User talk:Dallan/Archive 2007



some feedback

Hello Dallan, this is Steve lewis here. As you can tell from my work on my web material, I am fairly new at this. I am sure I will get through this but be patient!

Hi Steve, I also appreciate your patience with the site! Don't hesitate to ask questions; they help us improve the quality of the website.--Dallan 10:39, 16 April 2007 (MDT)
Just noticed that the name of Margaret Rinehart is spelled incorrectly on her page even after I corrected it! What gives?
Reply on User talk:StevenLewis--Dallan 09:26, 18 April 2007 (MDT)


My name is Barak, I am a 25 year old guy from Israel. I am researching my Jewish Ashkenazi + Norwegian + Swedish roots.

My family tree, unlike most family trees.... is quite unique... I know for certain of 27 generations back (over 857 years back) and in the last year I found out that I might be able to trace back over 80 generations, 2000 years back, and that there might be a chance that I am a descendent of ancient celebrities such as Mark Antony, Boadicea and Prophet Mohammad..!!!

That's very cool!

how is that possible you ask ...?

Well.. Back in the 1980's, my now late Norwegian grandfather, which was into researching his own Norwegian roots, got an expert in the field from his home town to study his family tree and see how far he would get.. He managed to get back as far as Sverre Sigurdsson (1150-1202), one of the first kings of Norway.. Even though most Norwegians today are in one way or another descendents of that king, my grandfather was excited about managing to proving the links through the official historical church books kept. My grandfather had a slight problem back then though - producing a big enough family tree chart to visualize his discovery would take him ages. So all of the information he gathered laid back in his office in a pile of boxes and gathered dust. After he died in 1998 my mother inherited the boxes but she never got to open them up and finishing my grandfathers work.

During the last years I have been trying to digitize my mother's and late grandfather's intensive family tree research on both sides of my family in hope of preserving their valuable work so that my descendants would be able to enjoy it in the future as well and I am hoping to share the information with all my close and distant relatives worldwide. I started the digitization process by using the software "Family Tree Maker", which is able to produce huge family trees (up to 99 generations). I entered all the info we had in the boxes quickly and easily into the program and there is was... The complete family tree the way my grandfather wanted it to be.

After a few weeks of looking at the tree my mother started to re-think if maybe we might get even further back by googling our oldest ancestors... and indeed ... we found out that since the 1980's genealogists have furthered researched the Norwegian Novelty and some unofficial sources share their research online which links our oldest known ancestor to many different directions in the novelty of Europe during the first century and goes as far back as the roman empire. In theory it makes sense, since back in those days novelty only married novelty and they all those ancient VIPs were well documented.

Questions started rising like..

  • How could we know that this is fact when we never saw any reliable sources for these claims.
  • Is there any big enough and respectable enough source on the web in which we could share this amazing family tree and find official verification for the links between all those ancient ancestors.

I haven't answered those questions yet.. Because I haven't found such a place on the web to share my knowledge and find out the claims are true.

I've been going over different genealogy wikis during the last year but haven't found the right solution for myself. After finding your site today I was very pleased to see how well you have created it. very well done. I signed up and uploaded my GEDCOME file to the new uploading beta feature (I am supposed to get it ready by Tuesday).


  • I only am positively sure of the first 27 generations back in my family tree.. Despite that fact, I uploaded it all in hope that someone would validate it in the future (In hope the Wikipedia concept would work here as well). What do you recon? Is that the right thing to do? on the one hand, I do not want be apart of making a mistake reproduce itself to the masses.. on the other hand, I'm hoping would be able to help me figure out the truths about my family tree.
That's the right thing to do. I believe the best way to validate your genealogy is to make it publicly available and peer-reviewable so that others can suggest changes and provide additional information. Adding sources and scanned images of source documents is also very helpful.
  • Is there any way to indicate clearly that there isn't any possible way (yet) to prove a certain link between two people is true ?
I would put this information in the Family History text box on the Edit screen.
  • how difficult would it be to revert vandalism made on the trees?
Not difficult -- if all of the changes to a page are spam/vandalism, when you're in the history looking at the differences between the two versions, click on the title of the older version, click Edit (you'll get a warning about editing an older version), and click on the Save page button to have the older version replace the vandal's version. Having said that, to date the spammers seem much more interested in spamming the discussion page of the main page and other higher-traffic pages.
  • are there going to be administrators like in Wikipedia fighting vandalists regularly?
Yes, several people revert spam, and we block spammers regularly. Most spam is reverted within a few hours.
  • I saw that every person posted on the site which has an identical name to another person also listed get a number added to their names .. doesn't that complicate matters a bit - for instance - a common name might appear as "John Smith (20219)" I would suggest sorting the people in the database by a random number rather than by their name, as done in .
Page titles appear in many places -- category listings and emailed notifications of changes for example. If I changed the page titles to just numbers, I would have to change the code everywhere they are displayed to replace the numbers with names, and then in a category listing for Smith's for example you could still have 100 John Smith pages that would all have the same link text. At least by following the names with an index number you get some indication of the name where ever page titles appear.
  • After the GEDCOME file I uploaded would be ready for me .. Would all the people listed in it get their own page on your site including the living ones?
All of the deceased people would get their own page. Living children of deceased parents (and in fact anyone who belongs to a family containing one or more deceased individuals) will get a page created that contains only their surname and the word Living as their given name, with no other information. Pages are not generated for living people who belong only to families where all family members are living, because it didn't seem to make sense to have a family consisting only of "Living Surname" individuals.
  • How would the site act in the case I mistakenly entered someone and then I try to delete his name ? Would deleting someone be hard to accomplish? (just like in WIkipedia)
Currently, deleting someone requires asking me or one of the other sysops to do it. Our policy is that if everyone who is watching a page (anyone who creates or edits a page watches it by default), agrees to its deletion, then it is deleted. Soon I will add something to the software so that if you are the only person who is watching a page, you can delete it.
  • Would the site help me finding out more easily if there are any duplicates between the ancestors from my GEDCOME and the ancestors on the site ?
We are planning to write a matching agent to run in the background looking for possible matches among pages. When it finds matches, it will add links to the matching page(s) on the discussion page. We will start working on this in the Spring.
  • A user-friendly guide to handling all the special features of the site would be great.
I agree. As you've probably seen, our help pages are out-of-date. We recently hired a part-time writer (User:Wrhelp) who has been fixing them. We're also working on updating our video tutorials.
  • As of today I have an account on flickr where all my childhood photos and family photos were digitized and uploaded in to. I am really happy with flickr since I can pay only 25$ per year and for that money know that all my precious valuable photos are safe and available for sharing amongst my family worldwide. I am sure that a lot of active users on your site would be happy to have a paying opportunity as well which would make it possible for them to keep un-touchable copies of their family tree so that they would feel safe knowing that their valuable work is safe on the net and available wherever they go.
Good point.
  • A option to export info from the site into GEDCOME files would be nice as well.
Yes, GEDCOM export is on our todo list.
  • Another flickr feature which I would want to see you incorporating is the option to share certain information only with people which one marks as "friends" or "family" - for example, some users might want to enter information about living people which they wouldn't want to reveal to the whole world.. after all, most living people wouldn't be happy about their identity and other personal information about them being available on the web. I myself would only want to share info about myself and my ancestors... I do not intend of making all my cousins and other living relatives appear on the site (although I would be happy if it would be a part of my tree on the site yet accessible only to me, my family and friends using a loginame+password).
Goes along with your previous point about un-touchable copies of a tree.
  • My hopes would be that a site like this would help people get validation for certain claims - for example, if the theory is correct and most the Norwegians are indeed descendents of King Sverre Sigurdsson (1150-1202), my family tree, when validated, would be of public interest to most Norwegians because they would find out that the Norwegians are descendents of Mark Antony, Boadicea and Prophet Mohammad!
I'm part Norwegian, so I'm interested to see what you have found. I haven't been able to trace my lineage that far back though...
  • I'm curious.. When was your site opened? it seems brand new..

--Barak4u 18:28, 15 February 2007 (MST)

We launched in March of last year, so less than a year now. We haven't promoted the site much because we're still in beta and are mainly interested in feedback at this point so that we can make it a terrific site at launch. We hope to have the basic features ready by April of this year though, at which point we'll take the site out of beta and start promoting it.
--Dallan 10:21, 16 February 2007 (MST)

seem to have found the first bug

I didn't manage to add into the image page of this photo a link to the peoples' names and pages.. --Barak4u 16:26, 16 February 2007 (MST)

Well, it wouldn't be the first bug :-). Can you explain more about what you mean? It looks like the photo has been linked to the family page. Do you mean that you're not able to add annotations, or that you're not able to link to a person/family page from within an annotation? I'm going to enhance the photo functionality in the next month or so, so let me know what you're looking for.--Dallan 14:13, 17 February 2007 (MST)

what to do when ..

one of the people I enetered has his own Wikipedia article ? should I copy the entire content of his Wikipedia article or is it any way to link it so that it works together well automaticly? --Barak4u 16:55, 16 February 2007 (MST)

You can't import the entire text of a wikipedia article into a person or family page, because those pages are dual-licensed under GFDL and CC-BY-SA, and Wikipedia articles are licensed only under GFDL. But you can create a link to the page: [[wikipedia:Johann Sebastian Bach]] links to the Johann Sebastian Bach page for example.--Dallan 14:13, 17 February 2007 (MST)

saw your mug in the mag

Hello both -- I'm just looking thru my latest edition of byu magazine and Dallan's name caught my eye, got your info from the "Colleges Honor 13 Alumni" page (congrats!). My name is Scott Brackney, my wife, the former Laura Hafel, was Solveig's roommate in Heritage Halls, just before y'all (and we'all) got married, way back in 1984. drop us a line at (email removed).


Following the discussion on the Watercooler, I wonder what your opinion on the site was. Would you be willing to look at the possibility of some sort of partnership between the sites?--Bjwebb 14:41, 18 February 2007 (MST)

I've spoken with someone who knows the people behind Geni. He recommended we wait awhile until we have a larger user base.--Dallan 12:29, 19 February 2007 (MST)

Download Gedcom?

Is it possible to download Gedcom files from pages I create?

Not yet. It's on our list of things to do though. We hope to implement it later this Summer.--Dallan 16:25, 22 February 2007 (MST)

Comment requested

I started some comments in WeRelate_talk:Places (Historical Place Names). I'd like your opinion, if you don't mind. --Joeljkp 18:27, 6 March 2007 (MST)

No problem. I've been letting others monitor recent changes lately, but I obviously need to be better about continuing to track changes relating to the website as a whole. I'll take a look at it right now.--Dallan 20:46, 6 March 2007 (MST)

Copy page

Can you copy the page Source:Mayflower families through five generations : descendants of the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth, Mass., December 1620 (86888) to Source:Mayflower families through five generations: descendants of the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth, Mass. December 1620, or even better, Source:Mayflower Families Through Five Generations? This will clean up the old name somewhat, though it can be left as a redirect to the new. The LOC uses the long name, but the book refers to itself by the short. --Joeljkp 16:30, 22 March 2007 (MDT)

Done. By the way, you can rename pages yourself by clicking on the "Move" button at the top of the page. Renaming a page leaves the old name as a redirect to the new one.--Dallan 10:27, 23 March 2007 (MDT)
Cool, thanks. I'll do it myself in the future. --Joeljkp 10:59, 23 March 2007 (MDT)

family tree

1. Uploaded a gedcom file and nothing happened.

2. I have one person in tree, but how do I find John Gillespie (1) and (2) to get rid of them. They were entries before I figured out how to do it right?

Dave Gillespie, starfield

Hi Dave, I checked the gedcom upload log and didn't notice a gedcom file from Starfield. Not sure what happened. Could you try it again? Click on the "Create" tab, then click on "Launch Family Tree Explorer", then click on the "File" menu, then on "Import", then click on the "Browse" button on the right-hand side of the screen and select a GEDCOM file that you have created from your desktop genealogy application.
Regarding John Gillespie (1) and (2), it looks like the pages were never saved, so you don't need to worry about them. Also, I added "John Gillespie" as the preferred name on the Person:John Gillespie (3) page.--Dallan 00:17, 29 March 2007 (MDT)


I just heard about WeRelate (through DearMyrtle). The features mentioned sounded interesting, so I explored the site. After looking around a bit, I viewed the video and am sorry to say that it's really not very good. In fact, it's fairly terrible because:

1) The image is too small for senior eyes to tell what's going on. 2) It dashes through too many processes much too briefly to be followed. 3) The narration is simply painful.

If I may make some suggestions . . .

Consider breaking the material into a few sections and taking each one more slowly. The current format might make sense to experienced users but I can say from the viewpoint of a potential new user, it's very confusing. I would appreciate something beginning with an introduction explaining the purpose of the site. Is it to facilitate collaboration among researchers, provide a place to archive data, assist family research, replace individual web sites, replace desktop genealogical software? Or some--or all--of these?

Next could come bulletpoint-type examples of the very nice features of the site (without animation). Perhaps examples of some well-designed pages, a sample map with several events included, a typical family tree, a family photo with captions included, etc.

That should be followed by a "getting started" tutorial with choices for uploading a GEDCOM or inputting directly. And then, of course, some suggestions about where to go from there.

Obviously many computer-savvy people are using the site successfully but, in my opinion, broadening the user base will require something to take folks through the process in the ubiquitous "baby-steps." Remember that a very large number of family history researchers are retired folks who are a little reluctant to just jump in and start randomly clicking here and there.

I do hope I'll find the patience to struggle (for me) through putting my data on the site. And whether or not that happens, I wish you good luck with your venture.

Kirsten Bowman

Thanks for your suggestions. We are in the process of recording some new movies. We are sorry you are having problems. The original video was only intended to be a quick tour. Until then you might try the text tutorials available at the help tab. ---sq 15:07, 4 April 2007 (MDT)
I appreciate your time to enter these suggestions. We'll think about them and see what we can do.--Dallan 21:57, 4 April 2007 (MDT)

Ferreira Porto

Dallan, obrigado pela atenção vou importar novamente o gedcom, abraços --carlosetmenezes 07:39, 8 April 2007 (MDT)

Another confusion.

"WeRelate:About sources From WeRelate Our goal is for the source wiki to become a comprehensive database of genealogical sources, both on-line and off-line.

The Source wiki currently includes approximately 1,300,000 sources, including links to over 100,000 websites found on 58,000 unique hosts, 250,000 message boards, and 950,000 off-line microfilms and books found primarily in the Family History Library Catalog.

Everyone can contribute their favorite sources to the wiki. Most of the sources in the wiki were added by WeRelate's genealogy web crawler, but the crawler may have missed your favorite sources (or your favorite sources may be off-line). Please help others by adding your favorite sources to the wiki. First search the wiki to see if your favorite sources are already in there, and if not, please add them. Thank you for your involvement!

The source wiki includes the title of the source, a URL if the source has one, surnames and places covered by the source (usually), and a description (sometimes). Searching the source wiki is a good way to find off-line sources such as microfilms for a particular place and record type, but to search the full text of all pages on source websites, including these wiki pages, you should use the Search button at the top of the page.

[edit section]Related pages Search and browse sources Help on sources"

Retrieved from ""

-click on Search and browse sources and get "No such special page From WeRelate You have requested an invalid special page, a list of valid special pages may be found at Special:Specialpages.

Thank-you for pointing this out. I fixed the link.--Dallan 08:00, 9 April 2007 (MDT)

Change password

I hit the "e-mail my password" button instead of the "log in" button. I was e-mailed a new password and told to log in and change my password. How do I change my password?

Thank you,

Shirley Palmer

You can click on the "My Relate", then on "Preferences", then enter your password into the "Change password" box. Let me know if you have any questions.--Dallan 08:00, 9 April 2007 (MDT)

Family Tree Explorer source problem


I am sending this directly to you as it contains personal information I don't want on the water cooler.

I uploaded a GEDCOM of the Comegys Family yesterday and started inspecting it today.

There appears, at least to me, a problem with the way you are handling Sources: If you look at the root person (Cornelius Comegys, C 1) and source one. you find my name in the leading position which I believe has no business being their and no author's name. If you look at the GEDCOM you find: 0 @S169@ SOUR 1 TITL Maryland Calender of Wills 1 ABBR WIL MD Calender of Wills 1 AUTH Baldwin, Jane Baldwin & Wright, F Edward 1 PUBL Kohn & Pollock +, Baldwin, MD, 1904+

No where in the GEDCOM is my name but the authors name is there.

Shouldn't the source as presented in FTE show the authors name rather than mine?

I see what's going on. What is shown on on Cornelius' page is the "title" of your personal source page: MySource:Wallisguy/Maryland Calendar of Wills. The title of a personal source page begins with your user name so that your sources don't accidentally overwrite someone else's sources with the same title. You can see the author (and other information about the source) by clicking on the title. Having said this, I can see the source of confusion. There are three possible things we could do:
By the way, although this page is not as widely read as the watercooler, is still visible to anyone. Feel free to erase your comment and my response if you'd like. You can also send me email using the "E-mail this user" link at the bottom of this page if you have a question that you want to be completely private.
--Dallan 19:53, 10 April 2007 (MDT)

Creating a Family Tree

I am a Macintosh user. My computer is running OS 10.3.9. When I go to my profile page, there is no box for me to enter surnames and locations. I have tried 3 different web browsers, but all have the same result. I am using Safari right now, but i also use Firefox.

When I enter the family tree manually, how do I connect parents with children, working back in my family line? The page appears to be set up to connect children with parents, but I have always been taught to work back from the present. Also, the information I am gathering is nearly always pushing one of my lines back a generation or two.

Thank you,


I think my iMac is running OS 10.4.8. I just tried editing my profile page with Safari and the boxes came up. My only thought is maybe you're looking at your profile page but not editing it? Have you clicked on the "My Relate" tab, then clicked on the "Edit profile" button near the top of the page? Do you see the big text-entry box labeled "Homepage text" for entering some text about yourself?
If you have a Person page for a child and want to enter information about their parents, the first thing you need to do is edit the child's page and under the heading "Child of Family", enter the names of the parents (father's given and surname followed by mother's given and maiden name; e.g., "John Spriggs and Charlotte Westby") in the text box. If you don't know one of their names, then just say e.g., "John Spriggs and Unknown". You can always rename the page later. Now save the child's page. You should see the parents' names (followed by an ID number to make the family title unique) represented by a red link on the child's page. Click on that link, and then click on the "Edit" box to create the Family page for the parents. Enter marriage information if you know it, along with names of any other children you wish to add. Now save the Family page. You should now see red links for the husband, wife, and any new children that you added. Click on any of the red links to create Person pages for those individuals. We're planning to simplify this process in the future. Let me know if you have any other questions.
--Dallan 19:53, 10 April 2007 (MDT)

Image file names, unique vs descriptive

Hey Dallan, I just uploaded a couple of image files and was wondering about the file name itself. I've definitely chosen names that are unique. Naming them is also easy for me as the file name matches up with what's on my computer and the numbering system for my sources. However, they are not at all descriptive for anyone else looking at them. Is the file name itself something that someone would search for and then from that decide if they want to view the image? Is this something I need to correct? --Ronni 12:47, 11 April 2007 (MDT)

We haven't settled concretely on a naming scheme for images yet; you can name them what you want. I kind of like the idea of naming them similar to the person or family page that they correspond to, assuming that they correspond to a person or family page. For example, if I had uploaded a birth certificate for John Smith (13), I might name the image "John Smith (13) birth certificate". But I wouldn't worry about renaming the images you have already uploaded.--Dallan 16:17, 11 April 2007 (MDT)

place names and dates

I've read about your plans to create a standardized format for places but what will you do with GEDCOM files that folks upload to your site that don't comply with your standards? For instance, I have a large chart; have never used the country name U. S. A. Would each individual have to be edited to comply with the standard? And how about the county that's written this way: Queens (now Nassau) County, L. I., NY ? That wouldn't fit neatly into the standardized format either. So how difficult will it be to get all the individuals in a large uploaded chart to fit into the format? I understand your making adding new typed individuals easy by selecting a location from a drop down box, but uploaded charts will present a different problem.

When a GEDCOM is uploaded, we match the places in the GEDCOM with places in the place index. If we find a match, we store both places separated by a bar(|): the original text, which is what is displayed on the page and is never modified, and the matching place title in the index, which is what the text links to. For example, U. S. A. appears as U. S. A.. If we don't find a match, then we store just the original text. The place-matching algorithm is not as good as we'd like it to be, but will get better over time.--Dallan

I also have dates that might defy standards, such as, betw 12 Nov 1826 and 5 Apr 1827. That is, between the time the deceased wrote the codicil to his will and the date the will was proved. Just something I was wondering about. --Janiejac 22:12, 12 April 2007 (MDT)

Dates like this will make searching more problematic (i.e., this page will match searches on "12 Nov 1826" but not "1 Dec 1826"), but otherwise it's not a problem.--Dallan 10:45, 13 April 2007 (MDT)

Delete a used-created source page?

I am still on the learning curve for WeRelate. I created a source page - and I realize now that I should have research a bit more before I did this. It is actually just a transcription of a marriage record for my g-grandparents and some info about where I found the information. I would like to add the transcription to the image itself and DELETE this source page.

You should be able to delete your source page by clicking on the green "Delete" button near the top of the page. If the button isn't there for some reason, would you let me know?--Dallan 14:29, 13 April 2007 (MDT)

I don't see any button marked Delete. Sorry.--Debbie V. 15:28, 13 April 2007 (MDT)

Oops, my mistake. I just fixed the problem so it should work from now on. (I also deleted the page you mentioned so you don't have to worry about it.)--Dallan 16:50, 13 April 2007 (MDT)

Delete image page?

I have a similar request - I want to delete one of my early image pages. media:Edgar_Ligon_Marriage_Details.JPG but I don't see a DELETE button.

Oops - here's the link to the page. V. 17:13, 13 April 2007 (MDT)

No problem. You can't delete image pages yet, so this is the right place to ask for them to be deleted. I'll take care of it. (I hope you upload something in its place though; this is a great example of a source document -- just the kind of image I hope more people post!)--Dallan 17:29, 13 April 2007 (MDT)

Yes, I decided to go with a photo of the whole marriage record line. I think I am slowly getting the point of the difference between the source and image pages. I am kind of curious as to why this page doesn't show up on my Debbie V.:Ligon family tree page though. Debbie V. 17:58, 13 April 2007 (MDT)

Once you've created the image page, you need to also add it to your tree. (Launch the family tree explorer, navigate to the image page you created, and click on the "Add" menu, then on "This page" to add it to your tree.) Generally, if the family tree explorer is open when you create a page, the page is added to your tree automatically. But it doesn't always work for images. I need to make sure it works for images as well.--Dallan 00:05, 14 April 2007 (MDT)

Kanawha, West Virginia place name fix

Hi Dallan.. Place:Kanawha (county), West Virginia, United States needs changed to Place:Kanawha, West Virginia, United States. I tried to move the former into the latter, but couldn't of course because the page already existed. The page I tried to move it to is a little screwed up as well, e.g. preferred name is "United", made to look like a city, when it's really a county, etc. I'm stumped as how to proceed. I have some town information I want to include for Kanawha County but wanted to get this fixed first. Thanks!--Ronni 03:47, 14 April 2007 (MDT)

I'm not sure how that happened. I moved Place:Kanawha, West Virginia, United States to Place:United, Kanawha, West Virginia, United States and then moved Place:Kanawha (county), West Virginia, United States to Place:Kanawha, West Virginia, United States, so it's fixed now. The second move required deleting the redirect left behind from the first move, which isn't something you could have done, so I appreciate your bringing it to my attention.--Dallan 19:09, 14 April 2007 (MDT)

Category pages, Surname in Place

Title Change I am working on a Category:Surname in Place page, Category:Ligon in Illinois. Should I have titled it Category:Ligon in Illinois, United States. Can that be changed?

Page format If you look at the page, you can see I am attempting to come up with a format that will do two things.

  1. To give a Census Year overview of when and where Ligon families (all spelling variations) came into the state of Illinois and where they came from. This is to broaden the view a bit so that people do not get too focused on one county.
  2. .To provide county sections where one can elaborate on the Ligon families in that county.

Right now this is rather cumbersome, but I hope in time to make it less so. If a county section gets too full I will move it to a separate page.

Do we have an example page for Category:Surname in Place pages?

Category Pages listing I added Category:Surname in place to the bottom of my Category:Ligon in Illinois page. However, when I look at this page, Category:Surname in place my Ligon page is listed under "Subcategories". Is that a mistake? --Debbie V. 19:28, 15 April 2007 (MDT)

Wow, this is a terrific page! I cut-and-pasted the text from the "Category:" page you had created into an "article" with the same title (but without a Category: prefix). A "Category:" page typically doesn't have much text on it -- just a list of pages belonging to the category. The "article" page has the text information. To answer your questions:
  • The title is fine. We don't typically add "United States" to the titles of surname-in-place pages. (I know there are some out there; I'm going to go through and standardize the names at some point.)
  • The format looks great. You have as good a page as any I've seen. For another example, Phillips in Texas is a page User:Solveig did.
  • Making the page an article now lists it like the other pages in the Category:Surname in place category.
--Dallan 10:39, 16 April 2007 (MDT)

Capitalization of User Name

I tried to create the user name alexeagar, but it ended up as Alexeagar. I don't mind it being AlexEagar or alexeagar, but Alexeagar bugs me. Could you fix that? I can link to my home page using AlexEagar or alexeagar, but every time I log in it displays AlexEagar.

Thanks Alex Eagar

No problem. I renamed you to User:AlexEagar. (The mediawiki software capitalizes the first letter of every page title, including user pages.)--Dallan 22:14, 16 April 2007 (MDT)

Place pages

Dallan: I've been exploring the site. Lots of potential here! One thing that I'm confused about are the place wiki pages. For example on the Place:Fairfield, Ohio, United States page, there are contained places listed on the right-hand side, including several in the "Unknown" category. Many/most of those are townships in Fairfield County. Is there (or should there be) a "township" category? Or should townships fall under the "Inhabited Places" category?

Yes, those places should have their "Type" changed from "Unknown" to "Township". A lot of places are of unknown type because we found them in the Source:Family History Library Catalog which doesn't record a type for any of their places. If you know the type of any place that is currently unknown, you are encouraged to change it!--Dallan 21:32, 18 April 2007 (MDT)

I wasn't clear before. The type shows up as "township" when you look at that specific page (for example Place:Berne, Fairfield, Ohio, United States), but on the Place:Fairfield, Ohio, United States page, it is listed as an "unknown" type. Is there a place to add "Townships" as a category in "Contained Places"? --Ajcrow 05:28, 19 April 2007 (MDT)

Thanks for pointing this out. It looks like this is due to a bug when we updated Place:Berne, Fairfield, Ohio, United States last December. There are likely lots of other places showing up incorrectly in the "Contained Places" list as well. You don't need to do anything; we'll correct the type in the "Contained Places" early next week.--Dallan 22:01, 19 April 2007 (MDT)

Don's Tree will not load

I put in a few more people (without having Family Tree Explorer open) and now when I went to launch Family Tree Explorer and open Don's Tree, it will not open! What did I not do correctly?

It was due to a bug in the software - thank-you for pointing it out! It's been fixed now.--Dallan 09:56, 24 April 2007 (MDT)
Thanks. I'm glad that it wasn't something that I did or did not do. --Dquass 20:06, 25 April 2007 (MDT)

Need another Image delete

Hi Dallan, I need another image page deleted. Thanks.--Debbie V. 07:14, 24 April 2007 (MDT)

Done--Dallan 09:52, 24 April 2007 (MDT)

Sending a URL

If I'm doing it correctly, according to a few tests that I've run, I'll need to use the "%281%29" at the end of the URL. That is, it needs to be typed "" instead of "". The reason seems to be that the ending ")" will not stay underlined, whereas the second "%" will stay underlined. Please check it out!--Dquass 16:43, 27 April 2007 (MDT)

I guess that's not too surprising. You can enter ()'s into the URL window of a browser, but email clients have to figure out where the URL ends, and technically ()'s should be encoded as %28 and %29 in order to appear in URLs. I just tried sending an email with a URL containing ()'s using MS Outlook and it worked, but other email clients could behave differently.--Dallan 11:18, 28 April 2007 (MDT)


I suppose this was to be anticipated: popular historical figures are being entered in multiple copies. I wanted to connect less well-known ones to Edward III of England and I found no less than 12 pages for Edward III under the names Edward Plantagenet (1,8,11,12,13,14,15) and Edward England (6,8,10,11,16), created by 6 different users. There may be more under other names. Do you have any guidance on how to resolve the situation ? --CTfrog 20:58, 27 April 2007 (MDT)

I wouldn't do anything right now. They could be merged now by-hand if you want, but I'm going to be working on matching and merging functionality this Summer, so if you wait until then it should be a lot easier to merge.--Dallan 11:18, 28 April 2007 (MDT)

Footnote problem - duplicates

I am editing the Place:Franklin, Illinois, United States page and trying to cite sources using footnotes. I added a couple of sources but for some reason I get duplicate entries in the reference list. Can you help me with this?--Debbie V. 08:25, 28 April 2007 (MDT)

Thank-you for pointing this out! (It was a bug.) It should be fixed now.--Dallan 11:18, 28 April 2007 (MDT)

Editing the sidebar list on a Place page

I need to edit the sidebar list of cities, villages, etc on the right side of a Place page. I would like to rearranage the list so that it works from largest to smallest and include a few more names. I don't see this section when I choose to edit the page. Place:Franklin, Illinois, United States Actually this is an issue on other Place pages as well.

You can't re-arrange contained places currently, but I've added it to my to-do list. (Solution proposed earlier doesn't work.)--Dallan 17:33, 29 April 2007 (MDT)
If the places were arranged alphabeticaly with no categories, some designations could be included in the place name. For instance, Benton, Benton Township). I like the idea of including the historical places with an asterisk and note below with explanation.

Also, would it be possible to just have the name of the place (Benton) on the list instead of the whole Place name (Benton, Franklin, Illinois, United States) ? This make the sidebar list very cluttered and harder to locate which place you want.--Debbie V. 12:02, 2 May 2007 (MDT)

We could just list the preferred name and type of the place in the list (with an * to indicate historical places). Listing the preferred name would require adding preferred name to all of the contained_place fields in a place, which will take some time but I'll add it to the todo list (along with adding alternate names to the contained places list). In the meantime however, I can just display the title up to the first comma, which is the preferred name most of the time. I'll add this to the near-term todo list.--Dallan 12:15, 2 May 2007 (MDT)
This sounds great but do we need to list the type along with the name? Maybe I am not thinking globally, but it seems to me that most places names that do not have a description included in their name (ex. Benton Cemetery, Benton Township, Benton Prairie) are usually some sort of town/village/city/borough depending on the locale. --Debbie V. 14:07, 2 May 2007 (MDT)
I agree with Debbie V. Listing the contained places alphabetically would make things a lot easier to navigate. If there is a village and a township with the same name in the same county, the township can be designated with "(township)" after the name. There really isn't any benefit to having the distinctions of "inhabited place," "village," "city," etc. Besides, what might be classified as a "village" or "inhabited place" now might have been a booming town a century ago. Leave it with just the name; leave out the population distinctions. --Ajcrow 18:57, 2 May 2007 (MDT)
Aj - what I am thinking is that the names of places, (besides town/cities/villages) themselves contain the description (Benton Township, Benton Cemetery, Dog Prairie, so even the need for a (description) would not be necessary. Of course there would be a few exceptions and those could be noted with ().--Debbie V. 19:12, 2 May 2007 (MDT)
I'll implement this (alphabetical names only - no type unless it's part of the name) either later today or early tomorrow and see what kind of feedback we get.--Dallan 09:31, 3 May 2007 (MDT)
Dallan, as beautiful as the sidebar place names list is on the [Franklin, Illinois, United States] page, I notice that the Preferred Name is not appearing for all of the places. How can we correct this?--Debbie V. 07:54, 5 May 2007 (MDT)
Can you give me an example?--Dallan 22:22, 5 May 2007 (MDT)
I realize now it is only the townships that are not showing properly. The following - Barren, Browning, Cave, Denning, Eastern, Frankfort, Goode, Northern, Six Mile, and Tyrone should have the designation Township after them (ex. Barren Township). The remaining two townships, Benton and Ewing, appear as "Benton (township)" and "Ewing (township)" even though their preferred names are Benton Township and Ewing Township. I believe the () were used previously because there are also cities with the same names as these townships.--Debbie V. 07:25, 6 May 2007 (MDT)
That's because in displaying the contained places, I'm taking the text of the title up to the first comma. As a convention, we probably ought to make the first part of the title the same as the preferred name. (And in fact at some point I should just remove the preferred name entry field from the place edit screen.) Could you move (rename) those pages to "X Township, Franklin, Illinois, United States", and add X as an alternate name? That should take care of it.--Dallan 09:08, 7 May 2007 (MDT)
Dallan -- I like the alphabetical listing *much* better! Thanks for making that change. --Ajcrow 12:11, 9 May 2007 (MDT)

Historical places

Discussion moved to WeRelate talk:Places, since it's related to an earlier discussion there.


Recently uploaded a gedcom file furness-1823.ged.

Doesnt seem to appear on my gedcom list

--Kopuru 17:09, 5 May 2007 (MDT)

It looks like it was imported into your "winters" tree. Is that where you intended to import it? If not, since it doesn't look like a really large file, you could try creating a new tree, and adding the pages to that tree (with the new tree open in the family tree explorer, navigate to one of the pages created from the file, and click on the "Add" menu, then "This page"). Then remove the pages from the winters tree (but don't delete them from WeRelate).--Dallan 22:22, 5 May 2007 (MDT)

strange wiki arrow on link?

Dallan, take a look at the little arrow right under the word Chicago in the History section. I don't see the usual Wikipedia arrow. --Debbie V. 06:26, 11 May 2007 (MDT)

Try increasing or decreasing the width of your browser window until the "Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad" link appears all on the same line. Does the little arrow under Chicago go away and get replaced by a regular wikipedia arrow at the end of the link? I don't see the little arrow in Firefox, but I can see something strange in IE if I set my browser width so that Chicago is at the end of one line and the rest of the link is on the line below. This is caused by a bug in IE. IE gets confused about where to put the wikipedia arrow if the link spans multiple lines. The page for Franklin Spur at Wikipedia has the same problem if you decrease the browser width so that one of the external links spans a line boundary. I spent some time trying to see if I could fix this, but the only fix I can think of is to do away with the wikipedia arrows altogether (which may be the best solution - I don't know).--Dallan 10:52, 11 May 2007 (MDT)
I decided to insert a break so that the link would appear on one line - it looks much better. Thanks for that explanation.--Debbie V. 11:28, 11 May 2007 (MDT)

Help! Bad changes being made?

A change was made on one of my pages, and the change is wrong. Person:Living Ross (30) (that's my mother, actually) has just been given new--and incorrect--parents. The page she's on where the change was made is the correct page, showing John Ross and Mary Dunn as the parents. But Mary's parents--my mother's grandparents--have now been listed as my mother's parents.

I can just force a reversion to the old page, but I wanted to give you a heads-up. This change is wrong, and whatever prompted this change needs to be reexamined.--KF-in-Georgia 19:05, 17 May 2007 (MDT)

Thank-you for letting me know. I'll look at it first thing in the morning.--Dallan 22:07, 17 May 2007 (MDT)
(Problem was fixed and noted on User talk:KF-in-Georgia.)--Dallan 22:25, 18 May 2007 (MDT)

Tree Trouble

Hi Dallan... I'm having trouble adding new pages to any of my trees and apparently I've had this problem for a few weeks but I'm just now noticing it. In FTE, the box will be gray indicating I need to add the page, but when I click on the "Tree+" button on the page, it won't be added even though it says my trees have been updated. (I thought there used to be a green plus sign actually in the FTE menu, but I don't see it now). In the last week or so I did a clean install of Windows XP on my computer and thought maybe that had something to do with it, until I noticed names that I had added to WeRelate before I did this install. Any ideas? --Ronni 15:36, 19 May 2007 (MDT)

Last Friday I made a change to WeRelate so that you could add people/families to trees by pressing the "Tree+" button on the page (even when the Family Tree Explorer wasn't open), instead of pressing the green plus sign in the Family Tree Explorer. It's possible that there's a bug that's preventing the page from being added to the tree. Can you tell me the title of the page you're trying to add, and the name of the tree you're trying to add it to?--Dallan 19:19, 20 May 2007 (MDT)
Try Person:Thirley Morton (1) and the name of the tree I would like it added to is "Ulysses Morton of Clay Co., West Virginia." The thing about Thirley though is I added him to the site in April and just happened to notice that he wasn't in the tree over the weekend. Another more recent page I've created and can't add to the same tree is Family:William Alderman and Mary Case (2). I've tried adding other pages to different trees and still have the same problem. Thanks Dallan! --Ronni 22:08, 20 May 2007 (MDT)
Ok, I can reproduce the problem you're having. It seems to be a bug related to tree names having .'s and ,'s in them, because I can add pages to tree names without .'s and ,'s, but not with them. I'll try to get this fixed in the next 24 hours and let you know.--Dallan 09:07, 21 May 2007 (MDT)
Problem should be fixed now. Thank-you for pointing it out!--Dallan 08:38, 22 May 2007 (MDT)
And thank you for fixing it! <g> --Ronni 10:41, 22 May 2007 (MDT)

possible/probable spam

I just hate to do a rollback if it's just an ignorant person. Am I too scrupulous?

--Hh219 13:41, 20 May 2007 (MDT)

This presents an interesting question: What's our policy on non-genealogical/historical/geographical information in place pages? Thank-you for catching this change and bringing it to my attention. I'm going to pose the question on the WeRelate:Watercooler.--Dallan 19:19, 20 May 2007 (MDT)

Gedcom upload failure

I just deleted by "ZUPP" file (I hope!). A couple of days ago I uploaded a gedcom and it took awhile to process into a family tree explorer file. I looked at it this morning and THE SPOUSES WERE NOT LINKED!! All spouses were 'UNKNOWN'. I am trying to decide if I should try again - perhaps with a smaller, simpler file / gedcom; or conclude that this site is more smoke than sizzle. Any suggestions??

I looked at the original GEDCOM you uploaded, Zupp.ged, and all of the families I looked at only contained links to the husband or wife, but never both. I would really like to understand why this is happening. I noticed that you used PAF to export the GEDCOM. Was there a setting on the export that could have caused it to not export both spouses for each of the families? -Nathan 20:29, 5 June 2007 (MDT)

No, there should have been no problem! I have spoken with others who have had a problem with gedcoms from their PAF being loaded into other programs. I am going to try the same families from an Ancestor Quest gedcom next week when I am back from the Jamboree! Thanks for the explanation!

Deleting account

How do I delete my account? Thanks.


I've taken care of it.--Dallan 14:39, 12 June 2007 (MDT)


The following place should be removed: Place:Orléans, Paris, Île-de-France, France. There is no such place. I have placed a link to the Orléans templates in Place:Orléans, Loiret, Centre, France which is the correct description of the city of Orleans. Same thing with Place:Argenteuil, Paris, Île-de-France, France and Place:Bretagne, Belfort, France, I don't know where the Belfort part came from, it is a city in France about 500 miles from Brittany. The content on this page is now on the correct Place:Bretagne, France.--CTfrog 15:19, 4 July 2007 (MDT)

Done. Thank-you for fixing these!--Dallan 10:10, 5 July 2007 (MDT)

Seven more places to remove as I continue the cleaning up of the Paris suburbs: Place:Nanterre, Paris, Île-de-France, France, Place:Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Paris, Île-de-France, France, Place:Vitry-sur-Seine, Paris, Île-de-France, France, Place:Aubervilliers, Paris, Île-de-France, France, Place:Champigny-sur-Marne, Paris, Île-de-France, France, Place:Neuilly-sur-Seine, XVIe arrondissement, Paris, Île-de-France, France and Place:Créteil, Paris, Île-de-France, France. Content has been moved to the correct Place:Nanterre, Hauts-de-Seine, Île-de-France, France, Place:Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Yvelines, Île-de-France, France, Place:Vitry-sur-Seine, Val-de-Marne, Île-de-France, France, Place:Aubervilliers, Seine-Saint-Denis, Île-de-France, France, Place:Champigny-sur-Marne, Val-de-Marne, Île-de-France, France, Place:Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, Île-de-France, France and Place:Créteil, Val-de-Marne, Île-de-France, France. I have also rewritten the page for Place:Courbevoie, France, using material I translated from the French Wikipédia site. You can thus delete the template: Template:Wp-Courbevoie. --CTfrog 16:23, 15 July 2007 (MDT)

We'll delete them. Thank-you again!--Dallan 12:35, 17 July 2007 (MDT)

Here is a place that needs to be fixed, not removed. Place:Verdun, Meuse, Lorraine, France has in its Place Information box Verdun-sur-Garonne as an alternate name, when it actually is a separate place. More seriously, the Coordinates are those of the wrong Verdun, which makes it show up on Pedigree maps at the other end of France (they are wrong in the Getty Thesaurus as well). The correct coordinates should be:05° 23' 01" E, 49° 09' 37" N (Wikipedia). It doesn't look like I can make the change myself. Thanks. --CTfrog 13:23, 19 July 2007 (MDT)

I removed the Verdun-sur-Garonne as an altername name, and converted the lat+long you gave me to decimal-degrees format and entered them (I'm going to make it so that you can enter dms format as well by the end of next week). Do I need to create a new Place page for ?--Dallan 20:57, 19 July 2007 (MDT)

No, Verdun-sur-Garonne already exists. Thanks for doing this, --CTfrog 05:27, 20 July 2007 (MDT)

Question from new user

Hi Dallan...

Msscarlet1957 asked a question on my user page that I'm directing to you if that's ok?

Thanks! Ronni

What happens when I upload a GEDCOM to update a GEDCOM?

Answered on User talk:Knarrows--Dallan 20:06, 11 July 2007 (MDT)

response from MsScarlet [15 October 2007]

Dallan, I am not sure if you will see my response to you from my talk page, it does not show who is "watching" that page... so forgive me if this is a duplication, you can delete it...

I began my genealogy research in 1980, and have been on the Internet since 1999. Well here is my "process"..

I use "The Master Genealogist" software. I have ALL names in one database. TMG has ability to export a certain filtered family line to a GEDCOM. It also has ability to change the names within the files to a different color, so I can visually see my progress. As I get a family line all reviewed and researched (as far as I can) I create a GEDCOM for that line.

Now, there is overlap.. and sometimes quite a bit. I start at the oldest family member that I have in a particular surname and filter to include all descendants. This very likely always ends with my children's generation, thus it includes me, and them and any generation before us that overlaps between other files. There is no other way to do it and not have overlap, unless I filter out to a certain number of generations, thus loosing family member's of a certain surname's descendancy (spell checker says this is not a word!). So yes the files greatly overlap sometimes, it is not a perfect world. If I uploaded my entire GEDCOM at once there would be no overlap, but that is not what I want to do, as many names have not yet been reviewed. I hope this is not too confusing of an explanation on my part

--Msscarlet1957 07:48, 14 July 2007 (MDT)

I see what you're saying. We went ahead and uploaded them. Once the match+merge function is working this Fall we'll try to make it easy to merge the pages in common.--Dallan 12:35, 17 July 2007 (MDT)

Dallan, I have three issues:

1. On my own talk page, if someone posts a message to me... Where do I respond that they will see it? do I post a comment right there on my own talk page? As I have said before, it does not show who is watching my talk page, so I do not know how that works. Once a person posts a message to my own talk page, are they set up as watching that page? Or do I click on the link to the author of the comment and go to their talk page to post a response?

Whenever you edit a page, you are automatically set up to watch that page, unless you uncheck the "Watch this page" checkbox at the bottom of the edit screen (most people just leave it checked). When people leave me messages on my talk page I always answer them on my talk page, just like I'm doing here, so that their message and my response show up on the same page.
Although your talk page doesn't show who's watching it, your user page does (click on the "User page" link near the top of your talk page to go to your user page). The same people watching your user page are watching your talk page. Whenever you watch a page, you always watch both the primary and the talk pages. I suppose you could look at your user page to see whether the person is watching your page before replying to their message, and if they're not, reply to their message on their talk page, but I just assume that if they left me a message they didn't uncheck the "Watch this page" checkbox so they're watching my talk page.--Dallan 13:14, 15 October 2007 (EDT)

2. On my offsite Internet home page I have a list of links to my GEDCOM's which I have posted at WorldConnect. See list at: My homepage. Please go there and click on one of the links to a Gedcom and see how it comes up.. say the one titled "ADELSPERGER family". What I would like to do is create a similar link to those files which I have here on WeRelate. I am not sure how to get a link that might go to an "opening" page into any given gedcom here. I really did not want to make a link directly to the FTE page. I am not sure that the "share" option is what I want, what do you think? I hope I am describing it well enough for you to understand what I need.

When I click on the ADELSPERGER link I see a page that shows a set of links A..Z, which I can click on to get the list of surnames starting with each letter. The closest thing to this in WeRelate would be this link. One issue is that the person pages are sorted by their given name, which is pretty unhelpful for large trees. I plan to fix this (and I may adopt something like WorldConnect's A..Z links to highlight the individual surnames in the tree), but unfortunately it will be early next year, after we have tree matching & merging working.
Dallan, thank you for your rapid response. I will be very interested in knowing when you get that up and running, as well as the "update the gedcom" thingy (gotta love these technical terms!) I see so much potential for this Wiki site, but the learning curve is higher than what most folks, that I deal with have time for. I had not visited the site only since July, and it took me the last 2-3 days to figure out how to navigate etc all over again. (if you don't "use it you loose it" is very true with the WeRelate navigation skills!) I have plenty of time, since I only work part time, so I can sit here for 4-5 hours to figure stuff out, but if a person is not retired and only has half an hour to play genealogy, I think they would get discouraged easily... I want to send a link to a couple cousins, and see if they will participate and see how it goes.
Hi, I'll let you know. By the way, please let me know if you have ideas on ways we can reduce the learning curve. (As someone who's had to go through it twice, perhaps you have some unique insights!)--Dallan 23:18, 15 October 2007 (EDT)
You could alternatively give them a link to the Family Tree Explorer, which I changed recently to make it better for sharing trees with others (the annoying messages about how you have to copy the tree as your own tree no longer show up unless you try to add a page or remove a page from the tree).--Dallan 13:14, 15 October 2007 (EDT)

3.It has been a while since I created many of my GEDCOMS, thus I am wanting to create new updated copies and upload them. Have you yet created a way to do that other than just to delete a current GEDCOM and then upload a the next one as a "new" file, or is there a "replace" in effect now, that will not cause me to loose changes I have made to any of my existing Wiki pages? I remember you had told me earlier this summer, that you were going to be working on that.--Msscarlet1957 10:10, 15 October 2007 (EDT)

Not quite yet. Currently we're working on fixing up the place index for international places, which will take until the end of this month. GEDCOM re-upload is next on the list, and I expect it will be ready by the end of next month. I hadn't planned to spend time on the place index this Fall, but I realized a few weeks ago that it had to be cleaned up in order to do a better job matching & merging trees with international places, and so everything got pushed back a month.--Dallan 13:14, 15 October 2007 (EDT)

Ancestor changed surname - which name to use?

I have an ancestor, John Walker Woods - I use 2 surnames because he changed his last name from Walker to Woods and I didn't know what to do with that. His son, John, took the Woods surname as well and all his descendants. I would like your opinion on which name to use when I move this to a page with only one surname. --Debbie V. 09:55, 20 July 2007 (MDT)

I don't have a strong opinion either way. If it were me I'd probably use the Walker surname just because it was his first one (similar to how we use the maiden name for women). The important thing is that you include both "Walker" and "Wood" as separate (alternate) names on his Person page. That way the matching algorithm that we're working on this Fall will be able to match your page with another page that listed just one of the surnames.--Dallan 12:20, 21 July 2007 (MDT)
Thanks for your thoughts. I decided to keep the Woods for now, but put the Walker as the first alternate. --Debbie V. 15:23, 21 July 2007 (MDT)

Images [1 August 2007]

The Image Loading still baffles me. I followed the instructions and instead of my picture on the Image page I have the phrase: Download high resolution version (575X819, 18KB). How do I get my picture to show up? Separately should birth certificates etc. be considered historical documents for the licensing choices ? --CTfrog 08:14, 29 July 2007 (MDT)

Hi, it looks like you uploaded a couple of images: Image:Pierre Joseph Dropsy AD.gif and Image:ADELE-AD-1841.gif. I just checked and the image pages look ok to me. (Maybe it took awhile for the actual image on the image page to download into your browser window?). Let me know if you still can't see them. I also looked at Person:Pierre Dropsy (1) and Person:Adèle Dropsy (1) and it looks like the images show up ok on those pages as well.
I agree that image uploading isn't as easy as it should be. I've actually been working on some changes that will be posted late tonight. Please let me know if it's still confusing after tonight (what parts need to be made easier). And yes, I'd treat a birth certificate as a historical document.--Dallan 15:42, 29 July 2007 (MDT)

Hmm, still can't see them on any of the four pages. I must be doing something wrong.--CTfrog 15:47, 29 July 2007 (MDT)

What browser and operating system are you using?--Dallan 19:51, 29 July 2007 (MDT)

I use Mac OSX / Firefox. Interestingly, the pictures show up fine if I use Safari or Internet Explorer. --CTfrog 06:40, 30 July 2007 (MDT)

I'm eavesdropping. Hope you don't mind. :) I use Firefox on Windows XP and can see the images with no problems. I looked at them the day you said you were having trouble and they all looked good to me then too. --Ronni 07:29, 30 July 2007 (MDT)

I can't find anything using google about GIF images not showing up in Mac OSX/Firefox. I'm not sure what's going on. Are you using the latest version of Firefox? Also, can you see the gif image when you click on the "download high resolution version" link; e.g., this page?--Dallan 14:09, 30 July 2007 (MDT)

I use Firefox and yes, I can see the picture when clicking on that link.--CTfrog 03:44, 31 July 2007 (MDT)
Ok, it must be something in the HTML that Firefox on the Mac doesn't like. I've got a couple of other things I need to take care of first (we're moving this month), but I'll try to figure this out in the next 3-4 weeks.--Dallan 10:53, 1 August 2007 (MDT)

Renaming Family Tree? [4 August 2007]

I am trying to rename my family tree "Thomas Lefler, Civil War Veteran" to "George and Thomas Lefler". IN FTE, When I click on File, Rename and enter the new name in the field, it gives me the message that George and Thomas Lefler is not found. What am I missing?--Debbie V. 14:24, 3 August 2007 (MDT)

Sorry about that. It was a bug. I just (barely) fixed it.--Dallan 13:51, 4 August 2007 (MDT)

I was able to change the name, thank you. It appears correctly as "George and Thomas Lefler" on my Family Tree page, but the old title "Thomas Lefler, Civil War Veteran" is still appearing on my User Page. --Debbie V. 19:32, 4 August 2007 (MDT)

Argh, the system had cached the old version of your page (with the old family tree name) and was displaying that. It's working now. Thank-you for being patient.--Dallan 19:53, 4 August 2007 (MDT)

Password change [11 August 2007]

Greetings from IVANHOE

I received what I assume is an automated e-mail to change password. The message indicated that the request came from an address all in numbers . . . which I don't recognize . . . EXCEPT that this morning I got a SPAM e-mail

saying I had an on-line "greeting card from an old class mate" It also was from and it did not or would not open. I did NOT request a change in Password, and I will change the password, however I didn't see where to do that on WeRelate website. I tried asking for my password by clicking on the "forgot password" and that generated another automated password. I was only able to get back in after failing, by using my original pass word.

Help appreciated, --Ivanhoe 19:39, 11 August 2007 (EDT)

Hi Ivanhoe,

This is *very odd*. That IP address doesn't belong to; it belongs a machine on Southwestern Bell's network (see Could you please forward me the first email that you received - the one saying that you had requested a password change? I'd like to report this to their abuse department. Thanks.--Dallan 01:16, 12 August 2007 (EDT)

Feedback [18 August 2007]

Thanks for the note. I've been a wiki-dabbler for a while and have been looking for a place to get this family tree stuff online. None of the sites I had been too so far, including this one in its previous incarnation, seemed overly promising or easy to use. I was very pleased I took another look here and have been impressed at the ease of use. All the features of wiki, and the nice front-end and automatic fill-in boxes make it easy enough that even a non-technical person can use it. There's hope for some of my computer-challenged relatives after all :) I'm a Wikipedia:WikiGnome at heart, so here's some stuff I have stumbled onto so far.

  1. category improvement is definitely something I'd be glad to lend a hand with. See [[Category:North Dakota, United States]] vs. [[Category:North Dakota]]. Redlinks are evil. :)
  2. Also from the Redlinks are evil department, during a Help:GEDCOM upload, I noticed that the Occupation and Religion information ended up in the "Place" field, instead of the "Description" field. See this example. While I guess both Occupation and Religion could have places associated with them, at least to me, it seemed putting the information into a non-wikilinked field would be best.
  3. There may be a few mediawiki extensions which could be handy here. mediawiki:ParserFunctions is one I noticed when I was making {{bu}}. It adds #if and other logic to template parameters. Without the extension Template:bu doesn't work nearly as handy as it should. See bu on midrange wiki to compare.
  4. Help:FTE is a very cool feature. One thing I thought about was what if users are red-green colorblind? I am so accustomed to using red or pink for females and blue for males in my family trees that I noticed this right away.

Thanks for all your hard work on this great site and I'm looking forward to using it to improve and expand my various family trees.-- — MrDolomite • Talk 20:55, 18 August 2007 (EDT)

Thanks for the great comments. I'll look into place vs. description on GEDCOM upload and the MediaWiki extensions sometime next week (I'm on the road again this week). Regarding the FTE, I've been thinking about making families a different shape; your reminder about red-green colorblindness confirms that I need to do that. Thank-you also for your offer to help with category improvements. I'll be redoing these about the end of the year. I'll talk with you about this then.--Dallan 10:04, 23 August 2007 (EDT)


I was wondering how long the lag time is before my family information becomes "searchable" or can be found on "We Relate"? A day? A week?--Garycliser 20:33, 20 August 2007 (EDT)

Everything is re-indexed overnight, so anything you enter before 10pm (CDT) should be searchable by 6am the next morning.--Dallan 10:04, 23 August 2007 (EDT)

Delete Source (shold be MySource) [22 August 2007]

Hi Dallan, Please delete This should be a MySource. I will redo this.

--Debbie V. 19:48, 22 August 2007 (EDT)

done.--Dallan 10:04, 23 August 2007 (EDT)

WeRelate with a Macintosh? [24 August 2007]


The tabs for Home, Create, Connect, Web, Research, Wiki, My Relate, and Help do not appear on my screen as shown in the tour.

I've uploaded a gedcom, but can't navigate at all. I double click a person, and their info shows on the right, but I can't get the screen on the left to do anything but rotate left or right.

Safari seemed to be the least useful. Firefox allowed me to rotate left and right.


Peggy--Flutter8y 15:30, 23 August 2007 (EDT)

We're still working on updating the videos since we changed the tabs. (The videos should be updated by this time next week.) In the meantime, Create is now called "Family Tree", Connect is now called "Search", and the Research tab has been combined with "Wiki". As far as navigating your tree (I'm assuming that you're talking about using the Family Tree Explorer), you should be able to (a) move the sliders on the top back and forth to show more/fewer generations, or (b) right-click on anyone in your tree to make them the new "primary person" (root) of the tree. If those things don't work, please let me know. I'll check Safari to see why it won't let you rotate. (We plan to create a new video just for the Family Tree Explorer sometime in the next 2-3 weeks.)--Dallan 10:48, 24 August 2007 (EDT)

Thank you.

The tabs you mention do appear! I was looking above the family tree in FamilyTree Explorer.

The sliders and right clicking work perfectly! Just didn't know to do it.

I am going to re-watch the tour and tutorial.

Thanks again for your help.

Peggy--Flutter8y 15:28, 24 August 2007 (EDT)

Jackson Family Tree [4 September 2007]


I submitted my Jackson 2007 gedcom a couple of nights ago and it's still not up and running. Could you tell me if I've done something wrong?

Thanks so much,

Lois--Polly710 07:05, 3 September 2007 (EDT)

Sorry about that. It looks like the GEDCOM uploader was down over the weekend. I see that your Jackson 2007.GED file was processed on Monday and it looks like you were able to open it. Please let me know if you have any other questions.--Dallan 20:01, 4 September 2007 (EDT)

Marshall Co., Tn [6 September 2007]

Hi Dallan, I'm not sure if you are the one to bug about this bug, but here goes. If not please let me know.

I can't seem to enter the place: "Marshall, Tennessee, United States" for birth or death or marriage places. Other places are accepted, but this gives me an error every time I try to use it:

placesearch returned bad response: 404

Marshall Co., TN is a valid place and I had used it before, a couple of weeks ago with no problems. If I strip out "Marshall" leaving the rest, it works fine, so obviously the database is having a problem with "Marshall" (I'm not using the quotes when entering it).

Let me know what to do.

Thanks for all the great work you've done here, I love WeRelate.

Marty--Martygrant 01:07, 6 September 2007 (EDT)

I'm having the same problem Dallan, except it occurs with all the place names I try to enter. --Ronni 05:07, 6 September 2007 (EDT)

Sorry about that. The indexing process crashed last night and I didn't find out about it until about 30 minutes ago. It should be back up and running again now. (And I'm spending today writing some better error-notification scripts.)--Dallan 13:10, 6 September 2007 (EDT)

your email does NOT work! [10 September 2007]

This is the mail system at host

I'm sorry to have to inform you that your message could not be delivered to one or more recipients. It's attached below.

For further assistance, please send mail to <postmaster>

If you do so, please include this problem report. You can delete your own text from the attached returned message.

                  The mail system

<> (expanded from <>): host[] said: 553 Attack detected.
   <> (in reply to RCPT TO

In order to add my gedcom 10MB, the upload fails without an error message--JFBailey 13:17, 10 September 2007 (EDT)

Thank-you for pointing this out. With all of the spam floating around, email providers are making legitimate email senders jump through more and more hoops. This hoop is a new one. It should be working now.

Regarding the GEDCOM upload, I apologize -- you should have gotten back an error saying that the GEDCOM is larger than what we allow by default. However, a bug prevented the error from being displayed. I fixed the bug, and tonight I'll increase the limit so that you can upload your GEDCOM tomorrow.--Dallan 14:07, 10 September 2007 (EDT)

Gedcom processing [12 September 2007]

I submitted the gedcom file about one hour ago; it still says "In the queue"

Will you notify me if there is a problem?

Thx--Themaceffs 13:43, 12 September 2007 (EDT)

Will do. Not sure of the reason, but we've had a huge number of GEDCOM's uploaded today (more today than in the entire previous week), and it's swamped the GEDCOM processor. Hopefully the new GEDCOM's will slow down over night and give the GEDCOM processor a chance to catch up. We're working to bring another machine on-line so this doesn't happen in the future.--Dallan 16:28, 12 September 2007 (EDT)

System broken [13 September 2007]

I think I broke your system: I am getting a database error when I try to edit a page.


Don't worry - you didn't break the system :-). We had about 10 times the normal amount of traffic yesterday and the database was straining under the load (and periodically giving out database errors). We made some changes last night so performance is better today. Later this week we'll be adding an additional machine.

Can I ask how you found out about the site? We're trying to find out how people are finding out about us.--Dallan 13:39, 13 September 2007 (EDT)

My trees being held for review [19 September 2007]

Can you please go ahead and put them through for me. I originally had some of them all in one tree, but deleted them and put them in separate because it seems like it might be confusing (for example, if I share with someone researching the HINEMAN line, they would have to sort through all the other people they are not interested in) to locate those connected to HINEMAN. If there is a better way to do it, just let me know.--CynthiaR 14:54, 15 September 2007 (EDT)

Done.Dallan 11:34, 18 September 2007 (EDT)

I found out about the site from the rootsweb email newsletter. Can you tell me how to respond to the updates/edits I get? Like this one where you asked me where I heard about the site? I am not sure if I am doing this the best way. Should I normally click on the person's name? Or edit the original message like I have done here? Sorry, still new at this.

You can do it either way - both work. I usually edit the original message like we're doing here so that the conversation "thread" (original comment, my response) is maintained on the same page. I hope you're enjoying the site!--Dallan 13:46, 19 September 2007 (EDT)

You need to make ads [18 September 2007]

I made this one to put on my myspace page.
It is a bit daggy cause I only have MS Paint, but it is good enough.

This is really cool, thanks! Would you mind if we used it? I'm hoping not to have to pay for ads, but maybe we could encourage people to post them in a few places for free.--Dallan 11:34, 18 September 2007 (EDT)

--- yeah sure go for it, tryin to make more.

Thanks!--Dallan 22:10, 18 September 2007 (EDT)

Are my records public? [23 September 2007]

I sent a previous email re: my inability to login...but forgot to ask if the info I enter on my family lines is available to the public-which is what I want. I discovered on other sites that the info is "available only to relatives"? My relatives, obviously know about the family. I am hoping that your site would be another way of getting my research to others who are 'climbing our family tree'... "Private genealogy" is a contradiction is terms! Will my info be available to the public etc.? Barbara Pixley email: 18:22, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

Yes they certainly are. Anyone can find the pages you've created and start adding to them. Your pages appear in the WeRelate search index the following morning. Google and other search engines are also indexing pages on WeRelate. Later this year we'll add a "match" capability to notify you if someone else is creating pages for the same people as you, and we'll provide a "merge" function so the two of you can merge the pages and start working together.--Dallan 02:45, 23 September 2007 (EDT)

Thanks - Florida Research Guide [25 September 2007]

Thanks for the help. I never thought to try it without braces. --Moultriecreek 17:34, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

Sure! It wouldn't have worked before today at any rate, due to the bug about the bar not working that Ronni pointed out.--Dallan 18:52, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

General Genealogy & Family History Help? [5 October 2007]

As a new genealogy consultant, I was hoping to find a location for providing beginners some basic instructions and how to get started on their own research. For example, what is the LDS Ancestral File, how do I access it, and what information is available there? I'm not looking for in-depth tutorials on each topic, but rather a way to help people who are computer literate to quickly get up to speed on good resources. Are you aware of anything like this that already exists, or if not, how this can be created without getting hidden among all of the family and individual-specific pages on this site? Of course, if this exists on another site, that would be OK with me too. ;-) --Davidnhale 15:33, 4 October 2007 (EDT)

You could start by reading How to get started in family history research guide. You can find all of the research guides at WeRelate by clicking on Wiki, then Articles, then on Research Guides (under the Browse heading). People add to the research guides periodically, and you are more than welcome to contribute as well! It's often good to have a "newcomer's" point of view.

Also, here's a sampling of websites with additional getting started material:

To answer your specific question, you can search Ancestral File by going to , clicking on Advanced Search, then on Ancestral File. Ancestral File is a compilation of family trees submitted to FamilySearch during the 70's and 80's I believe. It was succeeded by the Pedigree Resource File, which is also searchable at FamilySearch. But the majority of FamilySearch data is in the International Genealogical Index, which is the result of thousands of people indexing millions of records over a period of several decades.--Dallan 11:09, 5 October 2007 (EDT)

Difficulty in learning rapidly [19 October 2007]

Hi, I think your wiki concept to be excellent. However, I find the execution not sufficiently intuitive to continue using at this time. I'm not into studying your program application in depth.

I started with home computers in 1979 and have had 1 or 2 continuously ever since. I've written several programs for my own use and used a vast range of application software over the years. I give you that information only to give you an appreciation that I'm not a novice.

I will return sometime in the future and try you again.

Jerry--Jpost 18:34, 19 October 2007 (EDT)

Have you had a chance to watch the tutorial videos? If so, and you still have questions, please let me know. I'll be happy to answer them and add the answers to future videos.--Dallan 18:42, 19 October 2007 (EDT)

Southwest Virginia Maps [7 November 2007]

OK, Don't have a problem with them being moved into another space, particularly if that's useful to others. However, this is part of a series of maps and articles dealing with Southwest Va. That series is intended to provide the framework for a largish series of genealogy person articles focused on the early settlers of SW VA. What I'm trying to do is provide the contextual setting within which these people lived. Right now its not a problem correcting a few links. But as this grows, and if you find other articles need to be in a different space, it will get a bit cumbersome to start changing linkages if simple redirection won't work. (I assume redirection is a problem because the articles are being moved into another space.) So, how should I handle the additional articles that are coming along? Bill 10:43, 7 November 2007 (EST)

If you create articles (in the default namespace), we shouldn't have to move them. And yes, the redirection is a problem because of changing the namespace. I'm just trying to limit the place namespace to places where events occurred or for which records were kept. Articles can be about anything -- maps, research guides, extended-family histories, etc. You might even create a "Southwest Virginia Research Guide" (or some such name) if you'd like to tie everything together.
The series of articles you plan to create sounds like it will be really cool. Access to contextual articles like these makes family history a lot more interesting. Please let me know if I can do anything to help out.--Dallan 11:01, 7 November 2007 (EST)

Sources [7 November 2007]

Then I'll shift some of these other articles as they are being created into the article space. I have a related question concerning sources. The setup here clearly emphasizes (without being intrusive about it) documentation of information using a combination of "Source" and "MySource" name space. Understand the distinction, I think, and I'm definitely enfavor of people documenting where they get information from. However, the Source namespace input boxes seem to emphasize the title of the work, rather than the more conventional author. Normally, I'd want to cite a source in the Smith, 1912:423 format. I've got work arounds to do that using "Source" and "MySource", but you may have different preferences. I'd like to understand why the Source namespace is set up the way it is, and if there's a problem with the way I want to cite my sources. Would it be helpful to have a "Reference" namespace in addition to Source and MySource? Bill 11:12, 7 November 2007 (EST)

Fixing the source index is one of the big projects for early next year (see WeRelate talk:Source Committee). We need to completely retitle the existing sources. This will be mostly automated, once we answer some of the questions raised on the talk page. The new titles will follow an "author, title" format. Can you tell me what the "1912:423" means in your example? Also, what would be the distinction between Source and Reference?--Dallan 11:33, 7 November 2007 (EST)
I've read the comments on the Source Committee discussion. "1912:423" is a convention used to reference a work published in 1912, citing page 423. The distinction between "source" and "reference" may only be in my mind, or it may be real. Part of my confusion is because I didn't understand the layout of the "Source"---but it sounds as though that's being changed, so I assume the confusion for me will go away. The distinction I was making was that a "Source" might actually contain the detailed information say in "Smith, 1912". "MySource" might contain a more localized portion of "Smith, 1912:423". A reference would simply be the bibliographic citation, say following one of the major styles---such as APA, or Chicago, etc. My personal preference is APA, but any of them work. I would guess that some folks will add considerably more information along the lines that Tom Chatt was suggesting. Useful, but the critical component is really the bibliographic citation, which wasn't included in his example---hence a need for something like a reference namespace.
But, if the "Source" is defined as "Author, Date", then the problem goes away, except where substantial information is being stored as a "source"---e.g., a public domain item transcribed verbatim, or with commentary. The text of "MySource:Christopher Gist's Journal of 1750-1751 would be an example. I've put in into "MySource", but it could just as easily have gone into "Source"---unless "Source" is really being reserved for a discussion/presentation of information about a specific source---rather than a copy of the source itself. Just trying to feel my way through the conventions you have adopted, and understand that the landscape is in fact changing as things get worked out. Bill 12:01, 7 November 2007 (EST)
Ultimately I'd like to see Source pages to include both bibliographic information as well as possible usage notes, images, and/or transcriptions. Eventually I hope that the Source namespace could be used in a GenSmarts-like source recommender. Different approaches to entering the bibliographic citation have been discussed -- entering each piece of information in a separate field (so the information could be presented in any of the major styles), entering the citation as a single block of text (using a pre-specified citation style), or creating a set of templates and having people choose a template and enter the fields into the template. I created the MySource namespace mainly so that the Source namespace wouldn't get cluttered with lots of duplicate sources from GEDCOM uploads. But I could also envision using it for more localized portions of the source as your suggest (although it might be more useful to enter the localized material directly onto the Source page -- others might find it valuable). A long-term project is to try to automatically match MySources created from GEDCOM uploads with Sources and make it easy to redirect MySource pages to Source pages.
Using "author, date" is an interesting idea especially for unpublished/untitled sources. Perhaps you'd like to propose it at WeRelate talk:Source Committee?--Dallan 12:49, 7 November 2007 (EST)

Scotland places [8 November 2007]

Hi Dallan, I responded to your additional questions on Place_talk:Scotland. The Scotland placelist is looking much better, although the "located-in" swaps that you did yesterday took us in the wrong direction. I'm hoping it's not too painful to roll them all back? Thanks! --TomChatt 11:49, 8 November 2007 (EST)

P.s. I notice that someone (I presume you) has been cleaning up the little 'DELETE-ME' artifacts I've been leaving in Scotland, where a bunch of links and child places need to be patched up before deleting. Thanks for that! :-)

Source Pages and Zotero [9 November 2007]


I just recently re-visited to see what new developments there have been and I came across you Source Committee discussing how to handle sources.

I like the idea of a master source list of all genealogical sources and have thought for a while about how such a beast could be created and how it would best function.

I have been impressed by a little plug-in that works in Firefox called Zotero ( Are you familiar with it?

It allows me to take a snapshot (and optionally link to) any page I visit on the web, simultaneously ingesting all the "bibliographic" data that there is available. Furthermore, when you are on a page with bibliographic content (Amazon, many catalog systems, etc.) Zotero recognizes the bibliographic information on the page and places it all in their proper fields. It is really quick and it allows you to edit and/or enter additional information it may not have captured with the bibliographic fields, tags, and notes.

What I have wished for is a "master catalog" that could be built by importing records via a tool such as Zotero.

What I next have wished for is a way to have my own "version" of this catalog which would contain the subset of the master catalog in which I have an interest, and which could be supplemented by my own personal artifacts and documents, which I could choose to either share with others (get sucked into the master catalog) or conceal for my own use.

Next, I want to be able to have this personal version of the sources be something portable that I can carry around on my flash drive and have it sync with my internet version as necessary.

Ideally this portable file would be the sources used in my Legacy database (or Family Tree Maker, PAF, Rootsmagic, etc.)--not that they would be another listing of the same sources, but that this file would be the source file accessed by my data manager.

I just wanted to share these ideas with you and see if any of this seems useful direction for the source pages on the wiki.

Bibliostuff 15:09, 9 November 2007 (EST)

I've heard of it. It does look interesting, although I confess I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. I have thought about trying to integrate something like this, customized for genealogy, into WeRelate's source pages. I think it could be very useful.

Feel free to jump in on the source discussion. as soon as we get match+merge and the digital library working, working on sources is the next big project.--Dallan 15:21, 9 November 2007 (EST)

FHLC Film Numbers and Film Notes [9 November 2007]

It looks like you have imported portions of the Family History Library Catalog, going as far as importing the film numbers, but not the notes associated with each one. Was this a copyright concern, did you wish to start with a "clean slate", or was there some technical difficulty in importing the notes?

It seems to me that it would be much easier to edit the notes rather than put all the information in from scratch.--Bibliostuff 16:02, 9 November 2007 (EST)

Strictly a copyright concern. If the people involved were amenable, I'd be excited to re-import and include notes in the future. This could be done without starting from scratch.--Dallan 16:09, 9 November 2007 (EST)

Gedcom not appearing [10 November 2007]

Dallan, I uploaded a Heller family gedcom last night around 10pm or so, it is now 8am the next day and still no sign of it. --Msscarlet1957 08:09, 10 November 2007 (EST)

OH, and I had deleted my Adeslperger family gedcom and uploaded a new version, but I am getting the usual "overlap so cant create pages" warning, can you put in an OK for it, please? (note: I just tried to upload that Heller file again and it did work this time, it just showed up 9:15)--Msscarlet1957 08:59, 10 November 2007 (EST)

I ok'd Adeslperger; it's ready now.--Dallan 11:30, 10 November 2007 (EST)

Re: John Tresadern [15 November 2007]

Thanks for the mod. Your right that at that time Tower Hamlets would have been part of Middlesex. It's strange but even people who lived in the same physical house from 1850 onwards, would have different numbered houses from census to census. Just goes to show how much London and other major cities grew then, with the migration from Land to city. He was related to me through the Goldsmith Family as his wife would have been my 3rd cousin twice removed. Regards Graham--Ggoldsmith 13:21, 15 November 2007 (EST)

Questions from AFAOA [20 November 2007]


I am a member of AFAOA, the Austin Family Association of America. We were one of, if not the first, genealogical websites on the internet beginning January,1995. In 1996, Tim Doyle wrote a program, IMG which generates webpages on the fly from GEDCOMS. We have been using it ever since. He has since moved on and has started his own Wiki site about a year and a half ago for the Whitney Research Group at

We are exploring modernization of our site and a Wiki model seems desirable so we are experimenting with your site. Our database consists of some 30 Gedcoms comprising approximately 100,000 individuals. Are you prepared to accept a submission of this size?

I began our experiment by uploading a personal GEDCOM containing 1097 individuals Tuesday Evening. Yesterday we experimented with editing person pages and all went smoothly.

Today a number of questions arise that concern me. I5t may just be a learning curve for me. But...

When I launch FTE it shows my tree (whitlock33) now contains 1697 individuals. Where did 600 new individuals come from overnight?

I renamed it whitlock33a as I may want to upload additional individuals from the whitlock33 file but the new name shows on the right but not the left of the manage tree(s) window.

I uploaded an image to a person page and launched the preview and it was fine I went back to edit mode for some text editing and preview again and the image was gone. I entered Image:(filename) in the box and the upload was apparently gone.

I selected a person page from the tree to add a spouse and was told the page did not yet exist so I hit the edit button and added a spouse and the upper left window says "not in tree". How do I attach new pages to the tree?

Once a tree has been placed on your site and edited can a GEDCOM be downloaded to our archives so we don't need to copy the edits into our master file?

Scot--Scot 17:13, 15 November 2007 (EST)

Hi Scot, nice to hear from you.

Are you sure the GEDCOM you uploaded has only 1097 individuals? I just did a quick check and it has a few more than 1700 "INDI" tags in it, which seems to indicate that it has closer to 1700 individuals.

Renaming the tree using the "rename" link under "Manage Trees" on the "Family Tree" page while the FTE has that tree open is a bug; the FTE is still trying to use the old name. I'll add this to the todo list. Thank-you for reporting it.

Can you tell me which page you were having the image trouble on? I looked at Person:Edwina Whitlock (1) and Person:Philip Austin (4) and they both appear to have an image. By default images appear at the bottom of the page, but you can move one image to the top by checking the "Primary" checkbox to the right of the image filename when editing the page. (Or you can put images anywhere you want on the page by including an "image" link when editing the text. See this help page for more information.)

It was Edwina's page. I uploaded the image, closed the image file and previewed the page and it was fine I went back to the edit mode, edited some text and previewed again and the Image was gone, I searched for the image file and it was gone. I uploaded the image again and saved the page without previewing and it worked.
I think I have an idea on what could have happened. I checked your list of contributions (which you can see by clicking on MyRelate in the blue menu bar, then clicking on View Contributions), and after scrolling back past the gedcom upload, I can see that you uploaded Image:Edwina 1980.JPG and then uploaded Image:Edwina1.JPG about 6 minutes later, with no edits in between. Is it possible that you clicked on "Show Preview" to see the image you had added to the page, and then clicked on the "Edit" link at the top of the page again? When viewing a preview, you can continue editing the page by scrolling to the bottom of the preview page -- there you'll see the edit form again. (Clicking on the "Edit" link at the top of the page throws away the changes you have made so far and takes you back to the version of the page before you had started editing it.) Not sure whether this is what happened. If you ever forget the title of a page you have just created/edited, clicking on MyRelate, then on "View Contributions" is a good way to find it.--Dallan 01:22, 17 November 2007 (EST)

There are several ways to add pages to your tree

  1. When you create the page, click on the checkbox for your tree that appears at the bottom of the page -- just about the "Save page" button.
  2. Click on the "Tree +" link in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
  3. When running the FTE, right-click on the grey box for the page you want to add and select "Add page to tree".

There's currently a discussion going on at the Watercooler about GEDCOM download. Feel free to add your opinions. We don't have anything like this working yet, but I am committed to making it easy to get updates back into your master file. This won't happen until next year though. We need to get match+merge working first.

30 GEDCOM files totaling about 100,000 individuals shouldn't be a problem. If you upload all of them at once, just be willing to wait a day or so for them to finish processing. We have the capacity to process about 120,000 new individuals from GEDCOM uploads per day.

--Dallan 19:41, 15 November 2007 (EST)

The tree I tried to upload does overlap. I wanted do a test and then remove it. I'll have to try it with a different set of people. How do I cancel the upload--Scot 20:47, 19 November 2007 (EST)
The upload is canceled when we detect the overlap, so you don't need to do anything else. If this is just a test upload that you're planning to delete later anyway, I can go ahead and upload it for you. Just let me know. (We detect overlap with previous GEDCOM's so that people don't inadvertently create duplicates that they'll have to merge later. Once we get the GEDCOM re-upload match+merge functions working, the need for detecting overlaps will go away.)--Dallan 08:49, 20 November 2007 (EST)
What I wanted to test was whether or not it would display properly. I had edited the GEDCOM with MSWord. I received some strange error messages when I Imported it back into PAF, but it still loaded ok. What I did was add some external links in the sources. If you can check if this file works. there is no reason to upload it. Thanks--Scot 12:52, 20 November 2007 (EST)
I went ahead and removed the hold on the GEDCOM so that you could see what the pages look like. Feel free to delete it when you're through.--Dallan 14:57, 20 November 2007 (EST)
It did not appear as I had hoped. Test can be deleted. I don't see how to do it, though as I mistakenly uploaded it into whitlock33 instead of by itself--Scot 15:33, 20 November 2007 (EST)
That's a bit of a problem. You could either delete whitlock33 and re-upload it, or delete the test pages by clicking on the delete link at the top of each page. I'm sorry there's not an easier way to do it. I'm considering disallowing multiple GEDCOMs to be uploaded into the same tree (to address issues like this) in the future.--Dallan 15:47, 20 November 2007 (EST)

Error [17 November 2007]

While trying to save changes to a Person page at I repeatedly got the following error message. I have done the same with other pages with no problem.

A database query syntax error has occurred. This may indicate a bug in the software. The last attempted database query was:

   (SQL query hidden)

from within function "RecentChange::save". MySQL returned error "1205: Lock wait timeout exceeded; try restarting transaction (localhost)". --Scot 19:09, 16 November 2007 (EST)

I haven't seen this one before. I just edited the page and didn't get the error. I'll look into this more tomorrow and get back to you. (I have an idea on what might have happened, but it will take some time to check out.)--Dallan 01:22, 17 November 2007 (EST)
I think I figured out (and fixed) the problem. (The server had an unusually-heavy load for about 15-20 minutes during the time you experienced the problem last night.) Please let me know if you see this again.--Dallan 16:51, 17 November 2007 (EST)

match/merge project [18 January 2008]

I read that you are writing a match program and a merge program that will make the process of eliminating duplicates much easier. Here are my thoughts on the subject.

Thank you for your thoughts! I agree with them. My comments are interspersed.

I assume your match program will search for duplicates and present them as candidates to merge or not. But I hope it does not search the way searches for duplicates (indicated by a green leaf) which not only misses most duplicates, but breaks links that are very difficult to fix because it allows merges only on what it presents as candidate duplicates. The result is a father can be accessed from his son's record, but the son cannot be accessed from the father's record. WeRelate has similar problems with broken links when John Doe (2) is changed to John Doe (3) in a family record, but does not automatically rename the person records.

When you rename a page, two things should happen: (a) links to that page from the family pages should be updated to point to the new name, and (b) a redirect should be left at the old name that points to the new name. So there shouldn't be any broken links. Could you show me an example where there is a broken link as a result of renaming a page? It's a bug if there is one.

Editors should be able to merge John Doe (1) with John Doe (2) and expect that all the links and record names in the person and family records are correctly changed, whether or not your match program presented them as merge candidates.

I agree.

An editor should be able to select a pair of merge candidates for your merge program without them being presented by your match program. The Mormon's software PAF for home computers does this correctly, because an editor can specify the specific pair of records to be merged.

There will be a new "merge" link at the top of every person and family page so you can manually merge pages that the matching algorithm overlooked.

If an editor merges both parents of duplicate families, both sets of children should end up as one family under the same two parents and not be in two separate families having those two parents. This is a problem in An editor should then be presented with a list of duplicate children in the merged family so that the editor can merge each pair of duplicate children, which cannot be an automatic process because it requires editorial judgment.

Family pages will need to be merged as a separate action (it often requires editorial judgement as you say), but we can remind people to merge the family pages when the person pages for both husband and wife have been merged.

Your match program should not only match similar names, but also check for evidence, such as birth dates, that they are really the same person, so that a father and son with the same name are not presented as merge candidates or be merged accidently. The degree of match should be variable so that an editor can insist on an exact agreement of spellings and dates to eliminate duplicates from multiple GEDCOM uploads from the same user, or relax that restriction for imperfect matches in data from different users. A simple match of all the John Smiths without comparing the data for their parents and children would invite chaos. In most cases this evidence is obvious, but this evidence must be presented to the editor, otherwise the editor will not know if it is a good match or not. And if it is a good match, the editor needs to see which data will end up in the merged record. This is done in PAF which displays the parents and spouses of each pair of merge candidates and indicates which data will be in the merged record. This is important if there are differences in spellings and dates, but there is no way to judge this in WeRelate without printing out each page for manual comparison.

We're planning to have two somewhat-different matching algorithms to handle the separate cases of a user re-uploading a changed GEDCOM vs. matching across users. Matching across users will take into account the name and events for the individuals as well as names and events for people to which they are related.
I agree there needs to be a good way to visualize what the contribution of each merging record would be in the to-be-merged record. I'm still pondering over what that screen might look like. I'm leaning toward a screen that looks like the "diff" screen when you compare two versions of a page.

A related problem is what to do about duplicate family trees that represent competing theories about spelling and dates. solves this problem by storing alternative dates and spellings, but only one alternative is selected by an editor for display. Something similar should be done in WeRelate so that a merge will preserve alternative spellings and dates in the merged record. Greensburger 11:52, 19 November 2007 (EST)

WeRelate has the ability to capture and display "alternative" names and event information together with the "main" name and event information on the page.
Please let me know if it sounds like we're not going to address something. Thanks again for your comments.--Dallan 14:27, 19 November 2007 (EST)

Dallan, What is the status of the Match/merge project?--Scot 13:32, 17 January 2008 (EST)

Cleaning up the place index for non-US places took a lot longer than anticipated so I didn't get it done by the end of the year as I had expected. This quarter I've committed to launch the digital library and that's a pretty firm commitment, so match-merge has been pushed back to next quarter. I expect it will be ready end of May / early June.--Dallan 12:32, 18 January 2008 (EST)

Bug Report [25 November 2007]

Hi Dallan... Please see "Two Bugs" message left by Greensburger on my Talk Page please. Thanks! --Ronni 06:31, 24 November 2007 (EST)

Dallan, I responded to your questions on Knarrows talk page. Greensburger 14:00, 25 November 2007 (EST)

Surnames in bible genealogy and royal lineages [2 December 2007]

Hi Dallan... Do you see any problems with us leaving out the "Unknown" for surnames in the titles of our pages for the bible genealogy and royal lineages? "Adam Unknown and Eve Unknown" just ain't doing it for me. :) --Ronni 18:35, 28 November 2007 (EST)

That's funny! Of course we can omit surnames in these cases :-) --Dallan 21:59, 2 December 2007 (EST)

Big River [2 December 2007]

Dallan - I'm new at this - Let's see if I do this right. Big River is near Ukiah in Mendocino County, CA. I have never been there. I believe it is near the coast. Mark--Mtpina2 21:47, 28 November 2007 (EST)

You did it just right. I got confused because coincidentally there is a town named Big River in Canada, and sometimes people use CA for Canada.--Dallan 21:59, 2 December 2007 (EST)

Lexington, Rockbridge, Virginia [4 December 2007]

Hi Dallan,

Got your message and understand what you are saying. In the (possibly theoretical) situation in which an independent city does not have or keep any overlapping vital or legal records with the surrounding county, it could be argued that the county should be left off. However, even in that situation, I think it helps others locate their families by keeping keep the county as well.

In this specific case, I checked, and while Lexington is indeed categorized as an "independent city," it is ALSO the county seat of Rockbridge County, so I firmly believe that the county should be included in this case. Does that make sense?

Hope you are settling into your new home. It's good to be back with my family, though I still have a couple of dozen boxes left to unpack!

Regards, Mary--Mary 13:12, 3 December 2007 (EST)

Hi Mary,

It's nice to hear from you again. I hope the move went smoothly. (If I knew last April how much work this move was going to be, I'm not sure I would have moved. :-) I'll put the other independent cities in Virginia under their surrounding county. Thanks!

--Dallan 13:26, 4 December 2007 (EST)

Tree deletion problem [4 December 2007]


      The system has told me that the last gedcom file that I up loaded has overlaps with the previous one. Allthough I thought that I had deleted the previous one, I conclude that I didn't. The "open tree" screen shows me the tree without a name but I can't do anything with it. I would like to be delete both trees because I have a more accurate filr to upload. Can You help?

John Ryan John Ryan 00:41, 4 December 2007 (EST)

Hi John, Sorry about that. It looks like you've found a bug that lets you rename a tree to an empty name, and then you can't do anything with it. I've gone ahead and deleted your tree, and I've added your bug to the todo list. Thanks for pointing it out.--Dallan 13:26, 4 December 2007 (EST)

Thanks Dallan John John Ryan 23:18, 4 December 2007 (EST)

Feature Pages? [6 December 2007]

Well, you asked me to contribute and I did. I checked back tonight and my little contribution seems to have been blown away by a historical version of the featured pages page. I don't even see my effort in the revision history. I guess someone must have retrieved an old version of the page, with it's revision history and slammed it over my puny little effort. I'll be the first to admit that I'm still sort of a newbie, but that's harsh... :(--Jrm03063 23:07, 5 December 2007 (EST)

Hi, Thanks for contributing those three links! I just checked your contribution history (you can see this by clicking on MyRelate in the blue menu bar, then the "view contributions" link), and it looks like you added them to WeRelate:Featured page nominations, which is correct. The other page, WeRelate:Featured pages (which you didn't edit) shows previously-featured pages from last year. I'm thinking that once a page has been featured, it would get added to this page. I'm sorry for the confusion.
By the way, it's really difficult to completely eliminate a particular page revision. You'd have to delete the page, then restore all revisions except one. Even then, the previous revision stays in the deletion archive for a year and could be undeleted later. And except for Person and Family pages where you're the only person watching the page, or your own User and MySource pages, only administrators can delete pages.--Dallan 14:34, 6 December 2007 (EST)

Ballyforan article [6 December 2007]

Hi Dallan... I came across Ballyforan, County Roscommon, Republic of Ireland which is an article that should be in the place namespace. I created a page for it in the Place namespace, but can't redirect the "old" page to the "new" because it's outside the namespace. Should the article be deleted? --Ronni 18:17, 6 December 2007 (EST)

That's what I think too. I deleted the article and notified the author about the place page you created from it. Thanks!--Dallan 21:33, 6 December 2007 (EST)

adding to other's work [19 December 2007]

I was not sure where this would go if I posted at the water cooler so I will ask here. I am not sure what this would fit under - WeRelate etiquette or adding to other's work etc.

I do a lot of work in North Central Kentucky. I am the GenWeb county archivist for several counties and the assistant county coordinator for Bullitt Co. KY I am in the film a lot; transcribing a lot; recognize people a lot.

I got curious and did some searches of WeRelate for some of these counties and saw families I knew. In some cases I saw where I could provide the marriage certificate etc. by scanning film of the originals that I have access to and could easily upload this in WeRelate to the researcher's pages. Now if someone did this for ME I would be delighted and think the Genealogy Fairy visited me but I want to ask if this is considered part of the beauty of WeRelate that this can be done or if this would be considering "butting in" and messing with someone's research?-- Thanks, Anne MizLiv 11:00, 19 December 2007 (EST)

The reason I have placed my data on this site is to encourage exactly the kind of participation you describe. Many people have access to sources unavailable to me and I hope to benefit from that. does your area include Adair, Greene or Warren Counties?--Scot 12:00, 19 December 2007 (EST)

By all means, please do! You've identified the basic purpose of WeRelate -- making it easy for the "Genealogy Fairy" to visit you :-), and/or for you to be a "Genealogy Fairy" for someone else. Thank-you! --Dallan 13:27, 19 December 2007 (EST)

The area I have most on is Nelson, Washington, Spencer, Jefferson, Shelby, Bullitt & old Hardin Co. (the early years, mostly) but I do have a little film accessible for Warren Co. that I have kept handy because a lot of the Jefferson Co. and Hardin Co. people go over there.

I guess my second question would be is the easiest way to see who is researching in these areas to use the search engine for persons, leave everything else blank but put in the place ie Washington, KY and then just browse people coming up?

I am just trying to think of how best to see who is working on whom. I also have a few other places where I am constantly in film and could build my own "watchlist" where I might share this way if I found something. With WeRelate's ability to upload a scanned image its not like I would need the investment of time to transcribe (unless someone needed me to) and I could help now and again.

Anne--MizLiv 13:40, 19 December 2007 (EST)

First of all, thank you for offering to help people in this way! The best thing is probably to wait for a few weeks until the new search engine is complete. The new search engine will list results in reverse date order so pages that have added or edited recently will appear at the top of the list. It will also list basic information (e.g., birth date, death place) right on the search results screen, so it should be easier to see who you might have information for. And yes, the way I'd suggest using it would be to enter a place and leave everything else blank. It should be ready by mid-January. I originally thought it would have been ready by the end of this year, but the place cleanup took longer than expected. Now that that's over, other things are moving ahead again.--Dallan 12:00, 21 December 2007 (EST)

Featured page [23 December 2007]

Hi Dallan... I'm going to try and remember to change the Featured Page every Sunday (or there abouts :)) if that's ok with you. Have a good day! --Ronni 08:56, 23 December 2007 (EST)

Thank-you! The current featured page looks great btw. I like the idea of highlighting different types of pages to showcase the different kinds of things that people are doing now.--Dallan 23:53, 23 December 2007 (EST)

Source Deletion Weirdism [26 December 2007]

I just had a bizarre behavior when trying to delete a source from a Person page. It was the first source of several, and when I deleted it the existing sources were renumbered (as I would expect), but the content of the sources was not updated to reflect the change (S1 got the name of what was previously in S2, but the old S1 content remained). In order to avoid that issue, I tried to delete the first source by nulling out the whole thing - no source name, no source content, etc. I now have a person page with sources "S2" and "S3", and no obvious way to get them renumbered.

I'm assuming this is all part of some new code that recently hit, as it's the sort of thing I figure that I would have encountered before this. The person page that caused me trouble is John Tuttle (12).--Jrm03063 16:01, 25 December 2007 (EST)

Thanks for pointing this out. Yes, it was a result of the new changes I'd made. The bug is fixed now, and I went ahead and removed the empty source in John Tuttle's page.

In the future, if you delete a source citation by nulling it out, it will continue to show up in the edit screen as blank fields. You can remove it and have the rest of the sources renumbered by clicking on the "remove" link to the right.--Dallan 21:18, 26 December 2007 (EST)

Possible bug on the places page? [31 December 2007]

Dallan, I was adding coordinates (DEC) for some of my cemetery pages... all went well, entered the numbers, the preview page showed all was fine and brought up the google map with location. But once I saved the page, the google map was no longer visible. I tried hitting "refresh" but that did not do anything. When I click on the "larger map" link, it does open a map with the location showing fine and dandy. Possible bug?

Yep, that's a bug. Thanks for pointing this out. I'll fix this when I get back into the office on Wednesday.
It's fixed now. Place pages that have been cached on our servers will still have the small map missing until the cache is cleared out early tomorrow morning. But if you edit a place page later today the map should show up again right away.--Dallan 17:48, 2 January 2008 (EST)

Next question.. at one time I read you were thinking of setting up the ability to accept DMS coordinates as well as DEC. Is that still in the works? I use TMG (The Master Genealogist) software and it only accepts DMS and I have all those coordinates entered so I could easily transfer that information. --Msscarlet1957 00:35, 30 December 2007 (EST)

You should be able to enter DMS coordinates in the lat and lon fields. Just enter them with colon's in between (e.g., 60:30:15 N). The system should convert them to DEC when the page is saved. I just checked it and it should work; Please let me know if it's not. (I need to make the instructions clearer.)

Also just now I attempted to edit a place page and I am unable to change the "located in" area. I wanted to "redirect" a page (Place:Butternut Ridge/Lay Cemetery, Green Springs, Adams Twp., Seneca Co., Oh.), to a properly created page (Place:Butternut Ridge/Lay Cemetery, Adams (Township), Seneca, Ohio, United States), but upon entering the redirect information I get this message: The "Green Springs, Adams Twp., Seneca Co., Oh." place page does not exist (you must create it before creating this page). Well Green Springs is NOT in Seneca county, so I can't create that page, and it will not let me change that line. Help! --Msscarlet1957 01:14, 30 December 2007 (EST)

Sorry about that; I forgot about the case where you're just trying to redirect the page to the correct title. I fixed the bug (it was a simple fix) and went ahead and created the redirect for Place:Butternut Ridge/Lay Cemetery, Green Springs, Adams Twp., Seneca Co., Oh.--Dallan 19:01, 30 December 2007 (EST)

Thank you Dallan! Happy New Year!--Msscarlet1957 11:02, 31 December 2007 (EST)

Cemetery pages [31 December 2007]

Hi Dallan -- I know a few months ago, we were discussing having cemeteries with their own place pages. Msscarlet1957's earlier message reminded me to ask you if a standard nomenclature had been decided. Are cemetery place pages supposed to go under the town/township or directly under the county? I think the example I had posed when we were discussing this earlier was "Olivet Cemetery, Thorn Township, Perry, Ohio, United States" or just "Olivet Cemetery, Perry, Ohio, United States." Is there a standard way? --Ajcrow 11:12, 31 December 2007 (EST)

We don't have a standard yet, but we probably should. I'll post a message on the watercooler to request opinions.--Dallan 13:05, 31 December 2007 (EST)