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US Southern Colonies Project Profile Example

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US Southern Colonies Project | Bio Builders Team | Editing Guidance | Profile Example

See also US Southern Colonies Project Editing Guidance.

This generic example profile is not intended to be used rigidly, but as a quick-look guide that covers basic elements required by WikiTree guidelines (such as Biography and Sources headings) and their placement (such as stickers going below Biography). The basics can lead to a wide variety of presentations, as exhibited by the profiles showcased on WikiTree's Examples page. (It was selecting a profile for that page that was responsible for the creation of this page! See below for details.)

WikiTree requires Biography and Sources sections at a minimum. Generally, profiles within the scope of the US Southern Colonies Project will also need a Research Notes section. Rule of thumb:

Genealogical and biographical information supported by reliable sources go in the Biography section and Research goes in the Research Notes section. In other words, the profile’s Biography section presents what’s known and the Research Notes section is where one finds details about how it’s known, discussion of disputed information, and explanations about any Research Note Boxes or notes about maintenance categories on the profile.

US Southern Colonies.
... ... ... resided in the Southern Colonies in North America before 1776.
Join: US Southern Colonies Project
Discuss: southern_colonies

Note: Add a brief statement with a link to "Research Notes (below)" if there's a problem that needs to be flagged for people viewing the profile. For an example, see Mary Lound's profile.



Jamestown Church Tower
... ... ... was a Jamestown colonist.

Biographical information with inline source citations.[1]


If the profile is long and detailed, especially if there are discussions about inaccurate or disputed information, consider adding a "Vitals" section that includes a brief summary of the person's vitals - born, parents; married, spouse/spouses; children; death - with inline citations. Help: Biographies says such a summary can be given above the Biography heading (without a heading created by ==), but if the profile has a lot of headings created by == such a "text only" summary at the very top of the profile may get overlooked.

Research Notes

Notes as needed. This is usually where discussions of disputed and/or inaccurate information can be found. (Sometimes such information is included as a footnote.)

If you used a Research Note box at the top of the profile (see Help:Research_Note_Boxes), this is where people generally look for an explanation, although sometimes the explanation is given in the biography's text or in a footnote.

If you added a maintenance category (see Category: US Southern Colonies Project Maintenance Categories), explain why here.

If you add info using just a bold heading, do so before any subheadings created with === (such as "Disputed Origins").

Disputed Origins

This is the most frequently used heading when the discussion is about identifying the person's parents. For details of what to include in "Disputed Origins" (or Disputed Spouse, or...), see the project's draft edit guidance (here).

Conflated Profile

Add notes here if you add the Conflated Research Note box (for project parameters you can use with {{Conflated}} see US Southern Colonies, Conflated Profiles).
Once the problem has been resolved, you may be able to simply delete this section and add "top-of-profile" text pointing people to the other profiles that are sometimes confused with this one. If that seems insufficient, many people use the Wikipedia practice of having a "Disambiguation" section, which would replace the now-resolved "Conflated Profile" section.
In some cases, even more is needed - see for example the "top-of-profile text" on the profile for Peter Jones that links to the space page "Virginia Peter Joneses" which serves to help keep straight the direct line of several generations of Peter Joneses and others.


  1. Such as this one. (Because the examples in the "What it looks like in edit view" are within "nowiki" tags, this is the only inline citation that will appear under the Sources heading.)
[Bulleted source list(s) and headings such as "See also" are optional.]


Click the Changes tab to see edits to this profile. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

Many people prefer not to include the Acknowledgements section, which is optional, as is Research Notes - see Help:Biographies.

What it looks like in Edit View

The text below shows the coding for the basics of a simple profile and the order of profile elements (e.g., Categories first; Project Box/es above == Biography == and Stickers below).

[[Category: Jamestown, Virginia Colony]]
{{Estimated Date}}
{{US Southern Colonist|Jamestown|needs=Merge Attention}}
'''Note''': His parents are not known (see [[#Research Notes|Research Notes, below]]).
== Biography ==
{{US Southern Colonist Sticker|Jamestown}}
Biographical information with inline source citations.<ref name="Muster">Such as this "named" citation.</ref>

== Research Notes==
'''Estimated Date''': No age was given for him in the 1624/5 Jamestown Muster.<ref name="Muster"/> He is recorded as receiving a land grant in 1636,<ref>citation for the land grant</ref> so he would have been at least 21 at that time. A birth year of 1615 or earlier works with the birth year of his wife, whose age is given as 7 in the 1624/5 Muster.<ref>citation for her record in the muster</ref>

'''Maintenance Category''': "Needs Merge Attention" added when a merge with [[WikiTree-ID]] was proposed. ~~~~ [the four tildes is coding to automatically add your WikiTree-ID & date/time when the profile is saved]

=== Disputed Origins ===
: His parents are not known. Although many online trees show his parents as [[WikiTree-ID|Name]] and [[WikiTree-ID|Name]], current research has shown this to be incorrect (explain).<ref>Cite the research.</ref>

== Sources ==
<references />

== Acknowledgements ==
Click the Changes tab to see edits to this profile. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

DNA Information

If you select the relationship status of "Confirmed with DNA", you must have appropriate support on the profiles of both parent and child. Help: DNA_Confirmation says a source citation is required and a 3rd-level DNA subsection under the Biography heading is optional. The US Southern Colonies Project asks that you include both, as pre-1776 DNA confirmation takes a bit more explanation than the example for a match between second cousins once removed given here. Additional examples are here, along with the note "If your match is beyond a third cousin (such as a third cousin once removed, a fourth cousin, etc.) see Help:Triangulation."

So as not to interrupt the flow of the biography, the DNA subsection should follow other text and subsections in the Biography section.

Note - Suggested headings include "DNA", "DNA Evidence", "DNA Research", "DNA Information", or "Confirmed with DNA" (in other words, the project is flexible about the heading, so long as it has "DNA" in it).

Because pre-1776 Confirmation with DNA is relatively rare, the project recommends adding "top-of-profile text", along the lines of the following:

Note: DNA evidence confirms that [name of mother or father] is [name of profile person]'s [mother or father].<ref name=DNA>WikiTree requires a source citation. The US Southern Colonies Project recommends doing so using a named ref tag.</ref> See details [[#DNA|below]].

== Biography == (required 2nd-level heading)
=== xxx === (any 3rd-level biographical subs)
=== DNA === (last 3rd-level subheading under Biography)
== Research Notes == (optional 2nd-level heading)
== Sources == (required 2nd-level heading)
<references />

For profiles that have DNA info, but not enough to select "Confirmed with DNA", you can still have top-of-profile text, but you should have details under Research Notes. For example:

Note: DNA evidence examined to date is discussed [[#DNA Research|below]]. Another cousin from a third documented branch is sought for the [[Triangulation]] needed to "Confirm with DNA".

== Biography ==
== Research Notes ==
=== DNA Research ===
== Sources ==
<references />


In December 2020, we polled members of the US Southern Colonies Project about which profile should be selected to represent the project on WikiTree's Examples page. They were asked to select one of four model profiles listed on the Bio Builders Team page at the time and also asked for write-in suggestions. Comments received in response to that poll led to the creation of this generic examples profile. One of the comments was to stress that there is no single "right way" to create a good profile - that point is proved not only by the profiles on the Examples page but also by the write-in suggestions, and will be reflected in the profiles we select to add to that page.

Yup, "profiles" - turns out we couldn't pick just one, the scope of the project is just too broad! It runs from Maryland to Georgia and from the earliest colonists up to 4 July 1776 (the date which, for WikiTree purposes, the United States began, ending the colonial period). As such, the number of profiles within the project's scope is enormous (to request that the project manage a profile, see this page) and the range of profiles it manages runs from problematic to notable, including quite a lot of ordinary people as well as those who generate a lot of interest.

As a result, both choosing a profile to represent the project on WikiTree's Examples page and giving a "go-by" example of a project-managed profile are no easy tasks. Currently, the project has one profile on the examples page, representing Georgia, and is working on four others, to represent Maryland, Virginia, Jamestown, and the Carolinas. These profiles will represent the wide geographic range of the project and, with the other Example profiles, the wide range of styles used across WikiTree to tell our ancestors' stories or, as Province of Maryland Team Leader Jack Day put it, the "different styles in response to different challenges. For instance, if a person is covered thoroughly on Wikipedia, a shorter biography focused on the genealogical data of birth, marriage, death and children may be most appropriate." For others, there may be "substantial information out there that had never been assembled together in as useful a way, and in addition... much misinformation in circulation that had to be addressed."

Length was one of the concerns expressed by project members - not only length of the biography but also the "Acknowledgements", which is an optional section that some prefer to omit. Another concern was that finding valid genealogical information in complex and lengthy biographies, such as Jack describes, could be frustrating.

This example profile was created to offer possible solutions, such as adding a "Vitals" section. In some areas, this example profile is more detailed than the information and example profile provided by WikiTree (see Help: Biographies), but it is "style light" compared to what's covered by WikiTree's Styles and Standards. For something in between, check out the project's Bio Builders Team page and draft edit guidance (here).

Comments: 6

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Jack - you might want to join in the on-going G2G discussion, or start another one. WikiTree guidance currently says the optional DNA section should be under Biography.


posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Could you please elaborate on why profile examples should vary by state? I can more immediately see the value in a Jamestown example for early arrivals.
posted by Ken Spratlin
If you mean on the Examples page... For the same reason United States Project does not have the only example of someone born in the United States. The US Southern Colonies covers Maryland to Georgia up to 4 July 1776, and there were a lot of interesting and important people throughout the colonies. As it stands now, we do only have one example on the Examples page - from Georgia.

If you mean the profiles themselves, the project has colony-level teams but the project box for US Southern Colonies adds the category US Southern Colonists, which could potentially include several thousand profiles. Including the colony-level category, or the project sticker with the colony-level switch (which adds the colony-level category), collects those profiles into sub-categories for the Colonial Teams.

Cheers, Liz

posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Thank you for the clarification. I was referring to the profiles themselves, and profile examples upon which they are based.
posted by Ken Spratlin
I may be the minority voice here, but I believe that the Biography should be for sourced facts about the person's life, while research -- and DNA is research -- should go under Research Notes. John Doe who lived in 1780 did not know anything about DNA so I'm not sure how you'd work that into his biography, especially where DNA research confirms what the records already show.

The exception would be where DNA disproves the records, where the records show that Sam and Mary were the parents of George, but George's DNA is more akin to the Fuller family, who lived next door. Then you may want to include DNA when talking about George's parents.

I read that about every 10 generations, on the average, a totally different Y-dna seems to enter a line of descent. And the euphemism for that is the existence of a "non-paternal event." Actually, there was clearly a paternal event, but the husband was apparently non-paternal...

posted by Jack Day
My earlier reply wound up as a separate comment. But thinking on this more... I've made some changes.

At the beginning of this page, I added a rule of thumb to clarify biography should be Biographical & research should be under Research Notes.

I also edited the DNA Information section. WikiTree guidance is often vague, to allow for some leeway. In this case, I'm going to interpret guidance that an optional DNA subsection under Biography is when someone has the relationship status "Confirmed with DNA". I've moved the note for profiles that do not have "Confirmed with DNA" to be separate, with details in the Research Notes section.

posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett