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Linking within this wiki[]

Hello everyone, I have just found this wiki and am quite keen on getting it working for DNA, but it does not seem to have gone far in that direction yet. Is there any other place where this is being discussed? I think a wiki has great potential to integrate DNA and other genealogical information in a way that other media do not, but how exactly? I suggest we put aside mt DNA to start with and focus on male-line Y DNA, which is the most commonly used by genealogists. If we work out a format for linking entries who should share approximately the same Y DNA, then this can be extended to mt DNA, and potentially eventually even autosomal DNA. --Andrew Lancaster 21:28, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Here is a proposal to perhaps get some concrete discussion going. For any individual with a descendant or seeming descendant that has a test which would be relevant to that individual, a standard section could be included. For example: This person has an apparent male line descendant (or descendants) who has been tested for the following Y chromosome markers, giving the following results. The person tested was a son/grandson/etc of (reference to the most recent individual in the line with a wiki entry).--Andrew Lancaster


First version of 28th June[]

Good to see! Maybe the next thing is to try it out on some real examples. I have been setting up a family I know well. (A Lancaster family with a DNA match to mine, but a more impressive pedigree!) It goes:

Thomas Lancaster (?-c1645) ->
Thomas Lancaster (?-c1694) ->
William Lancaster (1660-1729) ->
Christopher Lancaster (c1707-1793) (and the test subject descends from his son Thomas)

I'll try inserting on these entries.

--Andrew Lancaster 16:01, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Options for adding more info[]

My first question is whether we need at least an optional way of adding more information about descents. The current version is the simplest and most compact, just naming the most recent descendant with a wiki article, but therefore not mentioning the connection itself. This might become a bit limited in cases where an ancestor has half a dozen descendants who are tested.--Andrew Lancaster 16:01, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

There would surely be only one connection from each descendant? I doubt if there's a problem there. People can go to each wiki article and trace the ancestry back to the subject. Robin Patterson 02:07, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
Probably true.--Andrew Lancaster 06:46, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Matches that may or may not be descendants[]

My second question is whether we also need an optional way to indicate matches who are not descendants, and/or matches whose relationship is unknown.--Andrew Lancaster 16:01, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

The current template seems to leaves all of that wide open. But you know what you mean and I possibly don't. As I indicated in the comment above the template's heading, let's do a few and see how things are shaping up; then we may devise alternatives for various situations. A different template, maybe; any number of templates. We have terabytes to play with here. How about a page called DNA matches who are not descendants to start explaining that side of matching? Robin Patterson 02:07, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it certainly leaves the possibility, but it does not suggest a format, and this could be conceptually difficult. Would one approach perhaps be to make several templates to choose from? I'll have a go.--Andrew Lancaster 06:49, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Linking to a source on the internet[]

Third question. Putting in all the results is going to be painful. While I am looking up help on pasting tables now, the point is that not everyone will, and so perhaps there should be an option that does not discourage people linking to a source on the internet? --Andrew Lancaster 16:04, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

It doesn't discourage such linking, does it? If it does, the reason could be that we want people to create pages for individuals on this wiki - even if just a name and a line of text - and link from them to outside sources. Robin Patterson 02:07, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
Again, my main point is that the template does not tell people how to do it. Perhaps it is too obvious to need a template. On the other hand, I'm still struggling myself with putting in a results table.--Andrew Lancaster 06:50, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
(Edited earlier typo.) Well, in its first version it left totally open the contents of the lines below. People who want to show just an external link (such as the impressive West Riding pages you have linked to) could do so without any guidance. But do you see the value of not encouraging that? If they (create and) link to a person-page on this wiki, they or someone else can add other useful links such as surname category (and maybe DNA-related categories), birthplace, ancestry, to make connections more numerous and obvious and probably easier to follow. But we needn't worry about that till we have firmed up the template contents and/or usage and/or placement; then we can think about tweaking it (or adding an instruction page) for the benefit of particular users. Robin Patterson 11:16, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

The name of this template[]

Another thing to think about. Is the name of this template the best one. Two concerns: it does not have DNA or Y in the name so people might not find it. And second, I could imagine someone might one day want to make a male descendants template which does not relate to DNA, perhaps for a royal family just for example?--Andrew Lancaster 07:17, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

  1. Finding it:
    1. Template name is not all that important. The current two words would put it in the "Page title matches" section, i.e. near the top of a search for either of them. "Y" would be no help because the search engine ignores words of under three letters. Moreover, the inclusion of "male line descendants who have had a genealogical DNA test for the following Y chromosome markers" in the .text of the template would surely put it on any relevant hit-list?
    2. People won't generally have a reason to find it unless they want to use it. That can be done whatever its name is, because it:
      1. Appears in a relevant category (and could be in more than one as we develop this area)
      2. Is listed under the edit box of any page it's used on
      3. Should be linked from any page that invites people to use it or hints at its use or explains how
  2. There would surely be no call for a minority-interest template (such as a royalty one that ignored genetics) to usurp the best majority-interest name? The minority one could be called "Male Descendants" (a legitimate use of "Title Case"!) for enough distinction if ever needed.
  3. However, you as the current expert may move it to Template:Y DNA match or some such if you feel it would be clearer.

Robin Patterson 09:45, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Scary being called an expert! Anyway, my main concern arose from my non-expert status as a wiki user. I have been looking around for DNA articles on this wiki and I've found it very hard. Of course in a lot of cases a few careful redirects can solve the problem. But as this is a new article I thought it might be relatively easy to make the title as useful as possible before people start linking to it. Thinking about what I've been playing with, I am thinking that several templates might eventually be developed: Y DNA line identified, Y matches, Mitochondrial DNA line identified, and Mitochondrial DNA matches.--Andrew Lancaster 11:03, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Results Tables[]

I based my examples, now inserted, upon examples in the Genealogical DNA test article. It is not yet very satisfying. These basic 12 marker haplotypes are not really what would be used to make strong conclusions. We really need room for up to say 150 markers and then I guess we have to use vertical tables to fit it in a wiki. These can look awkward to read (for example you can't easily pass your eye from the descendants to the other close matches table, unless we merge them, but eventually we'll run out of width and have to start a new table) and I think they'll be awkward to make. Is there an easy way to turn an html or spreadsheet table into a wiki table?--Andrew Lancaster 07:29, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Possibly an interesting link: [1]--Andrew Lancaster 08:44, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

If they are going to be that size, we should not be trying to slip them into an ordinary individual page; maybe a subpage? HTML tables can generally be imported direct, I believe, but they can be converted (probably with a bot to save time). Your QED page deals with spreadsheet-to-wiki. Hey, it's more than an interesting link: it probably answers all of your last question! Robin Patterson 09:45, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
You are right: larger study, separate page.--Andrew Lancaster 10:59, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
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