Profiles With Only Some Names

Started by Private User on Monday, December 13, 2010

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Private User
12/13/2010 at 5:57 AM

Sometimes I see profiles in the big tree with only a name and my be a single child who continues the line only with a name too. When I ask the single administrator where the names are found, I am put off with a not relevant answer. This gives me a feeling that the profiles are add to make the puzzle fit, or to show a relationship that might not exist.
Was it not most appropriate to delete these profiles when there is no proper reference to where names are found, I am aware that this will discontinue brances but like it is now, Geni wil end up very untrustworthy.

12/13/2010 at 6:25 AM

Private User,
often most people simply do NOT KNOW what the source for a profile is. They found a GEDCOM online that connected to their tree, and copy-pasted this into their own tree, which then got uploaded to Geni.

You can not and SHOULD NOT delete / destroy the work of other people. It's not yours, so... it's not yours. If you have specific issues you can take them up with the Curator team, but we don't often get involved with disputes over branches with a single manager.

You can contact the Curator team by posting a comment here:
http://www.geni.com/discussions/6000000009835758162

Private User
12/13/2010 at 7:45 AM

I am not thinking about I myself will delete/destry the work of other people, and it is not whole branches with a single maneger but profiles as a link fasten to the branche of the whole tree with - could be - no (wrong?) information. This can have influence on an endless number of other profiles.
This way, as an example, you can´t really trust the line of relations, because you don`t know, how many of those uncertain links to the tree, it has gone through.
I am talking about profiles without any source add at all, and no satisfactory answer if you ask

Private User
12/13/2010 at 10:08 AM

The is just one minor problem: The fact that YOU don't have any source on some profiles is not the same as there does not exist any source.

Secondly there are very few profiles that it attached to any source, - that does not mean that is no source either. Should we request your grandfather Carl to be deleted just because you have not tagged him to a reliable source?

Sourcing in Geni is just in the starter phase, and hopefully these tools will be better and people start using them.

Remember that there are just fractions of genealogical facts you can find on Internet, and even if they exist the chance for finding them is low.

For those who have been on Geni from the beginning and stitched together what is called "the big tree", - One of these pioneers with the name Gerald had, according to himself, a unique collection of original sources you will never find on Internet. I think he had spent around hundred thousand dollars on them and he set up lines and connections in the medieval, royal and noble lines of Europe nobody had seen before. Unfortunately he was the type of genealogist that is not willing to share their findings, freaked out and destroyed most of his work when the number of users and profiles exploded in Geni. I wish he one day return and can share his sources.

Private User
12/13/2010 at 11:10 AM

Brox I am not sure you understand my question, the answers are out of contex.
Your example with my grandfather Carl. You will see in his profile, he was born 30 July 1890 in St Matheus Sogn in Copenhagen, which already has more than a name. If you would like to know more, I would be more than willing to help finding the parish register, which anyone can go and see. So you can see, it has nothing to do with what I describe.
I'm talking about profiles with no data or source, and where there is no willingness to identify the source. Besides it is seen in "some books", (no title or page). Profiles with only a name, as you can read in the headline.

Private User
12/13/2010 at 1:30 PM

Personally I prefer just a name instead of the guesstimates we find in most of the old lines.

12/13/2010 at 1:47 PM

A M, I understand what you are saying. However, I think it is better to (1) leave those profiles and indicate that we still need to research the sources rather than (2) delete them. Because at least they are clues. And that is a better place to start than with nothing.

You are correct that we have a huge range of variability in the credibility levels of different bits of historical information. But I doubt that in most cases anything is completely "made up" (that is, fabricated as fiction)--usually there has been some source or family tradition that has provided a name, but as you note there is often no documentation for that name.

So what does that leave us? With work to do. We need to research that family to find the credible sources for the information.

But in a collaborative endeavor such as Geni, we need to accept that some information, though less reliable, may help to lead us to good research, and so we should not delete it and break the tree just because we are lacking documentation. But yes, we should note where documentation is lacking. That can be done in the "about me" section of the profile.

Private User
12/13/2010 at 1:53 PM

Brox, that you prefer and accept a profile with only a name informed is exactly the problem

Private User
12/13/2010 at 2:06 PM

If you look at old written sources like Snorre Sturluson: Heimskringla where you have complete lines without any references to years or locations. Profiles added following these sources is not valid anything in you opinion?

You have the same situations with oral sources that has been transferred from generation to generation and finally written down. Most of these are just names and relationships. Are they not worth anything?

In both cases: Adding birth and death years without any other knowledge than some guesstimates based from a points generations away when you have an incident you know the year of when people get children and how long they live is history falsification and even I am managing a lot of such profiles, but cleaning up such information is very low priority.

In any case there is no point in changing any profiles before Geni supports before, after and between classifications on dates as most genealogical programs have.

Private User
12/13/2010 at 3:36 PM

(Sorry for deleting and pasting again, but I allways see some writing mistakes after posting. I am not English speaking.)
Pam I am glad you understand, what I am trying to say. Yes it leads to a lot of work to do.
Every name must come from somewhere, it can never come out of the blue or nothing. A profile with only a name, miss the information about where the name was found. It would not have been a big job to have add this, when the profile were created.
I think it vill be an idea to inform manegers to write sources, when this information is missing in the profiles. It can be a big job but when there are many informations lacking, there has been too many profiles created too fast.
In this way, it is better to go slowly than fast, because it can be a rather bigger job to clean up later. Even a tree looks "need", you can`t trust that it is.

12/14/2010 at 12:10 AM

A M,
I repeat what I said above:

MOST often people simply do NOT KNOW what the source for a profile is. They found a GEDCOM online that connected to their tree, and copy-pasted this into their own tree, which then got uploaded to Geni.

Would putting "I found this online" add ANY value to a profile? NOT at all! Even with a link to the actual source, because the same file can be found online dozens of times, often one copied from the other.

Private User
12/14/2010 at 3:38 AM

"I found this online" or "I found it in a book" can never be a source.

But if the name of the book, title, page, writer, or copy with the informations from the book, or a link to the page at the internet where the name is found, then it is a source. Every information has a source, it never comes out of the blue. If it something you have dreamed, then the dream or you is the source. If it copied from gedcom, then that specific part of gedcom is your source.
Then it is up to me/you to notice the kind of source. No source at all, gives informations too. It tells there can be ad a big ? to the name. Just like gossip as an excample.

12/14/2010 at 5:24 AM

A M,
take a look at http://www.gedcoms.com/
Free GEDCOM files to download to your PC. What's more, these files are provided by other users of the site, i.e. no validation or even review AT ALL!! There are literally hundreds of websites like this.

Now think of your average genealogy hobbyist. He has his personal PRIVATE tree, at home on his very own private PC. He's in it for the fun, especially regarding long-dead historical folks, not too closely related to him. He also doesn't care much about the details of these people's lives. We had one user who uploaded 150,000 profiles to Geni just because he wanted to have the most profiles (he failed), and created a huge mess.

So he doesn't particularly care about sources at all. So he finds such a website, like the one above, and says to himself "Hmmmm this file nicely connects with my tree, lets add it. Oh and that one, and this one, and one more too". [Click Click Click Click] "Wow, isn't that a nice big tree *I* have".

Some time later (days, months, years) they discovers Geni. Exports "their" tree, and uploads it to Geni... along with one million (1,000,000) other users. I can promise you, that of the ~90 million total profiles on Geni, at least 40% are of this type. That is a LOT of profiles.

This doesn't mean that it is all crap. There ARE some excellent files web-trees out there, and also a lot of junk. So even a link to the actual file or web-page is completely without value. There ARE actually plenty of such pages listed as "sources", and they interfere more than they help...

So most profiles will only have names, and this indicates absolutely NOTHING of how valid they are.

That said, NOW that we have a Curator Team, most of these "blank" profiles ARE getting merged into more serious Master-Profiles, which are themselves being filled out. But with 45 million profiles in the Big-Tree and only ~50 Curators, this takes time, a LOT of time. You are more than welcome to help. Find a Project (there are 879 at http://www.geni.com/projects ) that covers a part of the tree that you have interest in, or start your own Project. Find other people with similar interests and get them involved. Contact a Curator ( http://www.geni.com/discussions/80793 ), regarding your project, and help the Curators help you. Projects are an amazing tool, and the results they have achieved so far is awesome.

Private User
12/14/2010 at 12:02 PM

A link to crap, as you call it, will tell me it is crap. Wikipedia as source could will tell me, there has not been much reseach from he/him who created the profile. No sourse at all, only makes me cross out the profile, or make myself an investigation all over again, if I haven`t lost interest allready, becuse the tree doesn`t look serious without sources here and there. I dòn`t understand why sourses are not an elemtary and simpel ruel for creating a profile. When curators merge those "blank" profiles into master profiles, as you write, then the party can realy begin!
I saw a "cleaned" part of the tree with master profiles where a woman got her first child when she was 3 years old. Of course I shall not mention things like this without bringing links, so I will stop here.
What made me start this discussion, was when I asked a simpel question for source directly to an administrator of a profile. I never got an answer. Later when I saw the administrator describing her work in public, I asked the question again, and still no answer but was advised to start a public discussion instead.

http://www.geni.com/discussions/85370?msg=652731

I am finding out about Geni, before I can go deeper into it and offer my help, like you write. A rule about always bringing links, even links to "crap", about where you have your information from, should be rule no 1, if I should put a big work here.

Private User
12/14/2010 at 12:50 PM

Shmuel, "don't feed the trolls" ;-)

Instead if just complaining on everything and anybody: Start adding sources yourself and help us making the profiles better.

12/14/2010 at 2:57 PM

Sometimes I see profiles in the big tree with only a name and my be a single child who continues the line only with a name too.

ANS: If like me i put my tree in as an outline - and I am goign back to fill in - - this gives me a road map of my PAF file

When I ask the single administrator where the names are found, I am put off with a not relevant answer. This gives me a feeling that the profiles are add to make the puzzle fit, or to show a relationship that might not exist.

ans: when we joined Geni it told us to enter what we know of our ancestors and that could be name only - handed down - from generation to generation - - maybe this is all the person knows - when i started i had a lady had me my mothers lines on a so called 'silver platter' it was an outline from me back 8-9 generations - 2 Hardesty lines, and my Edingtons, and was told i could 'fill in the blanks'

Was it not most appropriate to delete these profiles when there is no proper reference to where names are found, I am aware that this will discontinue brances but like it is now,

ANS: NO i would say not to delete these unless you know the person is no longer a memebr of Geni why not try to google the name and see if you can find out more on the person ? if its from a gedcom - its has to be out there somewhere - Maybe the person does not have a source for an empty profile too - maybe they are still hunting for the validation - I have lots of profiles where children were born and died in between census - the only source given is in the parents - i do not delete a child just because she/he is not sourced

Private User
12/14/2010 at 3:32 PM

Thanks for your kind reply Judi. I am interested in knowing how people look at the importance of referral source on Geni so I'm grateful for every serious answer.

12/14/2010 at 3:55 PM

I have been in Genealogy for 34+ years - - sometimes you are very luck in that when you make and inquiry - you hit the "mother load" so to say - you get someone who is kind enough to give you full name date place and compete sourcing - other times you are just lucky enough to get the names of the parents of the person your inquiring of and names and dates for those ancestors - some people are generous to a fault - - others feel that they have done the work, paid for the research and unwilling to share no more than necesary I have had all types - - there is a saying "genealogy is a rich person's hobby" which was so true and is still true in alot of respects.

i count my self lucky if i get the names, dates, places of my direct ancestors, - if I get names of siblings i count that as a blessing - if i get dates and places for some or all its a double blessing - - if some documentation comes with it thats a miracle and if full documentation comes with it thats a bonaza and i can say from experience that rarely occures i have 3-6 manuscripts going and one major book and I rarely have had full documentation for anything sent but i enter it and carry on - and try to find the documentation myself - - - sometimes there is no documentation to be found for some items - but you keep hoping...

12/14/2010 at 3:55 PM

I have been in Genealogy for 34+ years - - sometimes you are very luck in that when you make and inquiry - you hit the "mother load" so to say - you get someone who is kind enough to give you full name date place and compete sourcing - other times you are just lucky enough to get the names of the parents of the person your inquiring of and names and dates for those ancestors - some people are generous to a fault - - others feel that they have done the work, paid for the research and unwilling to share no more than necesary I have had all types - - there is a saying "genealogy is a rich person's hobby" which was so true and is still true in alot of respects.

i count my self lucky if i get the names, dates, places of my direct ancestors, - if I get names of siblings i count that as a blessing - if i get dates and places for some or all its a double blessing - - if some documentation comes with it thats a miracle and if full documentation comes with it thats a bonaza and i can say from experience that rarely occures i have 3-6 manuscripts going and one major book and I rarely have had full documentation for anything sent but i enter it and carry on - and try to find the documentation myself - - - sometimes there is no documentation to be found for some items - but you keep hoping...

Private User
12/14/2010 at 4:05 PM

We are all different and we do look at things in different way.
Some don’t make so much fuss about things, and some do and some take this work seriously and some don’t.
Some have their way to add information, and some have other way to do it.

But I can’t force people to do it the way I like to do it, so instead I like to help my collaborators to find correct information.

If I find a profile in my Ancestors/blood lines line that has no information as you call it, except for the name. This profile would then be a target for me to find out more information and documentation because it is also in my interest to know more.
If this profile was not at Geni, I wouldn’t know about it, and not started to do research on him/her.

Geni is for me a work tool, because Geni is a place where many Genealogists can work together in same tree, and help each other out.

You mention that you have asked a simple question to an administrator of the profile, and never got answered.

Thing is, if I send an email or any other message type to a stranger, I don’t expect to get an answer but would be glad if I do. But I don’t take it for granted.
I have sent plenty of messages here and never got reply on it, and that’s ok. I just have to find out myself.

You said you saw a profile where mother was 3 years old at child’s birth. This can have many reasons.
One of the reason can be this profile has been merged with another profile with wrong information, or worse, wrong person.

That happens, and if you can’t sort out this problem yourself, then you can ask a Collaborator or an Curator.

Yesterday I found a profile where son was born before father, so this had to be wrong. But instead just leave it, I did move this son to correct father and moved his not correct father to correct place in the tree.
And that’s how it Geni work.
More we work together and help each other out, then better will this tree be.

And final, I do totally agree with Judi’s last post, well said

Private User
12/15/2010 at 3:27 AM

It looks to me Glenn Østen, as you move easily and elegantly on the surface of the problem. A large credible world' tree is not for individualists to make there own rules . For me the question is, whether there will be a clear rule from Geni for source information to the profiles or not.
It seems that the problem with gedcom will be resolved for the future, so we can leave this out here. And that something can not be ad as source, because it is oral tradition or similar is nonsense. Let me reiterate, all information has a source.
The 4 links I put in, as seen in the link here. Why is it so hard to get the source for them. Obviously I have tried to investigate myself, as you recommend me Judi, before I ask the question to the profile creator. That you just can not count on getting response, I see as a sad state.
I am basically almost related to any I see in the big tree for nobels in Norway and Denmark. When I look at the lists of names that leads me around in the tree, I see those blank profiles with only a name. And so far, after I have asked and asked for sources, with out getting an answer, or no source had been ad to the profiles I can not keep away from thinking , that theese profiles are add as some kind of pins to keep the branches together. Almost all the profiles are getting MP, master profiles, and I have no influence on anything, so what ever I am advised to do, is out of the question.

12/15/2010 at 5:00 AM

Judi, you hit it right on the head when you said you put names in just as 'road map' to follow. I do the same, names first, then fill in the details later. And just hope no one deletes or merges while I'm at work on my various lines. Sometimes I can't be on as often as many others are, or as often as I'd like. These things take time when there are 'personal' family things to take care of; in this case, finishing filling in information on geni will always come second.

Private User
12/16/2010 at 7:01 PM

I have not much to say A M Kjær.
If you think, or it looks like that I move easily and elegantly on the surface of a problem, then be so.
All I can say is that patience is gold, so why not just go to those profiles, then click on the discussion tab you find on those profile page and post that you are looking for more information and any help would appreciated.
You never know, you might get an answer one day from someone that visit that profile and see your question.

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