Friday, November 2, 2012

WikiTree Announces Automated Matching

This announcement was received from Elyse Doerflinger and Chris Whitten of WikiTree: 

WikiTree Introduces Automated Matching

2 Nov 2012: is excited to announce the release of “MatchBot”, a new automated matching tool.

 WikiTree members are dedicated to growing a single, shared family tree with one profile for every ancestor. There are currently over four million profiles. However, some of these are duplicate profiles that have been created unintentionally, especially via GEDCOM imports.

Until now, WikiTree members have relied on traditional searches and WikiTree’s FindMatches tool which searches a member’s entire Watchlist for matches. While FindMatches will continue to be an important WikiTree function, the process of performing periodic searches to check for new duplicates can be a burden. The solution: MatchBot.

MatchBot searches the WikiTree database every night looking for high-probability matches among its records. When one is found, the managers of both profiles are e-mailed a merge proposal and invited to compare the two profiles side-by-side.

 After comparing the profiles, the managers can choose to confirm the match and proceed with the merge, or create an Unmerged Match if the profiles represent the same person but aren’t ready to be merged. If the profiles represent different people, the profile managers can reject the match so that the two profiles won’t be matched in the future.

“We’re psyched about MatchBot,” says WikiTree founder Chris Whitten. “This new feature will connect a lot of cousins and make collaboration more productive and enjoyable. Most importantly, MatchBot will further our community’s mission to grow a single family tree instead of many separate member trees.”

MatchBot adds to the various methods in which WikiTree members are alerted via e-mail:

  • G2G (genealogist-to-genealogist) Q&A Forum: When someone responds to a question, the person who posted the question receives an e-mail notification.
  • Public Comments: When a public comment is posted on a profile, the profile manager is alerted.
  • Private Messages: Members can be contacted privately with an e-mail without publicly revealing their e-mail address.
  • Watchlist Update: A once-a-week update summarizes all changes and additions to the profiles in the member’s Watchlist.

All services on WikiTree are free for all members; there are no “premium” member services at WikiTree.

About WikiTree: Growing since 2008, is a 100% free shared family tree website that balances privacy and collaboration. Community members privately collaborate with close family members on modern family history and publicly collaborate with other genealogists on deep ancestry. Since all the private and public profiles are connected on the same syste
m this process is helping to grow a single, worldwide family tree that will eventually connect us all and thereby make it free and easy for anyone to discover their roots. See


I'm excited about this announcement. This should promote matching of persons in my WikiTree families with persons in other submitters trees.  While we sleep...  I haven't tried it yet because I'm on the road in Topeka, Kansas today, but I will when I return home and have some time to work on it next week.   

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Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Thanks for sharing. Just another example of great services from WikiTree, it appears to me! ;-)

Saskey said...

Well, WikiTree gave me about a hundred matches, but each one tells me that I will need to be added as a "Trusted" viewer in order to determine whether it is a match; fortunately I can reject the majority outright as the names do not match, or the geography tells me it is not a match. However, I do not feel inclined to spend a lot of time obtaining "Trusted" status to probably reject a match!