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Unknowns Team

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: profile improvement unknowns
Last profile change on 19 Jul 2021
07:50: Cassandra Tugwell deleted a comment from Cassandra Tugwell on the page for Unknowns Team [Thank Cassandra for this]
This page has been accessed 686 times.

Welcome to the Unknowns, a team of the Profile Improvement Project focused on finding identities for profiles with any variation of the Unknown surname.



To improve the integrity of WikiTree by identifying and updating profiles without valid names.

How to Join

Set sail on the PIP Voyage. Upon completion, contact Project Coordinator Esmé (Pieterse) van der Westhuizen for guidance on tasks of the Unknowns Team.

Please do the following:

  1. Add profiles and unknowns to your list of followed tags. That way you'll see all of our discussions in your G2G Feed.
  2. Add your name to the "Team Members list below" and update it periodically.
  3. You may also add [[Category:Profile Improvement Project]] to your profile page. That will put you on the list on the Project Category page.
  4. We use WikiTree's Unknowns Team Google Group for communication. Please add a message with your Wiki ID so that we can confirm your access. We also use Help:Discord #unknowns channel for conversation.

If Project Leader support is needed, please contact the Profile Improvements Project Leader Debi Hoag


  1. Identify all profiles without valid names according to the naming standards at Name Fields. Add the appropriate categories to profiles as needed. See Task List for steps to follow in determining the category.
  2. Send profiles to the Review Team by adding a comment to the Possible Profiles for Deletion if
  • corrections could be made but you don't know how or don't have access
  • the profile has never had data and has never been connected in any way
  • the profile has been merged so many times that you can't determine who was originally represented
  • the profile was originally for a non-person (animal, organization, thing)

To Do List

  1. Locate profiles using an alias for either Preferred First Name (PFN) or Last Name at Birth (LNAB). Use the Surname Search to find the list for an alias.
    1. Examples of aliases are: Unknown/UNKNOWN, Uk, Unk, Anonymous, FNU, LNU, N, NN, X, XX, XXX, ??, Not sure, Wife, Daughter, Son, etc.
  2. Use Name Fields to determine if alias is being used correctly. See especially the sections: "Use their conventions instead of ours" and "Specific Rules for Individual Name Fields."
  3. Add appropriate categories to profiles as needed. See Task List for steps to follow in determining the category.

Maintenance Categories

Maintenance categories are used to group profiles in need of some particular type of work. They serve as site-wide to-do lists. See Personal Categories for how to make your own to-do lists with categories.

Unknowns Maintenance Categories

  • Unknowns [[Category:Unknowns]] Profiles added here need to have more research done.
  • Needs LNAB [[Category: Needs LNAB]] Profiles with a Profile Manager who are lacking a Last Name at Birth (LNAB) or having Unknown or a variant as LNAB. Leave a comment for PM to attempt to find LNAB for profile.
  • Unlocated Profiles [[Category: Unlocated Profiles]] This category is for those profiles which have no location information at all: not in the birth field, not in the death field, not in the marriage field(s), and not in the biography.

Research Note Boxes

Estimated Date: {{Estimated Date}} is a Research Note Box. For use whenever a rough estimate is used for a birth, death, and/or marriage date. {{Estimated Date}} will add a category for any/all estimated dates and add the profile to one of the Maintenance Categories -- Estimated Date Categories. By adding a variable, the estimated date can be specific to all, birth, death, or a combination of these. For example, {{Estimated Date|Death}} will specify the Death date is estimated.
Unsourced: {{Unsourced}} is a Research Note Box. It should be placed on any profile that has no sources. You can enter {{Unsourced}} without a modifier, but it's best to enter a country, state, province, or other place names. For example, {{Unsourced|France}}, will add the profile to the list of Unsourced profiles in France.


Click on the links to see what the template looks like in use.

Unknowns Template {{Unknowns}}

Citation Needed {{Citation Needed}}


  • American - Slave LNAB {{Slave LNAB}} - Alerts the US Black Heritage Exchange Project members
  • All others - Unknowns slave {{Unknowns|slave}}

G2G Tag

The G2G tag for Unknowns Team Q&A is unknowns.

Team Members

Beside your name below, please keep track of what you're currently working on for this team. This is both for your own reference, and to aid collaboration amongst the team participants. If you are going to be temporarily inactive in the team (e.g. on vacation), please note that here. Thanks!

  • Login to request to the join the Trusted List so that you can edit and add images.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: Debi Hoag and Esmé van der Westhuizen. (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.)

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
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