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==Lets Talk About GEDCOM's==
==Lets Talk About GEDCOM's==
(''Bill's next paragraphs have been moved to [[Help talk:Loading Gedcoms]].'')
I believe for the good of this Wiki, we need an effective way for folks to add their GEDCOM's. The current version can apparently be used, but I'm not sure its wise to use it in its present form. Things I'd like to see in a GEDCOM program
:a) a mechanism that ensures that duplicate entries are not created, or over-ride existing articles
:b) a mechanism that ensures that "flags" articles with very similar names to existing articles.
While I believe we need GEDCOM capacility simply because such capability is part of what most people would expect from a genealogy site, I have to say that I personally not a big fan of GEDCOM's, in wiki's or otherwise.
Here are my real concerns:
I grant that if the object is to add as many pages as possible, GEDCOM dumps really shortcut the process.
Gee, if one wanted to, with all the GEDCOM's out there available for downloading, one could easily input millions of pages in a matter of hours.
...If one wanted to. The shortcomings of that are;
1) accuracy of data
2) GEDCOM's are far too easy to appropriate. Tends to create genealogies that are not well thought out. They encourage "Snatch and grab" genealogists, who seem to be mostly interested in creating large GEDCOM's rather than having an accurate understanding of their familly history.
3) problems with differences between different GEDCOM entries for the same person (if they differ, say in DOB, which one do you accept? or do you create different articles for every point of difference?
{{Blue bar}}
On that last point, here's some data:
If you go to Ancestry, and search for John Houston bc 1690, ancestor of General Sam Houston, you'll get about 170 hits. If you pare that down by looking only at the entries with "Notes" (usually better quality and more complete), you get 60 entries
I recently compared those 60 entries in terms of key differences. Here's what I found
Given name:
He appeared under 4 different combinations of given names, including
57 John Houston
1 John Huston Houston
1 John McLung Houston
1 John Samuel Houston
His date of birth was given as:
:4 1689
:26 1690
:15 1689-1690
:2 1686-1690
:12 c1690
1 Unstated
Place of Birth
:27 Ireland 11 Antrim, Ulster, Ireland, and variants
:5 N. Ireland
:2 Ireland or Scotland
:1 Lanrkshire, Scotland
:5 Londonderry, N. Ireland
:2 Scotland
:2 Wigtonshire, Scotland
:5 Unstated
Fathers Name
:21 John Samuel
:18 John
:4 Samuel
:26 Unstated
Mother's Name
:38 Margaret McLung
:1 Esther Watson
:6 Mary McLung
:15 Unstated
Spouse's Name
:32 Margaret Cunningham
:27 Margaret Mary Cunningham
:1 Mary Margaret Cunningham
These data give some perspective on the amount of variation encountered even for a single person. True, this particular person, as the ancestor of Gen. Sam Houston, is something of a genealogical magnet, and may have abnormally high amounts of misinformation.
(Side bar: This happens in part because people tend to try to fit the data to make their personal connection "make sense". They know they are connected to Gen. Sam 'cause "my momma told me so", but if their ancestor were Samuel Houston married Mary Cunningham, and the most common data for Gen. Sam's ancestor says it should be John Houston and Margaret Cunningham---then they conclude that clearly their names were really John Samuel Houston and Mary Margaret Cunningham, thus making their connection fit the data. Yes, that does happen, and I can point to specific instances where DNA evidence supports that conclusion.)
On the otherhand, its heavily researched, so for the most part really outrageous variations have probably been eliminated.
So, what's the "right data" for John Houston ancestor of Gen. Sam Houston? Each one of those 60 entries has a GEDCOM. Which is right? Is any one GEDCOM entry exactly right? How can you tell?
The answer to the last question is that you can't tell. The data in the typical GEDCOM is not amenable to verification and validation in the usual sense of the word. You can tell what the most commonly accepted data is, but deciding genealogical connections by popularity is not really the way to go about deciding what's the right data.
The only way to discriminate between all of these variations is the old fashioned way of verifying and validating the data based on primary sources. Few of the GEDCOM's present in ancestry do a very good job of indicating primary sources. Most rely on tertiary sources such as other peoples GEDCOM's.
[[User:WMWillis|Bill]] 13:07, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Revision as of 03:44, 10 July 2007

Forums: Index > Watercooler > What should be added to new pages?

Linking and indexing

I am rather new to this site but have been working on putting my genealogy on here. I see talk about categories and lists and such, and that has made me wonder. What exactly should we be adding to our pages to help keep things indexed correctly? Are there index pages we should be adding links to new pages we create? Sorry if this is answered at another location. --Will 01:21, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

The suggested "templates", which you've already come across, at Help:Starting pages and elsewhere, mostly have links all set up for categories, such as the surname and birth/death year categories. Once those are filled in (and any "comment tags" - the things like arrows at each end - removed), the pages list automatically in those categories. Robin Patterson 02:16, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Get into the habit of adding the double brackets around names (of people and places) that are or could become separate pages. That way you will easily get links within families and links to pages about the places they lived in and were "recorded" in. Robin Patterson 02:16, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Quick pasting of material from GEDCOM or similar

If we can't get our GEDCOM conversion program working or find a better one (such as the one used by WeRelate), we may be able to devise "model" pages set up for quick pasting from other program displays such as the "Register" used by WorldConnect. See Elisabetha Betz (1820-1891) and its Talk page (Thanks, Jillaine) for a starter. Earlier contributors have produced pages apparently using the same sort of idea. Robin Patterson 15:40, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Lets Talk About GEDCOM's

(Bill's next paragraphs have been moved to Help talk:Loading Gedcoms.)