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WikiTree Suggestions

Do you try to share your genealogy research across multiple platforms? Around the time I started working on my research full time, (i.e. after retirement), I heard several genealogists discuss ‘cousin bait’. The point of ‘cousin bait’ is to share one’s research on a variety of platforms in hopes of connecting with cousins.

While I have had a tree on Ancestry for quite some time along with a web site, I didn’t have my data on many other genealogy sites. With DNA, however, I found myself transferring my DNA to other sites. Since DNA isn’t very helpful without an associated tree, I also used gedcom to transfer my research to the DNA sites.

Thus, when I learned of WikTtree, I expected to be able to upload a gedcom file. While my initial attempt was not successful, I must have been able to upload a smaller file and make it thru the comparison process. However, at this point I wish that I had created my ancestors one by one versus using a gedcom file. While this process created quite a few profiles, I’ve encountered the following issues:

  • I never learned how to edit or create a biography or sources.
  • Because my computer program was used to create the gedcom, there were links in the sources to documents on my hard drive. While those links work on my computer, they do not work on WikiTree. Thus, the profiles have errors.
  • The profiles are ugly.
  • The sources are messy.

Since I was able to create and link a number of profiles using a gedcom, I thought I had accomplished the goal of cousin bait. And those messy profiles have existed since spring of 2016. As I’ve been learning more about how WikiTree works, I discovered my page of suggestions.

When I first looked at my pages of suggestions, I had no idea what a ‘missing span anchor’ was and was somewhat overwhelmed when it said “Difficulty: Advanced”. Since I consider myself a NOVICE when it comes to working in WikiTree, I had no idea what the error was or how to fix it. I did find a couple of discussions on the ‘WikiTree G2G‘ site that helped me understand the cause of the error.

Both of these discussions indicated that a GEDCOM upload was the cause of the error. They also discussed solutions. However, this NOVICE user hasn’t figured out how the code for spans works in a profile. Thus, ‘fixing’ these errors is definitely at the advanced level for difficulty.

Since I don’t like the idea of ‘errors’ being associated with my work, I have a lot of cleaning up to do. While simply removing the offending span reference might be the easiest way to fix these errors, that does not make the biography more readable. Nor does it help with the sources. The easiest way I’ve found to fix all of these issues is to utilize the narrative reports from RootsMagic to create the biography and list of sources.

Using the narrative reports from RootsMagic not only helps me clean up the profiles on WikiTree but it also is causing me to clean up errors in RootsMagic. While I should be embedding the sources as I fix these profiles, I am just concentrating on getting the profiles corrected for now.

Based on my experiences using WikiTree, my primary suggestion is to create ancestral profiles one at a time versus using a gedcom file.