User talk:Werebear


JOHN BREEZE 1845 [30 July 2012]

Hi there the above john is my great grandfather what conection are you to the breeze family

regards Alan--BLADE15 07:24, 30 July 2012 (EDT)

Croziers from Scotland [15 August 2012]

Hi there, I am new to We Relate. I am interested in my g.g.grandmother Rachel Crozier. Her info and her family line on this website has filled a huge gap in my family tree. Thanks!--Jennylwd 22:18, 14 August 2012 (EDT)

Please check the talk page at ..... [22 January 2013]

Person talk:Llewellyn ap Owen (1)--jrm03063 18:37, 22 January 2013 (EST)

Medieval Wales Tree [25 January 2013]

Nothing much to report yet - but do want you to know where I've posted the discussion so you can watch for comments. See the Source Patrol Page. --jrm03063 16:04, 25 January 2013 (EST)

Bartram Cites... [27 January 2013]

Nice to see you adding point cites to pages that real users can go back and review on their own. I really appreciate that. Problem for me though - I'm not understanding how to work from the page view out to the larger work. Would appreciate it if you would add information to the Source page(s), indicating the site where your source pages are coming from, as well as how to get to the specific work(s) and pages in the site?

Thanks!!! --jrm03063 16:33, 27 January 2013 (EST)

One more thing...feel free to nominate stuff for delete [27 January 2013]

I think you're bringing some of the best references to bear on the Medieval Welsh spaces ever. Which means that if you find a WeRelate page - that doesn't correspond to what your reference suggests - and further - it doesn't have any source of its own (which would be typical) - then that page is probably something we should delete. So feel free to use the "marked for speedy delete" template liberally.

Even if the pages you mark later turn out to really be for a real person - they won't do us any good until a reference backing that up appears. Put differently - there's really no down-side of deleting an unsupported person/family page that eventually turns out to be related to a real person. When the right reference comes along - it's easy to add them again. Only if a page forms a connection between better known sections - am I a little more circumspect in getting rid of it.

Thanks again for taking an interest in this - and doing so here! --jrm03063 17:08, 27 January 2013 (EST)

Ok, now I AM being a pest! [27 January 2013]

When you're messing with pages - feel free to fix the patronym by pulling it out of the surname field and putting it into the given name field. The people we're dealing with don't have surnames in the modern sense. --jrm03063 17:13, 27 January 2013 (EST)

Hmm, I have been doing the opposite.... I figured that "ab Owain" is closer to something like MacDonald or FitzHenry than part of a given name, although I do see your point, in that it is not transferred to a child as a surname would be. Is this something that Werelate has made a decision on, to keep practice consistent? I guess, now I think of it, that Russian patronymics seem more like part of given name than part of a surname if I had to choose. Do we put patronymics in the surname field only after they have become ossified into true surnames?--Werebear 17:39, 27 January 2013 (EST)
That's just it. I've found patronyms in Scandinavia, the British Isles, Russia (as you note), Rome/latin and Spain. Only when a form starts to behave like a surname should we start putting it into the surname field (even if it's a vestige of patronym practice). I can't say that the community has come to a formal decision on this, but you'll notice that Person pages that have surnames filled in, get added to a whole bunch of categories associated with the surname and the places associated with any facts (look at the bottom of a page for a modern person). Those things are meaningless when applied to patronyms, so I try to sanely make use of the remaining three name fields when a surname isn't present. For a name like "Joan of France" "Jone" goes in the given name field and "of France" gets shoved into the trailing title field. It creates names like "Joan, of France", but we can probably fix that some day. --jrm03063 18:06, 27 January 2013 (EST)

Cawley Source Page (Overdue - Sorry) - and some Bartrum Questions... [4 February 2013]

I want to apologize for not having previously written up usage tips and guidance on how to cite Cawley. I'm usually pretty good about not leaving people in the dark! Anyway, I've got it started now. Feel free to let me know if it doesn't seem complete.

I'll try to conform to that. I haven't been sure about the best way to link there.--Werebear 22:58, 3 February 2013 (EST)
Great! But to be fair - I don't have a right to decide a practice. I started using the source, and adopted conventions that seemed to me sensible. I owe it to you and others to offer those conventions so you can follow the practice if you wish, or intelligently disagree. So, while I wouldn't be thrilled (I've done over 2000), it's always possible that there's a better way to go about this. --jrm03063 12:56, 4 February 2013 (EST)

I tried to read up on the Bartrum project and have found it a bit of a rough go. I agree with their starting point to protect Mr Bartrum's (probably) irreplaceable unpublished notes, images and corrections - but it's hard to say it's much use as it sits. An empty and vanilla WeRelate wiki would be a better place to present the tree images - and they could even use the image annotation feature to indicate what Person-page corresponds to each person on the graph. Some of the early stuff on the project, suggested that they would have a searchable database by 2007 (if I was reading it correctly). I tried to find something like a statement of the current status of the project - or a current director at least - and didn't really see anything. Do you have a better handle on that? It almost looks like they went into hiatus.

I have found the overall organization of the site a bit maddening. So far, I have just followed the "links" indicated in the text itself: usually under a wife or husband, a short-form, underlined note gives the name of the page on which to find her or his ancestry. Then I search for the page in the search bar. At the top or bottom of lines, the page number where the line is continued is given. So if at the top of Marchudd 03 it says "p. 1", that means the line is continued on Marchudd 01. The notes in brackets like (G 69) are cites of original manuscripts. So far, I haven't come across any missing pages. But getting into the earlier lines, I haven't yet figured out what a square around a page number means. Maybe a link to Bartrum's earlier work. I don't know if it is online. I haven't tried to use the indices yet. I just started out at an ancestor of mine and have been systematically following lines, kind of like finding my way through a maze. --Werebear 22:58, 3 February 2013 (EST)
That's actually a lot like the way I started with Cawley. I found places where things lined up, and then pushed out from there. My longer term goal is to establish a source/connection between every person in Cawley, that is marked by an HTML anchor, and connect them to a corresponding WeRelate Person page. If I finish that, and I'm not exhausted, I may ask him if he would care to establish HTML anchors on additional people (the document name and anchor string effectively become person IDs for his content). I sometimes think that WR can offer a lot - not just by accumulating genealogy - but by serving as a genealogically-organized index to other works. Cawley, History of Parliament, Wikipedia Biography and Find a Grave being examples.
That makes sense to me. My hope is that WeRelate reaches a sort of tipping point, where it becomes useful enough that most people researching family history will want to check it out or share here. Like Wikipedia in other areas. At a certain point, the advantages brought by the sheer number of people checking pages out and making contributions or corrections will outweigh, and help towards eliminating, the disadvantage of unevenness in quality. --Werebear 14:56, 4 February 2013 (EST)

Anyway, great to see you out there working the data! I was already able to fix a couple of things by consulting images you had linked! --jrm03063 22:31, 3 February 2013 (EST)

Nice Work! [11 February 2013]

Really cool to see sources added to otherwise empty person pages in the medieval Welsh space. When people upload a GEDCOM full of such content, then walk away, it's a serious burden for the community to wander through it and try to decide whether it can be saved (and doing so) or whether it should just be deleted. Even doing the latter isn't really easy - because we try to find the limits of the vapid content - not just wipe away whole trees. So thanks a whole lot for that!

Thanks. I am often not sure how far I should go in deleting or renaming pages that are unsourced and questionable.--Werebear 14:52, 7 February 2013 (EST)
Feel free to throw up your hands and mark things for delete - you're obviously doing all you can to save anything worth saving. --jrm03063 16:12, 7 February 2013 (EST)

Was wondering if you had heard anything from the LDS on the Welsh Community tree - or about the current state of the Bartrum Project. --jrm03063 14:29, 7 February 2013 (EST)

Yeah, I got a email back from Sandra Oman a few days ago ( I hadn't checked my email for a few days.) When I get home, I can give more details, but basically she says the whole site is her work. She has been working on it for about 20 years. --Werebear 14:52, 7 February 2013 (EST)
Will be interested to hear! --jrm03063 16:12, 7 February 2013 (EST)
Just to add a little, Sandra Oman is responsible for inputting everything into the database. She accepts corrections and additions, but verifies sources before inputting them. Updates are about every three months. She started out with Bartrum as a base source, and has since been working through other sources, noting conflicts and coming to conclusions about them when possible. --Werebear 17:05, 11 February 2013 (EST)
Do we have any sense for her credentials? I'm not finding much.
I'm afraid I don't know.--Werebear 21::, 11 February 2013 (EST)
I suspect we may be better served working from the content that you're presently working from - which I would think represents Bartrum's best sense of things post-publication. As to the latter, it looks like there are about 1400 scans/pages in the content that you're working from. Do you think it represents the complete scope of material that Bartrum published originally? --jrm03063 21:18, 11 February 2013 (EST)
I am not sure how complete the Bartrum project website currently is. I haven't yet come across any missing pages from the pedigree charts. I assume the searchable database is still in the future. On the topic of sources, you don't happen to know anything about Ancient Wales Studies, do you? I have cited it a couple of times, but have no real idea of how credible it is. --Werebear 21:51, 11 February 2013 (EST)

Removal of Internet Archive link to Ormerod book [21 February 2013]

Did you intentionally remove the links to the Internet Archive version of Source:Ormerod, George. History of the County Palatine and City of Chester Compiled from Original Evidences in Public Offices, the Harleian and Cottonian, or was it an accident? If intentional, can you explain why? I thought that the links were correct, but maybe I missed something. Thanks--DataAnalyst 22:20, 19 February 2013 (EST)

I realized that the links were to the 1819 edition, not the second edition, so I moved the links to the 1819 edition source page.--Werebear 06:46, 20 February 2013 (EST)
Volume One of the 2nd edition is on Google Books, but I haven't found the others, yet.--Werebear 06:53, 20 February 2013 (EST)
It appears from the FS description the 1882 edition is a reproduction of the 1819 edition. If the 1882 edition is not substantially different, then both sources should be merged into one source page with the publication fields listing the original publication. Reprint information can be noted in the text field. Also, regarding the title, the subtitle can be omitted when renaming - so just Ormerod, George. History of the County Palatine and City of Chester. If you need any help merging these, just let me know. --Jennifer (JBS66) 07:01, 20 February 2013 (EST)
I think the second edition has corrections, additional material, and different pagination. I will drop by the library on the way home today to check it out. The long subtitle bugs me too. I was a bit hesitant to just delete it since I didn't create the source in the first place, but maybe that would be best. I was trying to find a way to keep it, but suppress it in cites, but I couldn't find one. Thanks for your help.--Werebear 14:54, 20 February 2013 (EST)
Just back from the library: the 2nd edition is substantially longer than the first. For example, Volume 3 of the 1819 edition is less than 500 pages, but the 2nd edition is more than 900. Helsby added a lot of material in square brackets, and amended at least one of the pedigrees I looked at.--Werebear 18:20, 20 February 2013 (EST)
Thanks for responding - and for correcting the links --DataAnalyst 21:51, 20 February 2013 (EST)
Thank you for looking into this. I tweaked both sources a bit to make it clear that the 1882 edition was revised. I also retitled both pages, removed the subtitle, and added a differentiating date in parenthesis. --Jennifer (JBS66) 08:38, 21 February 2013 (EST)

Henry Project - Status? [14 March 2013]

I've wondered about the status of the "Henry Project" for a while. It continues to be available, and good work is good work of course, but it doesn't look active. Can we be sure it won't just go away? Alternatively - if it's not active - maybe the owners are looking for some site to take over stewardship of the work that was done? :) ?!? --jrm03063 09:43, 4 March 2013 (EST)

I am not sure. The home page was last updated in 2002, and the FAQ in 2001, but I think some of the pages I have linked to were added in 2011. One gets the impression that Baldwin likes to take his time and get things right. It would definitely be a shame if it simply disappeared. --Werebear 17:28, 4 March 2013 (EST)
Today I came across a page that was uploaded in August 2012, so I assume the project is still active. (I hope it is, since, as far as I can tell, the work is superb.)--Werebear 20:16, 5 March 2013 (EST)
I reached out to Baldwin via e-mail on another one of his postings, but havn't received a reply as yet. Do you know if he's still out there? --jrm03063 13:18, 14 March 2013 (EDT)

Thanks again! [6 March 2013]

I just wanted to say that it's really gratifying to see someone picking up and working through the medieval spaces with care and diligence. I've always hoped that my efforts to de-duplicate the content and add rudimentary sources would eventually leave it in a condition where more careful work - by someone with genuine knowledge and interest would start to be warranted. It's great to see - so thanks a lot. --jrm03063 13:12, 6 March 2013 (EST)

Thanks for the kind words. I feel I am still in the early stages of becoming comfortable in the medieval period. I have been poking around in some of the sources for a couple of years, but it was only fairly recently that I managed to get a well documented line from me back to Edward I, among others, and since then I have been a bit more motivated. I am still a little wary about putting a huge effort into individual pages, since in my own recent experience weird things have been happening in merges. I know theoretically mistakes can be put right, but I have had a little trouble trying to do that myself. I appreciate the help you give. When I first started pushing back into the earlier time period, I was under the misimpression that I would be moving into a well populated area of Werelate, given all the watchers on the pages. I was used to being the only watcher on 98% of the pages I have been working on. But it seems I only run into you, and occasionally one or two other people. It makes me a bit more tempted to delete unsourced, or badly sourced garbage, at least when I have conflicting information with a decent source. I haven't been that bold yet.--Werebear 17:34, 6 March 2013 (EST)

Houses of Nobility [14 March 2013]

Got any ideas on how to organize/standardize this group of categories?

The initial categories were established by Amelia, but I've added a lot more. She had a category for European Royalty, but I'm not sure it makes sense to split up Nobles and Royals, since it looks like what it takes to be a "King" or "Queen" isn't exactly standard over time.

She did establish a practice that cadet branches of an initial family should be in the category of the initial family. For example, the House of Capet shows subgroups for Bourbon, Burgundy, Valois and others. Individuals in the various cadet branches are not explicitly indicated (on their person page) as being in part of the originating family (doing otherwise would seem impractical).

So I'm not sure whether we want to break out nobility on a geographic basis as Amelia seems to have anticipated. I don't think there are enough entries to require that level of organization (at least not yet). But there may be search - or other benefits - that I hadn't considered.

What do you think?


--jrm03063 13:15, 14 March 2013 (EDT)

I haven't thought much about houses. I'll try to look into it.--Werebear 13:19, 14 March 2013 (EDT)

A thought in passing... [15 March 2013]

Being as you're one of the few who has spent real time "out here", can you imagine what this would be like without all the WP-sourced pages? While I certainly appreciate the occasional weakness or misinformation in WP, I've always found it more good than bad, and when you're trying to create basic sanity in a sea of chaos, I feel like it's been essential. Every so often, I have to deal with a traditionalist who isn't very open minded about the realities of large datasets, and I get in a knock-down/drag-out affair over the utility of WP. I'm hoping that battle is over for keeps now, but one never knows! --jrm03063 14:23, 15 March 2013 (EDT)

If you don't spend any time exploring the earlier areas of Werelate, you might suppose the burning issue is whether to add WP to some otherwise well-sourced page. Of course, that rarely, if ever, is a real question. The main problem is how to do some untangling and at least provide some sources in a morass of conflicting and unsupported crap. If someone had put some real effort into carefully sourcing a page, and then had their work undone by someone rearranging relationships based on a Wikipedia stub, then I can see that there might be some grounds for complaint. But has that ever, ever happened? What we actually see are countless pages that are either unsourced, or cryptically sourced, or "sourced" to some unsourced Ancestry tree; pages that haven't been changed for years, and yet have 10 watchers. And then we have to decide whether to tiptoe around unsourced or badly sourced information that is clearly conflicting with better sources that we are at least making the effort to link to. And among "better" sources I count well-sourced Wikipedia articles. They may not be peer-reviewed, but at least they have a decent chance to have had some knowledgeable eyes checking them over and often have useful links. Purists might question even the links to Cawley and Baldwin, since they are (sort of) self-published. But in my opinion this is more than outweighed by the fact that, in addition to being by serious researchers, they are freely available online. What is the chance I am going trudge to the library to double-check a cite to Domesday People? (Not that I object to such cites, of course. It is just that when I see one, in practice I have to trust both Domesday People and whoever is citing it. One more chance for error to creep in.)
I agree with you that a key point is that we are working with a "large dataset." With just you and me and maybe one or two others working on this, the earlier areas of Werelate will always be a worthless mess if we approach it in the same spirit as someone wanting to put together a very nice page on their great-grandfather. There is a whole lot of weeding that has to be done before the garden can begin to blossom. (And, by the way, you have clearly already done a huge amount of weeding, that I really appreciate.)--Werebear 15:15, 15 March 2013 (EDT)

Sketch of my customs, FYI... [20 March 2013]

I've sketched out a page on my general customs/strategy with respect to the spaces we've been working in. It's very rough - but I wanted to get something out there so that folks like you could start to weigh in on it. Perhaps it could evolve into a more general working document for the space, but that would only occur if a fair bit of consensus was reached. In any case, it's more explicit than leaving you to guess what I'm doing/thinking based only on the evidence of edits after the fact.

While I'm not afraid to support my positions, I also want folks to feel free to vigorously disagree, and I certainly don't want to follow practices that will needlessly irritate others.

Thanks for your Work, Best Regards, etc., --jrm03063 12:03, 20 March 2013 (EDT)

It all seems pretty reasonable, as far as I can see. For myself, I always wonder how far I should go in deleting unsourced stuff that conflicts with sourced stuff. Another typical problem for me is that I find a source for a birth date that is unsourced on Werelate, but my source gives no place whereas the unsourced Werelate date has a place attached that is apparently a guess based on the person's place of residence. Personally, I would like to add the source and delete the place, although it would maybe be more respectful to keep the unsourced date and place as an "alternate birth". In general, I would like to delete about half the unsourced stuff I see in the Medieval area, but I am not really sure where to draw the line, so I end up leaving almost everything alone.
I still haven't investigated the noble house category much, so I haven't been contributing with respect to that tag.--Werebear 12:23, 20 March 2013 (EDT)
Don't be too worried about getting severe - after all, if someone really cared about the information, they should have put in a supporting source to begin with. Even then, the page history preserves everything. You might also look at the page history to try to see if there are editors who are actively working and interested in the page. Chances are, you'll see an original upload (if that) and a bunch of desperate attempts to try to get things into a roughly orderly state. If you have sourced data that can sort of carry the basics of the page, I wouldn't feel too sorry about junking the unsourced stuff. --jrm03063 13:52, 20 March 2013 (EDT)

What do you think about this? [23 March 2013]

So here's an example I find in Louis VII of France:

To begin with:

   * The page itself:      "Louis VII of France"

   * Primary Name Prefix:
   * Primary Name Given:   "Louis VII"
   * Primary Name Surname: "of France"
   * Primary Name Suffix:

   * Alt Name 1 Prefix:
   * Alt Name 1 Given:     "Louis"    
   * Alt Name 1 Surname:
   * Alt Name 1 Suffix:    "King of France"

   * Alt Name 2 Prefix:
   * Alt Name 2 Given:     "The"
   * Alt Name 2 Surname:   "Younger"
   * Alt Name 2 Suffix:

My first thought is "The Younger" is ridiculous as a name unto itself. I would eliminate that to create:

   * The page itself:      "Louis VII of France"

   * Primary Name Prefix:
   * Primary Name Given:   "Louis VII "The Younger""
   * Primary Name Surname: "of France"
   * Primary Name Suffix:

   * Alt Name 1 Prefix:    
   * Alt Name 1 Given:     "Louis"
   * Alt Name 1 Surname:
   * Alt Name 1 Suffix:    "King of France"

But this still seems uselessly redundant to me, so I would next create:

   * The page itself:     "Louis VII of France"
   * Primary Name Prefix:
   * Primary Name Given:   "Louis VII "The Younger""
   * Primary Name Surname: "of France"
   * Primary Name Suffix:  "King of France"

This results in: "Louis VII "The Younger" of France, King of France". I would be inclined to take this one final step:

   * The page itself:     "Louis VII of France"

   * Primary Name Prefix:
   * Primary Name Given:   "Louis VII "The Younger""
   * Primary Name Surname:
   * Primary Name Suffix:  "King of France"

Of course, this wipes clean the surname field. It's probably not a huge sin, but if the practice is carried consistently (and I do like to do things consistently), then I'll keep running afoul of the surname-centric folks. If I were to draw upon our practices as defined for modern individuals, and drawing inspiration from Cawley's work, I might go back to doing this as two names, birth and more complete subsequent title. Grabbing from the French WP page for Louis (we want to prefer the native language), we could have:

   * The page itself:      "Louis de France"

   * Primary Name Prefix:
   * Primary Name Given:   "Louis"
   * Primary Name Surname: "de France"
   * Primary Name Suffix:

   * Alt Name Prefix:
   * Alt Name Given:      "Louis VII "le Jeune""
   * Alt Name Surname:
   * Alt Name Suffix:     "roi des Francs"

This has more duplication than I would like, but it's probably more in keeping with what our practices already dictate for modern individuals. I wonder. Also, I've shown the page name as defined by the birth name (another of our practices as defined elsewhere). Hmmm. I could make a pretty good case that the above is what our current guidelines require. The only "extensions" being native language use (on which I've seen some indication of buy-in).

The annoying thing is that "de France" or "of France" really, really isn't a surname. Then again, I don't see Cawley getting gas over it. Maybe what I can do there is go to the Noble House category page, and say something about the matter in a section I've started creating called "Naming Customs".


--jrm03063 19:42, 23 March 2013 (EDT)

I don't see anything to object to, although the fact that he is a king makes him not that useful as a model. Even relatively recent kings arguably didn't have surnames.--Werebear 19:49, 23 March 2013 (EDT)
Maybe in this case, the certainty of no surname is a virtue. It forces the question of what to do when there absolutely, positively, isn't a surname. I think that my answer would be that we 1) indicate on the appropriate noble house category page that the toponym as a surname is genealogical fiction, and 2) point at the best thing we can - probably Cawley - to support it. It might be as close as I'm going to get to pushing things toward correctness - without getting myself banned or burned by the villagers. I can try it on a few pages and see how it goes... --jrm03063 20:20, 23 March 2013 (EDT)

Edits [30 June 2013]

Please make use of the "summary" field and the "minor edit" button when doing edits, particularly when doing many at a time as you are/were this morning. I have 36 unread message in my inbox, and as far as I can tell based on the first five, you're doing nothing the least bit controversial that requires me to check any of them -- but the summary field would tell me that for sure. And if you're just changing a link, the minor edit field will prevent emails altogether. Thanks.--Amelia 11:11, 30 March 2013 (EDT)

If you go to the menu at the top - My Relate > Dashboard > Edit Preferences then click the "editing" tab. Now check the box for "Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary" (last choice in list). This will make it so you can't save a page unless you have given a summary. I hope you liked that tip : ) --cthrnvl 21:06, 29 June 2013 (EDT)

Thanks.--Werebear 21:55, 29 June 2013 (EDT)

No comments or complaints - just a hello! [26 June 2013]

Just wanted to say it's gratifying to see the changes rolling by as you continue working your way around out there. Perhaps someone else will come along and join? Anyway, best regards... --jrm03063 14:24, 26 June 2013 (EDT)

Thanks. Actually, I have been spending a bit more time on the site recently, as I have been off work with a broken ankle.--Werebear 14:28, 26 June 2013 (EDT)

Advice [20 August 2013]

Can I ask your opinion please? I've been going through intermittantly changing pages like Person:Thomas Berkeley, 5th Lord Berkeley (1) to align with the standard naming conventions on WeRelate (e.g. no titles, in this case just "Thomas Berkeley"). I've noticed that you are active in this area and wondered if you thought there was much tangible benefit in this? Thanks AndrewRT 14:06, 19 August 2013 (EDT)

Hi. You mean changing the "Person:Thomas Berkeley, 5th Lord Berkeley" to just "Person:Thomas Berkeley", while keeping the title in the name space on the actual page? I am afraid I don't know enough about how the software works with searches and so on to have much of an opinion how valuable it is to spend time making such changes. In general, it seems to me that what is crying out for work on Werelate is the huge number of pages which have no sources at all, or only pseudo-sources (e.g. the citation is an online tree that itself gives no sources.) Most pages lacking sources are utterly worthless and just get in the way. They diminish the overall credibility of our site, and make it less likely that serious contributors will choose to work here.--Werebear 14:48, 19 August 2013 (EDT)
Interesting thought, although adding sources is a fairly hard thing to do, particularly with current software. I did do some of this for a while with my "User:AndrewRT/British_Nobility" mini-project although it was slow progress. Any suggestions for how to do this efficiently in scale? While I'm asking, I have also struggled to come up with a suitable metric against which to measure progress. Any ideas? AndrewRT 16:41, 19 August 2013 (EDT)
If we are talking about added cites for individual facts (which is what I meant), I don't know if there is any easy way to scale it up. I find I go faster if I work from a single source, but focusing on a family using multiple sources is more likely to turn up conflicts, and ultimately leads to a better outcome. I do some of each, depending on my mood. As for a metric, I wonder about that myself. How many pages on Werelate actually had someone consider them as a page on Werelate, supplying sources for facts and so on. And at what rate is the number of those pages -- the pages that might actually be worth something to someone -- increasing? Also interesting to me is the average quality of Werelate person pages. I wonder if there is a way to check out random pages from Werelate. Looking at fifty or a hundred or those might be eye-opening. It is easy enough to do something like that for individual users, but I am not sure about Werelate as a whole. I also think I really a good metric should count as progress deletion of pages lacking any sources, or citing only junk. Even if they contained some true information, without sources they are doing more harm than good here. Sorry I don't have any better ideas. --Werebear 17:36, 19 August 2013 (EDT)
You can get a random page using the link Special:Randompage although it seems to take a while to load. Gives you an interesting feel for average quality - although in fairness the same link on Wikipedia doesn't show very good content either. AndrewRT 14:24, 20 August 2013 (EDT)
Cool. Thanks.

Medieval Facts... [29 August 2017]

I really think things are continuing to get better - and I thank you again for your ongoing efforts!

As I've probably told you (many more times than once!), things were pretty low quality in the Medieval spaces when things started. Lots of alleged facts - few if any sources. For a long time - while we've been adding sources and improving the facts, I was reluctant to remove unsupported facts - because I was afraid there would be nothing left if I got too severe too quickly. I believe that situation is no longer the case.

So lately, I've been more and more apt to simply drop unsupported facts - particularly when they're found on Person pages where usually competent sources are present (Cawley, Lundy, or any of your favorites) - and those sources either offer an alternative or offer nothing.

As you work through these areas, I would encourage you to likewise start to get more demanding, and feel increasingly free to drop unsupported facts that don't pass your personal "sniff test".

As always - if you find entire sections that seem not to have basis (and such sections are still out there) - feel free to let me know and we'll see about their systematic removal. Don't worry that there's an outside chance that such things are "real" - a vapid page can be easily re-created later - if/when an actual source is in hand.

So thanks again - I never get tired of seeing your edits on my watch list!

--jrm03063 15:58, 5 September 2013 (EDT)

Cool. I have been hoping things would get to this stage, as unsupported facts get on my nerves. I would usually much prefer a blank space, which at least is not going to mislead anyone. Even a true unsourced fact has little value, since it has no credibility. What's even more annoying to me is giving as a citation for a fact someone's personal website, which itself lacks sources. I would also delete these.--Werebear 18:34, 5 September 2013 (EDT)

Hi Werebear,

I'm trying to find information on Jordan DeCave 1040 he's a direct ancestor of mine, he received the DeCave name from William the Conqueror. I believe the family was originally from France parents name were Richard DeCapoue and Fresende DeSicily.

any help would be welcome--dragonlove 21:21, 29 August 2017 (UTC)

Good to see you out there! [11 November 2013]

Nothing special to report - just nice to see you wandering around out there!

Thanks for reaching out to that user "Av". I did too but didn't get a reply. Maybe they don't know how?

--jrm03063 18:54, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

With respect to AV, that would be my guess. It was probably still worth it, though.
I have been fooling around with odd things, mainly starting with an ancestor and working forward to the present in other lines. At some point, I guess I'll go medieval again.--Werebear 22:57, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Connecting existing lines is gratifying - where-ever they are.... --jrm03063 23:07, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Duplicated parents... [30 November 2013]

Do you have a sense for which parents to trust for Person:Wolfaithe Wolfrid (1)?

It's showing up on my "duplicates" list - but I don't really have a clue...

--jrm03063 23:51, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure. This line is clearly messed up somehow, but I am not sure how. Maybe name variants are being shown there as separate people. I think the connection to Ivo is speculation based on later pedigrees claiming a descent from a brother of a Nigel of Hatton, who is speculated to be the son of the "Neil St Saveur" given there on WR. It is speculated that "Ivo" is that brother. I am not really up on the evidence, so I might be wrong about all this. But my impression is that the parentage is commonly given, but unproven. Ormerod uses "is supposed" a lot concerning this era with this family. Wolfric shows up in another pedigree, but some say he is the same person as Wolflaith. Clearly the WR dates don't add up either... So, basically, as far as I know the parentage is uncertain, but there could easily be evidence I am unaware of.--Werebear 00:39, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
Ok, then I'll make both sets of parents "speculative". Feel free to change/revert if you think otherwise. --jrm03063 14:25, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

More Optimistic? [1 December 2013]

Noticed you're on another tear. Very nice! Hope what you're seeing is improving your optimism!

Best Regards...

--jrm03063 21:58, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Not sure if I am more optimistic, but I am willing to give it a go a bit longer. It still seems to me somewhat mysterious that Werelate is not better than it is. For years after I got interested in genealogy about 10 years ago, I had wondered why something like Werelate didn't exist. Now that I know that it does, it seems strange that it is not more popular. All the competitors that I am aware of seem clearly inferior in some way.
By the way, I am not sure if you noticed, but I left a message on a (somewhat random) talk page, asking if Werelate had a policy about the preferred form for (non-alt) names of foreign-language people. It seems to me that Englishing, for example, the names of the French nobility would be a big turn off to potential French contributors. I know that there will always be difficult cases.--Werebear 22:32, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
I think the Wiki learning curve is a little tough on folks who occupy the usual genealogy demographic. I've noticed that the people who do best with WR are folks with modern IT skills and/or WP experience. Perhaps not a huge shock.
I saw what you said language wise and responded in situ. In summary - I think it's fair to say that the preferred name form is that which is native and/or most like what the individual used in their lifetime. I did follow on however, explaining that my own lack of alternative language skills - combined with the need to do something to salvage our database with the tools at hand (english wikipedia, thepeerage, and Cawley) - created a practical result that has an english bias.
I think I went on to say that we don't even need to keep alt forms (in other languages) unless there's contemporary evidence for use of the alt forms.
There's another idea on this. Not only should we care about the language of the name - I think we should start to care about language and versions of Wikipedia that we source (I noticed you were trying to bring in French and/or German WP in some cases - I'm not against - I think we need to figure a smart way to do it). Mind you - I think we should keep the English forms in all cases. Still, it may be possible to semi-automatically bring in alternative language versions for WP "people" - based on their English language biography page and that page's link to the appropriate foreign language WP. Something to mull anyway... --jrm03063 02:25, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
OK. I managed to forget what page I had put the question on, and couldn't find my way back to it, but I have now. I am thinking that the preferred form for prominent people should probably in most cases be the preferred form in the relevant descendant language. Cases in which the "relevant" descendant language is not clear, or controversial, (Charlemagne or Copernicus, for example) would have to be negotiated. For less prominent people, I guess I would move closer to what they actually used, although this is tricky.--Werebear 13:38, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
And...just to double-check that I am understanding right, is it OK to change, for example, English names of French nobility to French names (using something like French Wikipedia or Père Anselme as a guide), while keeping the English names as alt names?--Werebear 14:46, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Here's something I literally just found about "Wikidata" - "Wikidata is a Wikimedia project to create an open and collaborative database. As of February 2013, the Wikidata project is migrating interlanguage wiki links from individual articles into a central database to ease maintenance."

So what this seems to mean is that there is a language-independent set of name "objects" in wikidata - that correspond to many (perhaps all) of our English Wikipedia "People". So we might want our "sourcing" of people to focus on the Wikidata object and one or two preferred language forms. I'll reach out to a few other folks to see what they think... --jrm03063 02:43, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

I am not sure if I understand what this means, but it would be cool if people could control which language version of Wikipedia appeared as the snippet. Usually the "home" language pages for people are more complete and better sourced, with the existence of Cawley being the main reason for the early medieval exceptions to this.--Werebear 13:38, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
I'm in complete agreement. I'm not sure how easy it would be to make the snippet language choice dynamic (a function of the user who's viewing the page) - but that would be the best approach if it were possible. I was thinking something that is certain to be feasible, but perhaps not good enough. Instead of generating all english snippets, perhaps the snippets would consist of the "preferred" language for the Person page - followed by English as a standard alternative. As I mull it - I think we should go for your idea if it can be managed - but I don't know enough about how the underlying software works - to be able to comment on feasibility.
Then again, maybe your approach can be carried off by having available ALL the different snippets for a given person, and having a template that somehow uses a user's preferred language as an input (one of those "special" wiki variables). I'm not knowledgeable enough to know feasibility - but I couldn't agree more that our English bias isn't helpful when trying to "evangelize" for WeRelate. --jrm03063 21:30, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Check out the WC.... [2 December 2013]

See what you think of this on the WC... --jrm03063 18:16, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

If I understand, it looks promising.--Werebear 18:22, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Some random thoughts... [8 December 2013]

I see that you're showing more devotion to the noble spaces than I did - using better sources and trying to take the time to get names that are more accurate. I am impressed - it's certainly beyond my skill - and it's the sort of thing I hoped I'ld start to see.

My process has been intentionally simplistic and mechanical - meaning to bring as much rough order into a large domain as I could - in the shortest amount of time. While I think it's beginning to bear some fruit - my perspective is not objective. I wonder what people think when they google about - and perhaps - find their way into the WeRelate tree. I would never claim that any given page sourced from WP (and/or Lundy and Cawley) represents a remarkable acheivement - but I think the scope of coverage may be. I wonder if people know - or if they just see a page that duplicates WP content - and then they just wander away - not realizing that WR fills gaps where WP won't go?

I guess it's my version of your question - where are the other people who might contribute? I think they're out there - but they're not here in the numbers I might have hoped.

I do remember having another goal in this - which is actually to discourage people from feeling a need to add weak ancient content to their own personal research efforts. If you're an amateur performing your family genealogy (which is really what I consider myself to be) - and you get to a gateway ancestor (or at least, one of sufficient note to appear in WP) - then STOP! Don't keep hoovering up random content that you'll never have a chance to properly research. That part seems like it's fundamentally impossible to measure - but it is part of what I hope.

I suppose we're all seduced a bit by depth into history - and the tendency is to want to go as far back as one can - but we can do our own families a better service by focusing on our nearer ancestry. My nearest wall is in my fifth generation of ancestors - which isn't all that far. The records probably exist if I could find the time to travel up over to the metropolitan area of Blue Hill, Maine. There are also a lot of formal records for nearer ancestors, that I should take the time to look up and obtain from NH and Maine state archives. I'm sure that there's information there that I hadn't even thought of.

Oh well - you're doing some great stuff - and it's good to see! I never get tired of looking at my watch list and seeing all the pages being touched. So thanks!

All the best for the Holiday Season, however you may celebrate it --jrm03063 17:28, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

I figure that most people only have the time or inclination to contribute to one online tree. To grow, Werelate has to become not just good, but the best option for a significant number of people.
A lot of people are spooked by open collaboration, and so will work on personal websites, or "collaborative" websites where pages have "owners". Many days, I am tempted to go (back) that way myself. Those people are mostly lost to us until their attitudes change, which probably won't happen until the value of collaboration really proves itself, as it (sort of) has with Wikipedia.
For those that want to collaborate, the main considerations are probably (1) visibility (2) size of pando/number of collaborators and (3) a reputation for quality that they want to be associated with. I guess the main hurdle is that (2) and (3) would seem to be inversely related. I guess the Wikipedia experience suggests that the relation need not be inverse if the number of collaborators passes a critical point, and there are certain controls. Many of the biographies on Wikipedia for prominent people are far better than anything likely to show up on Werelate, but many of the more marginal biographies are close to garbage (although usually still better than the equivalent Werelate garbage).
I know I am rambling. I guess I am partly trying to come up with an explanation for what is probably my mildly obsessive behaviour. I am not sure what the real chance is of Werelate breaking through to become the Wikipedia of genealogy, but that is the only real justification I have for what I am doing now.
I used to research forward in time all lines descended from my ancestors, where the research was fairly easy and without cost. In a way, that is what I am doing now, since last December I uncovered a solid line back to Edward I. But it is apparent that continuing to do that now that would take more than a lifetime to complete. And, like you, I still have hundreds of dead-ends I could be researching. (I have identified all 64 of my gggg grandparents, but many lines are unclear further back than that.) I figured I could take a year or two off to explore the Edward I line, and then see what new resources have become (cheaply) available for researching other lines.
Even if Werelate does not take off, (I am trusting it will never actually disappear), my time here has not been wasted. It has made me gradually become more careful about recording sources than I used to be when I was just satisfying my own curiosity, and that is a good thing.
On discouraging people from researching beyond their competence: I can see what you're saying. The same idea would almost make me prefer putting the Wikipedia snippets into the home language of the person rather than giving people the option of choosing. (Giving people the option is better, but it is close.) Do we really want people who can't read the language most of the research is in editing pages once they have reached a certain stage of completion?
But I guess things are deceptive there. For one thing, it is not that difficult to read a foreign language well enough for genealogical purposes. Especially with Google there to help you out. I am pretty comfortable with French, Italian, (I have taken university courses in Quebec and Italy), and German, and having lived in Turkey and Poland, I have some ability there, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that my Latin, which is not good enough for me to appreciate Virgil or Horace without a crazy amount of effort, is easily good enough for me to understand a will. And I have never even formally learned Portuguese or Dutch or Welsh, but I have found that most genealogy is written in such a formulaic way that the language barrier poses no serious problem if you approach it without fear and are willing to put in a little effort.
And when I first connected my ancestry to pages on Werelate that had, say, 7 or 8 watchers, I figured that I was done in that line, since people with more skills than me must have figured it all out already. It took a while before I realized that that was an illusion. Maybe part of that, though, is because, since I am not American, my "gateway" ancestor was not a well-marked door.
Ramble over for now. Hope your holidays are happy.--Werebear 19:45, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Maw family [2 January 2014]

Thanks for your note at the Watercooler. Finding Martha Maw's parents is such a new discovery that I haven't even fed the information into WeRelate yet. I wish I were in a position to check my evidence with something stronger than a FamilySearch index.

I see your Maws were in Pickering and Whitby, Ontario. Martha and her husband George Lyle also emigrated and had a farm in Reach Township from 1840 to their deaths in the 1870s. The farm was taken over by their son David who held it until after the 1911 census. David died 1920 in Uxbridge. (Uxbridge turned out to be a bit of a "retirement haven" for all my farming folks of Ontario County.)

I now live in the UK and went up to Yorkshire to investigate "on the ground" a few years ago, but at that time I knew nothing about the Maws. However, I stayed in their part of the country. For the past several months my work on WeRelate has been sorting out the placenames of Yorkshire, and recently this has centred around Malton--a fine introduction for this family discovery.

I was through Thornton several times on that trip. I stayed in a B&B in Ebberston where the owner has a family history library (, I think) and travelled from there to Northallerton and to the original Lyle haunts west of Malton (Appleton le Street) and west of Pickering (Patrick Brompton). The Lyle line had a number of surname variations around 1800 (Lyle back to Lisle and and then to Lie) and have not been easy to trace. Even the transcription of Martha and George's marriage registration on FamilySearch has him down as George Lyd.

Looking through the FamilySearch list yesterday I noted the Thornton Dale contingent but did not see any links. The Pickering-Scarborough road and the Malton-Scarborough roads have few links between them. The families may have separated very early--before the name Newyear came into use.

If you find anything significant on the Maws, please let me know. I'll keep you posted too. --Goldenoldie 07:59, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

It has been a long time since I was looking into the Maws, and in those days I was less careful (or even more careless) than I am today about recording sources, so I can't quite remember what my best guesses were, or what they were based on. I guess I looked at a number of (microfilms of) parish registers, wills, and so on, -- but not so much from the Malton area (although I have related lines that I think came from there). I am pretty sure any connection between the Maw families was from before the first Newyear Maw was said to have been born on 1 Jan 1722/23. I think the fact that the name "Barnabas" (sometimes in records as a variant to Bernard or Bernah) shows up fairly often in both families suggests there probably was some kind of relationship. (Unless I am underestimating its frequency -- but I don't think so. There are 233,682 hits for "William" on the LDS Family Search for "any" for Yorkshire between 1600 and 1780, but only 517 for "Barnabas".) I will let you know if I find anything and would be very interested in anything you find. --Werebear 18:17, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Pending Ancient GEDCOM Review [6 February 2014]

I heard about a pending review of GEDCOMs loaded in the early days of WeRelate (2007). The point is a more orderly removal of content that does little credit to the site. I hope you don't mind, but have asked that you be included in the process. --jrm03063 16:42, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Thanks.--Werebear 22:11, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Your query [7 March 2014]

..It was the latter. I was_not_claiming psychic powers over the posters in the discussion. Just from both the talk page there where there were some 'Yes's, mixed responses from several others, and from my own private chats with several other users. I wanted to reply to you here because that page is already long enough and this was just a minor point. Daniel Maxwell 14:18, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for clearing that up. We obviously don't see eye to eye on the Wikimedia thing, so I worried that might be making my interpretation of what you were saying less than charitable. In any case, I took a peek at your talk page, and I find that on most other issues that come up at this site, we would probably be in agreement (except that I would make multilingual controls a higher priority.) Too bad, as I am likely going my separate way now. Best wishes.--Werebear 14:40, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
I knew from the outset that the WMF wouldn't work for a number of reasons unrelated to my own personal hang ups about Wikipedia. And I see from the talk page there that I was right on several points, judging from the direction of the conversation. However, I ask that you give WR a chance. There has been some discussion in the larger genealogical world about what the best way to handle data is; I am still not at this point convinced that the WR approach is the wrong one. Dallan is supposed to be working on some upgrades that will improve site quality. That is the site's biggest problem; no one is able to process upgrades, leading the site to have a static appearance in certain areas. But the solutions being discussed so far so wanting to me. WR is imperfect, but it is still probably the best out there right now. Daniel Maxwell 14:46, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
I have no doubt that it is the best, but where is it going? It has a single, overworked, part-time programmer, and no real management that I can perceive. Even agreed upon standards for cleaning up pages, if they exist, are not clear to me. I am currently spending a crazy number of my free-time hours improving this site. Does this really make any sense? It is time for me to reassess.--Werebear 14:54, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
I sympathize, but stick with WR. Take a break if you need one; I am going to be pushing hard for these upgrades and I will personally work on the Cleaning up page. I already intended to upgrade the guide on FindAGrave, and I may as well take a look at the cleaning since I have done so many cleanings myself. Daniel Maxwell 14:58, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Relationship [20 July 2014]

Hi Werebear, I am totally new to this but I guess the way it works, you will have been notified of my editing. In case you were wondering, i am a grandchild of Rosalie Emily Victoria Batley ( Carr ) Regards.--Oeno 22:15, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

William Byne [21 September 2014]

Thank you Werebear. We are indeed distant relatives. About 11th cousins by counting away back. I am not really into genealogy but was looking for a place to record early family members in NZ, where any cousins could pick up on them online. I was amazed to find my grandmothers family so detailed. Ah, the world of the internet. Any way thanks for your answer and resolving my curiosity. Regards Owen--Oeno 23:15, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Sir William Dawtrey [27 November 2014]


I have been reserhing my Family tree and see that we share a relation. Sir William Dawtrey. I have Information on him if you are interested and do you have anymore. I have just got this Information on the Dawtreys. My grandmother was a Dawtrey. would be interesting to hear from you. I am in England as from the 6th Deember so a reply might take a coule of weeks.

Sheila Mortimer.

write to me on

I do not come into this site so much anymore--Ksmm 01:23, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Ardens, Maws [1 August 2015]

Hi. I've left an answer on my user page with your message. --Goldenoldie 19:10, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Maws, Scagglethorpe [1 August 2015]

""SCAGGLETHORPE, in the parish of Settrington, and wapentake of Buckrose; 1¼ miles N. of Settrington, 3½ miles ENE. of Malton. There is no place of Divine worship here, except a chapel for the Primitive Methodists, who have also a Sunday school. Population, 222." (Source:GENUKI).

The Lyle family were Primitive Methodist in Ontario. English marriages of the time, of course, had to be C of E. The Lyles had the children baptized in the parish church at Appleton-le-Street.

and map in GENUKI just uploaded today according to the editor's notice rec'd about 5pm! The Marrs and Marr House are marked!

I see you have found me another generation. I think I had Youngson in my private notes, but I hadn't put it on WR.

Thanks again. --Goldenoldie 21:20, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Bradshaw Family Foleshill [2 October 2015]

I'm interested in this family which you are watching. I've contributed to this family tree also.

I'm particularly interested in Sarah Ann Bradshaw b. 6 Dec 1880 Foleshill. Have you anything further on the person?--Silec 20:56, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

I am afraid I don't have anything further on Sarah Ann Bradshaw. (I am rather distantly related to her.) Sorry I can't be of more help.--Werebear 23:50, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

If you are interested in progressing her then I may be of assistance--Silec 18:58, 2 October 2015 (UTC)