Popular Profile Cleanup

Started by Randy Stebbing on Friday, June 24, 2011
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Private User

Great points. In fact when Peter Falk died, we wanted to try and get his tree up in honor. Wikipedia proved to have quite a few errors, even in some basic facts - and imdb was a better link. That's one of the reasons I would hesitate to say "just link to Wikipedia" for a bio.

To me, there's a terminology difference.


And that "link" automatically means "buyer beware" - you are going to an external source.

By uploading the source as a source, then citing it, and by not including all of it Verbatim., then the copy right laws and the TOS of wikipedia are satisfied.

On most of my MOH files I have litle other than that and find a grave to go by


Oh, sure, overviews can get too long, and I'm a big fan of hyperlinking. I'm guilty of too much of that myself.

BUT I know what I don't want to read, and that's "dry academia."

What I want is the telling anecdote that makes history and personality come alive for me.

Now the way I work better is to build it up; I'm always fighting writers block. So it's much better, for me, to do too much, and then edit it down later, than to be told "just link." I lose interest.

If you find the wiki is incorrect, go to edit the source and under notes put in what is wrong (ie death date is incorrect etc) so any one that reads the source page knows that is is wrong.

Private User

-if you'd like to join the project and take on the initiative to add all of the citations formally

Sorry, I'm committed to the MOH for a long term.

Private User

create a sub-project for using the "Sources" tab

Can you give me an example of what you mean by this? What I think you mean by this is impossible as far as I know, so you must be ref something else.

or do you mean a "related project"

Erica Howton I agree that links automatically = 'buyer beware' - but my concern is that the newbie, or even the casual visitor, may not know that. Again, just my opinion, but it seems to me that transparency is a worthwhile goal! Isn't that why we ask that people fill out place names fully, rather than expecting others to know county and state abbreviations?

TOTALLY agree about wanting our bios on profiles to be interesting! I think it's important to bring these people to life!

Marvin Caulk, (C) Yes, Wikis can be edited. However, although I fully expect to live another 50 years, I don't have enough time left to verify Wikis and follow my own genealogical interests! I am NOT taking on the fact-checking of Wiki profiles as another project, lol!

My point was that we all know that Wikis are infamous for being incorrect - so, to me, referring people to them for more information seems a little cheap, a little sleazy, a lot boring. I am not saying that anyone else choosing to link to Wiki is any of those things! It's just that it makes me feel that way to do so. ;)

Re: @LauraElizabethIngalls - FYI, I found the source of the Letters to Children document: http://www.lauraingallswilderhome.com/letter.htm

Is it better to link to them (since they ARE a primary and secondary source) rather than upload the doc ourselves and risk copyright violation?

Bjørn and Jennifer: No disagreement here. Sounds like a nice suggestion about saying we can't vouch for external links, though I can't think of other Wikis where I've seen that. Maybe we can start a trend.

Wikipedia is improving of course as time goes on ... and sometimes there actually is some quality writing in their bios. I try to use it more as a place to find decent original source materials, and quote / from, link, upload from etc. better written "encyclopedias." It depends on where and when I'm working on, but I particularly like http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Home.jsp as an example. Obviously best for people in Georgia. :)

Marvin Caulk, (C) What does MOH mean? ;)

Private User

If you use the "add a link" tab in "sources" the copyright information should be there, as well as the website. I check and "edit" with the website address just to be sure.

Great find Jennifer! Could you also add the "official site" to the "links" grouping in that profile? - That's one of the things I always try and do as well -link to a museum or official website.

Erica Howton - Will do (and thanks for tip, didn't know that - SO much to learn!)

You're already teaching me, Jennifer. It's a two way street.

I knew I'd read something that touched on all of this so went hunting and found:


Standards For Use Of Technology In Genealogical Research
Recommended by the National Genealogical Society
Remembering always that they are engaged in a quest for truth, family history researchers consistently—
•use compilations, communications and published works, whether paper or electronic, primarily for their value as guides to locating the original records.
•state something as a fact only when it is supported by convincing evidence, and identify the evidence when communicating the fact to others.
•avoid misleading other researchers by either intentionally or carelessly distributing or publishing inaccurate information.

Mindful that computers are tools, genealogists take full responsibility for their work, and therefore they—
•treat compiled information from on-line sources or digital data bases like that from other published sources, useful primarily as a guide to locating original records, but not as evidence for a conclusion or assertion.
•actively oppose the proliferation of error, rumor and fraud by personally verifying or correcting information, or noting it as unverified, before passing it on to others.

What this means to me is that, FOR ME, it would be wrong to refer others to links if I haven't personally fact-checked the information at that link. And I'm just not going to take on the clean-up of Wiki in addition to all my other projects, so FOR ME, I'm not going to link to a Wiki profile in lieu of writing up the About Me with info I know to be accurate.

Great attitude Jennifer! I have about 5,000 curated profiles that need help. :)

Seriously, you're talking "authorship" and that really is the goal. We're approaching that in several ways; I like Projects as a way to organize and keep learn about an era / region / family.

I just would beg to please put in some "juicy" stuff. Just reading facts is sooo boring.

Gotcha, thanks, and will ALWAYS include juicy stuff! If we have the facts there (like kids, their DOBs and DOMs, etc) to help prevent confusion, then we definitely need fun stuff to balance it out. If someone was a horse thief, I darn well want to know about it! How many horses did he steal? Did he get caught or did he live out a long and evil life? lol

Private User

(Congressional_ Medal of Honor

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medal_of_Honor

Ummm, as far as I know, I've never been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. I *would* know, right?


And some of the language used in court records? Oh, my goodness.

Whenever I tell someone I'm doing family research they say, "Oh, cool, I always wanted to dig up the dirt on my family tree."

Private User

That was the answer to "What does MOH mean?"

photo owned by Tamara Tucker Swingle

I've cleaned up Barack Obama and removed him from the project.

Thanks Private User

The about section for President Obama is looking great!

Does anyone know why this profile is attached to him as a sister?


photo owned by Tamara Tucker Swingle

I cleaned up Sarah Willard, made it a MP, and removed her from the project.

photo owned by Tamara Tucker Swingle

I've cleaned up Thomas Willard, Sr., made it a MP, and removed him from the project.

Just want to mention, that part of the reason I argue for keeping the about mes for famous people very short is to keep the cleanup easier. If everyone kept the about me section very short as I suggest, cleanup is very easy. If we keep these famous profiles mostly blank, it means the about me cleanup is easy.

The other reason to keep it short is so merging editors will see the important warnings about common confusions and unknowns about a person. A long section means that these warnings will be lost and ignored, resulting in more bad merges.

Okay, I just took a shot at John Alden. Trying to keep in mind the very good points Brian James Schend made about keeping it short, I cut out most of what was there. I think it would benefit from being cut more, but this was my first shot at working on a profile I didn't originate and I was nervous! ;)

Oh - someone needs to remove it from the list for me, as I haven't a clue how to do so. Thnx!

Was all ready to start Betsey Ross next, but it's locked so I can't help, sorry! ;)

I have been trying to find the Master Profile for Katherine Parr, last wife of Henry VIII. There are a lot of Katerine Parrs out there. I recommend it for cleanup.

Showing 31-60 of 150 posts

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