User talk:Dallan/Archive 2011



Early people excluded from GEDCOM [19 January 2011]

I loaded a GEDCOM file today and 219 out of 242 people were automatically excluded because their dates are before 1750. I know that there has been talk about changing the GEDCOM upload to protect data quality, but I have a feeling that excluding pre-1750 people from being uploaded was not intended. On the "to do" list is the following item:

٠ auto-exclude pre-1500 death; pre-1450 birth in gedcom upload

I could not find (on the to-do list or the watercooler or the GEDCOM help talk page) any decision to exclude people whose dates are prior to 1750. Is this a bug? If so, could you please fix my GEDCOM file and include all the people, or at least all the people with dates after 1450? I would prefer that you allow me to include all the people, as I have already searched and my pre-1450 'Horton/de Horton' records (about 15 people) are NOT in WeRelate, and I would prefer not to have to enter them by hand. Certainly, I am not prepared to enter 219 people by hand.

I promise I will be diligent about matching records and careful about updating existing ones - as I was on the first significant GEDCOM I uploaded (Oct 23).

Please don't ask me to resubmit the GEDCOM. I spent about 2 hours matching sources already before I noticed that most of the people were being excluded.

Thanks, Dallan. --DataAnalyst 14:17, 4 December 2010 (EST)

According to a discussion on User talk:JBS66#something wrong on gedcom upload/review?, the 1750 limit was intended. I will add that I was personally happy to see this as there is too much junk being submitted and on people this old it has the potential to affect a lot of watchers. Many people this old are already entered with nice bios and carefully documented with sources, and I think people will read what is there and edit it more carefully working by hand rather than inputting a GEDCOM. And manual input will probably end up being better focused for the WeRelate audience. From what I have seen, you would not be guilty of adding junk, but I also think the normal edit process is far more flexible than the merge in the GEDCOM process, and you will get the exact result you want working by hand. --Jrich 15:30, 4 December 2010 (EST)

Jrich, are you volunteering to enter DataAnalyst's 209 pre-1750 people by hand?

I, too, feel that the pre-1750 cut-off is too severe. The bulk of my research is focused on a) colonial New England starting with 1630 and going through to about 1725, and b) Schwenningen, Germany. Almost exactly HALF of my 11,000-person Schwenningen GEDCOM consists of people born prior to 1750. I am *not* going to RE-enter 5,500 people by hand after having entered them, with citations, into my genealogy software program.

At a minimum, I think there should be exceptions made for "trusted" uploaders on a case-by-case basis, but no way should people be required/forced to RE-enter large numbers of individuals by hand.

Jillaine 20:22, 4 December 2010 (EST)

Folks won't be 'forced' into anything - they'll just walk away. Wiki is hard enough to have to learn to deal with without adding to the difficulty. BTW, my GEDCOM was rejected. I had twins and a couple of babies that arrived before the preacher did. --Janiejac 21:02, 4 December 2010 (EST)

I am willing to add DataAnalyst's names by hand. I have already entered about 10,000 names by hand and think that is the best way to add data and have encouraged others not to use GEDCOMs. I have also cleaned up a lot of errors from old GEDCOM uploads and like the idea of a cut-off date after 1700 whether it is 1750 or 1701 makes no difference to me. --Susan Irish 21:10, 4 December 2010 (EST)

I'm going to add the same comment I have added on other pages. Manual data entry introduces errors - everything from typos in dates and names to accidentally skipping entire generations. Both my husband and I address data quality issues in our professional lives and we would never recommend manual data entry of something that is already in machine-readable form and formated for uploading.

I don't want to enter records manually that have already been proofread in another system, and I don't want anyone else entering them either! If they did, I would feel compelled to proofread the results, and I've done that already in my own database. How tedious!

A much better use of time is to check records after they have been automatically uploaded. That way, you spend your time on a higher-order task - namely, does the data (after merging records) make sense - not a low-order task like how many typos did I introduce.

I consider myself a very careful record-keeper, but in a database of about 8000 individuals, I found that I had typos in maybe a dozen dates when I did a thorough proof-reading a couple of years ago. That is an error rate well under 1%. I believe that in the work world, a data entry error rate of 3-5% is considered not unusual (which works out to about 600-1000 errors in 10,000 individuals with 2 dates each). Studies show that even if 2 professional typists independently type the same information from the same hand-written (presumably legible) source and you get a computer to compare the results and identify all discrepancies, there is still a measurable error rate - situations in which both typists made the same mistake and the computer could not recognize the error.

So, I'm going to say again - if WeRelate changes its philosophy to encourage manual data entry of information that is already in someone's desktop software, I will not only be an unhappy camper, but I will likely give up on the site as a lost cause. I wholeheartedly agree with the philosophy of both an automated and manual review of each GEDCOM file before it is uploaded (with the manual review being eliminated once a person has proven their diligence), but preventing uploading of high-quality data simply because it is prior to an arbitrary cutoff date is not the way to go.

Did I state my case strongly enough? Sorry if I sound like I am on a rant - I must be picking up the attitude from some of my co-workers. But I am somewhat of an expert in the field, and I want to make sure that people understand that this is not a case where manual data entry is as good as an upload. Computers do certain things (like copying data exactly) much better than people do, and should be allowed to do those tasks. Let people do what they are better than computers at (like matching and making decisions in merges). --DataAnalyst 22:59, 4 December 2010 (EST)

What she said! Jillaine 08:21, 5 December 2010 (EST)

WeRelate has a fundamental design flaw and allowing bulk uploading exposes that flaw, and that is insufficient quality control on input data. Lack of quality control is part of the downfall of most Internet sites like the Ancestry Family Trees, AFN and PRF on familysearch, etc. Everybody talks about requiring sources, high quality sources, etc., but I don't believe there is a way to quantify, measure and judge quality that can be automated. So unless there is some form of review (like having watchers listed on a page reviewing and ratifying changes before they become permanent), I think the danger of GEDCOM upload is worse than the benefits. It implies that this process of merging different researcher's work should be easy and it should all work the way it does on your home computer when there are inherently difficulties with style, content, formatting, and interpretation of data.

I agree with comments about introduction of errors, but it is not a drop dead issue because over time all pages will be looked at, reviewed, checked, and probably corrected. Part of our job as a WeRelate users is to review changes we get notified of. Sooner or later, somebody that really cares about an individual will catch or correct that error. And the database that is WeRelate will get more and more valuable. The data of any mature computer project has more intrinsic value than the hardware and software and must be protected. If the speed of changes is slow, then this review process is capable of providing feedback soon enough to head off further damage, but when mass updates are done before feedback can be given, more damage is done..

The GEDCOM process allows people to mass-upload 5000 people and trusts them, often in their first interaction with WeRelate, to follow the correct procedures in a very complex process. In one night, a new user who is sure everything they have is correct and that nobody else can possibly know all they know, can come along and damage scores of existing pages of pre-1750 where hundreds of individual lines merge into those common ancestors.

I have tried a GEDCOM upload and I found the process to be awkward and very nearly as time consuming as it took me to create the GEDCOM. This is not a comment on the process, I think it is inherent in the difficulty of what you are doing. I get frustrated in the merge of matching records because I would like to merge my statement of the fact with the one that is there, but I have to choose one or the other. I missed tiny details and these oversights end up as errors on the pages after I was done. But if I didn't explicitly visit the page after uploading I wouldn't know. I have seen several people put in facts regardless of the presence of an existing source on the page refuting that fact, because the merge page in the upload process is not the easiest way to see and digest what is already there.

I know the data entry process seems overwhelming, but if you do some every night, it actually doesn't take that long (having two computers help - one to copy from and one to copy to). I bet Susan Irish is averaging 200-300 changes when she brings up her watchlist and it shows the number of changes she made in the last 3 days. It took over 10 years for me to find and collect good data on the 5000 people in my personal family tree, only a year to check it and reenter into WeRelate cleanly and concisely. In the process I discovered the research I thought was so thorough had many holes in it which I was able to go back and fill-in. It proved a great benefit to the quality of my own data.

I also think comments about introduction of errors overlook the issue of audience. Whomever your GEDCOM was created for is most likely not written for the general public that makes up the WeRelate audience. Many GEDCOMs that get uploaded include verbatim transcripts of copyrighted sources or email and street addresses that probably don't need to be exposed to the Internet. If they provide sources, they are often redundant sources that reflect the history of how the conclusion was discovered rather than a streamlined, up-to-date set of sources needed to make the convincing argument with a minimum of repetition. References to sources are often following some personal notational style, or comments relate to not-included information that the researcher knows about but the WeRelate reader wouldn't, or ancestors are marked, or other personal perspective included. I believe the WeRelate page ends up better if you sit down and craft it specifically to suit WeRelate.

Perhaps a trusted uploader is a reasonable compromise. Probably the cut-off year should be different in different countries. If this is done, hopefully it will not just be given to anybody that asks, but actually require some demonstration that the person is qualified to do pre-1750 genealogy (my pet peeve: that they are committed to providing sources since they obviously don't have first-hand knowledge, another peeve: that they understand the Julian/Gregorian calendar issues). --Jrich 12:06, 5 December 2010 (EST)

Trusted uploaders can now upload gedcom's back to 1550. I agree in the ideal world the cut-off year would be different for different countries. WeRelate walks a fine line between making the upload process easy and ensuring that we don't get too much inaccurate data. I don't claim that we've solved the problem; we're still trying to figure it out. For what it's worth, it appears that plans to import only "close family profiles" when they re-enable their gedcom uploader.--Dallan 18:59, 19 January 2011 (EST)

Topic shift to GEDCOM Upload YES or NO [19 January 2011]

It sounds to me like WeRelate is having an identity crisis. Will it be a site for expert genealogists to post their info or will it be a place where the family historian will be able to post and collaborate with others of like interests. There is this age-old tension between those who say you should never 'publish' data without an original source citation and those who have only 'that's what my mother told me'. Perhaps Jrich is overlooking the danger that the bar will be set so high that only experts will feel comfortable in this environment. (This was JanieJac; she forgot to sign)

The initial topic of this thread was the pre-1750 cut off for GEDCOM uploads, NOT the abandonment of GEDCOM uploads altogether. I've inserted a new header where we shifted gears, so that the pre-1750 cut off topic can be handled separately.

I am not aware that there is any plan underway to eliminate GEDCOM upload. It's clear that there are those who prefer and have time to manually add pages. By all means, continue on. But there are others, myself included, and I would guess DataAnalyst as well, who record their research on their personal PCs, and who will continue to do so. I left Wikia/Familypedia because I found the manual process atrociously slow, and was frustrated that I had to re-enter everything. It was the GEDCOM upload feature that drew me to WeRelate.

jrich wrote: "I don't believe there is a way to quantify, measure and judge quality that can be automated."

I might agree if you'd written "I don't believe there is a PERFECT way..." What's that phrase? "Don't let perfect be the enemy of good." I think there are ways -- less than perfect -- that can help us diminish the really bad uploads. We didn't initially go that route because we didn't want to discourage people from uploading. But I think we've learned our lesson. The cost of unabashed GEDCOM uploading is too high. I don't think we should abandon GEDCOM upload altogether, though. I do think we should make first-time uploaders jump through a different set of hoops.

For example, we might require first-timer uploaders to answer a mini survey that "scores" the quality of answers. If the score is too low, WeRelate responds with: "We're sorry; your GEDCOM does not qualify for inclusion in WeRelate at this time. Please read [link] to understand what makes an acceptable GEDCOM at WeRelate, make the necessary changes to your file, and try again. In the meantime, here are instructions [link] for creating pages manually."

Or, we require that they create a 2- or 3-generation family manually before qualifying for GEDCOM upload status.

I certainly do not think we should be hampering people who have demonstrated commitment to and interest in WeRelate by a) abandoning GEDCOM upload and b) placing pre-YEAR time limits on their uploads (previous topic).

jrich then wrote: "In one night, a new user who is sure everything they have is correct and that nobody else can possibly know all they know, can come along and damage scores of existing pages..."

I don't think this is true anymore; I believe that there is now an automated way of noticing when there are too many duplicates, in which case the GEDCOM is not added to the site.

jrich also wrote: " Whomever your GEDCOM was created for is most likely not written for the general public that makes up the WeRelate audience."

janiejac added: "Will it be a site for expert genealogists to post their info or will it be a place where the family historian will be able to post and collaborate with others of like interests."

I don't think that the "general public" is WeRelate's *target* audience at all (in fact, as a communications professional, the "general public" should never be ANYone's target audience); neither is it (or should it be just yet) the expert genealogist. (I can say more about that separately if people want.) I DO think WR's target audience is "the family historian who wants to collaborate with others" and we could probably mature our communications efforts and tools to attract and retain such individuals.

-- Jillaine 18:52, 5 December 2010 (EST)

With due respect, Jillaine, I moved the topic header back below my post because my post was not to this topic, but to the original topic above. I am not thinking or asking that GEDCOM uploads be abandoned, but I do feel GEDCOM entry is inherently inferior because people are generally reusing data written for a different purpose, and I think people that can't imagine life without GEDCOM upload maybe haven't give it a fair try or are overwhelmed by the thought, so I feel pointing what its shortcoming is part of why I think limiting its use is valid.

I'm not sure we disagree much on this; although I think our reasoning differs. GEDCOM upload is only inferior when we allow unfettered use of it. As I've said above, I think we've learned our lesson about this. And I concur with you that some sort of limitation is necessary. As for giving manual entry a fair try, I gave it more than a fair try over at familypedia. Glad you like manual entry. I do not-- not for large amounts of data. Jillaine 09:42, 13 December 2010 (EST)

In addition there are other reasons why a 1750 limit makes sense. It is not a point where any of your data should be based on stuff your mother told them. At this point in the past, you have too great a chance of intersecting other family trees, significant culture differences, handwriting differences, and complicated calendar issues to understand, to allow mass updates. I am in no way trying to limit the access of people to pre-1750 pages by manual entry, nor do I mind honest errors, or occasional typos. I desperately fear giving unproven researchers, maybe even proven researchers, the power to automate their error-making in a region of the unified tree where they are most likely to create trouble for others with their sloppiness, their copying of unproven websites, and their lack of reading what is already on pages.

Maybe you haven't taken a look at the GEDCOM upload process in a while. Much of your concern is addressed in the current automated, scoring and human-review process. Jillaine 09:42, 13 December 2010 (EST)

And yes, perhaps I do think that in a collaborative environment, you have slightly more responsibility to be able to prove what you say, than if you are just posting your data on a read-only website where the authorship is clear and the data is not meant to be part of a shared product, only a take-it-or-leave-it data dump. That point doesn't pertain to the use of GEDCOM upload, but is a clarification that while I don't want this site limited to professional genealogists (because I think the focus of family interest can make the amateur just as capable of contributing) but I do think people should feel that relatively high standards of objective accuracy are expected. --Jrich 21:09, 5 December 2010 (EST)

I am in full agreement with you on this paragraph. :-) Jillaine 09:42, 13 December 2010 (EST)
There's no plan to stop gedcom upload. We've had enough discussion to show that there are a lot of people in both camps: online entry and gedcom upload. There are valid arguments for both camps and I believe we must support both. Now that we allow "trusted" uploaders to import people back to 1550, I think the next question is what constitutes a trusted uploader. It seems like we need to decide what an uploader needs to do in order to be added to the trusted list.--Dallan 18:59, 19 January 2011 (EST)

Two requests [19 January 2011]

Hello Dallan, is it possible for you to add text on the New User account creation page that asks users not to use their email address as a user name? My other thought on this is that, perhaps, you could prevent users from creating a user name that contains the character @.

The other request is regarding blank user pages. I've seen a few users create pages like User:Frothingham/ and not realize it's a separate page from their main user page. Since the box on the Add User Page is already filled in with Username/, they may not realize they need to type in a title - and simply press the Add page button. Maybe if the Username/ text were hidden, and the title box empty, users would be less confused. Thank you, --Jennifer (JBS66) 07:17, 13 December 2010 (EST)

done.--Dallan 18:59, 19 January 2011 (EST)

Germany place pages [19 January 2011]

Dallan, can you please clarify how place pages for Germany should be title. I've gone through the Germany talk pages, and consulted with Jillaine, but I'm still unsure...

It looks like our pages are organized like this: town, historical kreis, province, historical Stadt, Germany. However, on the Place talk:Germany page, you said pages should be titled town, kreis, stadt, Germany. --Jennifer (JBS66) 07:27, 13 December 2010 (EST)

Dallan, please also see the conversation here. --Jennifer (JBS66) 05:22, 15 December 2010 (EST)
In my opinion (I'm willing to talked into a different opinion, because I'm no expert), I think that places in Germany should be titled "town, historical kreis, historical stadt, Germany". An exception is places in Preußen. Because half of Germany was under Preußen in 1900, I believe places in Preußen should be titled "town, historical kreis, historical province, Preußen, Germany".
I'm sure that many places in Germany are not titled that way. But ought to be the goal, at least in my un-expert opinion.--Dallan 18:59, 19 January 2011 (EST)

Characters appear to be affecting proper indexing of pages [19 January 2011]

Dallan, can you please take a look at the contributions for this user. The Arabic characters appear to be messing up the proper (1) indexing format. Thanks, --Jennifer (JBS66) 17:07, 15 December 2010 (EST)

Arabic characters are displayed right-to-left, instead of left-to-right, and that's causing some difficulty. It's not an easy thing to fix.--Dallan 18:59, 19 January 2011 (EST)

Possible loss of data during gedcom upload [19 January 2011]

Dallan, User:Ekjansen has noticed that on more then one occasion, a family that was in an uploaded gedcom failed to import into WR. Are you aware of any bugs that might be causing this? --Jennifer (JBS66) 12:10, 19 December 2010 (EST)

No. If he can give me an example I'd be happy to look into it.--Dallan 18:59, 19 January 2011 (EST)

wikipedia - werelate agent [19 January 2011]

This morning the WeRelate agent created Template:Wp-Mary Walcott. However the text isn't exactly the same as the article I get when I visit wikipedia. Compare the last line of the template with the end of the first section of the wikipedia article. This is somewhat inconvenient because with this change, most of the comments posted on Person:Mary Walcott (2) won't make much sense. If I read things right, it looks like the WeRelate agent picked up a version of the page from 25 Oct and missed the last three edits. --Jrich 13:42, 19 December 2010 (EST)

I assume, after some reflection, that the WeRelate agent is using a cached copy of wikipedia even when creating new templates, so I am going to edit the template itself, for now. I assume when the wikipedia update process that runs every 6 months, or so, next executes, it will bring everything up to date. --Jrich 16:46, 20 December 2010 (EST)

Right.--Dallan 18:59, 19 January 2011 (EST)

GEDCOM attached to wrong tree [26 January 2011]


I attached the following Gedcom to the wrong tree.

 Import: 22 Dec 2009

It should be attached to the Albert Henry Luehr tree and not the Herman Richter tree. Is there anyway to remedy this ?

Many thanks!

Ruth Ellen--RELuehr 21:54, 25 August 2010 (EDT)--RELuehr 20:38, 21 December 2010 (EST)

I know it's been awhile. If you're still interested let me know and I'll move everyone over.--Dallan 18:59, 19 January 2011 (EST)

GEDCOM attached to wrong tree [27 January 2011]


I attached the following Gedcom to the wrong tree.

 Import: 22 Dec 2009

It should be attached to the Albert Henry Luehr tree and not the Herman Richter tree. Is there anyway to remedy this ?

Many thanks!

Ruth Ellen--RELuehr 21:54, 25 August 2010 (EDT)--RELuehr 20:38, 21 December 2010 (EST)

I know it's been awhile. If you're still interested let me know and I'll move everyone over.--Dallan 18:59, 19 January 2011 (EST)

Yes, please! Ruth Ellen--RELuehr 01:28, 26 January 2011 (EST)

Ok, I moved the pages that were created on December 22-23, 2009 from the Herman Richter tree to the Albert Henry Luehr tree. (This also includes pages in the Herman Richter tree that you may have edited online that day.) It looks like you had added most of these pages to the Albert Henry Luehr tree already. So in the end I added 53 more pages to the Albert Henry Luehr tree, and removed 328 pages from the Herman Richter tree. Let me know if anything looks "wonky".--Dallan 15:37, 27 January 2011 (EST)

RootsTech in February 2011? [19 January 2011]


Are you planning on attending the RootsTech conference in SLC in February? I'm considering going.

--Nathan 03:30, 22 December 2010 (EST)

No, it's too far. I wish they would post videos on YouTube or something though.--Dallan 18:59, 19 January 2011 (EST)

help please on lost tree [29 January 2011]

Help me please.. I just deleted my tree, and I didn't mean to....--Caryslady 15:51, 13 January 2011 (EST)

Caryslady - I'll restore the pages for you. --Jennifer (JBS66) 15:52, 13 January 2011 (EST)

Jennifer, since you seem have such extraordinary influence here, can you please restore my deleted GEDCOM file ‎"philgibbs1.ged"? --BobC 21:54, 19 January 2011 (EST)

I can restore the gedcom if you want, but not any edits you might have done to it.--Dallan 22:47, 19 January 2011 (EST)
Thanks Dallan, but I made such significant edits to the GEDCOM upload over a couple months as time permitted, and I'm just not willing to research and recreate that work again. It is distant enough from me that although bothersome it is not significant enough to me to do over again from scratch. I'll keep it as a lesson learned -- although it was only 100 names I'll keep my future GEDCOM uploads to something more manageable that won't take me as long to add, update and edit. Guess it gave me somewhat a reality check. Thanks anyway for your offer. --BobC 23:37, 28 January 2011 (EST)

Report for pages with -- -- [26 January 2011]

Dallan, is there any way to create a list of names with -- -- or [--?--] in the given or surname fields (ie Person:-- -- Payne (4))? These are a bit hard to find - but it would be a great cleanup project to rename these! Thanks, --Jennifer (JBS66) 16:18, 15 January 2011 (EST)

Click on "Browse pages" from the Admin menu and enter "Person:--". That should do it. Thanks.--Dallan 18:59, 19 January 2011 (EST)
It seems that pages that have already been renamed also appear on the Browse list. Does it show redirects or is it not updated regularly? --Jennifer (JBS66) 19:08, 20 January 2011 (EST)
I just changed "Browse pages" so that it lists only non-redirected pages. I think that makes sense.--Dallan 23:10, 25 January 2011 (EST)
Thanks Dallan, that works much better :-) --Jennifer (JBS66) 15:35, 26 January 2011 (EST)

Dallans work plan [25 January 2011]


Would you consider re-thinking your to-do list so we can actually see - not our wish list, but a short list of what you are actually working on now and plan for the near future. So much has to be done in the background that we can't really know what is being done or if we can expect our desired changes any where in the near future. Maybe we actually need two lists; one to report our wants and problem areas and a second short list to sort of know what you are actually working toward in the coming month. As you strike off things from the list, this would help us get a sense of moving forward. It also would help us know and understand when you're having to take a break for a contract with Family Search. I think this would give us a better feel as to the status of things. I understand some things have to be dealt with right away even though they aren't on the list, but you get the general idea. --Janiejac 21:26, 19 January 2011 (EST)

I've gone back to consulting full-time (not FamilySearch; other companies), so progress on the todo list has been pretty slow. I've been focusing on requests from the administrators, especially to decrease the work required to monitor incoming gedcom's. And I just finished enhancing search to improve searching sources. But you're right -- I need to update the todo list with this information. I'll do that right now.--Dallan 23:10, 25 January 2011 (EST)

Codes showing in Chrome [25 January 2011]

Hi Dallan! This morning, I've noticed that some pages are displaying some code (& lt; and & gt;) around the top menu items and some items on the left-hand menu. (I had to add a space after the ampersand, as it kept converting it to the greater than/less than symbols.) For example, the "Home" link is displaying as & lt;home& gt; It isn't doing it on all pages for me, but it is doing it on the main page and some Person pages, such as Person:Martha Dale (3). It's doing this in Chrome, but not in Firefox or Safari. -- Amy (Ajcrow) 07:32, 24 January 2011 (EST)

We had some problems with the website yesterday, which caused what you were seeing. (We had some other problems early this morning that took the website down completely for an hour or so.) Things should be back to normal now.--Dallan 23:10, 25 January 2011 (EST)

Thanks for New Source Update [15 February 2011]

There is a real change in the results of a searce of Source and Place. So much better and I want to Thank you for this. Sandralpond--Sandralpond 10:25, 26 January 2011 (EST)

Places [15 February 2011]

Places-- Many items in the "Places" section of my DURGEE LTD gedcom are not places at all, just occupations, military units served, or ages. How can somebody remove these non-Places?--WAJoyce 19:38, 14 February 2011 (EST)

They can be removed (or changed into Occupation, etc. events) by editing the pages that they appear on, but I wouldn't think it would be a high priority -- people can probably figure out what's meant. I'd remove or update those places when you have another reason to visit or edit the page.--Dallan 20:02, 14 February 2011 (EST)
These pages have not yet been created on WeRelate. This file is a gedcom that is currently in the queue. These can, most likely, be fixed in your home genealogy software. Many (but not all) software packages have a details, description, or note field where you can place text that are not really places. --Jennifer (JBS66) 04:55, 15 February 2011 (EST)

importing my gedcom [4 March 2011]

It states that I have to contact you regarding uploading my gedcom. Help??--Kellyknapp 12:46, 4 March 2011 (EST)

Please take a look at it now. (Every once in awhile a gedcom is unable to be reviewed. But it's a transient problem and I haven't been able to track it down yet.) Anyway, your gedcom can be reviewed now.--Dallan 18:09, 4 March 2011 (EST)

Name prefixes [10 March 2011]

Dallan, some time ago, you changed how pages are titled when entered manually. Names with prefixes such as van, der, de, etc are now titled in lower case. However, the gedcom uploader was never changed. So, we now have a situation where we could have a page Albert de Jong (1) and Albert De Jong (1). Is there any possibility of changing the gedcom uploader as well? I wanted to ask before I added it to your to-do list. There is a small conversation with added details about this here as well. Thank you, --Jennifer (JBS66) 06:25, 5 March 2011 (EST)

Yes; I'll take care of that in the next few days. Thanks for reminding me.--Dallan 14:05, 10 March 2011 (EST)

Wrapping text [10 March 2011]

Dallan, I'm wondering if it's possible to wrap text when displaying the Review Merge screen. When looking at pages such as this one it is difficult to compare the differences between the two. --Jennifer (JBS66) 10:45, 7 March 2011 (EST)

I checked this page in IE8, Firefox, and Chrome, and it seems to be wrapping the text in all three browsers. The second column is about three times as wide as the first, because it tends to contain more information. I can force both columns to always be the same width, but then the compare table will end up being longer. Would this help?--Dallan 14:05, 10 March 2011 (EST)
For what it's worth, it's really wide on my brownser (Firefox) because of the long URL which is displayed raw in the diff screen. --Jrich 14:38, 10 March 2011 (EST)
Ah, the reason I didn't see it is probably because I have a widescreen laptop. There's not much I can do about this issue unfortunately.--Dallan 17:37, 10 March 2011 (EST)

Can't sign up at Sandbox [10 March 2011]

I tried to sign up at the Sandbox. I didn't get a confirmation email. Had it sent twice. Checked my spam folder. I am SandCthrnvl --Cthrnvl 11:05, 9 March 2011 (EST)

That's odd. I tried just now to sign up and got a confirmation mail sent, but it could be an intermittent problem on that machine. I confirmed your account so you should be all set to go. If you import a gedcom on the sandbox, let me know and I'll push it through.--Dallan 14:05, 10 March 2011 (EST)

Deleting a Tree [27 March 2011]

Per the help .... I misunderstood; yes, it will delete the contents of the tree. If you just want to delete the tree itself, without deleting the contents, let me know what trees you want to delete and I'll delete them for you. You'll still be watching the pages, but they won't be associated to the tree anymore.--Dallan 20:05, 17 December 2010 (EST) --

My tree "Cartmill GED Morgan" now comes up as the default choice whenever I add something. It was just a test tree, however the content it references is still good***. I would either like to delete my tree "Cartmill GED Morgan" or make it so my default tree is the one that everything defaults to**. Thanks and sorry to bother you, but it looks like this is the only way to accomplish this.

    • Is there a way to control which of your trees is the default tree? Couldn't tell from the help.
      • Not clear from the notes if "content deletion" is actually destructive. One would assume that if others are linked to the pages then they would be retained. Most or all of the pages in this tree are in my default tree. However, I don't want to just assume when destruction is involved!--srblac 10:19, 13 March 2011 (EDT)

An hypothesis of mine based on a previous experience is that the default tree is the first one alphabetically. I believe (a long time ago so it's fuzzy) that I was able to rename a tree to restore Default to living up to its name.--Jrich 12:40, 13 March 2011 (EDT)
The trees are indeed listed in alphabetical order, and the first tree alphabetically is the default. You can rename a tree by selecting "Trees" from the MyRelate menu, which will allow you to make a different tree the default.
If you delete a tree, the tree's pages will be deleted if they're not in another of your trees and if no one else is watching them. So you may not want to delete the tree.
In the next couple of days I'll modify how tree-renaming works so if when you rename a tree, you give it the same name as an existing tree, the system will merge the two trees. I'll post a message here when that's working.--Dallan 01:43, 15 March 2011 (EDT)

Thanks, that helped me to learn a few things about trees. It was a very small tree so I moved all of the entries into my default tree and then deleted it. I think the renaming option is still a good idea since that is essentially what I did manually.

Oops - I forgot to post the message here :-(. I'm glad you saw it on the watercooler.--Dallan 23:31, 27 March 2011 (EDT)

Search Engines [16 March 2011]

I was wondering what the current status of WeRelate is versus various search engines.

I tried a google search for a long-existent page title in quotes (e.q., formed like, "Family:John Public and Jane Doe") and the vast majority of the time, all it found were some Category pages listing the page title. It did not find the Family page itself even though I was searching using its own title string. Yahoo and bing returned nothing at all. A few presidents and their wives did work. Is this because of their wikipedia connection?

Needless to say searching for names and dates ( "John Public" "Jane Doe" year-of-marriage) brought nothing.

I tried some Persons. Some worked. Some didn't. Person:Edmund Freeman (3) has wikipedia material, but Person:Edmund Freeman (24) doesn't and both get returned. However Person:Edmund Freeman (2), Person:Edmund Freeman (4), and others don't? --Jrich 19:39, 15 March 2011 (EDT)

Search engines like google tend not to index every page of websites with millions of pages like WeRelate. I just entered " +smith" into google, and google says it found 9580 results. Searching for Smith in the WeRelate search engine returns 73545 results. Based upon this, I'd say that google indexes around 1/8 of the pages at WeRelate. This agrees with an experiment that I did on RootsWeb in 2005: I wrote a crawler to index as pages on RootsWeb as I could find, searched for Smith, and found many more pages than Google had indexed. This page at google states that "It's perfectly normal for not all the pages on a site to be indexed". It doesn't appear that there's anything I can do to ensure that all pages will be indexed.--Dallan 21:50, 16 March 2011 (EDT)

Homewood surname page [17 March 2011]

Dallan The Homewood surname page material is scrambled. It doesn't make any sense. The lead-off paragraph is about 3 paragraphs into the mess. It is all mixed up. How do you move paragraphs around? I'd scrap it and begin again. The paragraph after the opening paragraph is no where near the opening paragraph, and so on. I thought I had erased it from the site and there it is. Interesting. ken--Kenqua 20:54, 17 March 2011 (EDT)

To move paragraphs around you edit the page (click on the edit link), then use cut (control-X) and paste (control-V) to move text, just like you would in MS Word. I restored the text that you had originally entered. If you prefer, I'll delete it so you can start over.--Dallan 21:02, 17 March 2011 (EDT)

add photo to my user page [23 March 2011]

Hi Dallan, I've uploaded a photo of myself that I would like to add to my user page. How do I link it to that page? I can't figure it out. Thank you ahead of time for your help. Kathleen Newcomer--kath newc 08:42, 23 March 2011 (EDT)

Hello Kathleen, I think that you just had the wrong file name for the image on your user page. I fixed the link and resized the image. Let me know if you need any additional help. --Jennifer (JBS66) 08:54, 23 March 2011 (EDT)

Status of my GEDCOM [7 April 2011]

Ach! It says "This GEDCOM is in status 0. Please contact" It takes time to work through all the warnings. Delete the GEDCOM and I'll upload it again later. I've got some of the warnings fixed but haven't had time to check them all. --Janiejac 19:11, 31 March 2011 (EDT)

We haven't done anything to it yet. Perhaps there was a hiccup when you checked. I just checked and the file loaded ok. Please try again.--Judy (jlanoux) 20:37, 31 March 2011 (EDT)
There's a strange bug that seems to occur only once in a great while, where the gedcom review program says that a gedcom is in status 0. I think it's due to network problems, because whenever I look at it, it's fine. The next time I work on gedcom review, I'll change the program to simply re-try. Sorry for the problem.--Dallan 20:06, 7 April 2011 (EDT)

Bot error [7 April 2011]

This edit - [1] - has somehow substituted the wrong title name. AndrewRT 17:44, 3 April 2011 (EDT)

That's odd. I corrected it manually. The rest of the text from Wikipedia will be copied down during the next wikipedia refresh, hopefully later this month.--Dallan 20:06, 7 April 2011 (EDT)

Junk trees [7 April 2011]

I somehow came across this tree - consisting solely of 600 individuals named "unknown." Can you delete? --Amelia 18:22, 7 April 2011 (EDT)

And this user's three trees, 2500 unknowns.
And 700 people uploaded by this user in Oct 2007
And this one--Amelia 18:56, 7 April 2011 (EDT)
They're being deleted now.---Dallan 20:06, 7 April 2011 (EDT)

Dick Eastman's article on WR [11 April 2011]

Dick Eastman wrote an excellent piece about WeRelate on Sunday's Plus Edition. Would be good if he would give permission to republish it here - somewhere. --Janiejac 23:26, 10 April 2011 (EDT)

Thanks for pointing this out! I get the plus edition but skipped over that article. It is a great article. I'll ask him if we can republish a portion of it here.--Dallan 17:33, 11 April 2011 (EDT)

transcriptions [11 April 2011]

Somewhere - I can't find where - there was an extensive discussion about the possibility of having a separate name space for transcriptions. If I remember right, the consensus was that eventually it would be good to have such a name space, so why not go ahead and set it up now? I'm wondering how high on the priority list this might be?? I'd really like to have this feature! --Janiejac 23:31, 10 April 2011 (EDT)

You're in luck! I added the initial support for Transcripts a couple of days ago but haven't told anyone about it yet :-). So now's your chance to create the first transcript page. Select "Other page" from the Add menu, then change the namespace to "Transcript" and create the page. Please follow the naming conventions on Proposal for Transcript Management. Over the next week I'll make it possible to cite a Transcript page from a source citation on a Person/Family page, and once I've done that I'll add "Transcript" as a choice to the "Add" menu.--Dallan 17:33, 11 April 2011 (EDT)

WP template questions [25 April 2011]

Hi Dallan. Did the job run this morning to update source-wp templates? Also, if a user changes the source-wikipedia template to a manually created WP-article name template, does that template get populated in the weekly job? I'm just wondering if this is something we need to reverse/discourage.--Amelia 18:13, 17 April 2011 (EDT)

I'm running a job this weekend to refresh all WP templates from the most-recent extract of WP. This takes a few days. I'm hoping it will finish tomorrow. I believe this job also processes the source-wikipedia templates like the normal weekly job.
Regarding George Putnam, if the template had been created one day earlier, it would have been picked up by the job that's running now. Unfortunately, I started that job just before this template was added, which means that now it won't get refreshed until the next time I refresh all WP templates, which won't be for several months. So I reverted it back to the source-wikipedia template you had earlier, which will cause it to be refreshed if not tomorrow, then definitely next weekend. Yes, manually creating WP-article name templates should be discouraged, because they won't get populated until the "refresh all templates" job is run, which only happens a couple of times a year, whereas the source-wikipedia templates are processed weekly. Help:Guidelines for use of Wikipedia recommends using source-wikipedia.--Dallan 23:04, 17 April 2011 (EDT)
If someone creates a WP-article template and I change that to a source-wikipedia template, should I keep or remove the WP-article template that was created? For example in this edit I replaced the template, which leaves this template page. Will the weekly run know to add content to that page? --Jennifer (JBS66) 10:18, 19 April 2011 (EDT)
Looking through the code it's not the expected case to find the Wp- template page already there for a source-wikipedia reference, but it looks like it will be fine as long as the Wp- template page either doesn't have a copy-wikipedia template (in which case one will be added), or its copy-wikipedia template points to the same Wikipedia page as the source-wikipedia template.--Dallan 10:43, 19 April 2011 (EDT)
Ok, I'll keep the page (rather than deleting it), but I'll blank it out just to be sure. Thanks, --Jennifer (JBS66) 10:48, 19 April 2011 (EDT)

Does this mean the instructions at Help:Place_pages#How_do_I_include_wikipedia_text_into_the_place_page.3F should be removed? How has the process under Simpler alternative for including text from Wikipedia changed? Is the source-wikipedia template now the one being converted weekly? --Jennifer (JBS66) 06:02, 25 April 2011 (EDT)

Yes, that section was out of date - thanks for noticing it. I've re-written it.--Dallan 09:16, 25 April 2011 (EDT)

localhost [18 April 2011]

Hi Dallan, just got an email about changes you made and the view-the-changes link (and all the other links) in the email had the host name localhost, which of course, didn't work. Assume it's a one-time thing, like if you just did an edit while logged on the server, or there was it a DNS hiccup? --Jrich 13:06, 18 April 2011 (EDT)

Thank you for letting me know about this! I had made a copy of the WeRelate database on my local machine for testing, and I had neglected to remove the email addresses from my local copy, so my machine was sending out emails for the changes I was making. How embarrassing. The emails are gone now.--Dallan 14:07, 18 April 2011 (EDT)

Place:Dunleckny, County Carlow, Republic of Ireland [18 April 2011]

Dallan, Could you, would you, please combine Dunleckney, County Carlow, Republic of Ireland (or delete it) with Dunleckny, County Carlow, Republic of Ireland (which is the correct spelling)? Thanks in advance. It appears that Dunleckney isn't linked to anything anyway. - Cyndi--Genearchivist 17:07, 18 April 2011 (EDT)

Done! I merged Dunleckney into Place:Dunleckny, County Carlow, Republic of Ireland --Jennifer (JBS66) 17:14, 18 April 2011 (EDT)

auto complete not working [5 May 2011]

Places, people, and sources. When I create a new child from the family page, the "Please Wait" flashes, it returns, but the search screen remains visible and no new child inserted into the family. However, checking contributions, it was created. When I select an existing child, the select does nothing. --Jrich 23:31, 22 April 2011 (EDT)

Could you please try it again? There was a bug when I first installed the changes that might have caused this problem, but it's fixed now. If it's still not working, could you tell me what browser and operating system you're using? I'll try to replicate it here. Thanks.--Dallan 00:15, 23 April 2011 (EDT)
Just tried selecting Source, and typing in "Roxbury, Suffolk," and paused. The little circle graphic spun for about 30 seconds before I gave up. I went to find/add, and set place to Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States, title to Vital Records 1849. Desired title was on top of the list. Pushed select. Nothing happens.
What's weird is the browser auto-complete is working in place fields and other fields that it normally doesn't seem to be active in. Usually in those fields WeRelate does auto-complete, the browser won't remember my previous values, but now it is. So I type "Rox" into the place field, and my browser offers to complete it for me with the full string.
I am using Firefox on a really old Windows 98 system for data entry: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win98; en-US; rv: Gecko/20081217 Firefox/ There are workarounds for it, mostly cutting and pasting from one tab to another, etc., it just makes things slower. --Jrich 01:12, 23 April 2011 (EDT)
Select button not working; after searching for a source to add to a person page, finding the source, then clicking on the select button nothing happens. It doesn't get selected. This happened both last night and just now. I am using XP, IE. --Janiejac 10:57, 23 April 2011 (EDT)
slightly different problem on Mac OS in both safari and firefox. The select button works just fine, but the source names no longer have links to the source pages to look at all the info before selecting it. (I can open another tab, copy the source page title into the search box and then look of course). I'm guessing I may never get egg in my beer.
That's on all browsers right now. I was trying to avoid having newcomers click on the link instead of the Select button and then wonder what to do. But it was a bad idea. Later tonight I'm installing an update that puts the links back and instead displays a "Click on the Back button in your browser to select this page" message if you click on one of them. --Dallan 21:45, 4 May 2011 (EDT)
Ta, very much!--Brear47 23:27, 4 May 2011 (EDT)
It should be working now.--Dallan 08:27, 5 May 2011 (EDT)

This is frustrating. It's working fine for me in IE8 on Windows 7. I've also tested it in FF 3.6 and Chrome. I need to figure out what's going on here.

Jrich, the fact that you're having problems both in auto-complete and pressing the select button point to the newly-added jStorage javascript plugin that I'm using to store what sources/places you've selected. If that's crashing, then the rest of the javascript won't run. Their website says it supports Firefox 2.0, but maybe not. I've uploaded another change that should allow the rest of the javascript on the page to run even if jStorage crashes, at least I hope so. Would you please try it now and let me know? If it's still broken then the next thing to do is disable jStorage for FF 2.0.

Janiejac, it looks like you're having a similar problem to Jrich. Can you also try it again and tell me if it works now? Also, what version of IE are you on? You can find this out by going to the browser's "Help" menu and selecting "About Internet Explorer". I hope it's not IE 6.0 or below. I'd really like to stop supporting that. Google stopped supporting it last year and I'd like to stop supporting it as well.--Dallan 19:54, 23 April 2011 (EDT)

Dallan, I am using IE 7.0.5730.11 128 bit. The select button still didn't work earlier this evening, but I notice that if I type in the source (window on the person page) and save the page, the source will show up without having to go through the find/search/select process. Maybe it always worked that way, but I didn't think so. I don't normally mess with the auto complete in the source window on the person page because it just has to be retyped anyway in the next page window. Grrrr. --Janiejac 20:51, 23 April 2011 (EDT)
Janiejac, could you please try again? It's working for Jrich now; I'm hoping it works for you too. Also, you no longer have to retype the source title in the next page -- you can type it into the person page and it will be copied over to the search page now. I'll look for a copy of IE7 to test with.--Dallan 01:40, 24 April 2011 (EDT)

A quick test says that Place, Source, and Person auto complete are working, and selecting a Source after doing a Find/Add worked. It wasn't working about 2 hours ago, so something recently made a difference. I have to run so don't have time to add a person, but suspect that will work because it seemed analogous to selecting a source. I'll try later. The above tests worked on both my old system that I referred to before, and a newer one. Thanks--Jrich 20:57, 23 April 2011 (EDT)

That's great news!--Dallan 01:40, 24 April 2011 (EDT)

For me, the Select button on the Find/Add source page isn't working (using Chrome 10.0.648.205). From person page, Add Source Citation, find/add there are 3 Recently-selected Sources listed. I press the Select button for the first one but the information from the last on the list is added to the source title field on the person page instead. I tried it with 4 recently-selected sources appearing on the find/add page. Select button #2, the last on the list is inserted instead again. --Jennifer (JBS66) 21:39, 23 April 2011 (EDT)

Thank you for pointing that out. Yes, it always selected the last page, regardless of which button you clicked on. That's been fixed now. This bug is different from the problems that Janiejac and Jrich were having. I'm hoping that both bugs have been fixed now.--Dallan 01:40, 24 April 2011 (EDT)

Dallan, a user left a message on my talk page this morning. When he tries to create new person or family pages it's creating pages like Family:Undefined Undefined and Undefined Undefined (2). He is using IE9. He can rename a page, as he did here. The steps he is following are "add --> person --> filling in the name and information i know --> add page --> make a new page --> after that the page in unindentified". It does work for him in Chrome - but not IE9. --Jennifer (JBS66) 07:14, 24 April 2011 (EDT)

I tested this a bit more in IE9. When creating a Family page, it also places the word undefined in the Marriage Date and Location fields. When creating a person page, it puts undefined in the given, surname, birth date & place, and death date & place fields. --Jennifer (JBS66) 08:01, 24 April 2011 (EDT)
Just for others following this thread. This has been fixed now, and I've left a message on Jennifer's talk page.--Dallan 21:51, 24 April 2011 (EDT)

Need change on Talk page prompt [23 April 2011]

Hi, Dallan. Can you change the prompt that shows up when you click on a Talk page with nothing on it? Right now it says, "No discussion yet. Start a discussion by clicking on the Edit link above, or get help editing discussion pages.)" It needs to say " clicking on the "Add topic" link to the left...". Thanks! -- Amy (Ajcrow) 12:10, 23 April 2011 (EDT)

I made this change. As an FYI, you can also edit most of the UI text if you'd like. Just search for the phrase that you want to change by surrounding it with quotes and entering it in the search box in the upper right, then select MediaWiki as the namespace. Most of the time that will take you to a page containing the text you want to change.--Dallan 19:58, 23 April 2011 (EDT)

sort key [25 April 2011]

Hi Dallan, I wonder if you can take a look at Category:Sources of Maine, United States. The first 16 subcategories are using a sort key of "| " (note the space) to put them at the top of the list to separate from the Sources of Country records. They are supposed to be sorting alphabetically based up on the page title (ignoring the Category: prefix). It doesn't seem to be working here. I tried to purge the page in case it was a cache issue. Is this a bug in older versions of MW by any chance, or might I be overlooking something? Thank you! --Jennifer (JBS66) 18:33, 25 April 2011 (EDT)

I've looked at the code, and it doesn't appear to work that way in this version. It sorts by the sort key only if there is one. Have you tried entering "*category title" as the sort key?--Dallan 18:39, 25 April 2011 (EDT)
Yes, I have with other categories - I saw that this could be done on WP's instruction page, so I tried it here. It worked for a while, then as I added more, they started going out of order. I'll go back to stating the sort key explicitly. Thanks for looking at the code! --Jennifer (JBS66) 19:02, 25 April 2011 (EDT)


2 days ago I submitted a lengthy gedcom for the primary review. I had a lot of errors and alerts, so, following webrelate advice, I decided to print out this WARNING LIST and then cancel the gedcom and resubmit it after correcting the problems.

I started doing this with the CHROME browser. I then got a msg on the screen that SHOCKWAVE FLASH was not working. I was only able to get the first 4 pages printed out before that happened.

I then switched to the INTERNET EXPLORER and still was not able to get all of the warnings printed out.

Would it be possible to have these warnings sent to me as an attachment to and email or some other means?


Howie--Howie 14:04, 27 April 2011 (EDT)

Dallan, I can send Howie a pdf of the warnings via email (I printed them to One Note with Firefox). --Jennifer (JBS66) 14:12, 27 April 2011 (EDT)
Thank you! I just tried printing a 7-page error list. The print file was 880Mb! That's ridiculous. I got an error printing it as well. I think instead of using Flash to print I should list the errors in an HTML page in a new window and ask people to print that. Another item for the todo list.--Dallan 22:50, 27 April 2011 (EDT)

Fmizrany gedcom import [2 May 2011]

Hi Dallan, Fmizrany posted a question on WeRelate talk:Support#Gedcom import question. The user only has one file visible in the queue, but when they try to import it, they get a "You have a GEDCOM already in process Before importing a new GEDCOM you need to wait for your earlier GEDCOM to finish importing" message. --Jennifer (JBS66) 20:44, 30 April 2011 (EDT)

Thanks for letting me know. I'll answer on the support page.--Dallan 22:38, 2 May 2011 (EDT)

Add source select button [5 May 2011]

Dallan, from a person page, I chose Find/Add source, added the author/title, and pressed Find/Add Page. The source I wanted was at the top of the list, but pressing the select button did nothing. I can press others on the list, and that does work properly. The source I was searching for was Source:Tanguay, Cyprien. Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Canadiennes depuis la Fondation de la Colonie Jusqu'à Nos Jours. I tried a few other sources and a different browser, I just couldn't figure out what might be causing this little glitch. Browsers: Chrome 10 & Firefox 3.6. --Jennifer (JBS66) 20:16, 4 May 2011 (EDT)

It may have something to do with the accented characters. I'll try to fix it before I post the update later this evening.--Dallan 21:45, 4 May 2011 (EDT)
It should be working now.--Dallan 08:27, 5 May 2011 (EDT)
Works great - thank you! --Jennifer (JBS66) 08:30, 5 May 2011 (EDT)

Renamed pages no longer in tree [5 May 2011]

Dallan, it appears that pages that are renamed are being removed from trees. I did a test and added a Person:Test Test and put it in a tree. Then I renamed the page to Person:Test Unknown. When I check Trees, there was no longer a check in the box next to the tree name I put it in. --Jennifer (JBS66) 11:09, 5 May 2011 (EDT)

Good catch :-(. The page is still under the old title in the tree. I'll fix it later today.--Dallan 12:27, 5 May 2011 (EDT)
This should be working again now.--Dallan 17:36, 5 May 2011 (EDT)

Source title bug [17 May 2011]

Example: Person:Grietje Schaafsma (1), I want to edit the titles of her first two sources, but no list of source titles appears when I try to edit. If I create a new source on the page, that does work properly. --Jennifer (JBS66) 17:56, 11 May 2011 (EDT)

Thanks for pointing this out. It should be working now.--Dallan 15:57, 17 May 2011 (EDT)

‎Powell Brownlee Dobbyn.ged [17 May 2011]

Dallan, could you take a look at ‎Powell Brownlee Dobbyn.ged, uploaded by User:HLJ411? There's an error on the page for John McGillicuddy and Mary Cameron "Marriage occurs after death of wife." On the Family page, it shows her dying in 1889, but on her Person page, it says 1899 (which is the correct date). Two questions: 1) how is it showing different dates and 2) can it be fixed w/out HLJ411 having to re-upload the GEDCOM? Thanks -- Amy (Ajcrow) 22:17, 12 May 2011 (EDT)

I'm curious Dallan, I thought that we removed the ability for users to edit their gedcoms in the queue for reasons such as this. The error percentage isn't recalculated when they correct mistakes, pages don't always reflect the changes, and we wanted users to fix their home database and reupload. When did this change? --Jennifer (JBS66) 06:28, 13 May 2011 (EDT)
(1) That's very odd. I'm looking at the file for the gedcom (6288) on the server, and I see Mary Cameron having the correct death date of 1899 on both the person and family page. And I don't see any warnings in the file at all. The file includes all of the warnings, even if the person was excluded or the page was edited later. So I'm not sure how the warning came to be there or the date came to be different.
(2) I had removed the capability for people to edit pages during gedcom review, but then re-instated it if the gedcom was below the error-rate threshold. (I believe I re-instated it at Judy's request.) So yes, HLJ411 would have been able to correct the date if their gedcom was below the error-rate threshold, but in this case the date was already correct on the person page so changing it wouldn't have made a difference. Like I say, I don't understand how it could have been displaying differently on the family page.--Dallan 15:57, 17 May 2011 (EDT)
Which gedcom file are you looking at Dallan? HLJ411 removed the file that Amy is referring to and uploaded a corrected one on May 13th. The file in question may be from ~ the 8th. --Jennifer (JBS66) 16:25, 17 May 2011 (EDT)
That explains it. I'm looking at a file that was imported on the 13th. I don't have a way to view deleted gedcom's, sorry.--Dallan 16:31, 17 May 2011 (EDT)

What annoyed me was that I couldn't get at the gedcom to fix it when it was "in process" I have now added a new rule to my personal WeRelate for Dummies and that is: in order to keep control, no matter how minor the warning, remove the gedcom, fix it on my own software and then re-import.--HLJ411 17:39, 17 May 2011 (EDT)

I'm sorry for not looking into it sooner. If it happens again, please leave a message here and I'll try to look into it right away.--Dallan 18:03, 17 May 2011 (EDT)

I'm not doing something right [13 May 2011]

Dallin, I downloaded some photos of different family members and then realized that the photos are not showing up on the person's page. What have I done wrong. I also posted some research notes but one of my watchers apparently has not seen them although I thought that I sent them to him. I really like this type of website. I hate that people donate gedcoms and then everyone else has to pay to see what was given freely. I have a great deal more to donate and will end up with the 5,000 limit before I am through but I will be going slow so that I can correct some of the mistakes that have gotten into my files since Hurricane Katrina. I lost all of my research notes so I am looking forward to working on my files so that I can download some of my research for others to look at. Thanks, Pam Waters--Pamsroots 11:59, 13 May 2011 (EDT)

Pam, I can answer your question about images. On a page like Image:Calvin Monroe, William Franklin, William Calvin Monroe Sr. & Jr. Bagggett.jpg, you have the names of 4 people listed, but they are all red-linked. Instead of adding the person's name, you would need to enter a page title instead (so Person:Calvin Baggett (1) instead of Calvin Monroe Baggett). The other way to add an image to a page is to go to the Person or Family page, press edit, press Add Image, and enter the title of the image in the Title field.
Regarding your research notes, where did you post these and by what method did you send them to another watcher? --Jennifer (JBS66) 12:44, 13 May 2011 (EDT)

416 error message [17 May 2011]

When trying to open MySource:Bensinnema/Blad nr. 8 in Chrome 11, I get the message "Requested Range Not Satisfiable None of the range-specifier values in the Range request-header field overlap the current extent of the selected resource." The page opens properly in Firefox & IE.--Jennifer (JBS66) 13:16, 13 May 2011 (EDT)

I just tried opening the page in Chrome 11 and didn't have any problems. Are you still getting it?--Dallan 15:57, 17 May 2011 (EDT)
It happens intermittently when the link is first clicked on. When at the page click what links here then Back and that should replicate the problem. --Jennifer (JBS66) 16:21, 17 May 2011 (EDT)
I did this half a dozen times and never got an error. Not sure what's going on there. The error appears to be the result of the browser sending an unexpected request header. I'm not sure why it would do that.--Dallan 16:36, 17 May 2011 (EDT)
Thanks for checking - just a Chrome glitch I guess. For future reference, the rest of the error page says this: Apache/2.2.4 (Fedora) Server at Port 80 --Jennifer (JBS66) 16:39, 17 May 2011 (EDT)
If you see it again, one thing that would be helpful for me is if you could select "Tools" from the wrench menu, then Developer tools, and click on Network. Then navigate around until you get the error again, then click on the row in the developer tools window with the 416 error on it (probably near the top), then click on headers, then copy and email me everything in that box. That will let me see the request headers that the browser is sending.--Dallan 16:55, 17 May 2011 (EDT)
Ok Dallan, what did you do?? :-)) It's been misbehaving for days and now it's working.... If it does happen again, I will send you the above info. --Jennifer (JBS66) 17:34, 17 May 2011 (EDT)
Nothing, honest. If it does happen again, please let me know.--Dallan 18:03, 17 May 2011 (EDT)

Tabs for Import Gedcom and Review [22 May 2011]

Dallan, I received your message that my tree is ready for admin review and your instructions on how to do it. I thought you had done it for me a couple of weeks ago! I am sorry, but I do not see the tabs you are talking about. I have tried and tried to find these. I don't understand why I have to click a tab to import my gedcom since I've already done this anyway. I imported my tree, made my corrections and then started having problems. This process is just too odd/difficult for me to follow. I don't know what to do and am about frustrated enough to give up and stick with my old tree. This seemed very promising and I was doing well up until this point. Sorry to be so difficult.--Fmizrany 22:55, 21 May 2011 (EDT)

Hi Fmizrany, your gedcom has been imported since that message was posted, so you can disregard it. You can now follow the instructions in the message on your talk page titled "Mihlsten_Mizrany_Family_Tree_2011-04-26.ged Imported Successfully" to see the pages that have been created. --Jennifer (JBS66) 07:13, 22 May 2011 (EDT)

GEDCOM Imports [30 May 2011]


I would have liked to imported my GEDCOM in one step, but it is over 100 MB and you have a 12 MB limit (I'm using iFamily for Leopard and there is no option for eliminating images on export). Instead, I've been trying to import smaller pieces of my trees and merging them with existing people. That was working up to a point, however, the later imports do not seem to be including some of the earlier ancestors in the GEDCOM files for some reason. These people are only 7 or so generations back, so I don't understand why they are not being uploaded to the tree. Am I doing something wrong or overlooking something?--Rtengel 14:29, 30 May 2011 (EDT)

Now that I've read over some of the other comments about this issue, I gather that there is a date cutoff involved.--Rtengel 14:34, 30 May 2011 (EDT)

That is correct. The cutoff is around mid-1700s. You may find that a lot of your Acadians already have pages. If so, you will likely see the need for the cutoff on gedcoms. The early people have a large number of descendants and there is a real problem with bad gedcoms being picked up from the internet. We would like to see the early pages cleaned up and all facts properly documented to wash out the errors. This needs to be done by hand. --Judy (jlanoux) 21:13, 30 May 2011 (EDT) (WeRelate volunteer)

problem with postings from HY220 [1 June 2011]


This person has just started posting commercial messages on several of our talk pages including

--Susan Irish 23:32, 31 May 2011 (EDT)

Thanks Susan for deleting some of the messages on users' talk pages! I deleted the rest of this user's postings and blocked their account. --Jennifer (JBS66) 05:01, 1 June 2011 (EDT)--Dallan 15:43, 13 July 2011 (EDT)

Missing link [15 June 2011]

Hi Dallan, I noticed that a link is missing on the left sidebar on Person and Family pages. To the left of TALK at the top, there should be a link to Person or Family. When you are on the talk page, that link is needed to direct you back to the person/family page. Maybe you're in the middle of tweaking things and know about this already... but I thought I would post just in case. --Jennifer (JBS66) 12:46, 15 June 2011 (EDT)

Ok... you must be tweaking something :-) I'll add a few things to the above list
  1. The Search box on the top right is not working now in Chrome 12 or Firefox 4.01 - pressing the magnifying glass does nothing.
  2. A user posted on the Dutch forum that she has "no watchlist, no navigation, no edit at top" etc. She is using IE 8. --Jennifer (JBS66) 14:36, 15 June 2011 (EDT)
I just fixed a bug. The search box should be working and the Person/Family links should be back. I didn't see a problem with the watchlist, navigation, etc links at the top using IE8; could you ask her if they're still broken? Thank-you for pointing out these things.--Dallan 17:03, 15 June 2011 (EDT)
Thanks Dallan! The links and search are working fine for me now. I'll ask Lidewij if it's improved for her as well, and let you know if it has not. --Jennifer (JBS66) 17:32, 15 June 2011 (EDT)

Unused MySources in gedcom upload [20 June 2011]

Hi Dallan,

I want to see if I have this right: In the gedcom I uploaded last night, I mistakenly included an entire generation already on WR, so there were a lot of matches. There were several sources that were only used on the matched pages. I did not bother to edit or match or exclude these sources, because I thought they would be ignored if they were only used on pages that were themselves ignored in the upload. But I think, if I'm remembering everything correctly, that MySource pages were still created for those sources. (for example). Is this how this is supposed to work? Can it be stopped? Thanks--Amelia 19:46, 19 June 2011 (EDT)

It's not a quick fix. Could you add it to the suggestions list so it doesn't get forgotten?--Dallan 16:15, 20 June 2011 (EDT)

Question [22 June 2011]

Hi Dallan, I was wondering if I could delete an account that I made, as I just realized that I have two accounts. Sorry. The one that I am using to write this is the one that I wanted to delete or to merge in with my other account. Is this possible?

Jennifer--Jeneagen 21:37, 19 June 2011 (EDT)

I can't merge accounts, so I've renamed Jeneagen to "Renamed to Jacksbox4you". You can just ignore that account from now on.--Dallan 16:15, 20 June 2011 (EDT)

Thank you Dallan. You are doing a great job with this wiki. I am hoping to be more involved in my family research this summer and plan to use the site to share it with my family.--Jacksbox4you 20:28, 21 June 2011 (EDT)

Thanks, I'm glad to hear that you like it!--Dallan 14:14, 22 June 2011 (EDT)

Search for subordinate places bug [13 July 2011]

I searched for sources place=Massachusetts, subject=vital records. Checked the "subordinate places" box. 1232 results. Click "next". I'm seeing records 21-40 of 57 - the subordinate place is no longer checked, and only Massachusetts records are shown. --Amelia 18:13, 7 July 2011 (EDT)

This will be fixed tonight.--Dallan 15:41, 13 July 2011 (EDT)

Bug in merge screen? [13 July 2011]

Hi Dallan. I've been having an intermittent problem with merges, and maybe figured why it's intermittent? What happens is that I check some pages to merge, and not all of them show up on the compare screen. Usually I work around it without much problem. But it seems on thinking that the ones that don't show up are usually/always towards the bottom of the list. Perhaps when the screen got lengthened from 10 to 20 results, the code still only checks the first ten to see which are checked? Does that make sense? The symptoms occur even if the guess about the cause is wrong. Thanks. --Jrich 01:09, 12 July 2011 (EDT)

You're right! I changed the search screen to show 20 results, yet the compare screen still checked only the first 10. This will be fixed tonight.--Dallan 15:41, 13 July 2011 (EDT)

MySource redirect bug [19 July 2011]

One of the help pages advises redirecting MySources to Sources. Didn't think this worked, so I tried it. The coding works, but it screws up the linked pages. See [2] The original links to the MySource on the person page are now red because they are looking for MySource:Hines... etc. instead of MySource:Amelia.Gerlicher/Hines... etc.--Amelia 17:35, 18 July 2011 (EDT)

I see what you're saying. Thank you for pointing it out! I'll fix it tonight.--Dallan 13:18, 19 July 2011 (EDT)

My Account [25 July 2011]

I would like to delete my file and start again later. Much information went in that I do not want made public. So sorry. Judy--JudithBackus 11:35, 25 July 2011 (EDT)

You can remove your file using the MyRelate menu, Trees option. There is a button for Remove Tree which will delete pages which are not watched by other users. In the future, please use the Gedcom Review carefully. It is intended to let you preview your pages and you can edit or exclude any that you don't want shared. It is less disruptive to handle this in preview rather than after the pages are imported into the shared database. Thanks. --Judy (jlanoux) 15:24, 25 July 2011 (EDT) (WeRelate volunteer)

Place-matching [30 July 2011]

This isn't urgent but I thought I ought to call it to your attention. While working the place-matching tab in a GEDCOM review this morning, I discovered the system couldn't find a match for "St. Joseph Cemetery, Clarksville, Red River, Texas, United States". I had to change it to "Saint Joseph Cemetery, Clarksville, Red River, Texas, United States." I thought the whole problem with matching commonly abbreviated names to spelled-out names had been taken care of some time ago. . . . --MikeTalk 07:13, 27 July 2011 (EDT)

I thought so too. I'll add it to my list of things to do.--Dallan 00:05, 31 July 2011 (EDT)

Strange place "correction" [24 August 2011]

On Gen. Anthony Wayne's page, I typed in "Old Saint David's Church Cemetery, Wayne, Delaware, Pennsylvania, United States" as the place of burial. I knew it would be a red link since there was not yet a place page for it. (That's how I often add a cemetery page -- I'll add it as a red link on the person page and then click on it to actually create it. Saves a step that way.) When I saved his page, however, the system tried to match that place to "Old Saint David Church Cemetery, Wayne, New Sweden Colony," which was also a red link. In other words, his page still showed what I entered, but it had the New Sweden Colony before it {"Old Saint David's Church Cemetery, Wayne New Sweden Colony|Old Saint David's Church Cemetery, Wayne, Delaware, Pennsylvania"). I had to go back and edit his page to remove that reference. Even after I created the page for the cemetery and typed the place name in on Mary Penrose's page, it still tried to change it to New Sweden Colony. In fact, the only way I could get her page to go to the cemetery page was to have the place name entered as "Old Saint David's Church Cemetery, Wayne, Delaware, Pennsylvania, United States|Old Saint David's Church Cemetery, Wayne, Delaware, Pennsylvania, United States". Any idea what's going on? Thanks. -- Amy (Ajcrow) 08:42, 17 August 2011 (EDT)

You're right - that's really strange. It has to do with both Delaware and Pennsylvania being "located in" Place:New Sweden Colony, but it's obviously wrong. I plan to re-do place matching later this year; assuming it doesn't show up very often, I'll make sure to fix this bug then.--Dallan 01:41, 24 August 2011 (EDT)

Merge error [23 August 2011]

Something odd happened with this merge. I got the following error: search server returned bad response: 404 for function: placestandardize

It appears the merge has not been recorded in the Merge Log, but the (2) version of the page is redirecting to the (1). The data, however, was not copied to the (1) page (I copied it over after).--Jennifer (JBS66) 18:04, 23 August 2011 (EDT)

I am having the same problem. I can add data only as long as I add nothing to a place field

--Susan Irish 18:11, 23 August 2011 (EDT)

Due to a lapse in judgement on my part, all search-based functions, which includes place auto-complete and standardization, were down for 30-60 minutes today. I'm sorry about that. I hope I've fixed everything now.--Dallan 21:04, 23 August 2011 (EDT)

Question re gedcom export [7 September 2011]

I was re-reading the discussion of formatting URL's here and I don't think we ever got an answer to the question underlying the formatting discussion: does it matter, and how, if a URL is placed in an associated note field v. in the text/transcription field v. in the vol./page field? And what happens if the link is formatted (i.e. brackets/short name)?--Amelia 01:09, 7 September 2011 (EDT)

I'll answer on that page (short answer: it doesn't matter).--Dallan 15:16, 7 September 2011 (EDT)

Unknown Place type [3 October 2011]

The page for Place:Ancient Burying Ground, Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, United States was created yesterday (1 Oct) and has a place type of "Unknown." I thought that "unknown" wasn't an option anymore. (Or is leaving it blank the only illegal option?) -- Amy (Ajcrow) 08:16, 2 October 2011 (EDT)

Amy, I changed the type to cemetery, but unknown is available on the drop down type list. Can't remember the discussion we had regarding unknown types.--Beth 10:21, 2 October 2011 (EDT)
The issue is that Unknown is our second-most-common place type, appearing on nearly 143,000 places, because the Family History Library Catalog didn't include a place type on their places. We could omit it from the list of possible place types, but then if you edited a place with an Unknown type, you'd be required to change it in order to save your edit. That may not be a bad thing; I don't know.--Dallan 13:14, 3 October 2011 (EDT)

Managing "excluded" people after an import [20 March 2012]

My family tree has about 800. About 300 will be excluded because "living" and about 100 excluded because "early".

How can I get a list of all excluded people AFTER the import? I would use that list to verify and resolve all excluded people. Will the list of "excluded" remain on WeRelate after the import? Should I just sort and screen-print all those pages? I cannot "select" from that list to copy/paste to create my own spreadsheet. Any suggestions?--Donkle3 15:29, 5 October 2011 (EDT)

No one has asked about this before. The only way I can think of is to sort and take screen-prints unfortunately.--Dallan 23:50, 7 October 2011 (EDT)

Dallan, After much fine-tuning, I have successfully imported my Gedcom to WeRelate with about 505 new people imported and about 291 excluded. Prior to import, I counted about 70 that were excluded due to "Early" with the remaining exclusions for "Living".

Last October, after I was taught about WeRelate by the genealogists at the Allen County Public Library, I first learned about the "Early" exclusion. I called the ACPL people to discuss it and they were surprised such an exclusion existed. (I also posted my original "excluded" comment at that time, 10/7/11.)

They suggested that after I successfully uploaded, I should write you to request the exclusion be waived for this tree. Hence this post. Please make an exception to the "Early" exclusion for my "Donkle3" tree.

If there is anything I can do to assist with my request, I would be happy to do so ... (other than manually finding and entering 70 old relatives!) For example, I could delete and re-import my Donkle3 tree if that would help.

Thank you, Lou Donkle--Donkle3 19:14, 18 March 2012 (EDT)

Let me play the devil's advocate here, at the risk of sounding unwelcoming (though it is really a reflection of my desire for accurate genealogy). This is about collaborating in a single, shared family tree. I am convinced that websites that allow people to upload their family tree with no questions asked, have created an expectation of no accountability that is not consistent with true collaboration. To expect a stranger to accept one's data, one must provide some kind of objective proof, especially since there are often differing opinions about what is correct. So here is my question: What has been demonstrated by your upload that would lead a the powers that be to trust you with even older genealogy, where nobody alive can have any possibility of first hand knowledge, and where you are more likely to interact with or change the work of other researchers as family tree converge on common ancestors? Is it the 505 pages with apparently not a single source citation? (I only looked at 30 or so of your pages, but either I got incredibly lucky, or there are no sources.) No, that is certainly not a persuasive argument. Is it the documentation of careful research, so that strangers trying to add to the same page know where the information comes from and can either be enlightened or respond appropriately if they disagree? Same answer. Is it comments like "Bef. 2010 arbitrary death date so will consider this person not-living and import their data"? No, I'm sure that isn't going to engender much trust. Is it dates without locations or marriages without dates that clutter up other people's search results with half-matches that could be a match or could be half a world away, or might be the person I'm searching for or could be centuries removed from the person I am looking for? I don't think so. My suggestion, which is certainly not official as I am only one ordinary user here, is yes, go enter the 70 other people by hand, and add sources to the pages you've created, then ask again. --Jrich 23:32, 18 March 2012 (EDT)

Fair enough. Thank you for your very thoughtful answer. I will proceed manually. As you have probably guessed, the file I submitted is the research work and data-entry of many others from my parents and grandparents generation and believed to be accurate, if without documentation, by the families represented. By getting it online, I hope other living family members (along with me) will collaborate to improve documentation and add content. I also hope to educate and draw some family members away from Ancestry to WeRelate along with their private trees at Ancestry. This is not a justification, but an explanation, that may be of interest. Thank you again for your comments and your efforts with WeRelate.--Donkle3 00:06, 19 March 2012 (EDT)

I moved the early cut-off date back to just before 1700 a couple of months ago. Once you've gotten more experience with the website and have shown that you are a careful contributor, you can request the right to import people back to around 1600. But entering some people by hand isn't so bad either. In fact many of the "regulars" around here prefer it, because it provides them an opportunity to make sure that the pages they're creating are the best that they can make them.--Dallan 00:24, 21 March 2012 (EDT)

Person:Louis Williams (1) [7 October 2011]

Hi Dallan,

There is an oops here. Louis or Lewis C. Williams who married Mary Crane was from Paris, Wisconsin. He has the wrong parents. Easy mistake since both parents are named Lewis and Margaret Ann Williams. I am going to fix the pages but probably will not take the time to add the actual siblings of Louis C. who married Mary Crane. Looks like these people may have been sealed so some corrections are probably needed. --Beth 19:55, 5 October 2011 (EDT)

Thank you for going through my tree Beth! It looks like you've been adding a number of sources and you also found this mistake. I went ahead and added Louis' siblings. I got this tree from my mother, so I'm going to talk with her about it. Thank you again!--Dallan 23:50, 7 October 2011 (EDT)

Page won't save [8 October 2011]

I am trying to add a person page. Preview as normal, all else is normal but hitting SAVE button brings up an error beginning with theses lines.

MediaWiki internal error.

Original exception: exception 'DBQueryError' with message 'A database error has occurred Query: UPDATE `site_stats` SET ss_total_edits=ss_total_edits+1 LIMIT 1 Function: SiteStatsUpdate::doUpdate Error: 1205 Lock wait timeout exceeded; try restarting transaction (wiki) ' in /var/www/htdocs/w/includes/Database.php:647 Stack trace:

  1. 0 /var/www/htdocs/w/includes/Database.php(604): Database->reportQueryError('Lock wait timeo...', 1205, ' UPDATE `site_s...', 'SiteStatsUpdate...', false)
  2. 1 /var/www/htdocs/w/includes/SiteStatsUpdate.php(79): Database->query(' UPDATE `site_s...', 'SiteStatsUpdate...')--50vicar 12:52, 8 October 2011 (EDT)
Looks like something got stuck. I've just restarted the database server, and it appears to be working again. I'm sorry for the trouble; thank you for letting me know.--Dallan 13:39, 8 October 2011 (EDT)

Un-redirect-able place [14 November 2011]

Hi Dallan

I've been going through the places in the London area and tidying up the duplicate places, but have found one place which seems to be misbehaving: Place:Stepney, Tower Hamlets, Middlesex, England. It's the same place as Place:Stepney, Middlesex, England but the former page won't let me make it a redirect page because it has contained places. However, none of the places it lists as contained places are actually pointing at that page - I've corrected them all to point at the latter page. I don't know whey they're still showing up as contained places on the former. I can only think it may be because the latter page was once a redirect to the former, but I undid that - because "Stepney, Middlesex, England" is the correct format for the place name - whoever put in the extra layer of "Tower Hamlets" was throwing a bit of a spanner in the works. Any thoughts? Many thanks RichardK--RichardK 09:40, 31 October 2011 (EDT)

I don't know why the contained places were still showing up on the former page after you corrected them either -- it looks like a bug. Thanks for letting me know. Anyway, I merged it into the latter page. If you come across something like this again, just let me know.--Dallan 19:26, 1 November 2011 (EDT)

Thanks Dallan - that's great.--RichardK 02:33, 2 November 2011 (EDT)

Dallan, Is there a simple way to ask a question in WeRelate? In trying to identify the parents of my great grandfather born in Oostdongeradeel (Wierum near Nes) and his twin sister, I came across the WeRelate information of WeRelate user Ekjansen. Is it possible to ask this question of him?

The people of interest are my Age van der Wagen and she is (I think) Eetje van der Wagen both born in December of 1848. Eetje married John (Jan?) Bronsema before leaving for America about 1874. He came to America when single in 1873. Age married Wilhelmina Feltman in 1874 in America; she born in Groningen. He visited the Netherlands often until his death in 1932 in Ferrysburg, Michigan. His first born son is Jacob Edward van der Wagen, possibly named after Age's father? Eetje's first daughter was named Pietje Bronsema, possibly named after their mother. I do see a Jan Ages van der Wagen and wife Pietje Teensma in the Ekjansen data. Do you know how I could find out if my two people are their children?--Tom&Laurel 10:24, 14 November 2011 (EST)

Contacted by separate mail already.--Klaas (Ekjansen) 10:37, 14 November 2011 (EST)

Next step: Review your GEDCOM [5 December 2011]

I think I have completed my review, but the import tab is grayed so it wont work, HELP, thanks :-)--Gypsy1930 19:20, 4 December 2011 (EST)

You need to do two things: First, go to the warnings tab and click on the warning so the system knows you have reviewed it (you may have done this already). Second, go to the Family matches tab, click on each potential match, then scroll to the bottom of the page in the bottom half of the screen and click on either Match or Not a match. Once you've done this, you should be able to click on the "Ready to import" button.--Dallan 14:44, 5 December 2011 (EST)

Mass accumulation of non-relatives [6 December 2011]

I spent days trying to get my gedcom in good order to be accepted. Then I found out there where matches to my data. JonJay has spent years borrowing other peoples families. He even has my mother in his database and there is positivly no relationship. I do not want my work connected to his "work". The information he submitted was my early work. I work on my data 24/7 bring it up-to-date. How did he manage to get his thousands on there? I was starting with 20 people and found it to be difficult. I am very disappointed.--Gypsy1930 12:08, 6 December 2011 (EST)

I saw this message and can't comment on the data you are referring to, but I will point out that WeRelate does not have any way of screening for what is right and what's wrong (except for really outlandish things like a child born after the mother died, etc.) It relies on the collaboration of multiple users like yourself using the wiki features to accomplish quality control. Internet genealogy has a horrible, but well-deserved, reputation for being junk because so many people copy the first data they see without understanding, analyzing or confirming it. At least on this site there is the opportunity to correct those errors and provide quality sources to refute the bad genealogy. Once something has been corrected (or better yet, created the first time) with credible sources, the self-evident-ness of it usually keeps things moving towards better, and away from junk. And the synergy of multiple quality-minded researchers can result in some really great pages.
By the way, I personally suggest abandoning your GEDCOM, and just entering the data by hand. My experience has been that it is easier and possibly faster than uploading GEDCOMs, and particularly if you are often merging with existing pages, it is more likely to end up with coherent, useful pages as you are better able to review the existing contents and make finer-grained changes than is possible through GEDCOM uploading. Just my preference, though. --Jrich 13:28, 6 December 2011 (EST)
Jonjay uploaded some gedcom's back in 2007 and hasn't made any contributions since. The pages he created are not owned by him. In fact, others are encouraged to make changes. One of the principal benefits of a wiki, and the reason for WeRelate, is that others can come along later and improve or correct originally-submitted work. Over time, the quality of the work increases. If you stick with WeRelate and add your information (and I hope you do), you'll be dispelling misconceptions. We have lots of examples where someone created a page with no sources, and later someone else adds a source or corrects a date. That's the way a wiki is supposed to work.--Dallan 01:11, 7 December 2011 (EST)

Is there a bug in editing GEDCOM pages prior to upload? [18 December 2011]

I imported a GEDCOM a few days ago and just submitted it for processing. When I edited individual and family pages (in the GEDCOM), and saved the changes, the changes appeared correctly, but when I moved the cursor off that individual or family and back, the display reverted to the original GEDCOM data (lost my changes). I am waiting now to see if my changes were actually saved (though not displayed) and get uploaded. I will let you know either way. In the meantime, you could take a look at the GEDCOM. I edited individual Abigail Allen b. est 1682 and family William Clark and Hannah Griswold. If you need more details, let me know. --DataAnalyst 22:26, 6 December 2011 (EST)

I looked at Abigail. It appears that you turned the source citation for her birth into a note. And in family William Cleark and Hannah Griswold, it appears that you moved Thomas Clark from the page number field to the record name field. Is this all that you did to those two pages? And you're saying that neither of those changes "stuck" when you moved the cursor away from and then back to the row? Did you happen to re-edit the pages to see if the changes were still there on the edit screen? It's possible that we have a caching problem - that the server is showing a pre-edited version of the page when you cursor away and then back to the row. Though when I just tried this, cursoring away and back showed the edits I had just made. Additional information would help me track this down. Thank you--Dallan 01:11, 7 December 2011 (EST)
Dallan, DataAnalyst made some important changes to William and Hannah that included adding a source showing two more wives than were there. Having been notified of changes, I analyzed them, looked up some sources, and added those wives. Of course the description says GEDCOM upload, but as another user, there is no indication whether the upload is completed or still proceeding. I did not change either of the indicated pages directly (in fact, I don't think Abigail Allen exists yet as a regular page, and I, fortunately, didn't add her and the other children of the three marriages, though I considered it since I had some sources on the screen in front of me during this process) but one change I made ended up propagating something to the Family page.
I have only uploaded a GEDCOM once or twice, but I know there are two types of changes: I think changes to existing pages are real-time, but adds get held and may or may not get made permanent at the end of the process. I just mention my actions because, depending on the time between cursoring away and cursoring back, I see various potential effects that might create something that looks like a "caching problem". I assume the above discussion takes this into account, but just wanted to mention it as a potential complication. --Jrich 09:36, 7 December 2011 (EST)
You're right - changes to existing pages are immediate, but adding family members doesn't happen until the upload is complete. It's not ideal, but I can't think of a way around this.--Dallan 00:40, 8 December 2011 (EST)
Dallan - you are exactly right about the changes I made. That is all I changed on those records (I had changed a couple of other records earlier, but not tracked the changes). After making the changes, moving my cursor and moving back, I tried re-editing and got the original GEDCOM without my changes - in fact, I made the same changes to Abigail twice so that the second time, I could verify what happened the first time. If I remember correctly, the second time I made the changes to Abigail, I added the note but forgot to remove the source and saved it. I immediately noticed this and re-edited the page (without moving my cursor off Abigail) and the edit page reflected my changes so I only had to make the incremental change of removing the source. Saved and it looked good. Moved my cursor off and then back and the changes disappeared.
Given that the edit page the second time around did not reflect my changes, and when I made the second edit and missed part of it, the display reflected exactly what I did the second time, it is clear that I really was back to the original GEDCOM record the second time I edited.
If this is not happening to you, then maybe it is my local setup. I changed computers about a month ago and this is the first GEDCOM I have tried - well, not quite, because I imported a version of the same GEDCOM a week or so ago and noticed the same issue with it. I deleted that GEDCOM when I realized that my updated genealogy program had put text in the GEDCOM that I did not want. So this might be an issue with caching on my computer. My technical support person (aka husband) is away tonight, so I might not mess around with settings until tomorrow or the weekend.
It is good to know that the changes are there even if I don't see them. I'll look for them in the uploaded GEDCOM. Thanks for checking this out. If this additional info gives you some ideas, check them out. Otherwise, I'll let you know if my husband can help me figure out any caching options that might be making a difference on my end. BTW, I am using IE 8.
And JRich, thanks for the comments, but in this case, I don't think that anything you might have done would have affected my GEDCOM. Especially since I saw the same behaviour in the first version of my GEDCOM a week or so ago and I had not done any merging with it yet. --DataAnalyst 18:58, 7 December 2011 (EST)
Just so I understand clearly, you're saying that you still don't see the changes that you made to those pages when you review your gedcom? I've put the gedcom back for your review. Would you mind reviewing your gedcom and checking those pages once more for me? If the caching problem is happening to you, then it's happening to others as well. If you could try this again and verify that you're still not seeing your changes (perhaps try changing a different page to see what happens), please let me know and I'll make some changes to the software to see if I can fix the problem. I'm sorry to ask you to be the "guinea pig", but I don't have a good way to test whether I've fixed this since I can't reproduce it at my end.
Also, when you review the gedcom, could you re-look at William Clark and Hannah Griswold as a family match? You've marked them as "not a match", but they look like a match to me? Thank you!--Dallan 00:40, 8 December 2011 (EST)
I looked at the GEDCOM you put back for review, and I now see the edits I previously made. However, when I changed another record (William Clark's individual record - moved "Thomas Clark" from page number to record name), I encountered the same behaviour as before - changes appear to be saved, but the display reverts back to the original GEDCOM data when I move the cursor away and then back. So I tried changing another record (similar change to Joseph Gilbert) and this time I refreshed the page after saving the edit. This forced a reload of the GEDCOM, and then I saw my changes, including the changes to William Clark's record. So it does appear to be a caching problem. I tried same thing again with one more record (Mary Richard) just to double-check that I am describing the issue correctly and confirmed the same thing - move the cursor off the record and back on and the edits are gone, but reload the screen and the edits appear.
Re: William Clark and Hannah Griswold - these were not a match at the time I reviewed the GEDCOM (wrong William Clark in the marriage). I fixed the record manually after I submitted the GEDCOM, so now they match. I had planned to do a post-upload merge, but I have matched the family in the GEDCOM instead.
I don't mind being a guinea pig. I've done a considerable amount of system testing over the past few years at work - this is pretty minor in comparison. I hope I can help by being explicit in describing the issue. Let me know what else I can to do help on this one. --DataAnalyst 21:04, 8 December 2011 (EST)
Thank you. I think I've solved the caching problem. Would you mind checking it again? If it's working now, please mark it ready to import and I'll import it. (I'm moving the database to a larger server later this evening, so you may need to wait until tomorrow.) I appreciate your help with this, and your clear explanations.--Dallan 22:06, 9 December 2011 (EST)
Sorry - not fixed yet. Removed underscores from citation for Elizabeth Belcher and the same problem occurred. Do you want more information on my IE options? --DataAnalyst 10:20, 10 December 2011 (EST)
Dallan - I have noticed recently that WeRelate is no longer offering a place name when I start typing in a place field, and when I think about it, this is just since I changed computers. Do you think I have a security setting that is preventing this, and also affecting the GEDCOM, or have you changed WeRelate so that it no longer gives dropdown lists on place names when you start typing? --DataAnalyst 11:18, 10 December 2011 (EST)

I looked through the server logs, and I can see where you were accessing and updating Elizabeth Belcher. It looks as though somehow you were using the old version of the gedcom review program, which is odd, because I thought I had bumped up the version number to force everyone to use the updated version. Anyway, I bumped up the version number again; could you try this once more? Bring up your gedcom for review, press "Control-F5" to force the browser to get the latest version of the gedcom review program (or even better, clear your browser cache before reviewing the gedcom, but control-F5 should work), then try once more to edit someone. Please let me know if it still doesn't work, and let me know who you edited like you just did, so I can review the server logs to see what happened. By the way, I tried this in IE8 (with the updated gedcom review program; I didn't think to try it beforehand), and it worked.

As for place drop-down lists, they should work in all the places they used to. I haven't made any changes. I've never added place auto-completion to the Search or Add Page forms - maybe that's where you're not seeing it? It should be there in the place fields when you edit a page however. One thing that would be helpful to know: when you click on this link, do you see text that begins with response header status 0?--Dallan 22:49, 10 December 2011 (EST)

Sorry, still not working. I cleared browser history and used ctrl-F5 and changed William Clisby (removed bold in citation). Same bug. Then I rebooted and changed Amy Gilbert (2 changes in a citation) - same bug. I checked the link (both before and after I rebooted) and it shows text beginning with response header status 0. I also tried editing an existing person page and the place auto-complete is not working. (Neither is the journal auto-complete working when I add a new source page for a journal article.) Is the auto-complete Java? --DataAnalyst 10:00, 11 December 2011 (EST)
Ok, I might have found the problem. It appears that both problems have the same root cause. The next problem is how to fix it :-).
The problem is that when you click on the "submit" button after editing the page, some javascript needs to run to tell the gedcom review program that you've updated the page. It's not running. Similarly, the javascript needed to run for auto-complete (javascript is needed; java is not) isn't running either. Javascript could either be turned off in your browser altogether, turned off just for WeRelate, or an error could have been encountered while running the javascript for the edit page, which caused it to stop running. I have a few more questions to try to determine which one it is.
When you edit a page normally - not during gedcom review, does the place auto-complete work?
When you're looking at a person page in the gedcom review program, can you click on the "Spouse and children" or "Parents and siblings" links at the left and navigate to the family pages?
The screen changes, but it says there is no info on the family, even when there is.
When you're editing a page during gedcom review, can you click on a "Remove" link to the right of an event, source citation, or note to remove it?
If you exit the gedcom review program and re-open it, do you see your edits then?
Does everything work if you use Firefox or Chrome for gedcom review?
Haven't tried, and unfortunately don't have time right now.
Thank you for your help and patience with this.--Dallan 14:05, 12 December 2011 (EST)
See my answers above in italics. I have a meeting I have to run to - will check in later. --DataAnalyst 19:36, 12 December 2011 (EST)

For some reason I can't understand, javascript is running, but the (jquery) document ready event isn't firing on your browser. I can walk you through trying to figure out why, but at this point it may be less trouble to use a different browser or upgrade to IE9. If you're interested,

  1. Review your gedcom
  2. Click on "Developer tools" in the browser "Tools" menu. This opens a new window.
  3. Click on the "Script" tab on the left, and make sure that the "Console" tab is clicked on the right.
  4. Edit a page and save it
  5. Let me know what appears in the Console tab in the Developer tools window.

--Dallan 00:41, 15 December 2011 (EST)

Console shows the following line (13 times):
'addthis' is undefined wikibits.yui.28.js, line 1 character 24840

--DataAnalyst 16:05, 16 December 2011 (EST)

That helpful. I just made a change that could fix that problem. Could you try editing a page to see if the place drop-down is working again? If it is, could you try reviewing your gedcom again and editing a page in there? I've got my fingers crossed :-). Thanks.--Dallan 17:46, 16 December 2011 (EST)
Still not working. I updated Elizabeth Belcher before a restart and then Thomas Buckingham after a restart - same bug. Sorry. Will try Firefox soon.--DataAnalyst 19:39, 16 December 2011 (EST)
Sticking my oar in here, Data. . . . I would strongly urge you to download Firefox or Chrome. Both are excellent browsers, both are free, and I use them both, depending on what I'm doing. Both are continually increasing their share of the browser market, and for good reason. Internet Explorer has continually been losing share, also for good reason. Almost the only regular users of IE nowadays are those who have no choice -- corporate captives and such whose employers buy into the "only Microsoft" mantra and disallow non-Microsoft software on their systems. IE has a great many problems, and new problems in each new version, largely because of Microsoft's self-absorbed attitude that only they know the best (and only) way to do anything. Firefox and Chrome (because Google generally has more sense than Microsoft) pay close attention to their user base and respond to real or perceived problems very quickly. There. Got that off my chest. :-) --MikeTalk 08:05, 17 December 2011 (EST)

Dallan - I feel like I've sent you on a wild goose chase, because my husband finally found the problem on my end. We installed an anti-adware hosts file, available from, that maps known ad and malware sites to Some site in that list must be one that you are using, because when we revert to the default hosts file and flush the DNS cache everything works. We've tried it twice to confirm. If you would be able to take a look at that list and identify which site is needed, we could comment it out and still be protected from other sites.

The hosts file affects all web browsers and internet communication. (I had previously confirmed that using Firefox did not fix the bug.)

I assume you know this already, but (for the benefit of other readers) in Windows the hosts file is found in c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc. Changes to the hosts file take effect immediately, but because of dns caching on newer versions of Windows it's always advisable to perform an "ipconfig /flushdns" after making changes.

Sorry that it took us so long to figure this out - I hope this did not waste too much time on your end trying to "fix" the javascript. But at least we know what it is now. Let me know if you can't find any site in the hosts file that seems to be causing the problem - another possibility is simply that this list is too long, so we could try shortening it. Thanks for your patience working on this. --DataAnalyst 09:52, 17 December 2011 (EST)

I'm glad we got to the bottom of this! It looks like the hosts file you mentioned includes We (and many other websites, including apparently use AddThis's buttons to make it easy for people who want to share their pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. And disabling that causes the other javascript that should run after it on the page to also be disabled. I'll change it the next time I'm in that code so if addthis is disabled, it doesn't impact the rest of the javascript. But you might want to consider removing addthis from your copy of the list.--Dallan 00:10, 18 December 2011 (EST)
Thanks - I have re-instated the hosts file with "addthis" commented-out and the javascript seems to be working for me now. --DataAnalyst 17:16, 18 December 2011 (EST)

Down for maintenance message [17 December 2011]

The down for maintenance message is still on the home page.--Beth 18:53, 10 December 2011 (EST)

Odd - it doesn't show up for me. I've just done an empty edit of the page. Maybe you can force a refresh of your browser window?--Dallan 22:10, 10 December 2011 (EST)

Thanks, that worked. No longer seeing message.--Beth 07:44, 11 December 2011 (EST)

Wow! The new server (I assume that's the reason for the change) just screams through my watchlist. It probably is taking less than a quarter as long, maybe better.
That's good - I'm glad to hear it.
The search results now show recent edits in the list. I can deal with it just fine, but I wanted to note that I am not particularly fond of this change. I liked the recent edits better on the side. Now, they don't seem to be ordered by relevance, rather, all recent edits come before the other pages. I tend to work on a whole family, so most of my recent edits tend to have the same surname, same locations. I find that most of the time I don't want a recent edit, so it pushes the more likely candidates down, often out of the visible are, even if there is an exact match. The saving grace is that things seem to get cached quicker. --Jrich 16:28, 17 December 2011 (EST)
I see what you're saying. I don't want to move them back to the side, because we're having problems with people creating duplicate pages within a few minutes of each other, and I'm hoping that putting them at the top of the search results list will make it more obvious to choose a recently-added page instead of creating a duplicate. But I can make them take up less space vertically, so you don't have to scroll down so far to get past them. I'll do that on Monday. And yes, we're indexing changes every 15 minutes now. I'll try shortening that to 10 minutes, which should also help.--Dallan 00:10, 18 December 2011 (EST)