Archiver > WIKI-GENPAGES > 2007-06 > 1182200825

From: "Penelope Blake" <>
Subject: Re: [WIKI-GENPAGES] Why The Need (Was Genealogy Wiki site -The Genealogy Wiki)
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2007 22:07:05 +0100
In-Reply-To: <>

I agree with the living person thingy, although the page does state that you
should not put up information on living people.

Its this freely edit thing that worries me. If all the pages and entries are
freely editable by anyone whats stopping me from deleting someones entire
lives work?

The working together thing sounds brilliant. If I say born 1800 and you say
born 1802 then the answer is circa 1801. Double sourcing a fact is always
better than a singe source. The only drawback I have with this and most
sites is where is the incentive to work at the genealogy.
Let me put it this way.
I started my research way way way (OK not that far) back in 2000 when there
wasn`t half as much things on the net as there is now. To find information I
had to search through papers and fiche and rolls and rolls of film. I would
spend days and days looking only to find nothing at all. Other days I would
find loads and loads with little or no effort.
Ancestry has made my life much easier with BMD`s and Census online. The IGI
helps and in "theory", just using IGI I can trace one line back to 1415. We
all know that the IGI is not always 100%. However, I am careful to back up
my evidence.
But that’s where the problem lies.
TV programs like Who Do You Think You Are, Time Team and House History etc
etc has created many Genealogists. These people want to produce a tree in 1
day using the internet as their only source. They don`t know what a library
looks like and have probably never heard of the concept of a Family History
Society, let alone joining one. A lot of them think that because the
information is online it must be true.

I recently got hold of a copy of a very good book related to my Genealogy,
and inside they have quoted a paragraph from a book called "You and
Heredity" by Amram Scheinfeld.

"Mr. Reginald Twombley Dunn-Twerpp, who is not very bright and weighs 110
pounds - of which a good part is front teeth - likes to boast that he is
descended from William The Conqueror, and that the steel blue blood of
ancient warriors flows in his veins. To prove it he will show you his family
tree and a beautiful hand painted crest, prepared by a genealogist from
Boston for fifty dollars."

If I publish information, which is incorrect, someone copies it (Errors and
all), and someone copies that etc eventually you have a complete work of
fiction and no one can figure out the orginal source.

To go back to the original discussion here is the problem

Fred Smith inputs the info of his Grandfather, John Smith b 1800 who married
a Mary Jones b. abt 1802 in 1820. Meanwhile because Mary Smith is my
relation and I have done some good research on her we collaborate and I pass
on the info that Mary was born 1 Nov 1801. Great you think. Meanwhile, Mr
"I`ve watched 2 TV Shows so I know it all" comes along with his info on a
completely different Fred Smith b 1800 who married a Mary Johnson. He
completely overwrites the information and fails to provide sources. Then
comes along someone else who is genuinely related to John Smith (And
therefore Myself and Fred Smith) and goes away thinking they are related to
Mary Johnson.
The answer is simple. Ownership. If Fred Smith owns his Gedcom and I own
mine and we find a match then we simply add a link to each others gedcom
files. We exchange info also (Of course) and we can edit our own gedcom
files to reflect the info we have gathered, but if someone comes along and
sees either of the Fred Smiths on offer they will see the link to the other
one also. He can send a message to the owner and we can then add a link to
his gedcom file, and he can add links from his to ours. Easy.

I personally am not happy for someone to remove many years of hard work,
sweat and blood on a whim.

Personally, I think this is the answer:-

Whoever puts the record up in the first place, owns it.
It is up to other people to collaborate with the owner over changes.
In the event that two identical records exist then they are merged, with the
owner of the older record being the owner of the merged record.
There should be appointed a global wiki-judge who can make decisions over

Penny Blake

-----Original Message-----
individual. Unfortunately, what will kill the Wiki genealogy is someone
claiming they own the data and rather it being a cooperative effort it
becomes small dictatorships trying to control the input and the
displayed data. Let's look as a possible scenario. All families have
some hidden secrets that they don't like being known or made public.
One individual feels the information accurately portrays the individual,
his/her life and wants it included. Another contributor keeps removing
the information leading to confrontation and perhaps eventual removal of
the information which was helping others.

My hope is the only restriction is on publishing information (names,
dates of birth, family relationships) of living individuals. Perhaps
the potential for data harvesting for criminal purposes is small - the
possibility is still there and so the names of living individuals should
not be published.

No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.472 / Virus Database: 269.9.0/852 - Release Date: 17/06/2007

This thread: