Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Uploading a GEDCOM File to the WeRelate.org Wiki - Post 2

In the first post, I uploaded a GEDCOM file with 1,775 persons to the http://www.werelate.org/ genealogy family tree Wiki. The process went very smoothly. However, I needed to take some actions before my GEDCOM information would be integrated into the family tree on the WeRelate genealogy wiki.

After using the "Add" menu "Upload GEDCOM" item page, and naming and uploading the GEDCOM file, I had a page with nine tabs across the top. I showed the "Overview" tab in the last post. The "People" tab had a list of people in my GEDCOM with any persons with a "Matched Page" already in the WeRelate family tree.

The third tab is "Families" which lists the husband, wife, marriage date and a possible matching family already in the system, as shown below:

That screen allowed me to "Exclude" any family that the system thinks is a possible match to my family, but I think that it is not a match. If I click the "Exclude" box, then a new Family Page will be created for the family. I didn't check any boxes, mainly due to ignorance at this point in time.

The fourth tab is "Warnings" where WeRelate.org tells me that there is a possible problem or error in my data. There were 71 of these warnings - such as "child births are less than nine months apart," "Birth of [name] occurred before marriage," "missing gender," "death is after burial," "husband was less than 16 years old when [name] was born," "wife was more than 50 years old when [name] was born," etc. All of these reasons are very plausible and helpful!

Here is the "Warnings" screen:

In order to continue with the upload, I had to at least look at each warning by clicking on it and checking the information and editing it if I wanted to. I chose not to edit any information, but I had to click on every warning message.

The fifth tab is "Places" as shown below:

The above screen lists every place in my GEDCOM file, and notes if there is a matched place in the WeRelate.org system. Many of my place names have the word "County" in them, use state abbreviations, and don't have "United States" in them. The matched "Places" names are in the format of "Town, County, State, Country" (e.g., Westminster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States). When my GEDCOM is added to the WeRelate.org family tree, my Place names will be changed to the matched Place names. However, any new Place names will not be changed since there are no matched Place names in the WeRelate system.
At the bottom of each tab screen is an explanation of how to use this information. In this case, the method to create standardized new Places in the WeRelate.org system format is provided. The explanation says that doing this task is optional - I don't have to do it in order to have my GEDCOM data added to the WeRelate family tree. I should have gone through this list and changed my unmatched Place names. I didn't do that due to ignorance.

The sixth tab is "Sources."

This tab is like the Places tab - the sources in my GEDCOM file are listed and any Matching Sources are listed. The explanation area at the bottom of the page explains how to match my GEDCOM sources to the Community Sources already in the WeRelate system. I should have gone through this list and changed my unmatched Source names. I didn't do that due to ignorance.

The seventh tab is "Family Matches" and is the most important tab, and the most confusing tab, in the process to adding the GEDCOM to the WeRelate family tree. There is a list of each family listing husband, wife, marriage date, distance (from what? - perhaps the youngest person in the GEDCOM file?) and the Matching Family information. If I have looked at a matching family and taken action to combine them or keep them separate, then that family is not bolded. If I have not looked at a given family on my list, that family is bolded. In order to progress to the import of my GEDCOM into the WeRelate family tree, I have to look at each "Family Match" and decide if they match an existing family in the WeRelate family tree or not.

Here is the top of my "Family Matches" tab screen:

In the screen above, I have clicked on the family of William Hawkins and Elizabeth Arnold in my GEDCOM file. There is a family with those names already in the WeRelate family tree, so the system asks me to compare my information with the matching information and decide if this is the same family, and the same family members. If so, I can check the box for my data to merge it into the existing WeRelate family tree data. A handy "Tip" box is shown on the screen above - it tells me how to do this task correctly. I'm not sure that I did them right.

In order to progress to importing my GEDCOM file, I have to make this decision for every "Family Match" on this list. I had 170 "Family Matches" to resolve and it took a long time. I may have made some mistakes.

The eighth tab is "Updates" which I didn't click on.

The ninth tab is "Import" which I gladly clicked on and saw this screen:

It says that my GEDCOM file will be reviewed by a WeRelate administrator before it will be imported, especially if there are a lot of warnings and families listed as "not a match." I clicked on the "Ready to Import" button.

Later that night, a message showed up on my Talk Page (My Relate > Talk Page) that said:
"The pages from your GEDCOM have been generated successfully. You may now:
launch the Family Tree Explorer to navigate your tree
view your network -- If you matched families in your GEDCOM to existing families, find out to which other WeRelate users you are related.
view related pages not in your tree -- If you matched families in your GEDCOM to existing families, find out which people you are now related to that you can add to your tree (takes awhile to display for large trees).
view a searchable list of the pages in your tree -- The searchable list will be available about an hour after your tree has been imported."

The bottom of my Talk Page is shown below:

I was happy that my GEDCOM had been imported into the WeRelate family tree. However, an hour later the bottom message (in the screen above) appeared, saying:

"Please pay more attention when you load your data [8 May 2010]
You just created duplicate pages for children of
Family:Francis Cooke and Hester Mahieu (1) that already existed, duplicate parents for Person:Hester Mahieu (1) (and less well specified parents) that already existed, and created a duplicate child for Family:Joseph Holley and Rose Allen (1) that already existed. Just because a page has different data than you do, doesn't mean your page isn't the same person, especially when dates are only estimated with the precision of "Abt.". It means that you and the existing page disagree, which is usually because one of the disagreeing parties hasn't had a chance to see the definitive sources for that subject yet. Given that all these pages are very old families from which many people descend, and that several people have contributed to the existing page, it is usually prudent to leave it as is, and if, after thoughtful review, your sources still convince you that the page is wrong, to start a discussion, or manually edit it (in which case you would cite your source so others may be made aware of it). --Jrich 13:26, 8 May 2010 (EDT)

I must have made the mistake of not clicking the box and did not match the family in the "Family Matches" list. Oops. The administrator apparently did this for me, and sent this message telling me what the problem is and how to fix it myself.

This is actually an excellent feature - and an absolutely necessary feature for an interconnected family tree.

Everything in the WeRelate.org family tree system is very well thought out, and has been developed over several years (the system is still in Beta). Quite a bit of the problem areas can, and should, be addressed by the submitter of the GEDCOM data. However, the administrators are necessary to check the GEDCOM file data, to keep the system running smoothly, and to ensure consistency in the submitted data, especially for notes, places and sources.

In retrospect, I should have reviewed the importing process more closely so that my GEDCOM file had better notes, places and sources.

We'll look at the Tutorials in the next post (which I should have reviewed earlier, I think!).


Anonymous said...

I have been very interested in reading your experience with WeRelate. I would like to post my genealogy to an online tree, but am not sure which one to go with. There are so many - Ancestry Family Trees, One Great Family, etc. What do you suggest? Thanks.

Magda said...

I have 30 years of genealogy that was put on a private family site with TNG . But if something happens to me and the host server bill is not paid , all goes away .
I may eventually place things up on Rootsweb,Wiki Tree too(but no Ancesty ,Geni,ect) . However , since you wrote this post about We Relate last year, I have been importing gedcoms slowly and extremely happy with the results of the person / family pages . I love it and it makes me feel convinced that since it's supported by a well-know public library ( Allen County ) , my research will always somehow be available to our younger generations - or at least , Dallan Quass, the creator of We Relate , said it would stay put there .BTW , I love the WARNING features as it makes me work harder on my gedcoms and trim off all the mistakes. It's a learning curve to do wiki , no doubt , but, I love it . Thanks for the introduction to it , Randy.