you have additional information that shows they are the same person, please post your info & re-propose the merge. Thanks! ~ MatchBot MP ([[Space:MatchBot_Monitors_Project|MatchBot Monitors Project]])

One or Both Profiles Are Private

Send Eowyn the WikiTree IDs of the pair & post a comment on their profiles:
FYI - I asked Team Wiki to take a look at the MatchBot-proposed merge for [[WikiTreeID-1]] and [[WikiTreeID-2]] (I can't because of the privacy settings). ~ MatchBot MP ([[Space:MatchBot_Monitors_Project|MatchBot Monitors Project]])

Not Rejecting a Merge

As MPs, we're done once we Reject a merge, and rejecting obviously bad merges is our raison d'être. But since we won't be rejecting all of them, we need to leave a note so others will know the merge has been reviewed.
If you've reviewed the proposed merge & don't think it should be rejected, post a comment on both profiles. Following are some sample messages for different situations.
Three elements should be in your comment:
  • which two profiles you are referring to
  • suggested next step
  • whether or not you checked for additional duplicates (e.g., what's the lowest-numbered WikiTree ID for the person). I'm guilty of forgetting this far too often! ~ Liz, your fearless (but human) leader
Another element that would be great if you have the time to figure out what project is appropriate:
  • include a referral to a project if one's apparent:
You might want to see what resources [[Project:Whatever]] has on its page(s) that might be of help.
Think of your comment as a mini-tutorial for newbies (to both wikis & genealogy) - an opportunity for you to share your knowledge of what to do next, but not to actually do it.

Merge is OK

Hi! I reviewed the MatchBot-proposed merge of [[WikiTreeID-15]] and [[WikiTreeID-22]] & confirmed they're duplicates. Please merge. Thanks! ~ MatchBot MP ([[Space:MatchBot_Monitors_Project|MatchBot Monitors Project]])
P.S. I've checked, and WikiTreeID-15 is the lowest-numbered profile.

Merge is OK but...

Some variation of the following, depending on circumstances:
Duplicate Parents too
Hi! MatchBot proposed this merge of [[WikiTreeID-1]] and [[WikiTreeID-2]], which looks valid, but it looks like the parents are duplicates too. It's a good idea to check up the line and perform a merge of the duplicates for the oldest ancestor first. If you need help, check out [http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Merging this WikiTree Help page] or ask for help in G2G. ~ MatchBot MP ([[Space:MatchBot_Monitors_Project|MatchBot Monitors Project]])
P.S. I've checked, and [[WikiTreeID-15]] is the lowest-numbered profile with that spelling/styling for him.
Both sides OK'd, but merge is still pending and has issues
Hi! The merge of [[WikiTreeID-1]] with [[WikiTreeID-2]] has approval from both sides, but I can't tell which spelling for the last name he was born with. If you know which name that is, make sure it's in the third column when you go to complete the merge (if it's not, you can reverse the merge by clicking the link to do so just above the three-column table on the page you'll see when you go to merge them). If you need help determining the LNAB, please post a question to G2G from one of the profiles. Tags should include [surname1] [surname2] merges LNAB [project tag if applicable] ~ MatchBot MP ([[Space:MatchBot_Monitors_Project|MatchBot Monitors Project]])
P.S. I've looked for lower-numbered profiles for him (with either LNAB) and there aren't any.
No indication of what LNAB is right & no active PM on either profile
Hi! I've posted a G2G question from [[WikiTreeID-1]]. If you have information about which name he was born with, please post it to this profile & comment in the G2G discussion. Thanks! ~ MatchBot MP ([[Space:MatchBot_Monitors_Project|MatchBot Monitors Project]])
Researching: Post a Note (for other MPs/PMs)
If you're looking into a proposed merge, post a comment to both profiles along the lines of
Hi! I'm a MatchBot MP & I'm xx [what you're doing - e.g., "looking into which spelling/styling might be better."] Please let me know if you have information not on the profile that [e.g., shows that his LNAB is xx].
After completing a review, post something on both profiles. You can post the same message to both or post a detailed message on one and a reference on the other. For example,
note: please check comments on [[WikiTreeID-1]] before completing the merge with that profile. Thanks!
and something more detailed on the other profile, such as the following message that I posted to the profile with an active manager:

Hi Jeff! I took a look at the MatchBot-proposed merge & it looks to me like Bjørnson-4 & Bjørnsen-38 are definitely duplicates that should be merged. I've checked for lower-numbered profiles for Knut (both -son & -sen), and there aren't any. So the merge can proceed, although I'm not sure what to recommend about which profile to merge away. I'm not familiar with Norwegian naming conventions, but from a quick Google search, it seems -sen is more common? If you wanted to check with others, you could post a question in G2G or ask in this G2G discussion (you might want to ask about -dotter / -datter too for his wife's profiles).

Cheers, Liz

What About Postponing a Merge?

Please don't. Nor do we want to offer that as an immediate option in our comments. If you think the needed research will take longer than 30 days, then add the following statement at the end of your comment on profiles with an active manager:
... If you think your research to resolve the issue will take longer than 30 days, you might want to postpone the merge (set it to an unmerged match).
If the profiles are orphaned or neither PM has been active recently, please post a G2G message asking for help in resolving the issue & add a comment to both profiles to see the G2G question. Tag the G2G post with whatever projects & surnames apply.


The Database Errors Project has several error codes involving duplicates that Data Doctors may be working on, see this section of that project's page for more information.

  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: Liz Shifflett and Bea Wijma. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)
  • Public Q&A: These will appear above and in the Genealogist-to-Genealogist (G2G) Forum. (Best for anything directed to the wider genealogy community.)

On 1 Jun 2017 at 12:38 GMT Chris Whitten wrote:

Liz, Bea, and other MatchBot Monitors: We released some improvements to our matching systems last night. More about them separately. One of them is that people with the LNAB "Unknown" will be matched instead of excluded entirely. I'm not sure how this will affect MatchBot. Can you watch for potential problems? It could start suggesting too many matches for Unknowns. Thanks!

On 22 May 2017 at 17:42 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

part II (ran out of room)

When WikiTree's search capability expanded to surname variables, the number of really bad merges proposed by MatchBot shot through the roof & the MatchBot Monitors Project was born in order to keep an eye on MatchBot's activities & reject those bad merge proposals before they could receive 30-day default OK and be completed. MatchBot MPs provide the human analysis that MatchBot lacks.

(See this G2G post that was the start of the project & this one for additional details.

Cheers, Liz

On 22 May 2017 at 17:37 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

Hi & Thanks for the thanks :D

MatchBot is an automated feature to find duplicate profiles. When WikiTree search function did not include surname variables in searches, it could be annoying but was tolerable (the annoyance is when it proposes merges for totally different people; it was tolerable because it did not distinguish between current last name - e.g., a married name - and last name at birth). It also is "credited" as the approver of a proposed merge for an open profile after 30 days. With that (much welcome) change to WikiTree - the 30-day default OK for a proposed merge - we did start to see some problems when a MatchBot-proposed merge received 30-day default ok & then was completed when it really shouldn't have been. A merge is about the only thing not easily undone in WikiTree.

On 22 May 2017 at 15:48 GMT Roberta (Berg) Burnett wrote:

What is a MatchBot?

And thank you for your work, Liz!

On 20 Jun 2016 at 15:06 GMT Chris Whitten wrote:

Great leadership, Liz! Thank you, MPs!