WeRelate:GEDCOM review

Coordinated by the Overview Committee.

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Speedy delete
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V · T · E


About the GEDCOM Review Committee

Members of the GEDCOM Review Committee are responsible for reviewing uploaded GEDCOMs to ensure that they meet WeRelate's quality standards before the upload is approved and wiki pages are created.

Overview Committee Liaison

Cos1776 is available as a liaison between this group and the Overview Committee. There may be times that additional help is needed for this group to operate smoothly. Some examples include: a need for additional volunteers, questions about tasks, requests for assistance with conflict resolution, requests for policy changes, etc. If you would like help, please feel free to contact me either via my talk page or via email

I will fill in temporarily until this position is filled. --cos1776 16:19, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Current GEDCOM Review Committee Members

We need volunteers! If you would like to participate in this committee, please leave a message on the talk page. Thank you!

Instructions for admin review (last updated 2012/13)

To monitor uploaded GEDCOMs, click on Gedcom review in the Admin menu. You'll see a list of all GEDCOMs that are somewhere in the import process. The only ones you care about are the ones that need administrative review. They'll have a needs admin review message next to them. Open a second tab to User:Solveig/gedcom review, this is a log of uploaders.

Tabs to check

To review a GEDCOM that needs review, click on the GEDCOM's name of the GEDCOM file. This brings up the GEDCOM review program. Mainly check these three things in the GEDCOM review program:

Overview tab

How many people are being imported? I spend less time on small GEDCOMs than large ones. Also, what's the ratio of warnings to people imported? If there are relatively many warnings for the number of people imported, it's worth spending more time looking at the warnings.

Places tab

If the places listed are mostly in the Netherlands, please do not proceed unless you are on the Netherlands committee. They have a very active user's group and oversee the Netherlands gedcoms. Please the appropriate information on and insert <span style="background-color:yellow;"> before the username and </span> after the username.

Warnings tab

How many warnings are there, and how serious do they look? I've come to the conclusion that nearly every GEDCOM of any size is going to have errors. Very few have come in without warnings. I've come to the conclusion that it's unreasonable to expect people to fix their warnings during the upload process. Maybe they'll fix a few, but not all. At least we've made them click on every warning so that they can see where the problems are. Eventually I'll create a warnings list (like Show duplicates) so that people can see the warnings for their tree. In the meantime I let the GEDCOMs go through if there aren't too many warnings. If there are a lot of warnings I spot-check the warnings to see how serious they are. if often helps to click on the Warnings heading of the table, which sorts the table by type of warning and groups people with the same warning together. Many warnings aren't serious: sometimes children were born before marriage, and it's ok not to know the gender of infants. As I browse the warnings I try to get a sense of how many are serious.

If there are a lot of warnings that look serious, I'll leave a message for the user asking them to look at certain families after the import. If there are too many warnings (say more than 1 in 10 or 20 people to be imported have a serious warning?) then I recommend that we tell the user we can't import their GEDCOM -- that they need to clean up their warnings and re-upload. Although I've left several messages for users, I believe I've told a user that we can't import only once.

The most serious warning is the one about duplicate families within the GEDCOM. This warning can't easily be fixed during GEDCOM import because it's difficult to know which family is the one to exclude. If there are just a few duplicate families, leave a message to the uploader asking them to check their Show duplicates list the following day and merge them. If there are more than a handful of duplicates, don't import the GEDCOM. First Leave a message ask the uploader to clean up their duplicates and re-upload. Then Return to user review and .

People tab

  1. Check to see if the names are OK (not a joke or obscenity).
  2. Check if the majority of the persons have at least one date and place. If they don't, randomly check pages that don't have dates. Christening and burial data does not show up on our review screens. If the majority have christening or burial data, then move on to the next step. If they don't, click on the import tab and select leave a message. Enter {{Subst:No data}} . Save the page. Then click on the edit link and change the contact information to your user talk page. You may also need to edit the message a little to fit the situation. Then save the page again.
  3. Return to the import tab and select "return to user review."
  4. Move on the Family tab.

Family tab

  1. Click on the exclude column heading. This will cause all the excluded pages to come to the top.
  2. Exclude all families with a living spouse.
  3. Exclude all spouseless families that have no dates and one or less children.
  4. If the majority of families have names for husband and wife, move on to checking the family tab. If not, follow the below instructions.
  5. We generally require that the majority of families have two spouses. However, sometimes the family is listed to preserve marriage information or the sibling connections. Also, some gedcom generators seem to delete one spouse from each family. Chances are that if the user has a marriage date, they have the spouse's name. Go to the import tab and select leave a message. Enter {{Subst:/Template:Spouse"s_names}} .
  6. Go back to import tab and select return to user review.
  7. If the user comes back and says they have no spouse names but the subject families have a date or more than one child, import the file.

Family Matches tab

Especially look at the "not a match" lines. If there are a lot of matches, click on the Matched Page header so that the "not a match" lines sort to the top. If it looks to me that one or more of the families are indeed a match, I leave a message for the user asking them to reconsider, and move the GEDCOM back to user review so that they could re-review those families. Once a user left me a message that the reason that they didn't want to merge was because they weren't that certain of their own information. In that case, import the GEDCOM without the families being merged.

Another thing you can do: If you notice that families have been matched but none of the existing families have been updated (the Updated column is completely blank), it might be helpful to spot-check a few of the families to see if the uploader has some good sources to add. Sometimes, you will find that the uploader has some good sources, but didn't update the existing pages with them. In that case, leave a message for the uploader, asking them to update the existing pages with their sources, and move the GEDCOM back to user review so they can do so. Explain that once they've done this they should click on Ready to import again and that it will be imported right away.

Sources tab

It's disappointing, but a fair number of GEDCOMs come in without sources. I don't think we want to try to fight this issue during GEDCOM upload. Hopefully we'll eventually teach people to source their work. So I don't usually spend time on this tab.

I'm always impressed though when someone has taken the time to match their sources to Source pages, especially now when it's still way too difficult.

Approving the gedcom for import

Import tab

There are three buttons on this tab:

  • Ready to import -- create wiki pages for the pages in this GEDCOM.
  • Leave a message -- takes you to the uploader's talk page.
  • Return to user review -- moves the GEDCOM back to user review status. You need to press this button if you want the uploader to re-review the GEDCOM.

Here are some sample messages you can use.

Record Keeping

If you leave a message for someone, please record it on the contact log. Gedcoms can be deleted if they are more than 30 days old and there has been no activity. As a courtesy, before deleting GEDCOM's from established users, give them advance notification by leaving a message on their talk page.