Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Adding Early Seaver Generations to the WikiTree Shared Tree

I added several thousand persons to the WikiTree (www.wikitree.com) single, shared tree several years ago.  Recently, I've received several email queries about some of the entries, and every week I receive requests to merge persons with the persons I uploaded.

One of the problems I created for myself and other WikiTreers was that I uploaded only 10 generations of my ancestral families.  This left those "end-of-line" ancestors without parents, and their siblings without parents or spouses (just loose persons).  I realized my mistake soon after uploading them, but I haven't done much about it since then.

I revisited WikiTree recently, and saw that they now have robust tools to help folks merge persons in their GEDCOM file with existing persons in WikiTree, and I should be able to add more ancestral families without creating a lot of duplicate persons.

I wanted to add descendants of my immigrant ancestor, Robert Seaver (1608-1683).  I created a GEDCOM file for six generations of Robert Seaver's descendants, and started to upload the GEDCOM file to WikiTree.  Here is the process I used to perform this task:

1)  Signed in, and from the home page on WikiTree, I clicked on the "Add" link (top right) and selected "GEDCOMs."  That opened the GEDCOM page (http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/GEDCOM):

This page provided directions on how to upload the GEDCOM file and what to do with it.

2)  I clicked on the "Click here to upload your GEDCOM" link:

I found the GEDCOM file in my computer file folders, and clicked on the "Upload Chosen GEDCOM File" on the screen above.

3)  The screen below told me that I added 1157 individuals with this GEDCOM file upload:

It takes about 15 to 30 minutes for WikiTree to compile the GEDMatches report.

4)  When it completed, the GEDMatches report listed every person that I had imported, and if WikiTree had found 132 possible matches of my persons with individuals already with a profile in WikiTree (by comparing names, birth and death dates, etc.):

For the persons without a potential match, I don't have to do anything.  For those with a potential match, WikiTree wants me to Compare the potential match, and then Match or Reject the potential match.  When I click on the green "C" (for Compare) for the potential match, the "Compare" screen appears and shows me the name, birth and death dates and places for the person in my GEDCOM and the potential match already in WikiTree:

I can then select an action - to click the "M" (Match) button or the "Reject" button.  I could also choose to click on the "Skip this person and collaborate on the existing profile, thereby intentionally creating a duplicate profile.

4)  After I went through the entire list of 1157 individuals in my GEDCOM (with 132 potential matches), I had Merged or Rejected all of the potential matches.

I approved the GEDMatches report and saw this notice:

The screen above told me that I had to wait for my GEDCOM upload to be approved by a WikiTree team member.  I could track the status if I wanted to.  They would send me an email when it was approved.

5)  I checked back later that day, and now my GEDCOM Upload status page said:

5)  The Import Approval by WikiTree was provided later that evening, and the GEDCOM page now said:

Because I had approved the Import, and WikiTree had approved the Import, the GEDCOM file was imported and the process as Complete.

Here is the next screen down from the one before:

The screen above provides a list of the 1157 individuals in my GEDCOM file.  If there was no match, they received a new profile in WikiTree. If there was a match, the link to the matched WikiTree person was provided.

6)  All in all, this was a fairly easy process to perform - the Compare/Match/Reject process is relatively easy to do, and is the major time-taker in the process.  I was able to do my 132 compares in less than an hour.

I like the structured process implemented by WikiTree.  The submitter needs to take the time to evaluate each potential match and act on it.  Only when all of the potential matches are evaluated by the submitter can the submitter approve uploading the GEDCOM file.

Users should not limit the number of generations of ancestors when they generate a GEDCOM file.  That was the biggest mistake I made - I created hundreds of disconnected people when I did this the first time around.

WikiTree permits GEDCOM uploads of 2,500 persons or less.  A researcher with tens of thousands of persons in their file may want to create several GEDCOM files segments in order to stay within that limit.  For instance, ancestors of a couple, or descendants of a couple for a number of generations.  It takes some thought to figure out how to do it best.  I created a 500 person GEDCOM file during this process and when I saw that I had over 400 potential matches (almost all of them from my earlier uploads), I cancelled the upload.  A researcher with less than 2,500 persons in their database could upload the entire database in one GEDCOM file.  Users should note that your notes will be displayed on public profiles.

Profiles of recent generations can be kept private using the WikiTree privacy controls.  Learn more about the features of WikiTree by reading http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/How_to_use_WikiTree#What_is_WikiTree.3F .

WikiTree now has over 5 million profiles in their single, shared tree.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


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

Thank you for sharing this process, Randy. Very useful. I am committed to the WikiTree process, and encourage others to do so, as well. I need to do more, but one thing I always do, is respond to the Matches requests. Great process. Thanks, again, Bill ;-)

Magda said...

Randy, you described the gedmatching process so beautifully with such thorough images that I am putting a link to this article on my profile page at Wikitree. I greet new members so this will be a great, helpful link.

Magda said...

I also wanted to add that once you upload your gedcom to Wikitree to your watch list which is now sortable by date or alphabetically, you can TAG your surnames so every time a person uploads the same surnames of your interest, you will get an email notification. Chris Whitten and the Wikitree team has been very responsive and inventive to our users' ideas and requests ~ Magda

Chris Whitten said...

This is great, Randy! We should link to this as a help page. The GEDCOM import process has so many more steps here than on a private family tree system, where you're not collaborating with others on one tree. Many genealogists get scared away by it. Eowyn Langholf is the team member that usually helps them through and does the final approval. I bet she'll find this post to be a great aide.

Eowyn said...

A great aide indeed! Randy, this is amazing. We will definitely link this to our GEDCOM help pages and it will be shared often by our Greeters and Mentors!! Thank you!

Unknown said...

Randy, this will be so useful to new people coming in to the process and you have provided the greeters with a fabulous tool. Thanks so much for such a thorough article.

German Magnolia said...

I am a new member as of today. Thank you for the step by step use of the tools to take action on matches. I have uploaded my lineal descent tree I use for DNA matches. As any new site has a learning curve I am anxious to dig into my tree.

Unknown said...

Randy, thanks for the easy-to-follow steps for uploading a gedcom! It's my first experience, and today I'm a brand-new WikiTree newbie so it's really appreciated! I've been doing my genealogy all on Ancestry.com up until now. OBTW - It's nice to hear you're a fellow San Diegan (okay - Chula Vista here)!

Anonymous said...

Randy, tanks for the information. I'm new and it appears it will be a semi-step learning curve.

Sue Sheldon said...

Hi Randy, thank you so much for this post. I am brand new to WikiTree - only my second day. I have a ton of questions about uploading my Gedcom, which I did yesterday. This is my first post. I really appreciate reading about your experience. Sue..

Michelle's This & That said...

A history of our family.

Unknown said...

I got lost. I've clicked all the merging and rejecting boxes, but I can't find anything that let's me "approve" of it all. And, I can't find anywhere to tell it to import. Can anyone please help?

budfoucher said...

I can't even locate my Tree.