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Global Tree Projects - Historic Tree Validation Initiative

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I am reviewing my 33rd grandfather Harald I Fairhair. Last time it took some days to clean him up, which required some research and consulting with other curators and managers to clarify for myself the 'most correct' structure of his tree.

I believe I left his tree in relatively pristine condition having solved most duplicates, merges and conflicts in his proximity. I also searched for any new duplicates and merged all those I could find BUT TODAY, here I am back spending some significant time on him and his family as there has been some weird and wonderful additions and changes.

Problem is, I've since forgotten the finer details. This time it takes me less time, but I have to go read and research again to be sure to get everthing correct. (Ok, I now know there is an easy effective accurate source for him, but that's beside the point)

However, even now, I can still not be sure if there is anything I missed or got wrong. There are so many different versions, mythologies, histories and interpretations of the structure around any particular profile in this area of the tree and maintenance is difficult unless you are deeply familiar with the tree. It is very easy for anyone working here to create and perpetuate errors.

There are also new and 'orphan' profiles that came through merges that don't seem to be represented in the sources or the 'About me'. It is a challenge to confirm that they are where they belong.

This experience, which I'm sure is very familiar for others suggests that:

1) it would be helpful to somehow determine what the experts (that's us ;-) believe the most correct structure is,

2) we are now reaching a level of tree stability which needs us to introduce a mechanism to validate and confirm the 'agreed' structure around a particular profile. Something we could hardly do before, but now is a good time to bring this into focus. This will assist greatly to improve our accuracy and start solving the tough interpretation issues.

3) it would be great if others (including newbies) could participate to keep him well maintained without them having to similarly spend days figuring the details as I did. So a quick reference guide on his key data and relationships would be great.

4) if we get this right, new users may just possibly in future rather use our summaries to build their duplicate trees if they feel the urge to do so... which will simplify things greatly to merge these duplicate tree's in The alternative is they will continue replicating all the mistakes we have collaboratively already learnt not to make for them. If they can't trust our profile structure they must be able to start to evaluate and trust "About me" and the ideal is of course to start to participate in rather fixing the 'Base Tree' and debating on a particular profile for setting such profile as per their own prefered version where this may differ with our 'OFFICIAL' tree.

(Having said that, I would like to send a BIG BIG thankyou !!!! for whoever sorted out his nightmare About me..)

Project Objective

This project seeks to solve these issues and promote a system of VALIDATION by TEMPLATE using the 'About me' section of complex profiles. The idea is to reflect a consolidated and summarised view (SNAPSHOT) of the key genealogical information identifying the key elements:

  • Key names person known by
  • Birth and death dates
  • Parents, Spouses and Children.
  • Best Sources
  • Decisions and assumptions that informs how we set the profile in Geni.
  • Identify Unvalidated/Currently linked profiles that are possibly wrong.
  • Indication when profile was last reviewed and validated as correct.
  • Any others?

'The idea is to only use the topics relevant on a particular profile.'

  • Basic and enhanced A recommended approach is to build the basic structure first as shown below with Ladbrok and as we go build these out to the extended versions that are showcased here. Anyone who feel they want to start of with an extended version is of course welcome, but it is important to note our 1st KEY OBJECTIVE is more about getting the initial structure right than the 'quality' of the 'About me' which is the focus of the wonderful About Project.

Basic: Isaac Chittenden

Advanced: Charlemagne


Ragnor Ladbrok

What can you do?

  • When working in a particularly troublesome area, setup the basic profile structure in about me as per the examples. Keep it updated and reflect the best structure in Geni as to best represent the most accurate sources.
  • Validate the part of the tree you are working on against the 'Profile' Template when working there.
  • If you have validated the full profile against the template - record your validation.
  • Make sure you list any sources in the summary section..
  • Create a discussion on the profile if you dispute something on a "validated" profile.
  • Please join this project as a collaborator if you support this initiative.
  • If you have a profiles that you feel could be useful to others as an example or Template. Please link it to the project.

Things to Consideration and Lessons learnt

  • Use of Wiki Icons - The use of Wiki Icons are currently discouraged as people with older PC's may not be able to see them.
  • Adding Children's children - Adding the 'Children of Children' in the Summary may make sense as used with Isaac Chittenden so there is no issue with doing so, but the best approach seems to be to rather move these children to be reflected on their parents themselves. A little more work, but this allows one to move down in the tree and lessens duplication.

Questions and Answers

  • Q. Why duplicate that information in the 'About Me', - it is already listed two times on the profile? A. You cannot 'correct' a wrong profile based on the the existing Geni information. This allows for a 'snapshot' of a profile that is easy to manage and maintain.
  • Q. Should I do this on every profile? A. You are welcome to apply this on any profile, but this is intended for the most complex and problematic profiles and areas of the tree.


Under construction ---

Maybe a [ Feature request could result in some basic functionality to help with validation.

What is envisaged here is quite different - from what I believe is the objective of the relationship locking that we are expecting. I could imagine for instance the possibility.
This is "Validating a profile and their family" as opposed to validating specific relationships as I see intended by relationship locking. We may end with a few "validation types". eg, Language Validation, Multicultural, Validated against the records of a particular genealogical society or publication etc.. types could even be projects or something like 'naming convention'..

In any case for now it is sufficient to record it if you validated a profile by adding it below the summary.

:Last Validated by: John Smith 22/10/2012

:About me reviewed by: English John Smith 22/10/2012 English

So validation is envisaged to be mainly about?:

  • Confirming the profile and surrounding 'Structure' is as correct as possible in and surrounding structure agrees with the "Concise Genealogical Summary"
  • Sources are listed
  • "Unvalidated/Currently linked but Possibly wrong' items" are closed or clearly noted and identified..
  • Nearby Tree and Data conflicts resolved.
  • a General Search has been performed to look for DUPLICATES and any found have been merged into the main tree.
  • All Orphan Relationships have been removed and a placeholder profile (ie ??) created for "BLANKS"..

Eventually maybe:

  • About me cleanup
  • Multicultural and language validation?
  • Just a note for consideration but this topic has a tie in with Naming convention (Refer to the appropriate discussion, but possibly validation is then also making sure a profile is associated and setup with a particular naming convention. (Functionality request also to be considered)



Find attached to this profile templates we feel represent what we are after and participants are invited and encouraged to use them. (Also for the moment to attach any others you feel may be appropriate)

The following template examples are incuded here to facilitate conversation and debate on the various considerations.



Example A - Basic


Lodbrok "Hairy Britches" Sigurdsson, King of Denmark & Norway

Birth c765
Death c845

Parents: ♂ Sigurd Ring and ♀ Alfhild Gandolfsdottir

Wifes: 1. Lathgertha

  • Son Fridleiv Ragnarsson
  • Son Gudrødr of Lochlainn (Mother assumed)

2. Åslaug Kråka Sigurdsdatter (Randalin)

  1. Ivar the Boneless
  2. Björn Ironside
  3. Ragnhild Ragnarsdottir
  4. Alof Ragnarsdottir

3. Tora

  1. Eiríkr ?
  2. Agnar
  3. Rathbarth Ragnarsson
  4. Dunyat Ragnarsson,

4. Svanloga


Example B - Extended (Our Goal?)


Ragnar was according to the sagas married to or had children with five women, and first wife according to Völsungasaga was semi-legendary female Danish viking and shieldmaiden Lathgertha, and they had the son:

  1. Fridleiv Ragnarsson

His second wife was Åslaug Sigurdsdatter (also called Kråka) and they had the children:

  1. Ivar Ragnarsson «the Boneless» Beinlause, - (Wikipedia)
  2. Sigurd Ragnarsson «Snake-in-the-Eye» Orm-i-Øje, - (WIkipedia)
  3. Ubbe Ragnarsson (uncertain mother, could be the son of a nameless wife)

The third wife was Tora Borgarhjort ...

  1. Björn «Ironside» Järnsida



Unvalidated/Currently linked but Possibly wrong:

  • Rognvald Ragnarsson;
  • Olof
  • Ragnvald
  • Dtr of King Ragnar of Skjoldung;
  • Gudrødr of Lochlainn;

General Notes/Assumptions/Decisions:

According to xx Tora was the mother of Halvdan Kvitserk Ragnarsson and Björn Ironside.

Last Validated by: John Smith 22/10/2012 Last Validated as to XXXX publication/geneaogy society records by Peter Pan:

About me reviewed by: English John Smith 22/10/2012 English






Additional Example for fun - Basic (With Icons - Discouraged to be used as old PC's do not display them)

Lodbrok "Hairy Britches" Sigurdsson, King of Denmark & Norway

⚪ c765
⚫ c845

Parents: ♂ Sigurd Ring and ♀ Alfhild Gandolfsdottir


⚭1 Lathgertha

  • ♂ Fridleiv Ragnarsson
  • ♂ Gudrødr of Lochlainn (Mother assumed)

⚭2 Åslaug Kråka Sigurdsdatter (Randalin)

  1. Ivar the Boneless
  2. Björn Ironside
  3. ♀ Ragnhild Ragnarsdottir
  4. ♀ Alof Ragnarsdottir

⚭3 Tora

  1. ♂ Eiríkr ?
  2. ♂ Agnar
  3. ♂ Rathbarth Ragnarsson
  4. ♂ Dunyat Ragnarsson,

⚭4 Svanloga