Categories: WikiTree Help
WikiTree X is a special extension to the Chrome web browser developed by Justin York. It enables you to create and edit WikiTree profiles using data from other genealogy websites.
This is new. Please see the discussion in G2G.
Introduction: Should you try WikiTree X?
WikiTree X is not for all genealogists, or even all WikiTree members.
It's for those who:
- Use the Chrome web browser.
- Use an external website that is compatible with the extension, such as FamilySearch or Ancestry.com.
- Are experienced WikiTree members. The extension is a supplement not a substitute for other ways of using WikiTree.
- Have patience to use something new. You need to take a little time to learn how to use it. And you need to appreciate that it may not work perfectly. It will sometimes have trouble reading information from other websites.
That said, it's powerful! If it works for you, you'll be able to integrate information from other websites into WikiTree much more quickly and easily than if you were doing it by hand.
This tool only works with Google's Chrome web browser.
From there click the "Add to Chrome" button.
After installing it, you should see a small WikiTree tree icon in the upper-right corner of your browser, next to the settings.
Start on another genealogy website
The extension works when you're on a page on an external website with information about a person. It works on the following:
- FamilySearch.org, both historical records and tree profiles.
- Ancestry.com (some contexts?)
- Find A Grave
- Genealogie Online
- Open Archives
It may work, or work soon, on:
You may need an account or even a paying membership on the external website.
It may not work for you on all pages on all these websites. All these sites have a variety of pages with genealogy information on them. You may need to experiment to see what works.
The extension works well on person profiles on the FamilySearch Tree and on most historical records on FamilySearch.
Please share your experiences with the community and developers on G2G. How does it work best for you? Where would you like it to work? We will collect tips on the pages linked above.
Open the extension and select an action
From the person page on the external website, click the icon for WikiTree X in the upper-right corner of your browser. This opens the extension.
You will see three or four options:
Update an existing WikiTree profile
Here you can enter a WikiTree ID and click "Go" to edit an existing WikiTree profile using information from the external website.
The interface is very similar to what you see when you merge two WikiTree profiles.
You will be selecting whether to keep data from the existing profile (in the first column) or change it to what is on the external website (in the second column). The third column shows what will be the end result when/if you proceed.
Beneath the table you will see a section for editing the text of the profile. Review this carefully. The system may have added text and sources.
Create a related WikiTree profile
Here you can enter a WikiTree ID, select Father, Mother, Sibling, Spouse, or Child and click "Go" to create a new WikiTree profile using information from the external website as the family member of an existing person on WikiTree.
You'll then see the interface that you always see when creating a new profile on WikiTree. It's just that some of the fields will be filled-in for you.
Do not forget to review any suggested matches with existing WikiTree profiles.
Create an unrelated WikiTree profile
If the new person you want to create using the information on the external website is not directly related to any existing people on WikiTree, select this option instead of the one above.
Edit FamilySearch Connections
You will only see this fourth option if you are on the FamilySearch Tree. Entering a WikiTree ID here will show you if there are any existing connections between the WikiTree profile and FamilySearch Tree profiles.
These connections are usually made with the separate FamilySearch Connections app. If a connection doesn't already exist with between the FamilySearch Tree profile and the matching profile on WikiTree, you can easily add it here.
Questions and Answers
Why is it called WikiTree X?
It might be because it's a Chrome extension. Or that it uses external data. Or that it uses FamilySearch's GEDCOM X standard for exchanging family history information.
It might be because we couldn't think of anything better and "X" seemed like a good placeholder.
The current extension is really just a beginning. We think this tool may become something very powerful and significant for WikiTree collaboration. A name may emerge as it evolves. For example, if we are able to add the ability to update profiles on external websites, "WikiTree Exchange" may be an appropriate name.
What do you think it should be called? Post on G2G.
What's the connection with FamilySearch Connections?
The FamilySearch Connections tool, also developed by Justin York, searches for likely matches on the FamilySearch Tree for profiles on your WikiTree Watchlist. If matches are found, it enables you to create links from the WikiTree profile to the FamilySearch profile and vice-versa.
WikiTree X enables you to take the next step: exchanging or even "syncing" information on the two trees.
Currently, this is one way, but we may be able to secure permission and enable you to update FamilySearch Tree profiles in the future.
What if this tool is abused to add junk genealogy to WikiTree?
There is a risk — no, a certainty — that some members will use WikiTree X to create poorly-sourced, questionable profiles. And they'll be able to do it more quickly than they if they were creating profiles manually.
WikiTree X will be used by experienced, careful Wiki Genealogists, and it will be used by newts and newgs who make mistakes. We can't prevent all mistakes, and we wouldn't want to try. We just need to make sure that there are mechanisms for correcting mistakes and for helping members learn from them.
Although WikiTree X will cause new problems, our community is strong enough to deal with them as they arise. Part of the beauty of WikiTree X is that it's integrated with normal WikiTree usage instead of being something separate, like GEDCOM import. Profiles are created one at a time.
When you spot a problem, start at Problems with Members.
What is the future of WikiTree X?
The current extension is just the beginning. We believe WikiTree X will become something very big.
Someday it may be possible to use it to exchange information. You might be able to update information on FamilySearch Tree profiles based on WikiTree profiles, instead of just the other way around. This might even replace the use of GEDCOMs for importing and exporting data.
Justin York, the creator of the extension, is a young and creative developer who's dedicated to the future of genealogy. He has a very open, collaborative mindset and would welcome the help of any developer who's interested in working on the open source code.
Post suggestions and questions on G2G and be sure to post what you learn about how to best use the extension.
This page was last modified 12:00, 16 February 2017. This page has been accessed 4,406 times.