Tuesday, August 21, 2012

WikiTree Made Me a Profiler

This is the second in my series of posts about WikiTree.

I'm going to (try to) show you how I go about creating the profiles for the individuals on my tree.  It may not make sense to anyone but me, but here we go.

A profile can be created in different ways.  The first way is to upload a GEDCOM with selected individuals from your family tree program, and let WikiTree create the profile.  It's adequate, but it doesn't exactly grab your attention.  Here's what one of my unedited profiles looks like:
Don't pay too close attention to the source citations.  I uploaded this GEDCOM over a year ago - before I started revamping my tree with complete source citations.

Another way to create a profile is to do it from scratch and by hand.  If I had it all to do over again, I would have done it this way.  Mainly because the GEDCOM I used had a lot of errors in it, not including the poor or non-existent source citations.

I wasn't thrilled with the way the "virgin" profiles looked, so I decided to start playing with them a little.  It took some trial and error, but I eventually came up with a format that I liked.  Once those decisions were made for the first one, the rest of the profiles were relatively easy.

First, you'll need to click on the "Edit" tab at the top of the page:
You will encounter a section that will allow you to edit the personal data for your individual, as well as the family data for that individual.  This is where you will want to check and double-check the information in these areas to ensure that it is accurate.  (Yes, I have discovered incorrect information at this stage).
If you are editing a living person, the name may appear as "Living Jones."  You can change the name to the person's actual name, but you will want to make sure you set the security of the profile to "private."  (more information on that here.)

Now that you have entered the desired information, scroll down and you'll see a section to edit the text in the profile.  
I used this area for a biography of the individual, but it can be used for pretty much whatever you want.  Here's what's cool about this section.   WikiTree has buttons for all the basic commands (bold, italics, etc.).  But what if you want to do footnotes or link to another individual?  No worries - WikiTree has instructions for that stuff, too!
Did you notice?  My individual's surname is Schneider.  All the examples on the page use the surname for place names and whatnot.  How cute is that?
So if I wanted a sentence that said "Mary Alice and her sister Margaret Ellen were the first female members of the All Boys Club" with a link to her sister's profile, a link to the website for All Boys Club, and a footnote for my source, I would type something like this:
Mary Alice and her sister [[Schneider-283|Margaret Ellen]] were the first female members of the [http://www.allboysclub.com All Boys Club]<ref>The Big Schneider Book, Schneider Publishers, Chicago, 2011.</ref>
It's not pretty in the editing box, but it ends up looking like this:
See?  Easy peasy.  There are more in-depth instructions and examples for linking pages, profiles, etc. here.  More information on source citations can be found here.

You can keep seeing the finished product as you work by clicking on the "preview" button at the bottom of the text area.

After all is said and done, your profile will be as unique as your ancestor.  Play around with it and you will see that it's not as difficult or intimidating as it seems.  Don't be afraid.  Changes are tracked so mistakes can be fixed!

If you want to check out some of my "finished" (that term is used very loosely) profiles, check out these:
Louis Phelisa Lanctot
Lucile Frances Stiker

Now start profiling!

Do we share any ancestors?

Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com


www.HungarianFamilyRecord.org said...

I have been emailing your wikitree instructions to relatives that are a little confounded by WikiTree . Thanks !


Jenny Lanctot said...

Thanks Magda! I just hope they don't get even more confused :) Fortunately, WikiTree has a great help section, and lots of people who can answer questions if the static help doesn't work.

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