User talk:Dallan/Archive 2013-16



Migrating to Wikimedia [13 January 2013]

Hi, I noticed you discussed extensively about migrating WeRelate to Wikimedia on this page, and you offered to bring it up at the watercooler. Has there been any news since then? -- Ypnypn 12:43, 31 December 2012 (EST)

I'm going to presume to comment, since Dallan can be a little hard to reach and I've got an opinion anyway! I just skimmed that page - and it looked to me like getting the WR code base to the point of being a reasonable open-source project is a practical pre-requisite. To my knowledge, Dallan is still working on that. Further, I'm not aware of a wider discussion of doing something like this yet - though such a discussion might be confined to the oversight committee. As far as I can see - the primary benefits would be prestige and/or credibility. I wouldn't expect any immediate up-side from the perspective of most users. Is there a particular benefit that you see from such an affiliation? --jrm03063 14:32, 31 December 2012 (EST)
I've been on a full-time consulting contract and don't have a lot of free time right now, but the plan is to bring this up on the watercooler to get reactions to the idea. Yes, it requires me to migrate to the latest version of MediaWiki, and I don't see any particular change that it would make from the perspective of most users other than being able to remove the google ads. I'm going to start taking Friday's off this year, so hopefully I'll be able to make more progress in migrating the codebase.--Dallan 07:59, 13 January 2013 (EST)
Have you noticed that, in spite of the huge increase in productivity brought about by contemporary tools (relative to what I presume you and certainly I started with), there are still not enough hours in the day to accomplish what needs to be done? I sometimes feel like there's a perverse and sadistic variant of Moore's law at work here. Research appropriate for an Ig Nobel I should think!  :) --jrm03063 11:10, 13 January 2013 (EST)

Propagating GEDCOM data? [23 January 2013]

Yesterday a page I happened to be on the watchlist for was changed by a GEDCOM upload. The GEDCOM added a marriage to a person who had previously only a birth. When I looked at the Family page for the marriage, the person's information was different than what I saw on his Person page. Among other differences: the family page showed the surname capitalized, the double/dating of the birth date and location of birth were removed, there was a death date added. I.e., the information shown on the Family page looked like what I imagine was in the GEDCOM, even though the actual Person page had no changes other than the addition of the marriage. In the History for the Family page, look at the older versions to see this, while the history of the Person page shows no version that had these changes. I assume the Family page is different because the GEDCOM version of the Person page was propagated to the Family page? Even though the GEDCOM person page wasn't or hasn't yet been stored. Finally I edited the Person page to make some other changes and everything is again consistent.

Now the GEDCOM upload process has multiple steps and may take a user several days to complete, so I am wondering if the observed differences portended pending updates already stored, or if the user will do their final merge of Person pages using a dynamically-loaded realtime version of the page? Further, what effect will my edits will have on the whole process? Will the changes I make cause an error because the page no longer matches? Will it confuse the user because the page doesn't look the way it did when he matched the Families? Are the user's changes stored pending completion of the process, when their updates are applied in bulk, wiping out the edits I did today? On top of those worries, this could be (i.e., was) confusing, to see information on a Family page that can't be found, so that one can't do edits to fix it or see the attached sources, etc.

Don't know if there is any need to mark a page as being involved in a GEDCOM upload, as a warning to other users. I just get notified of changes when the page is saved, and it is hard to tell if more is coming or not. Of course, there is the issue of how long it can take, and whether it gets abandoned. --Jrich 12:22, 23 January 2013 (EST)

Jonas Ullberg 1706-1770. [24 February 2013]

Hello Dallan, I am new on werelate so I do not understand from the set up of this system if you are interested in Jonas Ullberg or you are a watcher to all what is happening on werelate. In any case I ask you to superwise me on the use of werelate. See my article about Jonas Ullberg wchich should be of interest to his family. What will be the best way to make it possible for them to find this information and search and check for swedish history and swedish churchbooksfacts? I live in Norway and are not related to Ullberg, but I found the misspelling of the names "hellberg" og "ullberg" so interesting that I wished the right persons to be known with it. I think that only a genealogist would be able to put together historical and genealogical material so a 250 years old misspelling of a name would come to the surface. Is a point like that within your specialities? --Frank Burmann--Frank Burmann 16:10, 17 February 2013 (EST)

Hi Frank. I looked at Person:Jonas Ullberg (1) and clicked on the History link to see that the only contributor is User:Dlongmore. There are a couple of things you could do to tell people about your research.
  • Leave the information on Person:Jonas Ullberg (1), or leave a URL that points to your article if you've already posted it on a different website.
  • Go to User_talk:Dlongmore and leave a message, telling them about your article.
--Dallan 22:02, 24 February 2013 (EST)

Main Page [8 March 2013]

Hi Dallan,

The main page recognition article doesn't appear to have changed for a while. Is this something you are open to anyone doing with the direction of the nominated pages and the guidelines that are there?

Jeffrey--JeffreyRLehrer 21:30, 4 March 2013 (EST)

User:Delijim is currently volunteering to change the featured page, but I'm sure he'd love to have some help! I'll leave him a message on his talk page. Perhaps you'd like to leave him a message as well?--Dallan 11:58, 8 March 2013 (EST)

Congratulations on your consulting [20 April 2013]

I was glad to see you say that you had secured a full-time consulting position with a company which was occupying your time. Good to hear someone secure full employment in the current economic environment. --ceyockey 05:43, 16 April 2013 (EDT)

Thanks! Unfortunately we're behind a bit in development - trying to get a beta out soon - so I haven't been able to spend as much time on WeRelate as I would like lately. I'll let you know when we have something to show though; I think it will be pretty interesting.--Dallan 21:44, 20 April 2013 (EDT)

Rating the suggestions [6 July 2013]

I guess counting the number of folks who watch a suggestion is one way to rate which suggestions might need your first attention; but I'll bet you could get a pretty good picture if you'd start a "Pet Peeve" page. I'm thinking of little things that cause big frustrations. Like missing a button here or there. Nothing major, but little things can cause the frustration level to go pretty high.

While I have your attention, I will add that by removing accomplished suggestions, you are losing the psychological impact that a crossed off list of items accomplished would give. Let us see what is being accomplished so we don't give up hope. Right now my bucket of hope is pretty low. --janiejac 22:36, 20 April 2013 (EDT)

Not removing accomplished suggestions is a great idea. You've probably noticed that suggestions aren't getting implemented right now. The problem is that I'm working more than full-time for a genealogy start-up, trying to help them get launched later this year. Once I help them get launched, I'll be able to spend more time implementing suggestions on WeRelate.--Dallan 10:44, 21 April 2013 (EDT)
Hi Dallan, not sure if you've seen my question elsewhere but do you know what it would cost for the site to employ a developer to work on the suggestions list? AndrewRT 15:35, 5 July 2013 (EDT)
I believe developers cost anywhere from $10-15/hour for a college student to $100+ for an experienced professional. The website makes just enough to cover hosting costs; we would need additional money to hire a developer.
On a related note, I'm in the midst of making the WeRelate code open-source. It's not quite ready for others to use it yet (lack of documentation), but you can see the PHP and javascript code at 23:42, 6 July 2013 (EDT)

Raw HTML appears on WeRelate pages [16 May 2013]


I have been using WeRelate just a short time but started noticing raw HTML code in some of the drop-down menues. I am using a MAC-book computer and have made a screen shot of a page that exhibits this. I can email you the screen shot if you wish.

Best regards,

Richard -Rcampbell14 10:53, 15 May 2013 (EDT)

I have also noticed this from time to time, and it goes away on its own (maybe after I close IE and open it again - can't really remember). I think I figured out once that it might be related to an update occurring to WeRelate since I had logged on, but I could be wrong. I use a PC and IE 9.--DataAnalyst 21:42, 15 May 2013 (EDT)
This is an intermittent issue that I believe is caused by the WeRelate system being busy. It can be ignored. --Jrich 11:17, 16 May 2013 (EDT)

WeRelate agent [5 July 2013]

Hi Dallan, do you have any information anywhere as to the tasks that the WeRelate_agent is programmed to do? I think it may be useful to add this information (or a link to it) from the page WeRelate:Bots_for_page_maintenance to avoid duplication. AndrewRT 19:31, 21 June 2013 (EDT)

Good point - I'll do that now.--Dallan 11:30, 3 July 2013 (EDT)
Many thanks AndrewRT 15:33, 5 July 2013 (EDT)

Problem with biz coaching,info/link [7 July 2013]

Hi Dallan,

Having a problem with this site: [1]

I am using Google Chrome. I cleared my browsing info forever and it still is a problem when I select various pages on Werelate. Even when I clicked on your name on the home page just now to send you this message a new window opened for this Biz site. What should I do to eliminate this problem? I also ran a full virus scan and found no problems. Clicked on this message to add that you should not open the site link because I have not and a new window opened for the same site. So now I have 3 windows open for this site. Thanks, --Beth 21:50, 4 July 2013 (EDT)

Hi Dallan, I think this problem is now resolved. When I reviewed this page this Template Template:Vrtranscriptpage came up. I have deleted the template. It was attributed to jrm but doubt that he did it. --Beth 22:00, 4 July 2013 (EDT)

That did not fix it. The template is supposed to be some kind of Vital Records header but somehow this spam is connected to it. Help. --Beth 08:54, 5 July 2013 (EDT)
Hi Beth, I don't think the problem is related to the WR template, but to your computer in general. Is this happening when you open other sites or do a Google search? There is some information about this problem here. In Chrome type the following into the address bar:
Is there something there called If there is, click on the garbage can to the right of it. --Jennifer (JBS66) 09:03, 5 July 2013 (EDT)
Hi Jennifer, thanks. This Bizcoaching is unique to WeRelate on my laptop. I did not find this program in the Chrome extensions or in my installed programs. I ran the trial version of the Malware Removal program but the trial version leaves some registry errors and Bizcoaching Malware still exists when I use Google Chrome to access WeRelate. Will have to try another program.--Beth 11:02, 5 July 2013 (EDT)
I just googled " malware" and found several results with instructions for removing it. You might want to try one of those.--Dallan 23:48, 6 July 2013 (EDT)
Thanks Dallan, finally removed the malware yesterday.--Beth 08:21, 7 July 2013 (EDT)

Can't upload gedcom [28 September 2013]

Hi Dallan,

I have tried several times to upload my gedcom file, but keep getting an error message saying the file is too big or has the wrong file extension:

  "This file appears to be larger than the maximum allowable size of 5,000 people. Another reason you might be seeing this message is if you're trying to upload a file that is larger than 12 megabytes, which generally means that it is not a GEDCOM. See Help:GEDCOM for more information."

The file in question is:

  28_Sep_2013_all.ged, 2.7MB in size, less than 700 people

Help please!

Thanks, Ruth Stephens--Marytennessee 21:39, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

I moved WeRelate to a faster server last week and one of the settings was mis-configured so that all GEDCOMs over 2Mb in size got rejected. It's fixed now. Thank-you for telling me about the problem.--Dallan 20:27, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Update of 1 October 2013 [2 October 2013]

I opened my email this morning (Tuesday) to see this latest upload of wiki sources. Usually this happens on Sundays.

The first place I saw was [[Place:Little Smeaton (near Pontefract), West Riding of Yorkshire, England|Little Smeaton (near Pontefract)]] to which I made another amendment yesterday about 6pm UK time (1pm EDT). I can't see those changes in the History and I can't be sure what they were--I may alter 50 places a day and it's too much to make paper notes beyond a "completed" tick. I thought I changed the name--replacing Pontefract with Selby, to which it is better linked.

The upload procedure is probably a two-operation thing. First finding the places to be updated and then fixing them. If there is a break in time between one operation and the other at your end, this kind of problem can occur. Is there a phrase you can put in the email to indicate when the first run happened, so that we can be aware of double-fixes like this which may not mesh with each other?

Many thanks --Goldenoldie 08:48, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

The wikipedia update process has been having some problems since we switched over to the new hardware last week. I tested it yesterday afternoon and it stopped about half-way through. I re-started it last night and it finished this morning. I'm going to keep monitoring it, but generally I would expect the time between the two phases to be fairly short -- less than an hour. You can see the changes that it's made by selecting "Recent changes" from the "Admin" menu, then clicking on "Show bots", then selecting either the "Template" or the "Place" namespace. (Templates are updated first, then places.) I know this is not what you're asking for above, but it wouldn't be that easy to add a phrase in the email. Alternatively, I could create a special wiki page that the wikipedia update process would update as it was running, that could include when it started the template update phase, when it started the places & persons update phase, and when it finished.--Dallan 13:43, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Hi Dallan Thanks for your explanations as to how the wikipedia update works and where to find the progress. Now, where in my mental or paper or electronic filing cabinet of numerous instructions am I going to put it so that I can use it again? <smile> What you suggest in your last sentence appears to be pretty well a re-hash of what is in Admin/Show bots/Template or Space.

Although AndrewRT has been mentioning for several weeks there was new software which we might take on, your message above is the first that this lowly but keen WR member knew that it had been instigated. Perhaps the Home Page needs a box with news of WR technical updates?

Regards --Goldenoldie 08:51, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

I believe AndrewRT is talking about updating the software to the latest version of the MediaWiki software. That hasn't started yet. What I did last week was update the hardware to faster hardware. Not much visible has happened with the software recently unfortunately. I'm making the code open-source and making it easy for developers to install and run, to encourage other developers to contribute. Once that's done, which should be later this week, I'll make an announcement, ask for volunteers to help with the coding, and we'll update to the latest version of MediaWiki.--Dallan 19:46, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Sharing an article [14 October 2013]

Hello Dallan,

I thought I would share this article I compiled

Thank you for WeRelate

Regards Jeffrey--JeffreyRLehrer 01:08, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

Nice article - thanks!--Dallan 22:31, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

Duplicate Pages Patrol [10 December 2013]

Hello, I would like to volunteer for the Duplicate Pages Patrol. Run4Fun--Run4Fun 16:56, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Thank you! I've added you to the list. The instructions, which I'm sure you've seen, are here. There's not a lot of activity currently, but there are several hundred potential duplicates that need to be reviewed. Let me know if you run into any questions. Thanks again!--Dallan 18:33, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Draw attention to question on Naming Conventions talk page [13 December 2013]

I'm not sure how carefully you read every change to every talk page, so I thought I would draw your attention to the fact that I have asked you to weigh in on a discussion (regarding the effort and advantage of making a system change) on the Naming conventions talk page. The question is in section: Norwegian Names on WeRelate. Thanks.--DataAnalyst 15:28, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

Drinkwater not a gedcom file [29 December 2013]

Thanks for putting up with me as I learn to use this website. I need to do a major housecleaning job on the computer. Will try this again later when I am better organized. EKBDVA--EKBDVA 19:38, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Drinkwater sources [12 January 2014]

I submitted a GEDCOM for the Drinkwater family and when I reviewed it (after it was accepted and imported) I discovered that the sources/references are all screwed up especially Samuel's. Is this the robot at work? Or am I a bigger idiot than I realized. I put a query on "talk" about it. Please advise. EKBDVA--EKBDVA 21:55, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Drinkwater sources [13 January 2014]

I submitted a GEDCOM for the Drinkwater family and when I reviewed it (after it was accepted and imported) I discovered that the sources/references are all screwed up especially Samuel's. Is this the robot at work? Or am I a bigger idiot than I realized. I put a query on "talk" about it. Please advise. EKBDVA--EKBDVA 21:55, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Sometimes the sources in GEDCOM files coming from certain record managers are difficult to import well. Can you add a link to Samuel's page here? I'll take a look at it.--Dallan 15:20, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Hi Dallan, here is Samuel's page: Person talk:Samuel Drinkwater (7) --Jennifer (JBS66) 15:28, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Poor quality GEDCOM - how to handle [28 January 2014]

Is there a recommended way to address a recent GEDCOM upload that appears to have very poor quality data? I have only looked at small parts of this GEDCOM (from User:KellysFamilyTree), and what I have seen are:

  • a person not connected to anyone else: Person:Elizabeth Ditty (3) - I merged her record with an existing record for presumably the same person
  • a couple not connected to anyone else, which was a duplicate of a pre-existing WeRelate page: Family:Michael Feasel and Elizabeth Ettinger (2) (I merged them)
  • a person whose family tree appears to be a mess: Person:John Dixon (82) was connected to parents married a hundred years before his birth (I unlinked him); his source is an 1841 census record that shows him with a different wife and children than are shown in the GEDCOM; his son Thomas's record appears to be a compilation of two of more different Thomas Dixons, etc.

I started trying to fix John Dixon and decided that fixing his record would involve chopping it up into separate trees and then adding the correct information - basically redoing this person's family tree.

I think that the best thing to do is to remove this GEDCOM, but I don't know what the protocol is. I'd like to be tactful - it appears that this part of the tree was picked up from an Public Member Tree that has the same mess. I have not reviewed other parts of this tree, so there may be parts that are perfectly good, but I don't know how much effort I want to put into validating it. Suggestions?--DataAnalyst 01:49, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

If this were an inactive user who had uploaded their tree a long time ago and hadn't been back since, I'd simply delete the tree. But this is a new user who is currently active on the site. I'm going to ask User:JBS66 what she would suggest.--Dallan 04:33, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
We tend to consider deleting older trees from inactive users (especially those uploaded in 2007) because, at that time, WR did not have GEDCOM review standards. The thought is that users dumped their files and never came back to fix any of the multiple problems. With this file, the user is new, the GEDCOM went through a check where if there had been extensive problems it would have been rejected, and the user is uploading items like photos and newspaper clippings. I would not suggest deleting this file. Rather than taking on the task of cleaning up their errors, you may want to leave a message on the talk pages where you see problems, alerting this user (and others looking at the page) of the discrepancies. --Jennifer (JBS66) 12:41, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the advice. Will do.--DataAnalyst 02:34, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

All sources not showing on person pg [1 February 2014]

I thought I'd move this from the support pg to your talk page. Perhaps this is something pertaining to my computer but I don't think so. So I want to run it by you.

Would someone have a look at Person:Joseph Jackson (98). There are a total of 5 sources there, two of them census records for 1850 and 1860. But look at the edit page and see that I've input census source for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. The last two do not show up on the person page. I first thought it was because I did not use S1, S1 etc but that's not it; so what could be the reason all the sources do not appear on the person page? --janiejac 03:43, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

I see 7 sources. S1 and S2 appear to be duplicates.

Jillaine 09:28, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

   That is so strange! I see only 5 sources. And yes, S1 and S2 are the same source. I'm using Mozilla firefox. 

So I went back again today January 30th. The problem of missing sources still exists when viewing the page with Mozilla firefox; the 1870 and 1880 census sources don't show. But the page shows all sources and looks great when viewing with Internet Explorer. But when viewing with Chrome, the page is so wide the siblings and family chart don't even show without scrolling over but the 1870 and 1880 census sources do show. If this is something that doesn't show this way on your computer, it must be something pertaining to my computer. But thought you should know just in case. --janiejac 23:24, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

I use Mozilla Firefox and I have no problem. Can see two possible problems: 1) you need to scroll because they're simply off the screen. Assuming it's not that simple (probably, but had to check), then the other item that looks funny is the link to ancestry, because it is so long (though it doesn't cause me problems). I would suggest enclosing the link to ancestry inside brackets, as in []. This will mean the link doesn't take up so much screen space, just in case its excessive length is causing the browser to stop working when it hits the first long link (which happens to be in source 5, i.e., the last one you can see any part of).
I didn't want to change the page and have it behave differently and nobody would know why. So I offer here links to the census pages on (free and usable by people like me that don't have ancestry): 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880. I would recommend adding a link to the Find a Grave citation instead of giving the memorial number. If you use the standard template, it looks like this: {{fgravemem|45153349|Joseph T. Jackson}}. I would also recommend adding an estimated marriage date to Mary's marriage so it shows up at the top of the page with Louisa's marriage and so the infoboxes show in the right order (bef 1863, based on birth of eldest known child). --Jrich 00:27, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
I think it has to do with the length of the links in the notes. Try putting the links inside brackets, like this.--Dallan 16:46, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Always a learning experience! I had not noticed earlier that yes, those 'missing' source references were clear at the bottom of the page because the length of the URL forced them below the family table! So I've learned how to shorten that long URL, used the shorter version, and now it shows just fine.
And yes, it would be much more convenient to those who don't have access to to use a different source for census records but finding them elsewhere would be a major undertaking for me. The same for changing my method of references to Find-a-Grave would entail going back to each person uploaded to edit the reference. Folks can search by memorial number. Hmm, perhaps I can start putting the URL of the memorial page in the notes. That will help for future uploads. Thanks everyone for helping me work though this!

Andrew Cowan (10) [14 February 2014]

Andrew Cowan is noted in your changes as being married to Nancy Rutledge. This Andrew has birth date of his father b. 1744 Robert Cowan?? I think?? Nancy Rutledge married Robert Cowan, not Andrew. Andrew Cowan, the son, is buried in Cowan-Delaney Cemetery near or next to his parents. I have noted this incorrect birthdate before and it is still there. Robert Cowan was b. 1744 and lived in Sullivan Co. I don't know anything else about this Andrew but he didn't marry Nancy Rutledge, sister of General George Rutledge, father George Rutledge (maybe William George).


da--DAtkinson 15:58, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

I just looked up the page for Person:Andrew Cowan (10) and it appears to have been deleted in 2009. Perhaps you are referring to a different page? I'm pretty sure I haven't edited any pages like that recently; perhaps you could make a note on the page or on the talk page about the incorrect information, or even better correct it? Thanks--Dallan 02:31, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, Dallan, I should have posted a follow up here. The message above was meant for me and I followed up on DAtkinson's talk page. The errors have been taken care of.--DataAnalyst 12:44, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Could we have a Place Pages--Wikipedia update please? [1 March 2014]

Now that the where do we go from here questionnaire has been analysed, would you be kind enough to do another update to the Place Pages. This is promised at once a week and it's been far from that for quite a while.

I seem to have nominated myself to update British place pages and it's a big job. I depend on Wikipedia as well as some British sources that I am familiar with. And I hate to see the "the following text is copied from an article in Wikipedia" notice without the article in question. But so many of the Wikipedia entries include distances from place A to place B and, as you know, these don't convert. Any suggestions as to how to work around this without copying and pasting the WP text and marking it up again would be appreciated. (Mind you, the copying and pasting often leads to dropping sentences or paragraphs of material that have nothing to do with genealogy--such as what kind of supermarket exists in the village or who their present Member of Parliament is.)

Another problem I encountered a couple of weeks ago: I was working on a little place named Melbourne in the East Riding of Yorkshire. I decided to investigate "What links here" and discovered about 50 people whose link was not to Yorkshire, but to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Every time I corrected one the search engine pulled up Melbourne, Yorkshire, England again. Each correction had to be done twice. The task took most of an afternoon. To the technically uneducated, there is something wrong here. I wonder if Melbourne, Derbyshire, England holds as many would-be Oz natives as Melbourne in the East Riding did?

/cheers --Goldenoldie 07:52, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

The wikipedia update needs to be started manually and now and periodically monitored, which takes extra time, so I no longer do it unless people ask. I'll start it up right now.
If the place text is simply "Melbourne" with no country, the place matcher doesn't know which place to link to and chooses the place with the shortest page title, which is the one in Australia. If the place text were "Melbourne, England" it would likely link to Melbourne in Derbyshire, since that's the page with the shortest title in England. If the place text were "Melbourne, Yorkshire, England" then it should link to the Melbourne in East Riding of Yorkshire. Choosing the page with the shortest title isn't always a great choice, I know, but when there are multiple matching places to choose from, it's difficult for the place matcher to know which one to choose.--Dallan 16:19, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

Many thanks for the update. --Goldenoldie 17:10, 25 February 2014 (UTC)


I think something went wrong with the update. I have only checked two places so far, but on both all there is is a red-lined template reference, not the text from Wikipedia. Take a look at [[Place:Howgrave, West Riding of Yorkshire, England|Howgrave]]. {{source-wikipedia|Howgrave}} was correct, wasn't it?

I won't have time to check any more for 3-4 hours.

Regards --Goldenoldie 08:12, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I'm re-running it now. It's started crashing periodically; I'm not sure why. I'll continue to monitor it over the next couple of days and reply here when it completes successfully.--Dallan 16:16, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Sorry to hear about the glitch. Look forward to seeing it right.

--Goldenoldie 17:11, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

All pages should be updated now.--Dallan 15:24, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Thank you. Until the list started filtering into my emailbox, I had not idea how long ago some of the pages had been worked on. I use {{moreinfo}} a lot more now. That should save you some trouble from here on in. Regards --Goldenoldie 17:11, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Simplest Idea for Living People [26 March 2014]

Here's the simplest idea I can think of - it does require some effort from you - but maybe not much.

Find a web hosting service that will work with you - craft a complete install of the WR server and environment in a virtual machine - and let the hosting service rent people access to whatever processing, storage and other resources they needed on a month-to-month basis. Only change is to document how to change whether non-logged in users can display pages or not. Maybe they wouldn't need a VM, but instead, just a list of installation instructions from tar balls. Not sure what's involved.

This would also work for groups who want to set up their own server for whatever purpose - DAR chapter, historical society, etc. They might want to let their versions show pages in the clear.

As time permits, in piecemeal form, try to evolve features into the "sub domain" server, that make it simpler to make use of and exchange information with the primary WM machines.

It's almost zero code, and even if the private instances of the server don't interact with the public shared server at all - people would still be using a package that looks and works in every way like the "real thing". --jrm03063 20:49, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Oh - and a PS on this - when this idea was tossed around on the BIG THREAD - someone suggested that the private side would be a nice way and place for people to work out the issues with their GEDCOMs before bringing them over to WR. With the right sorts of support and tools - maybe there would be no need to do an enormous transfer of the entire GEDCOM - but instead, just page by page as they're ready. Not my idea - but could be cool. If cheap enough - might even be a replacement for our current GEDCOM upload process. --jrm03063 20:57, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
It's a possibility, but it's not zero code. The challenge is that WeRelate wasn't designed from the start to work in a multi-tenant environment. We'd have to figure out how to handle gedcom uploads into the private space, how to handle searching, how to link to place pages and source pages that are in the public space, and a few other things. Every user would need to have their own database. It would work, I'm just not sure how great of a solution it would be long-term. It would be a very sandbox-like experience unless we made a few changes.--Dallan 22:04, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
I was thinking that it's one server per machine. Different instances live on their own (presumably virtual) machines. --jrm03063 22:10, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
A micro server at Amazon costs $0.02/hr or roughly $15/month. Do you think people would be willing to pay that?--Dallan 22:14, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
I would - and remember - it's not just you, but you and the other trusted members of your family group. When you travel to a cemetery or other places where you have wireless web access - you're still able to reach your site. I think there are other good reasons too - lots and lots of family photos, scanned to somewhere - then lost because no one really has a backup policy they adhere to? I agree it's not an entirely free approach - but I like the idea of keeping Allen County and FOLG at arms length from what people do with "living" data. --jrm03063 22:41, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
That's an interesting idea.--Dallan 16:52, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
I realize my $15/$20 month commitment isn't all that compelling, but I will work with you and commit to trying this for a year if we work out how to do it. I think it's a "product" that doesn't exist anywhere else - other genealogy "site software" seems just to be producing reports of a PC's database in HTML. You could argue that wikitree is trying to provide collaboration on a customized scale, but there are lots of problems with what they're doing and certainly the way they do it. I realize the target market is tiny compared to anything that would run directly on a Windows PC - but there's nothing else in that market. I did a quick google search for "cloud genealogy" - and came up with a talk that someone gave 3-4 years ago - talking about "find a grave" and other things being sure to follow. I would argue that find a grave really isn't a cloud anything - but I think this genuinely would be. Choose your group, decide on your rules, buy your storage as you find you need it, and off you go.
Were we to do this, I think we just start by trying to put together the software as it exists on a microserver. Then, try to figure out how to intelligently make use of the backing store at Allen County. Maybe "PLACE", "SOURCE" and "REPOSITORY" would just come from there.
BTW, thanks for the WP update and looking at the login problem, which obviously, seems not to be an issue today. --jrm03063 18:38, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

The challenges are I would have to make sure that the servers stayed running, and we'd still have the somewhat difficult-to-use wiki interface that many people say is challenging. An alternative I've been thinking about is an interface for online genealogy that was as easy to use as desktop genealogy - similar to how many people are moving from desktop Outlook to online gmail or yahoo mail, and then integrating this with WeRelate. I'll post some comments on WeRelate talk:Next Steps.--Dallan 16:48, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

I guess I don't see why that would be your responsibility. Is WR proper that flakey?
As to where you're going with this - I'll just have to see. I know I'm not the target market, but for my purposes, I'm sure I'm not interested in a desktop app - and definitely not something that's less capable than what I'm used to. --jrm03063 19:39, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
The three servers running WeRelate aren't flakey. But 100 servers, one for each of 100 people, would require some up-keep. Also, I'm not talking about a desktop app with the living thing. I'm talking about a cloud app that's as good as or better than a desktop app, like gmail is as good as or better than outlook.--Dallan 13:22, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Dallan, when I think about priorities that you mentioned earlier, I think that this app is more important than a multi-lingual UI. Many European users are quite comfortable with the English language, and WikiTree is English only too. An app that allows for living people, and gradual transfer of selected information to the wiki part may have a much better effect right now. And I think that this gradual transfer is needed, because the current GEDCOM upload procedure put me off long ago, and still does that. I have many places that are not converted properly, even when I select The Netherlands as default, and that makes uploading here a no go for me. There are other aspects involved, like Fred Bergman moving to Geni, which made WeRelate less atractive to me, and for the local part of my research that is a gap that's quite impossible to cross. Another aspect that an app can hopefully improve is the social part. I know that people like to get in touch, which is exactly what remote cousins do on WikiTree. And that works through subtle things like the ability to send a private message to a profile manager, which probably looks more inviting than the wiki lingo "Talk". I think that many people that don't edit anything on wikipedia have no idea what that "Talk" means, and even those who do, may not use it, because it is not private. Many cousins that contact me on other sites like to tell who they are, when they were born, who their (live) parents are, etc., and that's something that definitely does not work here. --Enno 22:41, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm starting to work on this app in parallel with making WeRelate multi-lingual. Actually, my son Taylor is preparing WeRelate to be multi-lingual (he spends a few hours each Saturday doing this - should have an initial cut ready to show in a few weeks), while I'm working on a "minimum viable product" (rough draft) of a site to handle living and support gradual syncing with WeRelate. I hope to have something very rough to show to solicit comments in a few months.--Dallan 18:20, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm replying here, because the next steps page is so large that I get lost there. Can you give a hint on what you're heading at? I can imagine that there will be pages for the same objects as we're used to, but I'm curious about possible support for rich content, like xhtml. I mention that, because I sometimes use Evernote to save pages that I find, and would really like to see a genealogical workbench that works a bit like that, or like Google docs or sites. Such technologies could be a real advantage over database driven raw text desktop programs that I use today. --Enno 11:52, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

That's interesting. I was thinking about an evidence-based model where you would create entries about the people and facts/events that you had found on a particular source, and then link the people listed in the entry to person pages. Each entry could contain unstructured text, pictures, links, and structured facts. You could create entries without linking them to anyone initially, and you (and others) could add comments to the entries. A possible metaphor is facebook, where you'd have a person profile for each person in your tree, a bunch of posts (entries), and the people listed in the entries would be "tagged" to the person profile pages.

Can you tell me more about what you're looking for?--Dallan 18:28, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

I'm quite confused by your use of the entries term. It suggests something quite specific, linked to a source, while my research process looks more chaotic, and is based on notes. Notes are all sorts of texts left behind by my late father, in Word, and emails and notes that I collect myself, partly in Evernote, others in LibreOffice Writer, or in Gramps. Some of these qualify as sources, clipped from archive sites, or trancribed from other documents, others are just thoughts and theories, or parts of other people's genealogies. They can contain everything you describe, and my first task would be archiving them in a way that works for me, like Evernote. And like Evernote, I like the app to store them without forcing me to create titles, or perform other bureaucratic tasks. Once archived, I like to add tags or categories and such, and to be able search them too, of course, again like Evernote, or OneNote, whatever you are acquainted with. Import from Evernote would be a real bonus here.
For notes that qualify as a source, I like to add attributes like author, title, date, volume/page, etc., so that, when I link those to persons and events, a proper reference (citation string) is shown there. Same for notes that describe places, buildings, their architects, whatever, quite wiki like, actually, but without having to know much wiki markup, if that's possible.
Structured facts are nice, but not a priority for me as yet. I spend a lot of time on Ancestry these days, and I see that they have a feature that allows one to create or update persons in the tree with data from the entries in an indexed source record. That is very nice, because they add the source references too, but right now, I don't see myself adding structured facts to the sources that I have. They could be derived by letting an app read the texts that I clipped from FamilySearch, or local archive sites, but that would mean interpreting html pasted from sites with lots of different lay-outs, and languages, because not every site I use has proper micro data yet.
I see these notes, which start as unlinked entries in your terms, as the 1st phase in an evidence-based workflow, and I really like to put them on a page of their own, like they appear on Evernote, not posts that are created on a person's page, or a group's, so in that way, I don't think that the Facebook model works for me. What I do like is their ease of use, but not the chaos that I feel when accessing such a page.
Notes are top level entities in Gramps, and I think they can be transferred via GEDCOM too, although the xhtml used by Evernote may be a bit harder to embed in there. That's more GedcomX like, where it is a valid document type, I think. I like to put notes first, and add attributes from the source and citation to them where available, also when importing from GEDCOM files, because that's where my information is. Source and citation attributes don't count as evidence for me. It is the actual text or structured data that I like to concentrate on, and that is in the note, or entry in your terms. --Enno 22:23, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Maybe WordPress is a better metaphor. It allows posts and comments, and has a decent editor, and posts can be marked private where needed. It might be a bit weird though, to have MediaWiki and WordPress on the same site. --Enno 13:00, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
There are a lot of good ideas here! I'm thinking an "entry" (post) can have unstructured text, links, and structured-data where you can enter names, facts, and relationships about people (technically personas in an evidence-based model), but it wouldn't have to have structured data at all. Some entries would correspond to sources, others would correspond to notes, others would correspond to discussions. I agree that entries should also allow you to enter bibliographic data like author, title, volume/page, etc. I hadn't thought about adding tags to entries, but I like the idea.
I think an advanced genealogist like you wouldn't use entries that correspond to sources much, but a beginning genealogist probably would, and having names+facts from the entry flow onto the person profile when the entry is tagged to someone in your tree, similar to how it flows in ancestry, would be convenient for them. I don't intend to write parsers to automatically extract names+facts from HTML pages for every site out there, but I think if I wrote parsers for FamilySearch and Ancestry and maybe one or two more it wouldn't be too onerous.
Entries (posts) will be first-class citizens. You'll be able to see all of the entries you have created in one big list, and you'll be able to sort, filter, and search them. Does that address your concern about the facebook model? How do you organize your entries in Evernote? Do you put them in separate folders or just use tags?
I like the wordpress metaphor as well, but I like facebook a little better because you can have the same facebook post tagged to multiple individuals so it can show up on multiple profile pages. Facebook posts can't be assigned tags though and you can't see a single list of all posts, so maybe the right way to think is using a bit of both.
I'm not thinking of merging this idea with MediaWiki. This is for a personal trees; we'll have to figure out how to integrate personal trees into the WeRelate shared tree in the future.--Dallan 01:52, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm still having problems with that "entry" term, but otherwise I think we're on the same track, and I like that. I like to create documents/notes/pages, whatever you call it in the end, and hope that this can be done from notes that I have on Evernote, and notes that I already have in Gramps as texts in sources and citations in such a way that each text is shown with the attributes of the source/citation that it belongs to, where citation refers to the SOURCE_CITATION structure as defined by GEDCOM 5.5, not the formatted text which is shown in source references.
You may not have expected this, but a large portion of the texts that I have in Gramps are indeed sources copied from local sites or FamilySearch. They are not very pretty, formatting wise, but I keep those to see what names appeared in records, hoping that one day personas will be properly implemented. And with rich text documents, maybe xhtml like in Evernote and GedcomX, I hope that some time I can make them look better, and sync them with my Gramps database.
The notes that I have in Evernote now are not well organized, meaning that they are all in one folder now, and don't have many tags either. I didn't spend time on that, because I soon figured out that without a stable site to put my tree on, it would not make much sense to create links from notes to persons and families. That's why I hope to be able to transfer them here, and the number of notes is not so large that I would really need an Evernote import feature here. That's just nice to have, but copy paste will probably work for me too, provided that your support of RTF or xhtml is OK. Most important for me is to have a workbench that concentrates around the entities that I prefer to work with, which are evidence (entries), families, and individuals. --Enno 22:14, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Inhabited places. [15 May 2014]

Would it be possible to obtain a list of all the "inhabited places" for a county with a list of what is in the “type” field? I am slowly ploughing through "Lancashire, England" and I would like to be able to differentiate between those with descriptions added and those which are still completely untouched with the exception of co-ords and "[This place] was an inhabited place." --Goldenoldie 13:42, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Would this page give you what you want? It shows all places listed under Lancashire along with their type.--Dallan 04:18, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Yes. I was reminded of this page yesterday when going through FACs, instructions, etc. before writing to you, but did not examine it. It is a help, and, obviously the best that be obtained without analysing the whole entry. Meanwhile I have made the list on the Lancashire page into a spreadsheet, broken down the list by the categories there, and have now analysed the inhabited places entries to the end of the D's. A-D took about 2-3 hours--this can often be the biggest part of an alphabetical list. I shall certainly use the listing from placelist/England for other counties.

The last entry I did last night was Dryford, Lancashire. For a smile, take a look at how I edited it. It pinpoints why I don't believe everything I read on Wikipedia. BTW, the original WeRelate entry was first on the list when I googled it.

Thanks and regards --Goldenoldie 06:07, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Wow - thank you for doing this!! (Do you think Dryford and Drypool are two names for the same place?)--Dallan 04:10, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

No, I think that somebody who didn't know England very well made a big "mistook", using a word introduced to me by a friend many years ago. I have added to the talk page on Wikipedia for this, but although I can write in "wiki" within WR, I don't have sufficient of the lingo to make the correction in WP. I wonder if someone will ever read it?

Once one gets to know Hull (or Kingston-upon-Hull)--two names for the same place like Bob and Robert--you learn just how huge a seaport it was in the days of sail and early steam. A large-scale map shows why. A beautifully protected harbour on a river a long way from the open sea with another river flowing into it from the north. Drypool was the immediate part of town adjacent to the docks. I've never been to Hull. This is the kind of thing I've been learning writing up places for WR. --Goldenoldie 05:42, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Concern re: another member/admin [21 May 2014]

Hi Dallan,

Neal Gardner here (contr. since 2009). I know you are quite busy, but I don't know who else to address a problem I'm having with another member/admin. If you have a moment please email me at or advise to whom I can address this. I'm not comfortable discussing this in a public forum. --Neal Gardner 21:18, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

case sensitivity [17 June 2014]

Hi Dallan,

Sorry if i am at the wrong place. I have a question. Why is it that when i add a Person and enter as birth place i enter "ambt doet" and the software seeks and finds case-insensitive. but then i add the source, , and then when i enter "ambt doet" it does not find the source, but when i enter "Ambt Doet" it does find. so my guess is that the find/all is case sensitive when finding sources, and case insensitive when finding places. am i right? and, more importantly, can it be changed (easily) ?

thanks, Ron woepwoep 19:06, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

You're right, and unfortunately it cannot be changed easily. It's a known issue.--Dallan 19:07, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
can i help? i know a thing or two about software programming. thx, Ron.
Help is greatly appreciated! Source searching is case-sensitive because it searches wiki titles from the database, which are case-sensitive, instead of searching sources using the search index, which is not case-sensitive and is what place searching uses. I added an issue for this here: If you have any questions, please add comments to that issue and I will answer them.--Dallan 21:09, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Another problem that may be related: If I rename a place page--let's call it Oneville-- by adding "(near Another Town)" because there is another Oneville, the renamed place turns up as "Oneville (near another town)" and I have to rename it a second time to get it the addition into upper case. (Just a small grrr) --Goldenoldie 19:50, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

I just tried renaming Place:Boyd, Lac qui Parle, Minnesota, United States to Place:Boyd (near Another Town), Lac qui Parle, Minnesota, United States and it worked correctly. I'm not sure what happened there?--Dallan 21:09, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm working with English places--with one less group of words broken with commas--I wonder if that's the problem. It happens all the time when working with English places. Try it at county level in the US and see if it happens. --Goldenoldie 06:24, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
That helps - thanks. I'll look into it.--Dallan 03:47, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Cowan, James 1817 [16 June 2014]

I just uploaded another bit of the 1806 James Cowan information I found. This information is dated 1817 and is a survey.

However, I inadvertently uploaded another page of the 1806Claim. I can't see a place to delete it. Can you do that for me?


I am learning.

da--DAtkinson 00:56, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Are you talking about Image:Cowan, James-Claim 1806 (District of St. Louis-Missouri).tif or Image:Cowan, James-Claim in Missouri 1806.tif?
You can delete either of these images by clicking either on the "more" link on the left-hand side, and then "Delete".--Dallan 01:10, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Changing Root person [17 June 2014]

Hi Dallan Please can you tell me how to change my root person and how to change the name of the tree from default? Thanks Sarah--Sdjeft 07:46, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

To rename a tree, select "Trees" from the MyRelate" menu, then select "rename/merge". To change the root person, launch the Family Tree Explorer, navigate to the person you want to make the root, then select "Make this Page Primary".--Dallan 03:46, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Help menu broken [27 June 2014]

The help menu, top right, has been broken for at least 2 days. Can't get to Watercooler, Support or Suggestions. --janiejac 01:24, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Help menu is working now.--Dallan 05:40, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Request for volunteers [4 July 2014]

Hi Dallan

On the 17th Jun you put a notice in "Watercooler" that volunteers were needed for the GEDCOM patrol and for the Sources panel. I considered this for a few hours, looked over the Instructions for Volunteers, and applied through the link there. To date I have not had a reply from anyone. I don't find this very polite, much less is it friendly. If people are on holiday, shouldn't they have someone who can read through the messages and politely tell us that it will be handled when the patrol-manager returns?

Regards --Goldenoldie 18:23, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

I'm so sorry. This is the first that I've heard of your willingness to volunteer - thank you! It looks like you left a message on Jennifer's talk page, and she asked you to leave a message on the GEDCOM review talk page and said she would email Solveig. It doesn't look like the talk page has been edited recently, and Solveig doesn't remember seeing an email and was unable to find anything in her spam folders. Solveig will contact you shortly. Thanks again.--Dallan 03:17, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
I apologize, I forgot to send Solveig the email. One of my animals went into congestive heart failure that week, and with multiple trips to the vet, my mental note to email Solveig was ineffective. I did respond on my talk page but I see you're not watching that Goldenoldie, so you may not have been notified.
It's great that we've had a few offers to volunteer from yourself, Cos1776, and recently Wongers. Having extra hands will help a lot! --Jennifer (JBS66) 14:34, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Translation of Messages [4 July 2014]

I took the liberty of modifying WeRelate:Messages to describe how I think you want the translations to be formatted. (I noticed there was a different idea about this on the French Messages page.) It'd be good if you check that what I added is correct.

I also added a Russian page as a user requested, by copying the English page, as that seemed to be the right initialization. 20:27, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

I saw that. Thank you. I also added a request that people leave a message on the talk page when they are ready to have their messages appear on the website.--Dallan 00:58, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Another contributor [18 July 2014]

Issue has been resolved.--Dallan 14:22, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Red-linked children on Family page [15 July 2014]

A user has asked me how to deal with pages such as this one. The children have been deleted, but have not been removed from the family page.

  1. Undelete the person pages (can only be done by an admin I believe)
  2. Edit the page to remove the red-linked children
  3. Other option?

Is this still happening when Person pages are deleted by a user? --Jennifer (JBS66) 15:58, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Normally when a person is deleted they are removed from the families. I just created a small family on the sandbox and deleted the child, and the child was removed from the family. Any idea why they weren't removed from the family in this case? If this is an on-going bug I'll fix it. In the meantime I think the best option is to edit the page and remove the red-linked children.--Dallan 03:23, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Common rewrites for firstnames and lastnames [30 jul 2014]

Hi Dallan,

I am entering the family name of Izereef. Common rewrites are : IJzereef, Isereef, and Isereve.

Currently i write these rewrites in every single one of the entries. Question: is there another way of telling the system that Izereef, Isereve, and IJzereef are rewrites for one and the same family name?

Same question for firstnames: First name Tönne is often rewritten as Teune. Both writings are for the name Antonia, which phonetically sounds like "Tönne" ( the ö is the same sound as the u in jUst) Question: is there another way of telling the system that Tönne and Teune are rewrites for one and the same first name?

thanks, Ron

Hi Ron, this used to be done using the Surname and Givenname namespaces (ie Surname:Swart). However, there is now the WeRelate:Variant names project. Dallan will be better able to answer specific questions about that project though. --Jennifer (JBS66) 12:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

hi Jennifer, i tried but it won't accept more than three alt names

i have for Izereef:

- isereeuwe
- isereeuw
- isereve
- isereef
- iserheve
- ijsereef
- iserewe
- ijzereef
- isereeve
- ijsereve
- isserreef

can you add them for me? or tell me what i am doing wrong?

thx, Ron--woepwoep 13:38, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

I got the following message "The following rare names have the same soundex code, so they will be matched automatically: ijsereef iserheve isserreef isereeve ijzereef isereve ijsereve isereef" So, that leaves the three variations that were accepted isereeuw isereeuwe iserewe. The part I'm unsure about is if you'll also need to go to the page for isereeuw, isereeuwe, and iserewe to add the variations to those. I'm not sure if the system cross-references that automatically. --Jennifer (JBS66) 14:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

thx, Jennifer. as an example, see

The cross-references are added automatically, and rare names are automatically included by soundex search, so you should be fine with the three names Jennifer added.--Dallan 11:41, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Thx Dallan. I will continue to test this. Best regards, Ron woepwoep 11:47, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

question about search [5 August 2014]

hi Dallan,

i search for Jan Hendrik Rietberg using this string: but the person i am looking for is only ranked 4th place. how do i get this person as #1 in my search results? thx, Ron

If you add the birth year of "1797" to the keywords, as in then the page will be ranked first.
Works ! thx, Dallan.

link to wikipedia [1 September 2014]

I've just looked at John Jackson where there is added a link to wikipedia. When I click on the link it does go to his wikipedia page; but isn't it supposed to bring over at least some of the info from wikipedia? I just updated the page from a GEDCOM so I'm wondering did I do something to cause the wikipedia info to not show? I don't know how often the material from wikipedia is brought over. --janiejac 03:54, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Here is a help page describing the incantation for including content from wikipedia.--Dallan 05:32, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Server problems today?? [1 September 2014]

Just wanted to be sure you see the various problems with WR mentioned today at the bottom two topics on the Support page. One comment even got posted to the very TOP of the page. --janiejac 03:39, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for letting me know. Looks like the server got sick. Rebooting fixed the problem.--Dallan 05:33, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

other variant names - OCR induced [8 September 2014]

Dallan, This came from the Northern Neck mailing list and I thought it may be of interest to you. Probably OCR induced variants won't make it to WeRelate but it's an interesting idea for searches. --janiejac 14:24, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Message: 1
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2014 07:43:25 -0400
From: Craig Kilby <>
Subject: [VA-NORTHERN-NECK] Searching for weird spellings on the net?
To: Northern Neck Northern Neck List <>
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

This came from another list, which I found interesting. There is always another way to skin a cat.

When searching through various internet sources, especially on sites where texts have been scanned, it pays to extend the search to include common OCR errors.

I have been involved in the Blanchard One-Name Society for 20 years now, and we have collected well over 30 variant spellings for the name (Blancharde, Blanchart, Blancherd, Blaunchard, Blanshard, etc), and of course when searching we have to search for every variant, unless websites allow wild-card searching, and we have our list of a much smaller number of wild-card patterns that catches all the variants. Until yesterday...

I was reading on the Last Chance to Read website about common OCR errors, which led to much Googling on the subject.

We had not considered these when doing all our searches, we were searching for 'variants', not OCR-induced mis-spellings, so I thought I would give it a go.

Just take one variant 'Blanchard' for example.

Common errors in OCR include:

B = l3
I = 1 (and vice versa)
n = ri
c = e or o
d = cl

So an OCR scan could render this as l3lanchard, Blarichard, Blanehard, Blanohard, Blancharcl, etc (and all combinations thereof)

Armed with this I set about searching Google Books for l3lanchard. I was amazed at the number of extra hits this actually produced!

I can see I have a lot of work ahead of me to further refine our wild-card pattern matches :)

end of quote from mailing list.

That's pretty interesting -- thanks for sharing. So OCR introduces a whole class of errors that humans would never make.--Dallan 17:36, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

GEDCOM review [15 September 2014]

Dallan, There must have been a problem with my small GEDCOM Jacob Whisler_Sarah Jackson.ged. I thought I finished reviewing it, but now I cannot review it, get error msg and to contact you, and it has not been imported. Can you check this? --janiejac 03:09, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Your gedcom got stuck during the problems on Saturday. It should be imported now. Thanks for letting me know.--Dallan 15:50, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

FRANK BLOOM GEDCOM [30 September 2014]

Dallan - Submitted a Gedcom for Frank Bloom and family - wanted to make sure You got it for review. This is my first time so please guide me if I am doing something wrong

Thank You - Tom Schoening--Tomschoening 11:26, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

It looks like Khaentlahn is reviewing it. I just left them a message asking how the review is coming along. I'm sure the review will be done by tonight.--Dallan 17:02, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Warning [9 November 2014]


You advised that I had two warnings on my unposted Gedcom.

I have checked my "warnings" and there is only one. It involved children being born less than 9 months apart - the boys were twins so I did not change.

Please advise.

As of 29 Oct, have not had a response to my query.

Thank you.

Ron Hallberg--Ron 14:35, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

As of Nov 5, no response has been made to my October 20 query. I hope this is not a WeRelate standard.

On 9 Nov, I was advised that the system has managed to lose my second submission of this family and that I will have to re post. I find this entire process very disturbing?

RCHallberg--Ron 15:26, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

I have forwarded your questions to our GEDCOM review committee. They are investigating the issue. You should hear from them shortly--Dallan 04:01, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, England [20 November 2014]

I have been tidying up the entries for Persons found in the "What links here" list for the Isles of Scilly. I note that if the Placename for an event states "Of Cornwall, England", the description to the left of the pipe is "Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, England". Surely the default should be "Cornwall, England" in these cases.

Second, once I have edited these entries, they remain in the "What links here" list. What is the frequency of updating the "What links here" lists? It is hard to remember which entries have been the ones corrected and which ones have not.

Regards, --Goldenoldie 18:07, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Wow - it looks like the system is taking the "of" in "of cornwall" and matching it to the "of" in "Isles of Scilly". That's definitely a bug. I'll add it to the todo list.
The "What links here" list should update in less than 15 minutes. Is it taking longer than that?--Dallan 04:07, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

I altered Person:William Bonvile (1) and his wife Person:Margaret Damerell (1) before writing on 19 October and I just sorted Person:Reginald de Dunstanville, 1st Earl of Cornwall (1) and his family. They are all still linked to Isles of Scilly. I don't think the Isles were inhabited at all before 1400, much less by the gentry. --Goldenoldie 08:16, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

You came up with a great workaround -- putting "Of Cornwall, England" in the place description.--Dallan 18:40, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

I've been using the "of ----" in the Description box quite a bit. It allows a placename from the database to fit in the Place box and thus reduces the number of red-line entries.

But why do Person:William Bonvile (1) and his wife Person:Margaret Damerell (1) (people of the 12th or 13th century) still link to the Isles of Scilly? --Goldenoldie 21:47, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Noticed this discussion, and found a workaround. It seems the database did not get updated with the removal of the link to Isles of Scilly. I got rid of those two link refs in "What links here" by adding a ref to the mentioned pages (eg [[Person:William Bonvile (1)]]) and saving, and then doing an edit to remove the link. Not sure why the DB got out of sync. 20:21, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for taking Person:William Bonvile (1) and his wife Person:Margaret Damerell (1) off the Isles of Scilly. I wish they were the only problems linked to there. Person:Reginald de Dunstanville, 1st Earl of Cornwall (1) and his family are still there and I am trying to find some logical answers for Sir William Grenville (1) and his lot. Regards. --Goldenoldie 17:08, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Incorrect Place Redirect [11 November 2014]

Greene county, Missouri has townships Boone No 1 & Boone No 2 to name only two. Both were created at the same time on WeRelate, but Boone No 2 is being redirected to Boone No 1 on person pages as of the writing of this post. (See: Jane Stafford as an example.) Is there a way to fix this? This county has other townships named in this manner, but they are not currently created. Thank you for your time.--Khaentlahn 14:23, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

I never thought numbers would be important for distinguishing places, so they're currently not taken into account when matching places. This is a mistake, and I've added fixing it to the todo list. As a workaround, I added "Boone No Two" as an alternate name for "Boone No 2", so you can now enter "Boone No Two, Greene, Missouri, United States" and have it link to "Boone No 2, Greene, Missouri, United States". It's not an ideal solution though. Another solution would be to write the place as "Boone No 2, Greene, Missouri, United States|Boone No 2, Greene, Missouri, United States" with the place on both sides of the pipe, which would keep the system from trying to match it in the first place.
Oh, excellent, I never thought that inputting both sides of the pipe would force it to link to the correct page and thank you for adding this to the todo list.--Khaentlahn 22:13, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Placename changes and Sources [11 November 2014]

If a place has to be renamed (due to a spelling error or a county boundary change), the Sources for the place show up in "What links here" with the old spelling. This is no problem. If I give a place a Category, the Category lists all the Sources (very useful list), but NOT if there has been a change in the name of a place. In this case, the placenames have to be altered in all the Sources as well as the Sourcenames.

Is there any way of fixing this? --Goldenoldie 21:52, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Completed Suggestion that can be archived [29 November 2014]

This suggestion was completed some time ago and can be archived. Thanks.--DataAnalyst 20:28, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

display bug [25 December 2014]

Hey, Dallan. Check out this page Family:Robert Fitz Randolph and Phebe Pearsall (1). It shows Robert's parents (who may or may not be correct - they would fit with the comment that he married his first cousin). They are not on his person page, and they do not show up when you display his other marriage. I assume this is related to another bug where parents sometimes don't show up on family pages - but this is the first time I have seen "phantom" parents show up.

Once you have taken a look at this, could you alert JanieJac that if she knows his parents, she might want to add them to his page (or let me know and I will let her know). Thanks--DataAnalyst 14:43, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

I added the child Person:Robert Fitz Randolph (8) to his parents Family:Nathaniel Fitz Randolph and Mary Brooks (1) page. Somehow? he wasn't listed as their child - but the strange part is that when looking at Robert's two family pages, his parents showed on the family page with his second wife (Phebe) but did not show on his family page with his first wife (Mercy)! Now how could that be? Hope I didn't mess up your analysis by 'fixing' Robert's page! --janiejac 03:43, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

Gedcom returning? [21 January 2015]

Dear Sir/Madam,

I lost my data Aldfaer lost by a fault of mine. Is it possible for you to give me the last sent Gedcom of January 4, 2015 to send me? I would therefore be very grateful.

Sincerely, Ton Wolf. 31 18:54, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Gedcom returning? [21 January 2015]

Dear Sir/Madam,

I lost my data Aldfaer lost by a fault of mine. Is it possible for you to give me the last sent Gedcom of January 4, 2015 to send me? I would therefore be very grateful.

Sincerely, Ton Wolf. 31 19:29, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

London, England [5 April 2015]

Hi Dallan

I have just written a long article in the Talk Page for London. Although you haven't got time to work on too many of the specifics of it, I hope you might cast your eye over it and see what might be worth a quick adjustment of the the software or something that ought to be added to the suggestions page.

Many thanks. --Goldenoldie 15:38, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

Auto-signature capability discussed on Wikipedia [10 April 2015]

Dallan - I mentioned you at . --ceyockey 00:16, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

Main Page spelling error [12 April 2015]

Hello. On the Main Page, lower right corner, the word "FAQ's" is a misspelling. It should be "FAQs." The apostrophe denotes possession, not plurality. whroll 18:30, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

Broken link on the main page [19 April 2015]

Hello. The link on the Main Page to the Foundation for On-Line Genealogy is broken. I'd fix it myself, but can't. Thanks. whroll 22:04, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Last two posts: spelling error and broken link on Main Page [20 April 2015]

If there is nobody to fix these two errors, which mar the reputation of WeRelate in the eyes of the whole world, grant me editing privileges. whroll 22:10, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

I just gave you admin rights. Thank-you for being interested in fixing this.--Dallan 02:27, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. WeRelate has a lot of potential. whroll 04:26, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Gedcom [30 April 2015]

In my previous message I asked about deleting a gedcom file I now think I have entered individuals, Can those be deleted?--Riti 19:14, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

You should be able to delete anyone you have entered so long as no one else is watching them. Navigate to the page you want to delete, click on the "more" link in the left-hand menu, then select "Delete".--Dallan 00:12, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Comments on the questionnaire [8 mei 2015]

I had trouble making a decision about the following:

  1. Scraping of FindAGrave cemetery pages
  2. Assertions
  1. . Is this a typo? I find myself wanting to give answers to two different questions.
  2. . Assertions of what?

The suggestions page is one part of WR that I seldom look at. It has stayed the same for too long. When something does happen, we--the ordinary non-techy users, are seldom advised.

What would I like? Dates on Person lines on the What Links Here pages. A filterable Wanted Pages List. And more than anything else--Merging "Northern Ireland" and "Republic of Ireland" into "Ireland" to match the state of affairs in 1900. (The republic only received independence in 1922. Most migrants to North America and Australia left during the 19th century. Many of their descendants only know they came from Ireland--and they may not even know why.)

Regards, --Goldenoldie 19:00, 8 May 2015 (UTC)


I had the survey open in one window and the Suggestions page in another. That enabled me to review the details of the suggestion and then vote on it.

Jillaine 20:41, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

I would like to see in the search box (which appears when i add a person) the Male/Female/Unknown field added. A lot of the times when i seek a female Johanna, many guys names Johannes appear. Johannes is Dutch for John, and Johanna is Joanna. So when i look for Johanna, i am quite sure that i do not look for male persons. I wrote this once on a page, perhaps it was the Dallan talk page, can't remember. Still this is high on my wish list. Thx, Ron woepwoep 21:01, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

mark all erronous people with color or symbol ? [7 jul 2015]

hello :) thank you for handling my family tree. i am aware there are mistakes in it. is there a way to mark them so that where mistakes are in the tree i can start at the most recent part of that line ?

thx ! pete, belgium--Kabouterke 14:59, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

Sorry, there isn't a way to do that.--Dallan 04:16, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Copyright [15 July 2015]

Regarding: "removed text claimed as under copyright from a FamilySearch user" on Person talk:Mial Pierce (2). I have no objection to removing the material. It was not mine, and I already removed it from the Person page to the Talk page on the grounds that it was useless to post statements without sources, especially as this particular page had needed cleaning up due to multiple people with the same name. That said about this particular page, it seems to me that most of what you removed were simply statements of what appear to be facts, and facts are not copyrightable. I searched for some of the verbatim phrases in google and it doesn't return any other website listing even the small phrasesexcept WeRelate. Is there a link or book the user claimed was plagiarized? --Jrich 16:31, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

They're claiming that the text was copied from something they wrote on FamilySearch, which they have since removed. I agree its copyrightability is dubious, but I didn't think it was worth arguing over.--Dallan 04:16, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

What is going on? [20 August 2015]

I received a message from whoever is reviewing my GEDCOM to check the warnings tab. Okay, I did. Why are changes to the original message I received yesterday not being posted to the appropriate pages? I make changes and hit "Save the Page" button but the old information remains and shows on the family page when an individual is updated. I have better things to do than go over the same list again with no result. I have been doing genealogy for over 50 years and find this idea to be outstanding but the initial review to be confusing with no feedback as to why corrections are not accepted. I found the message this morning and after I went through the warnings list the message was gone and I could not contact anyone about the confusion I feel. William A. Coup--Wcoup 14:23, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

Bywaters, McKenzie, Reed GED [20 September 2015]

I don't know what I need to do.--steph 22:56, 20 September 2015 (UTC)

GEDCOM's need to go through a quick human review by an administrator before they are imported. I just reviewed your GEDCOM and imported it.--Dallan 02:42, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

WeRelate loss of service [21 October 2015]

Hi Dallan

I have just lost my web connection to WeRelate. This seems to happen every Monday afternoon at some time between 1500 and 1630 hours BST, and sometimes on other days of the week as well. When it happens I lose a whole entry of information. I don't contribute much in the way of families; I am adding to the places database on a daily basis.

It is not my browser (Firefox) that is at fault. All my other pinned tabs are in working order.

Can you identify what might cause this lack of connection during these hours?


--Goldenoldie 14:35, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

A couple of background tasks run during that time, but they shouldn't affect connections. I moved them both 6 hours later so we can tell if they are the culprit. Would you please let me know if the problems don't go away, or if you start seeing problems between 2100 and 2230 hours BST (in case you are on then)?--Dallan 02:42, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

That certainly sounds like a better time for me. I am usually closed down completely by 2200 (2100 if television is interesting :>) ). I will keep an eye on service provision and try to remember to let you know. If I find that I still have afternoon problems then I know that the problem will lie with Firefox, Microsoft, or my security provider. --Goldenoldie 05:36, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

Can't log-in. Took me 30 minutes to leave message here. Neal Gardner SkippyG--SkippyG 19:12, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

I rebooted the server and it's better. The server's disk gets filled up for some reason and the space isn't freed unless it's rebooted. I'm going to start rebooting it weekly.--Dallan 23:02, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Hello from User DFree - I'm back [17 January 2016]

Hi Dallan, family and WeRelate Community,

I thought I would send you a small message to tell you I am back to WeRelate. I plan on updating my ancestors pages, update the sources if they are not on the person/family pages. Hope all is well with you, your family and the WeRelate community. Take Care. Debbie Freeman --DFree 21:29, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

hi Debbie, welcome back !
Since you say the word "back" and i am fairly new here (abt two years now), i take it that you were here before i was. Just out of curiosity, would you mind expressing why you joined WR in the first place, about the circumstances that created your "see you later" and finally, what made you decide to re-engage?
The reason i ask is i believe we need more personal stories to get this site from good to great.
Hope you don't mind my asking. Warmest regards, Ron woepwoep 21:39, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

Best GEDCOM format for import? [21 February 2016]

Legacy Family Tree 8.0 provides the following GEDCOM export formats:


GEDCOM 5.5.1 Only

PAF 2.31




Pedigree Resource File



Ancestry Online Family Tree

Which is the best for WeRelate?

I've been using Generic, and it works, but I've noticed some glitches. People who are checked as Living in Legacy, if they do not have a birthdate, are generally included in the import, even if common sense tells us that they are probably alive (e.g., grandchildren of people who have died recently). So neither the Living flag nor the rules are working for people who have no birthdate, using Generic GEDCOM. Yes, I understand that I can Exclude these people by hand, but it means a lot of referring back and forth.

Thanks.--GrapeBunch 08:32, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

I'm not sure what the differences in the formats are, but it's unlikely that it would make much of a difference in the living determination, sorry.--Dallan 07:07, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

spam [8 March 2016]

Bk829849 blocked for creating several spam pages. Rhian 17:44, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

GEDCOM export [8 April 2016]

I received two messages regarding GEDCOM export ready for download, but not aware of the purpose for receiving a GEDCOM to download. Lee--Lee Ramsey 15:18, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

The exported GEDCOM allows you to import your pages on WeRelate into a desktop genealogy program like RootsMagic or another online tree like Ancestry.--Dallan 14:07, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

CSS changes [19 May 2016]

If I would like to request changes to the CSS, where should I put them? Here, in Suggestions page, or elsewhere? -Moverton 15:54, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

Go ahead an put it here if the changes are minor; otherwise put it in Suggestions.--Dallan 14:07, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
I have two suggestions. One is easy, but not sure about the other. I will spell them out here for you to look at. If you think it isn't minor, I can add it to Suggestions. -Moverton 21:51, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
I completely forgot about these. I just implemented both of them. Hopefully that helps.--Dallan 22:16, 18 May 2016 (UTC)
It looks great. Thank you. -Moverton 17:24, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

New class of table

I would like to add a new class of table to the CSS:

.columnedtable th { border-style: solid; padding: 0.4em; }
.columnedtable td { border-style: none solid; padding: 0.4em; }

I call it "columnedtable", but I'm not wedded to the name. When used in combination with the "wikitable" class, it looks like this:


I am using this style in this transcript, but I would prefer not to have to manually code every cell. This isn't a style I would use with most tables, but I think some do actually benefit from it, regardless of that being the style used in the original printed document.

Line-height units [27 April 2016]

Most line-height attributes are defined in the CSS using "em" units, but this can cause some problems with line spacing. This becomes most noticeable when sup and sub elements are used. I don't know how all of the classes defined in the CSS are used, but at least a few of the more generic elements (p, ol, pre, etc.) could probably be changed to use the unitless measurements. I think it would only take a few minor modifications to fix it.

Looking at Wikipedia as an example, it appears they have just added "sup, sub {line-height:1}" to the CSS. This may be all that is needed. I created a few examples below that show the line spacing differences between the different combinations of styles. (It may appear like a very minor thing, but in a larger text it can stick out like a soar thumb.)

1. A normal paragraph of text
using default line-height (1.5em)
and containing a sup element.

2. A normal paragraph of text
using default line-height and
a sup element with unitless line-height of 1.

3. A paragraph of text
with unitless line-height of 1.5
and a default sup element.

4. A paragraph with unitless line-height
of 1.5 and sup element
with unitless line-height of 1.

Were all these line-height examples supposed to look different from each other? They all look the same to me. --Goldenoldie 09:40, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

1 and 3 appear the same, and 2 and 4 appear the same. The difference is the spacing between the lines. 1 and 3 have a larger space between the 2nd and 3rd lines because of the superscript text. -Moverton 16:07, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
These are fairly quick changes. I'm on vacation this week. I will implement them when I return.--Dallan 11:55, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

Donation [28 May 2016]

The Donation page could/should be updated and perhaps a new fund-raiser for this year initiated.

I donated 4/25 this year and expected the ads to go away by now. Still seeing them on 5/2/16. --janiejac 15:53, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

I gave donors a few extra weeks. They should go away soon... I'll think about a new fundraiser. We need to find out if there's enough interest.--Dallan 23:29, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry - I misread your message. I thought you said you had donated 4/25 last year and you were expecting the ad-free to go away by now. I don't know what I was thinking. I turned off your ads until the end of May next year.--Dallan 01:01, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

I will not be inviting others to view the pages I've created until that embedded advertisement is removed. I hope that is not a long-term contract because you've surely read the unhappy comments by active users being left on the support page. I understand WeRelate has to pay the bills but not in this way that cheapens the content. Ads are not great but are acceptable; ads embedded in our user text area are not acceptable and instead of helping WeRelate, I'm concerned that it will be turning away more and more folks and thus be counter-productive. As an alternative, I would consider a required small membership fee for active users as long as it still provided free access to viewers. The membership fee would remove all ads. Casual viewers would still see ads but not embedded ads. Has anything similar been brought up for discussion/consideration? Maybe a small fee for active users and an extra donation box with stated $ goal for those interested in further work on suggested improvements. I think fund raisers should be for improvements and not to remove ads. (The donation box will stay empty if we don't see hope of reaching a stated required goal.) If this sounds workable, you could put this on the support page for further consideration. --janiejac 17:31, 8 May 2016 (UTC)

I added some comments on the Watercooler. I expect this will come to an acceptable conclusion.--Dallan 04:19, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

Hi Dallan, just a short note to let you know that i think you're awesome! I agree that painfull testing is sometimes necessary to know facts. I have donated and i think members should not interfere with the tools that you use to do your part of our common work. Instead of 'if you... i will...' i propose that members have faith in you as a person and as a co-member of this wonderful website. Best regards, Ron woepwoep 23:18, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

Thanks Ron. I really appreciate that :-) Dallan 04:58, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

WR Places and Wikipedia Places [2 June 2016]

Hi Dallan

I continue to work on updating our place database for England. Recently I tried to do some work on Glamorgan in Wales and had to give up because information was lacking on so many fronts. It wasn't just the Welsh spellings that were driving me 'round the bend.

But never mind that. There are a couple of things I wish you would take a look at:

First, the number of times the Place Type is not recognized on "Save" is increasing. This is spasmodic. Even when the Place Type is not touched in the editing, up comes the error message "The place type must now be chosen from a drop-down list. The list will appear as you enter the type." When this happens, the prompts for the place type box are absent. Entering an initial letter in the box renders nothing. It looks like the software routine misses a loop---sometimes. It could be happening when the server does an automatic update at the same time.

Second. Descriptions copied over from Wikipedia. I quite often change these with the introductory sentence
:the text in this section is based on an article in [[wikipedia:"name of place"|Wikipedia]].
This is because I spot errors in the Wikipedia dialogue or in the WR rendering of what is said in the original, e.g.,

  1. A distance between two places is missed out because the "convert" template doesn't work. The can end up with a place being "about south" of another place. It does sound silly.
  2. Some places in a list in WP are converted to their placenames in WR and some are not. I noticed today that Croydon never gets converted, while all the smaller places surrounding it do.
  3. All counties went through an alteration to their local administration organization in 1974. I have added the names of the new Districts to WR in all but a few counties now. They are given the Place Type of "district municipality". If I were to go through the rest of the counties quickly and make the final additions, could the district municipalities be added to the list of placenames that can be converted from a Wikipedia link to a WR link? Similarly, all the new London Boroughs are now named in WeRelate in a common form of [[Place:Westminster (London Borough), Greater London, England|London Borough of Westminster]].
  4. This is a most peculiar error which I have found more than once. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is an organization, not a place. (Its headquarters happen to be in a village in Berkshire called Wargrave, but that's just a fluke.) Its function is there in its name. It is the body which erects gravestones for military personnel both in overseas cemeteries in its care (like those in Belgium and France from both World Wars) and in local cemeteries all over Britain and the Commonwealth. But it is described in WeRelate as [[Place:Belgrade War Cemetery, Belgrade, Serbia, Serbia and Montenegro|Commonwealth War Graves Commission]]. It shouldn't be coverted at all, but left as [[wikipedia:Commonwealth War Graves Commission|Commonwealth War Graves Commission]]. Another one like this occurs when a user brings in the word 'ditto' in a census list and the people end up living in some place in Japan.

Your looking at these problems would be appreciated. My husband is not well and my time working on WR day by day is diminishing--not that I want it to.

Regards, Pat --Goldenoldie 19:37, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

I'm sorry for the late reply. I was on vacation this week without phone or internet. I will take a look at the place types (and hopefully fix the problem) on Monday. Regarding the text from Wikipedia. that's pretty tricky to get right all the time. Should we simply stop copying the wikipedia text? I wonder if maybe we just added a link to the wikipedia article instead, that may be better. Or could we automatically prefix all of the texts copied from Wikipedia with the wording you're using? Or something else? What do you think?--Dallan 01:13, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

Hi Dallan Hope you had a good holiday. What with one thing and another (Rhian knows about this), I haven't been away from home for an overnight stay since 2010. This week I would like to go out for a meal with my daughter somewhere where I can see water flowing.

When I joined WeRelate and started on the revision of the Ontario place pages I was stunned by the imperfections both of what some contributors to Wikipedia had to say and the almost religious fervour of some members of WeRelate in believing that Wikipedia could not be wrong down to the last apostrophe. Not being argumentative by nature I calmly changed to heading when I used WP articles and got on with things quietly. Over the past 2-3 years I can think of only one or two complaints, so I have quietly been rephrasing (and telling people just how far x is from y (in a southwesterly--not south-westerly, or even South Westerly, direction).

In the past week I have written a note on [ the talk page of Place patrol]. Oh, just discovered you have found it. My Watch flag wasn't up on Place Patrol. Quoting from Wikipedia is not obligatory in our instructions. Unless you go back to a weekly update of place pages, direct quoting from WP just won't happen anyway, but it is a crutch that some people might like to use.

I think we should just leave it that way, but this is where the Help:Place pages, particularly the FAQ, needs reorganization. It's going to be a very large task, and I hope some of us will get on with it soon. I pointed out to Rhian the other day that the Place administration contingent had some very quiet members, some of whom may have bowed out of WR altogether.

The place type hiccup has been better lately, but hasn't completely gone away. Perhaps the demand on the servers caused by the My Heritage ad made it worse. (Please add "chapelry" as a place. Under church of an ancient parish.)

/cheers, Pat --Goldenoldie 07:08, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

Goldenoldie, I hope you were able to get away somewhere to where you could see the water flowing. Thank-you for all you do. I hope that I've fixed the place type problems. Please let me know if it still gives you an error for valid place types. I also added Chapelry as a place type. You can add types as well if you like: MediaWiki:Place types --Dallan 22:51, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

Re quoting sources:

My approach is this: [1] I copy the text from the source, so that the reader is not forced to leave the WR site and find out what i am referring to. [2] Underneath the copied text i put a blank line, and then in between single square brackets i type : -bold-Source:-endBold-space-urlOfTheSource

This way, if the text from the source changes, for example the source was edited, i still have the original text that i referred to, and i am not necessarily responsible for agreeing with the edited text on the source level.

Example: Antje Miedema

Hope this helps, Best regards, Ron woepwoep 09:23, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

I have been better about adding links to sources, but I adopted the FamilySearch style which is like (URL : accessed date). Specifying the date gives a clue to others how old the link is if it no longer works. But I always put that at the top directly beneath the source data, then a blank line followed by any quoted material. -Moverton 16:23, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

Re: chapelry. Thanks. I shall be testing the other problem as the day goes on and will let you know.

Got down to the Thames :>) on Tuesday. Unfortunately it was raining much of the day and I saw more water flowing vertically than horizontally.--Goldenoldie 06:18, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

Change contest to crowdsourcing? [24 July 2016]

Hi Dallan, I was wondering if you can change the title of the lower right box on the front page from genealogy contest to Crowdsourcing? It better describes what I am doing. And also - I linked to my blog on this last one - Elizabeth Warren - because I just have so little time (job plus full time caregiver). But that is kind of awkward so I do plan to make time to not do that on future posts. But I do blog because no one reads my blog but I have 9.5 thousand followers on Pinterest! So I write a blog post and then pin it to Pinterest. So I am trying to leverage my Pinterest to promote WeRelate. Doing what I can :) --cthrnvl 12:09, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

I made the change. 9.5 thousand followers on Pinterest!? That's impressive!--Dallan 15:13, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

Admin review StamboomBoon.ged [4 August 2016]

Dear Dallan, I'm looking forward to the Admin Review of StamboomBoon.ged. It is a small file; I think it doesn't take much time tot fix the review. Can you organize this admin review? Thanks!

Kind regards,

Nico Korporaal--NAKorporaal 11:00, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

i checked, looking good, import is ok. thx Ron woepwoep 12:59, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Thank-you Ron.--Dallan 03:56, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
hi Dallan, i asked the user about the gedcom review. he said all went fine except for the oldest three persons in his gedcom. i went out to find what happened, as i accepted all defaults. the probable cause is that these three were excluded. since this user is doing genealogy since 1985 i would expect that all of his 24 entries would be accepted. i asked him to send in his gedcom once again so that i can find out what happened. maybe you can tell me if this is the 'early' flag and what i can do about this? i am asking specifically in those cases with a quality gedcom with large number of persons.
thx Ron woepwoep 04:25, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
It's probably due to the "early" flag. A lot of people born in the mid-1700's and before already have well researched pages, and in the past we had issues with people uploading gedcoms merging "early" people and actually making their pages worse. So we require that for people born before the mid-1700's, people create or update their pages manually. It is possible to bypass the "early" flag by adding someone's username to this page but this also allows them to approve their own uploads, so not many people are on this list.--Dallan 03:59, 5 August 2016 (UTC)

Editing People Based on Warning Errors [21 okt 2016]


I am very upset with you folks and your website. Nowhere have I found the means to edit s person to correct the warning errors that you have found. I have tried for several hours to do this, all to no avail. All other genealogy websites I have ever been to are not as UTTERLY COMPLICATED as yours. A dumb ass like me can understand them. To me, it is a frigging disaster just waiting to happen. It is no wonder that people do not want to use your site - NO ONE HAS THE FRIGGING DEGREE IN ROCKET SCIENCE THAT YOU REQUIRE JUST TO VISIT YOUR SITE!!!

Oh, BTW, I consider myself like most average people - we do not have the time or patience FOR COMPLICATED INSTRUCTIONS THAT ARE ONLY BS TO SATISFY SOME EGOTISTICAL PROGRAMMER!!

PLEASE SIMPLIFY THIS PROCESS - all you need is to place an "EDIT" button close to the item in question.

Doing this would eliminate the need for unnecessary complicated instructions and make your website more USER FRIENDLY!

Danny you can sign by using four tilde (~) characters, like this : woepwoep 08:51, 17 October 2016 (UTC) Best regards, Ron

I have attempted to answer Danny's question on his Talk page. Now that I look at the user interface, I think the main issue may have been that it did not occur to him to select an error message in order to correct it. I will update the Help page accordingly, but since most people prefer not to have to read a lot of text to understand how a page works, it might be advisable to add a small instruction at the top of the Warnings tab - something along the lines of "Select a warning to correct it".--DataAnalyst 02:44, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

excellent answer @DataAnalyst.
while the frustration from @Sharps1951 may have led him to project on @Dallan as a person, addressing the root cause would be great. When i started with WR couple years ago, i tried one single gedcom upload and then decicded this would be far more complicated than just keying in the data one by one (about 17,000 entries). Which i did!
Now, after these couple years of time-consuming but very fun experience with WR, i realize that any time spent on my ancestors is time well spent. woepwoep 05:45, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

Error importing GeorgeWashingtonKetterman2016-10-16.ged [5 December 2016]


I don't know what is wrong - I had export my tree to a .ged file and I have noticed lately that when I need to edit George Washington or his spouse on Ancestry and go to his page it is slow loading and I get messages about a non-responsive script. Thanks,

Danny--sharps1951 12:31, 20 November 2016 (UTC)

Are you still having trouble? If so, please let me know. I'll try to be more responsive.--Dallan 05:17, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

Letter to Dallan [28 December 2016]

Dear Dallan,

Perhaps we don’t tell you often enough how much we appreciate your work and dedication to WeRelate. We are prone to let you know when something doesn’t go as we expect it to, but it is easy to use the site and take for granted all the work, time and effort to build and maintain it. So this is my letter of appreciation for you and for WeRelate!

I love the concept of ONE Tree that we all contribute to. Yes, that makes it a bit more complicated to upload data but the outcome is worth the extra effort. I like the idea that others can contribute to, yes even correct, my research results and the sense of community that collaboration fosters. It is the give and take with others that makes genealogy much more than a collection of data and gives a sense of common purpose.

And now at the end of this year, I am thinking ahead and planning how to proceed in the coming year. I have multiple PAF files; so many files that I can’t remember who is in which file. I’m thinking WeRelate is the ideal place to upload them all for more permanent sharing. At my advanced age (yes, I’m 87) it is time to consider what will happen to all my research in the future.

At the same time, I am wondering what will happen to WeRelate in the future...? Are there plans in place for a successor for your work? My personal website will go down when I’m gone; what will happen to WeRelate when the inevitable happens? Is there someone waiting in the wings to succeed you who will keep WeRelate up and running?

Is WeRelate (and even your newest site) in your will? Or even closer to home, are you in contact with anyone knowledgeable enough to work with the site when you become old enough to not want to deal with it any longer? Is there any current volunteer you could take under your wing, so to speak, and mentor him/her to have access to the server, the finances and maybe to administer the site? (The Oversight Committee didn’t work out so well; we never did hear from them.)

Free websites aren’t really free from expenses, and at some point, revenue has to raised just to maintain what is already there. It sounds like the ads may keep the servers running, but that doesn’t keep the site vibrant and growing and improving.

For some time, I’ve been in favor of a separate fund raiser for the specified purpose of hiring a programmer to work on the suggestion list. I think something similar to wikipedia’s once-a-year fund raiser should do the job. I think it is important to specify that is specifically for yearly improvements to the site. But even then, somebody has to have the know-how and authority to hire and supervise the work. That could be whoever you mentor as your successor.

I love the WeRelate site; you’ve had a wonderful idea and run with it. I just hope it is set up to outlive you and I and all our friends on WeRelate!!

Merry Christmas to you and yours! --janiejac 20:55, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

What a lovely letter !

Yes Dallan you and your work have enabled a worldwide community to exist.

Best regards, Ron woepwoep 22:12, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

Thank you! I usually dread reading my WeRelate email :-). It's so nice to get a message like this!

I've been thinking about your question. I think there are four possible options.

  1. I could try to find a volunteer. I haven't been successful with that so far, even though I've reached out to a number of people in the genealogy developer community. Everyone has their own projects that they're working on.
  2. We could contract with a junior developer for say 4 hours a week to maintain the site and do minor feature implementations. This would cost roughly $25/hr * 4/hrs/week * 50 weeks/year = $5,000/year. This is do-able with an annual fundraiser and from the ad revenue.
  3. If you want guaranteed longevity of your data, your best option is honestly FamilySearch's wiki-based family tree. They have dozens of full-time developers, hundreds of servers, and no ads. Helping people do family history is a big part of the Mormon Church's mission and it seems highly unlikely they will ever run out of funding.
  4. WeRelate's situation is that it is self-sustaining but not vibrant or growing. In order to become vibrant, I believe the community needs to grow by a factor of 10 (at least). It's been my experience trying to promote WeRelate that most genealogists are uncomfortable with the forced collaboration model that you get from a wiki. I think the community could become much larger if we had a different collaboration model -- an optional collaboration model. Suppose that you and I each had our own tree. I trust you, so where our trees overlap, I opt to have your updates automatically copied into my tree. You don't trust me as much yet, so you opt to review my updates before they are copied into your tree. Eventually you may decide that you trust me enough to have my updates automatically copied into your tree. This is just one approach to optional collaboration. There are other possible approaches. I believe that coming up with a good optional collaboration approach is a way to increase the size of the community for a collaborative tree like WeRelate. That's what I plan to do with RootsFinder - explore alternative collaboration approaches that appeal to broader audiences.

Any of these options are possible.

Merry Christmas to you too!

--Dallan 18:41, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

Hi. Merry Christmas to Janie, Ron and you, Dallan. There are still a number of us who prefer WeRelate to other sites, and we do appreciate both the original vision and all the work that went into developing and refining the site.

I found it interesting that you would recommend FamilySearch family tree, while at the same time lamenting that people seem to be hesitant about forced collaboration. As far as I can tell, FamilySearch family tree is also forced collaboration. I just went in and did a merge (a rather innocuous one), but clearly anyone who is signed on can do that. I haven't built a tree there (which I assume means connecting myself to my ancestors), so I have no idea if I would get notified if someone in my tree had been updated.

FamilySearch family tree definitely has the advantage of more resources and more records. It appears to be the old Ancestral File converted to a wiki (which essentially allows crowd-sourcing of cleaning up the Ancestral File). A lot of cleanup has occurred since the first time I took a look at it, but there are still a lot of duplicates.

All in all, I still prefer WeRelate, which is faster, cleaner looking, and allows sources to be tied to facts, which I didn't see in the FamilySearch site (the sources are there, and actually quite nice, but not tied to individual facts as far as I could see). WeRelate may also be more mature in terms of getting to one record per person.

I'll say it again - good job, Dallan!, and yes, we want to keep WeRelate alive and make it more vibrant if possible. That will require continued development of the site, which will be an ongoing conversation with the Overview Committee (which is active but a bit distracted at the moment). It will be interesting to see what comes of the alternate collaboration model you are making available. Collaborative genealogy is still in its infancy, and it might be another 10-20 years before we know whether the vision of one record per person is a viable reality for a significantly sized genealogical community.--DataAnalyst 21:04, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

Thank you. The reason I suggested FamilySearch is simply that of the wiki-based trees, it's the largest and most well-funded. I agree that their inability to tie facts to sources is a big mistake, and they have a lot of data cleanup to do. On another note, I'm really glad that the overview committee has started up again!--Dallan 05:49, 28 December 2016 (UTC)

And also.... [28 December 2016]

I'd also like to add my appreciation to Dallan and his contributions to WeRelate and promoting free genealogy to everyone. I've also thought of how to preserve the stories and records of interesting and ordinary people in my tree. I have one niece who has a mild interest in the work I've done over the years and her father's ancestry (Paddock), and her son who has a technical background who accesses the sight for details. Perhaps the point is, that the mere process and will to preserve our ancestors in an orderly and structured manner will help to endure Werelate in it's present or future form.

And as to stretching our base of contributors, whenever I talk about Werelate or genealogy in general, many friends inevitably express interest in exploring a family legend that somewhere in their family tree is a Native American line, or some of my African-American friends who have no idea how to explore their families from the Civil War and before.

I did some searching through WR and though there are some very nice pages regarding both, there really isn't much that provides information as to HOW to begin. Perhaps if we could develop a thorough tutorial on both, we could promote both (or others) as NEW features and draw some new interest. I also don't see a lot of publications in the catalog, perhaps there are newer books, tribal contacts, etc. that could be found and added to WR, even as a list.

Happy Holidays to everyone; I'm so glad WR exists. --SkippyG 00:19, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

Thank-you Neal! You bring up a good point. I've been doing a little digging lately trying to find a series of short tutorials that would teach a newcomer how to get started doing genealogy. I've found lots of books that are too long for a beginner and many websites that have articles with helpful hints, but I haven't yet found a series of tutorials that would take a beginner step by step through the basics and make it fun at the same time. For example, I've been watching videos from this guy to catch up on the latest machine learning advances. They're fun to watch, and they provide a brief overview of the field that I can use before diving into the long textbooks. I wish I could find something similar for genealogy. If anyone has suggestions, I'd love to see them.--Dallan 06:54, 28 December 2016 (UTC)