Wikimedia genealogy project

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This page serves as a centralized discussion for a potential Wikimedia genealogy project. It is not a specific proposal, but rather a place to express support or opposition, voice concerns, or assist with the details needed to move the theoretical project forward. Please see the talk page for additional discussion.


Several genealogy projects have been proposed in the past. Wikimorial, a "memorial to the dead", and GlobalFamilyTree were proposed in 2003 and 2004, respectively; the two proposals were merged into one with a scope that included both living and dead people, called Wikipeople. The proposal included a mockup of a standard entry. Wikigene and Wikigree were proposed in 2005, but neither gained traction. Similarly, proposals for Nouveau projet Base de données généalogique (English) and WikiTree were created in 2010, but little or no discussion was generated.

Rodovid (German, French, Russian), proposed in 2006, received more than 100 support votes. WeRelate, initially proposed in 2007 and submitted for discussion in 2013, has also received many support votes. See also: WeRelate/FAQ.


Proposed project titles have included GlobalFamilyTree, Rodovid, WeRelate, Wikimorial, Wikipeople and WikiTree. One Rodovid subpage included the alternate titles FamilyWiki, GeneaWiki, Wikicestry, WikiGenea, Wikigenes, Wikiplanet and Wikitree.

Existing projects[edit]

Name URL Wikipedia articles Record counts Licence Software
Familypedia en, ru 214,000 (as of November 14, 2016) CC-BY-SA MediaWiki 1.19.15 (with Semantic MediaWiki)
genealogyWiki None Unknown Text: CC-BY-NC-SA; Images: CC-BY-NC-ND Custom (open source?) None Unknown but probably < 500 (not revealed at WebStatistics) Copyright ("property of the contributing authors") TWiki
Genes Reunited
en 780 million records in 13 million trees (as of December 2014)[citation needed] Copyright 2014 brightsolid online publishing limited. bcl, cs, en, et, fi, he, no, ru 107,700,000+ profiles (as of November 14, 2016) Limited, revocable license for personal non-commercial use (details at Term of Use) Custom? de Unknown non-commercial No special recommendation, GEDBAS-compatible

Rodovid logo.png az, be, en, lt, pt, ru, tg, tt, uk, uz 1,000,000+ persons (as of November 14, 2016) CC-BY MediaWiki 1.9.3
Roglo fr 6,600,000+ persons (as of November 14, 2016) Copyrighted content, free software Geneweb 5.02
WeRelate en, ru 2,700,000+ persons (as of November 14, 2016) CC-BY-SA MediaWiki 1.7.1 with customizations to core
WikiTree en, it, jp 12,600,000+ persons (as of November 14, 2016) Copyright ("© 2008 - 2016, Inc. Content may be copyrighted by WikiTree community members") MediaWiki 1.11.0 with many customisations


  1. --Another Believer (talk) 19:02, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
  2. Going far beyond the obvious scope but into contemporary interest in genealogy, there could be potential for hosting genetic information in a Wikimedia project. en:23andMe does this with a commercial model but increasingly, a lot of medical science is looking at greatly expanded genetic sequencing. Genetic sequencing complements traditional genealogical practices and increasingly must be acknowledged by people tracing any genealogy. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:15, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
  3. There already is Familypedia. Here is the entry for my great-grandfather. Familypedia has a standardized format that creates trees and charts, or you can opt out and go freestyle with text and images. I like it because I can add my research notes and have full text biographies instead of just birth and death dates. The 10Mb image limit allows me to add in the census images from Ancestry and Familysearch. I can also link to the biographies I have written at Findagrave and to the tree at --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 19:45, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
  4. There are multiple ways in which such a project could be useful, without the commercial approach taken by other online projects. Eclecticology (talk) 20:00, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
  5. This area of knowledge should be part of the non-profit Wikimediaverse. What we need is an action plan on how to go forward, and maybe also a clever way to step around the tedious domain name issue, at least temporarily.--Pharos (talk) 20:18, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
  6. I support bringing existing projects like WeRelate or Rodovid into Wikimedia, to expand their resources and user base. But I wouldn't make a new Wikimedia project for genealogy. Wikiacc (§) 21:51, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
  7. I support the idea, although I would like to see how we could gain relevance without becoming just another project. Additionally, if we could, I would be all for taking in a few other projects, as it would give us a reliable base to start with. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 22:24, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
  8. I support the proposal, but there are already several genealogy wikis around (see above). We should adopt one of them or even merge a few, as suggested by Ypnypn in the talk page. --Waldir (talk) 22:31, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
  9. Support, preferably by adopting an existing non-WMF project. -- Ypnypn (talk) 22:43, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
  10. Support, perhaps as a sub-project of Wikidata. (Wikidata has all the basic genealogical properties: d:Property:P22, d:Property:P25, d:Property:P7, d:Property:P9, d:Property:P40, d:Property:P1038, and d:Property:P1039). --Jakob (talk) 23:39, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
    It doesn't have to be a sub-project of Wikidata, just integrate with it. Like how interwiki links are stored in Wikidata but the projects are still stand-alone. (Also, full list of relevant properties here) --Waldir (talk) 00:17, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
    Nice idea, but I agree with Waldir  Klaas `Z4␟` V 08:41, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
    I certainly do not object to a separate project. I support that too and would contribute to it if it ever existed. --Jakob (talk) 15:29, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
  11. Support. This definitely falls under the WMF rubric of trying to bring the sum total of human knowledge to the world. LtPowers (talk) 23:44, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
    As an addendum, I believe this project would have the capacity to significantly increase our userbase. LtPowers (talk) 21:27, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
  12. Support. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 05:59, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
  13. Support. MTC (talk) 06:19, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
  14. Support. We have a lot of historical records that can be converted into convenient structured data. --DixonD (talk) 06:32, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
  15. Strong support. Collaborative research of historical personalities - including the non-notable ones - should be an activity that takes place in the Commons, not enclosed in commercial vanity services. I also support tight integration with Wikimedia products, such as Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons. --Susannaanas (talk) 06:36, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
  16. Support. A page for each person, strongly linked to a wikidata item so that when you edit the fixed fields you are adding info to the wikidata item. Labels for fields localised in Wikidata so the site can be easily localised in any language (not just the 280 Wikipedia languages). Interviews with every granny still alive stored on Commons and used as references. The technology is here now for us to this better than anyone else can. Lets do it. Filceolaire (talk) 09:55, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
  17. Support in principle, with some of the qualifications mentioned by others above. I've made over 42,000 edits to Familypedia, which is totally free to use, is one of the world's biggest Semantic Mediawiki sites, and has enormous potential if the servers can handle the idea of an article about everyone whose life has ever been documented (with automatically-generated links to each of their ancestors and descendants and with potentially hundreds of semantic facts about each person - 737 properties at last count but more in the pipeline). See It might qualify for Wikimedia support. Robin Patterson (talk) 12:26, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
  18. Support. — Dionys (talk) 12:37, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
  19. Support - Abhijith Jayanthi
  20. Support - Yann (talk) 07:42, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
  21. Support - Apparently, some people want this. Perfectly legal and not offensive, as long as properly maintained. Why not?--Seonookim (talk) 14:43, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
  22. Support Peter17 (talk) 09:09, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
  23. Support. Dovi (talk) 09:50, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
  24. I strongly support merging projects WeRelate, Rodovid and WikiTree into one project in Wikimedia. It should benefit from the strong sides of each of these wiki projects: WeRelate (GEDCOM input/output with quality revision and elimination of duplicates, strong source policy), Rodovid (multi-language and multi-region), WikiTree(solutions for management of the privacy of living persons). All these existing projects suffers from small resources and small user base. Each of the existing projects has particular weak points which have already solutions in other projects. It would be pity to loose in the new project these existing strong points of existing projects and also to loose the existing databases.--Alexandre.rozanov (talk) 01:01, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
  25. Strong support. We know there are enough people to support such a project and help get it off the ground - we need to decide how to start. The Q&A on the talk page here are a great first pass at answering that. It's worth getting someone from Familypedia and someone from Rodovid more actively involved with the discussion, and making sure Dallan from WeRelate feels welcome to share his thinking here. SJ talk  00:11, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
  26. Support. --GeorgeBarnick (talk) 19:03, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
  27. Support. Yes, there's the potential for vanity and COI and all that other fun stuff, but we could just require references and have sort of a blanket BLP policy to solve that. Supernerd11 :D Firemind ^_^ Pokedex 19:11, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
  28. Support. Yes, I have been waiting for this. Dan Koehl (talk) 19:12, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
  29. Support. -- Jdfoote (talk) 20:12, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
  30. Heavy potential and pedagogic purpose. Trizek from FR 08:11, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
  31. Support. But providing and enforcing good sources will be key for the success of such project. Apn (talk) 18:54, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
  32. Support Jane023 (talk) 09:16, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
  33. I strongly support merging projects WeRelate, Rodovid and WikiTree into one project in Wikimedia. (just as Alexandre.rozanov) Rodovid has an amazing tree-display, and french users have developped a large amount of templates to cite sources. But both users and developpers are isolated. It could became a amazing database for historians. Anyway : genealogists are talking about merging there trees even outside a wiki... --Christophe Tesson (talk) 15:33, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
  34. I support it, because it is free and this kind of information should be free. The wiki's works on the concept of one page for one person and the other non-wiki projects create 10 profiles for on person and you lose a lot of time to get the info the same in all the profiles. Carsrac (talk) 19:06, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
  35. Support. It's a very interesting idea, and I've been thinking of using Mediawiki for genealogy due to the flexibility of the software. If some strict rules about good sources were set up, this could actually work. It's worth a try. – Sunny256| 11:35, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
  36. Strong Support. There are a number of websites already dedicated to geneology and a large many of them charge for access to records both genelogical and source. I think a Wikimedia sponsored project would greatly increase the availability of geneology resources. People seem to often duplicate research. A project like this would also be beneficial to Wikimedia Commons and Wikisource, particularly if citations were required for the information on the project. Of course original research would be allowed, but it would have to be documented. There are valid concerns about the software aspect of things, and we'd of course want to have GEDCOM support, and a custom interface would have to be written for genelogical data, and of course as others have pointed out the foundation doesn't have the best track record for providing software support for non-Wikipedia projects. Nevertheless, the software could be written, and I think the extra maintenance burden would be worth the reward. We've done weirder things with Mediawiki, just look at Wikidata. I also understand the privacy concerns, though in my opinion all of these things are already public record and usually being actively researched by a number of people. Though perhaps that is just in the United States. We already have much of the ecosystem in place with Commons and Wikisource, and there is clearly an interest; I've spoken with folks outside of Wikimedia about geneology who have expressed that they would contribute to a Wikimedia geneology project. All in all I think this is a good idea that I would strongly support. Zellfaze (talk) 18:54, 14 April 2014 (UTC) Addendum: I also support the idea of good citations across the board, no exceptions, not just for living folks. Having now read the opposition, I do not see very many arguments against that I would personally give much weight. Zellfaze (talk) 19:00, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
  37. Support Sapcal22 (talk) 19:04, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
  38. Support, with BLP and sourcing requirements. This is long overdue. I too like the idea of adopting an existing project like FamilyPedia (or more, and merging them). I agree with concerns that MW development is too focused on Wikipedia itself, and that WMF would have to take steps to ensure that an official WikiGenealogy project had the technical development support it needed. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 09:02, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
  39. Support. I've used Rodovid and I think it's informative. This will be good as long as we have to make well-written, complete, and comprehensive sourcing policy to keep the article well-sourced. --Ricky Setiawan (talk) 15:54, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
  40. --Holder (talk) 17:45, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
  41. Support - I feel this project has a lot of potential and would be a great online resource. Peter.C (talk) 14:37, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
  42. Simple software. The crux of this is, I think, to get the software right. It shouldn't be as complicated, and try to guide the research/formatting/etc. as much as the existing genealogical sites do. More like the proofreading extension on Wikisource: the minimum necessary to make the purpose of the site possible, but beyond that things are left to the normal capabilities of MediaWiki. — Sam Wilson ( TalkContribs ) … 05:10, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
  43. Strong support - Yes, we need something like this and I am glad this discussion has begun. What I urge, as others have, are strong pillars, but also a similar manner and style of citations as Wikipedia. While I am new to genealogy, something I quickly discovered with almost every genealogy site, is the high level of inaccurate content with no source to back up the relationship to a family of any kind. Spelling of names, dates and facts vary from one site to another and it becomes frustrating to see so many hundreds of trees that are of the same family but separated. This sort of venture with Wikimedia would do well to have strict content guidelines and require reliable sources for relationships, facts, dates, etc.. It would also be nice if this sort of project had a way to show or mention all the relationships of a single person to all the trees they belong to. This is a matter of sharing and allowing the free flow of information, but this sort of thing could also show all the links to other family trees and reduce the amount of searching needed.--Mark Miller (talk) 21:25, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
  44. Support Miyagawa (talk) 18:24, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
  45. Support -- DerFussi 09:46, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
  46. Strongly Support But there has to be a new approach of displaying and merging family trees. There also has to be a clear way to censor random dups to be added. Imagine how many John Does there are. But despite all the difficulties, I believe there can be a way for and open wiki for genealogy and sophisticated family pedigree, which as soon as it gains some leverage will defeat all those on the market, like MyHeritage etc., who use people's info to make money, and not only that, but the contributors themselves have to pay subscription fees! I hope this project will finally succeed. I'd personally go with WeRelate due to their large existing database and compatibility with Wiki, but it definitely needs massive improvement and visualization and elimination of Flash plugins. I also believe that upon establishing a robust Wiki project for genealogy, some or even all of the projects proposed will disclaim their websites and disclose the data to the Wikimedia project. Another very important feature to consider is a gadget that will allow importing directly from MyHeritage, Geni, Ancestry etc. accounts and then process the data in the visual editor, individually merging new people with people who already exist in the project. A 'find and merge matches' like MyHeritage is a must. If only it would be in a Wiki format that's just saving the world! So to summarize, here some of the factors needed: 1) Wikimedia based shell 2) Anti-duplicate and system 3) Privacy enforcement 4) Plugin-free (JS) visual tree (pedigree) viewer 5) Genealogist-friendly visual uploading and merging of trees 6) Merging and linking with persons of Wikipedia Weitzhandler (talk) 03:51, 19 August 2014 (UTC).
  47. Strong Support. Our lack of active users is becoming a threat to our existence. We need to stop saying "No" and start saying "Yes" to exciting opportunities for expanding beyond long form encyclopedia articles. This is a great place to start. AnonymousCoward8222104 (talk) 19:35, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
  48. Support Support FrankyLeRoutier (talk) 03:13, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
  49. Support I see no reason not to have this project. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 16:58, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
  50. Support Why not. I like the idea and I think a lot of good info could come out of this. I am a little concerned about unsourced information and a lot of the Genealogical databases are subscription driven. Also, this will undoubtedly dilute the number of participants in the other struggling Wiki's even more. I recommend if this is approved, some effort is put into pulling in existing content to create a base that can be built on. Also, would this be for "anyone" or only notable people? It seems like it would have to be an all or none thing in order to be meaningful and thats billions of potential records. But it seems like a good idea that could have a lot of future value. Reguyla (talk) 18:07, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
  51. --Yoursmile (talk) 20:46, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
  52. You read my mind. I was at the cemetery some weeks ago and I was thinking how this type of "infrastructure" will be a great support for the cross-reference of genealogical information. Biographies are a main percentage of articles. For less important people, it is a shame that we have to pay to access this information, while we could provide such a better service in some years.--Alexmar983 (talk) 16:38, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
  53. Strong Support. Genealogy is very interesting and becomes more interesting since people move more and faster thanks to globalization and easier dialogue using major understandable languages for everyone, most notably English. WikiMedia Software makes the availablibilty in other languages and even dialects easier. I;m almost ten years Wikimedian and love it, FYI: I;m subscribed to  Klaas `Z4␟` V 08:38, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  54. Support Support There are many genealogy books about kazakh tribes and other nation. For example list:Қазақ_шежірелерінің_тізімі --Kaiyr (talk) 15:40, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
  55. Support Support.--Arbnos (talk) 16:14, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
  56. --Higimo (talk) 17:57, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
  57. Support Support. -- Дагиров Умар (talk) 14:08, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
  58. Support Support --Netha Hussain (talk) 17:55, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
  59. Support Support. This makes a lot of sense in broad strategic terms; genealogy is one of those things has really broad interest and relevance, but is not well as part of the commons. Genealogy is a space that the commons still has a chance to win, but we're currently on track to lose it.--Ragesoss (talk) 18:08, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
  60. Support Support. This sounds like a great idea. I don't see any reason why a wiki in this area would not be as successful as our other sister projects. Neelix (talk) 18:14, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
  61. Support Support, conditionally. People generally know who there grandparents were, so let us have a cutoff where we cover genealogy of people who are not encyclopedically notable only up to a century ago (i.e. at present, up to 1914). That way, people who want to know about their distant ancestors would only need to find their most recent ancestor living in 1914, and trace back. We can, of course, include more recent genealogical information for well known lines (like the fact that Prince William is descended from Prince Charles and back from there). BD2412 T 18:17, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
  62. Support Support - EP111 (talk) 18:42, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
  63. Support Support conditional on a number of things. Principally: (a) must be interoperable with Wikidata, which in practice probably means a Wikibase site; (b) content policies that stand up to minimum sanity checks; (c) visualisation tools such as GeneaWiki but obviously with greater sophistication. In other words must be a better mousetrap. Charles Matthews (talk) 20:06, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
  64. Qualified Support Support. I like the idea, but what I'm leery of is the idea of reinventing the wheel from scratch. In my genealogy research, what I've found is that less fragmentation, not more, is what would be most helpful to me. Instead of having to join ten or twelve different sites to access different partial subsets of what I'm looking for, I would like to see greater unification of the data sets -- I realize it's probably a pipe dream, but in an ideal world I could join one site and get access to everything I need in the same place. So I'd much rather see a content and/or business partnership with one or more of the projects that already exist, rather than WMF launching a whole new one of its own. Bearcat (talk) 20:10, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
  65. Support Support I believe this could be a great project, especially if careful control of the "strength" of evidence is built in from day 1. Rich Farmbrough 20:14 9 December 2014 (GMT).
  66. Support Support But I'll be amazed if wikimedia will get things moving. My concise wiki idea is still untouched after a year.Dr. Blofeld (talk) 10:10, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
  67. Support . --Malbakov Korkem Shamshievih (talk) 10:29, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
  68. Support Support I like the idea of the project - and perhaps it can be nicely integrated with WikiData. As for the scope of the project, I could see it go either way. I'd hope for it to either cover only subjects considered notable by Wikipedia's standards (i.e. if the subject has an article on a language version of Wikipedia, it can have a tree). I suppose I also wouldn't mind a broader scope - but I'd also want a way for all information to be verified and reliable. ~SuperHamster Talk Contribs 17:16, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
  69. Support Support --Passerose (talk) 13:30, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
  70. StrongSupport Support: I also agree that this area of knowledge should be part of the non-profit Wikimedia universe. I also think that notability should not be a criteria here, as it should be open to all individuals. That brings the tricky issue of original research and availability of secondary sources. I think this requirements should be softened for this project. Often times family history is kept as memories from the elders, as the primary source to remember our family history and ancestors. This is also why it would be so good to have a strong nonprofit organization being a global record of genealogy, for future generations to enjoy and be able to trace their past (and not just kings as it is the case now in Wikipedia). The Sagas of Icelanders are a good example of a people who took care to record the family histories, a treasure that modern Icelanders can now enjoy.(talk) user:Al83tito 22:29, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
  71. Support Support Family trees are precisely the type of information and knowledge that has great potential to grow under the WMF. We should definitely at least trial it. There is no harm in trying. DaGizza (talk) 12:08, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
  72. Support Support--Hkjacksonhk (talk) 13:49, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
  73. Support Support--Paul D Grey (talk) 01:12, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
  74. Support Support--Benjozork (talk) 19:31, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
  75. Strong Support As a genealogist, I know the kind of information we could see in such a project. Give this thing a few years, and we could have something on the order of Wikipedia. As a computer programmer, I would also like to volunteer for modification of the MediaWiki code to suit such a project. --Quibilia (Quibilia (talk) 18:45, 28 January 2015 (UTC))
  76. Support Support--Prounn (talk) 07:39, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
  77. Support Support. Сыбыр (Сыбыр) 14:25, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
  78. Support Support. MaksutZhansaya1 (MaksutZhansaya1) It's really good idea, I think. Family trees, generation trees may help us in future. 16:45, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
  79. Support Support. --Jbuket (talk) 11:01, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
  80. Strong Support. Please try to merge/use one existing project! Terrible that there isn't a "big and well known" site for OPEN genealogy work.
  81. Also Strong Support. --Evachan39 (talk) 12:27, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
  82. Support Support. Gap9551 (talk) 17:14, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
  83. Support. --Дагиров Умар (talk) 20:43, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
  84. Support Support. --The Photographer (talk) 15:19, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
  85. Support Support --Ganesh Paudel (talk) 04:50, 19 December 2016 (UTC)


  1. Neutral. Wikis are terrible at presenting genealogical data. For this reason extensive software support - not extensive templating - should be used to display and edit a common, open, genealogical data standard. My preferred standard would be Gramps XML. Unfortunately, WMF has an extremely poor history of providing software support for any project other than Wikipedia. For this reason I cannot support this proposal. - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 20:27, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
  2. The idea is good, but the concerns below about reliability and verifiability prevent me from outright supporting. First of all, being too restrictive to simply notable persons in history would simply duplicate some of the things that we could already do Wikidata and Wikipedia, which have their own sourcing requirements. Secondly, not being restrictive enough (i.e. allowing every John Doe out there to publish their family tree) without verifying if it's even true or not would subject it a number of additional problems, including privacy violations, possibility for original research to introduce incorrect information e.g. someone outright lying about their family tree, and that the wiki would be restricted to simple contributions about one's own family tree or to genealogists. The latter is not as big a concern as the others if like WikiSpecies it was designed with that in mind, but the high barriers to entry would prevent anyone from contributing but those who know both genealogy and wiki syntax programming, already a narrow field of expertise in Wikipedia. And again if you do make a contribution to this wiki it would only be your own family tree... --TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 02:53, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
  3. This is an interesting proposal. However, I have doubt that such a project can be in line with personal data protection legislation.--Skorovs (talk) 22:02, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
  4. Neutral. I would only support it if somebody presents a detailed specification of the project, and:
    • Use a mediawiki extension for genealogic and genetic data, and wikitext only for bio.
    • Start with a good pillars, it's mainly living people: neutral POV and only referenced data.
      Eloy (talk) 16:58, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
  5. Neutral My concerns echo Eloy's: it needs a detailed spec. I don't see how a Wikimedia Genealogy project would accomplish something different from, say, -- except in being free (as in beer). Further, the reliable source criteria would be a headache: the genealogical sources for my own ancestry, while accurate, would not meet en.wikipedia's standards, & I suspect the same could be said for the majority of people. -- Llywrch (talk) 17:29, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
  6. In principle, this seems like a good idea. In practice, I'm not sure we're the people to make it work - we have historically tended towards "these are our tools, let's shove everything into MediaWiki", and it seems reasonably clear that that wouldn't work here. However, wikibase may be a step towards something that we could use here. I also sympathise with some of the personal-data concerns (though a "no living people" approach might be an interesting one). Andrew Gray (talk) 17:29, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
  7. Neutral per Eloy, but effectively "oppose" per Orange Mike and JohnBod. We ultimately need a specific proposal, complete with a definition of what will be considered a reliable source (there are 1,000s of unreliable sources on geneology), before anybody can give a real !vote. A few suggestions
    - Let's NOT give a family tree!! Rather let's just give birth and death dates and sources and link to possible family tree connections. To give a concrete example, I, like most people, am not even 100% sure who my parents are (I wasn't really all there for the causal event). Sure I have a birth certificate that says "parents:Jack and Molly Smallbones" but how would I cite that for a Wiki? Scan it and upload it to Commons? Even then, how would folks know that my putative father Jack Smallbones was the same Jack Smallbones that somebody else wants to make a family-tree connection with? Built-in software might then make the possible family tree with the "possible" strongly highlighted.
    - One thing that many folks don't realize that we could do is to photograph gravestones, especially if they have birth and death dates on them. Would these be considered reliable sources? Well, most often the words are carved in stone, and gravestone carvers - while not perfect - do have a reputation and a commercial incentive for accuracy. So will Commons want to host millions of photos of gravestones? or of scanned birth certificates for that matter?
    Just throwing out ideas on how difficult it will be to get a specific proposal. Smallbones (talk) 17:52, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
  8. Neutral. I realize my input is too late, as sites are launched (and I have not investigated how they are solving the issues, so maybe my statement is completely moot), but I think forcing a source TYPE for every entry prior to entering the actual source data solves a lot of problems. IE: to enter a fact or quote or make a statement that requires a source, you need to enter a source type first then enter the source data. So you would select Primary, Secondary or Tertiary Source first, which defines the type of source, and if you select Primary your selections are limited to items like Census, Birth Record, etc, and if you select Secondary you can enter names of published books and company (not personal) web sites. Tertiary would be the level of lowest quality because that's where you get into circumstantial and speculative evidences that Genealogists generally dismiss because they are not proof of anything, but which can be important clues for guiding research toward FINDING the proof. I should also state that Genealogists strictly consider Primary sources as the only proof (and usually it must be a combination of Primary sources), and very few Secondary Sources can be used as proof. Wikipedia rules are generally backwards from that - I have seen census records booted from Wikipedia articles in favor of a link to a published book (which I have always found counter-intuitive, especially due to the fact that family histories and autobiographical books are exactly where the so-called "vanity publishing" industry originated, and therefore are ripe with fiction). I am also wondering how the "duplication" effort is being solved... There are biographical pages all over Wikipedia about individuals who would also have a place in a genealogical Wiki, which means the two would need some synchronization, yes? Maybe that doesn't matter? I have been myself working toward a genealogical Wiki but NOT for the general public, rather only for those who are descended from an individual in the 1400s, where they can document using my above rules (Primary, Secondary, Tertiary). My purpose is different from stated here because it's meant as a set of living documents for ongoing research, meaning that supposition would not be dismissed but just clearly marked as such. (e.g. "There is no proof that [this person] is the son of [that person], however it is highly likely based on [x, y and z].")

    —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Symphonitron (talk) 23:04, 4 December 2016


  1. This project and all related projects have a huge potential to turn into an unsourced vanity free-for-all. I see no good reason to support it. Chris Troutman (talk) 22:26, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
    I think the project from the start should require sourcing and the experience of other sites shows this is a definite possibility. I don't see much evidence of vanity problems at, for instance, WeRelate, given that you would have to exclude any references to living people (with a possible exception for notable living people like royal families) AndrewRT (talk) 22:57, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
    Does sourcing include OR? PiRSquared17 (talk) 23:48, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
    It would have to, as telling people that they are not allowed to include their own research would kill the project. Geneaology is about researching ones own history and trying to make sense of it all. If you are going to tell people that they cannot do this, it would hamper our ambitions, because it would leave most people unable to contribute. The whole model of and other sites is to provide a repository of information that has been originally researched, all under a commercial business model. If we are to successfully replicate this, we will have to allow for original research and assume good faith with all contributors. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 00:06, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
    OR is asking your grandma for the details of all of her uncles and aunts and cousins. If this is an official WMF projects then such interviews can be recorded and saved on Commons and used as references. There might be a bit of that but in general it would be reasonable to ask for references to primary sources to back this up - registrars of births, marriages and deaths. Filceolaire (talk) 09:46, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
    Everything needs to be supported with sources. For living people it more complicated, but those pages should not be public and so those pages are for future reference. For non-living people the sources are made public and there is it easy to get sources outside the family circle. Carsrac (talk) 21:10, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
  2. At least some of these existing projects allow entities for every person on the planet. As I can see Ukrainian Rodovid is owful privacy violating project where someone may reviel all relations of his family without their approval of it. Also I see no use in something that targets to cover 7 billion now living people and all their greatgreat... grandparents. WMF should ask NSA and other agencies of the sort to share their databases if we really want to work on it. It may be nice if we cover just notable people but there may me gaps of generations if lets say some high lord of the past has nowdays popsinger as a greatgreatgreatgreatgreatgrandson and I dont think we want to cover all these ordinal generations. Also again if it singers actors and any popular people editors would put all their possible bastards usind yellow pages as a source and we'll again get useless privacy violating mess. For really notable things like royal pedigrees we'd better just work with data from WD and I hope Phase 3 would suffice our need for extending Wikipedia (perhaps sometimes but really rarely also WQ, WS, Commons) articles/pages with that data (and till the phase bots ane tools are helpfull). --Base (talk) 00:01, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
    Right now Wikidata is creating items for every person with a wikipedia article and their parents and children. Tools for family trees from this info are being developed. There is, in principal, no problem expanding this to include every person that has ever had their relationships recorded somewhere (that would be my criterion for including someone). The identity theft issue is real and needs a bit of thought even if that horse seems to have already bolted. Filceolaire (talk) 09:46, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
    The laws around identity theft are strict and those around copyright are the same and as long we can handle the copyright laws then those around identity theft should also be do able for a WMF project. Carsrac (talk) 21:31, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
  3. Strong opposition verdy_p (talk) 10:40, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
    @Filceolaire: Your criterions are clearly not enough. We would need stronger criterions to protect privacy and be in compliance with laws in US and the EU (at least).
    For example we should never accept the publication of family members of a personality only because that personality is "wellknown". This is critical about their chldern for example. Notoriety of persons is not transitive to their family.
    In addition, allowing such data would immediately start binging the issue that really a lot of Wikidata entries would be published by too many ocntrobutors, often massively, then would need to be removed by only a few admins, using the slow and complex OTRS system: revertng edits would not be enough, only admins can hide edits. Also Wikidata is not prepared with the necessary tools to allow such maintenance as easily as when any random contributor (even anonymous ones) would add data breaching our common privacy policy...
    We should not accept any publication about persons that are not dead since at least one century (so the described goal to also include living people is a severe problem, thus my strong 'no! to this project). As well we wil reject publication of orignal documents protected by copyright (this includes copies of pages of registries that could mix in their lists the names of people dead more than 100 years ago and people that have died much later or that are still alive).
    Wikimedia is not a platform for helping what mormons are storing illegally in their servers in Sacramento, but even for them, they do not freely publish their accumulated data about billions people in the world. Protecting people PRIVACY is an official and essential goal of Wikimedia, it is needed for keeping the trust of many of our users. verdy_p (talk) 10:39, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
  4. Oppose There is certainly a use for genealogies of notable families, which could be anything from the Tudors of England to the Westmores of costume effects. Such genealogies would have cross-project applications and the information would be of broad interest. I don't believe, however, that the genealogies of non-notable families are something that serve a broad enough educational purpose to warrant a Wikimedia Foundation investment. Such genealogies are only of interest to the small number of people that are a part of those genealogies, and are of little to no use to others. The Foundation does not need to have one of everything, and this isn't something that I see enough of a value to justify having. Sven Manguard (talk) 05:58, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
    So would you be open to supporting a genealogy if certain notability criteria were created, or no? Just curious. --Another Believer (talk) 16:51, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
    Probably not. I'd have to see the restrictions first, but it's unlikely that I would view this as being a useful contribution to the existing family of projects even with the restrictions in place. We can already do genealogies for notable families in both Wikipedia and Wikidata, and I just don't see a genealogy project adding any additional information that would make sense for the WMF family of projects. I also have concerns that any restrictions on who is eligible for coverage would be gradually eased or entirely removed at a later date. Sven Manguard (talk) 00:45, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
    Wikimedia projects network into each other heavily, drawing content from each other (occasionally though direct transclusion). I expect that this project, should it be adopted, would be heavily integrated into biography pages on Wikipedia. One of my biggest concerns with this proposal is that the genealogy project would contain substantial amounts of often difficult or impossible to verify original research, which would be allowed to migrate to Wikipedia unchecked, either through templates that pull information directly, or by editors bringing information from the genealogy to Wikipedia without realizing that the information they are pulling over would be considered unreliable/unacceptable by Wikipedia's standards. I have the same concern about Wikidata, however Wikidata is built with sourcing in mind, while this proposal doesn't seem to take a strong stance on sourcing at all. Sven Manguard (talk) 02:02, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
    @Sven Manguard: I support the use of sources on this project, especially with living people. My take on inclusion is that any person can be included in this project if a serious publicly available reference makes has genealogical information on the person. --Jakob (talk) 16:16, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
    Jakob - To me, "especially with living people" is unacceptable. "Always, without exception" is the only take on sourcing that I support. First, even if the project excludes living people, there are often going to be living descendants of the people covered, and they need protection. Second, genealogical data is often contested, from disputes as famous as the Jefferson–Hemings controversy all the way down, and it is imperative to the credibility of the project that it be able to back its assertions. Finally, projects movement-wide (with the partial exception of Wikivoyage and Wikibooks) are built on verifiability. Not every project is as stringent as EnWiki, but it's a common standard, and it is why the projects can draw from each other so liberally. Sven Manguard (talk) 19:55, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
    There are some disputes about relations between peoples, but those are disputes are rare, but those maybe's make nice stories, but keep rumors until they are proven. And if it has no verifiability those links are removed. Especially the historical persons are well protected. If it your own family you will protect them. Carsrac (talk) 21:26, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
  5. Rather against / plutôt contre. Je considère que si un tel projet voit le jour, il doit se limiter strictement aux lois préservant la vie privée des personnes. En particulier, les données généalogiques de moins de 75 ans ne sont pas communicables en France ; il devra en être de même sur ce projet. Par ailleurs, il faudra gérer les sources (et imposer le sourçage !) de manière à préserver l'intégrité des bases de données publiques et associatives (en France, archives départementales et geneabank par exemple). Tout ça fait beaucoup d'obstacles à lever ! En outre, il existe déjà un projet francophone sous forme de wiki : . - Bzh-99 (talk) 16:13, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
  6. Very strong oppose - Genealogy as a field is notorious for attracting a lot of very hard workers, some of them quite sound in technique and approach; but also for attracting hacks, seamsters, axe-grinders and ego-trippers. I simply do not trust that such a project would remain free of original research, unsound synthesis and speculation, and "oral traditions" which are not worth the paper they aren't printed on. "Ask Grandma and record her unsourced and undocumented claims, then upload that and claim it as a reference"???? No way on Earth. --Orange Mike (talk) 21:18, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
    There are enough sites that do that, but in the WMF there is good understanding what reference are and what is not. And that is why it wise to bring a genealogy site into the WMF where it can be controlled and the ban the wrong people. Carsrac (talk) 21:10, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
    @Orangemike: Would you feel the same way if a reference was required for each entry (as there should be)? --Another Believer (talk) 20:57, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
    "[A]ttracting hacks, seamsters, axe-grinders and ego-trippers" And the other projects don't? Please. Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons have those problems. So what? That does not seem to be adequate reasoning to object. By the way...what is a seamster?--Mark Miller (talk) 23:57, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  7. Oppose I'm very doubtful we have the resources to do it properly, which costs money. If there are already free Mediawiki projects out there (Familypedia, geniawiki), I'd leave it to them. How would we handle language issues? Johnbod (talk) 02:53, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
  8. Oppose - I don't have any particular problem with this and I think the one at Wikia does a fairly good job. However, Wikimedia already has a number of projects that don't do anything IMO except distrct resources away from the core Wiki's like Wikipedia and Wiktionary. I just think the resources are better spent on other projects. Reguyla (talk) 20:05, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
    I respect your opinion, but my hunch is that a genealogy project would have more active contributors and community support than some of the existing Wikimedia projects. Is your comment specifically about a genealogy project, or just another project in general? --Another Believer (talk) 19:40, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
  9. Oppose - In the genealogy community, WM's genealogy projects have received reviews ranging from mediocre to poor. One reviewer said it best when they said for WM to stop spreading itself thin and focus on the projects it does well and can really support. I've been doing genealogy longer than I have been doing WP, and I agree. -- Kosboot (talk) 20:31, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
  10. Strong oppose to new project. It shall not be the new project, not with free-for-all-to-add their families. What it can be? It can be a new interface for already existing Wikidata storage, may be an extension, that can represent famility trees in Lua-friendly manner, and bunch of JavaScript gadgets to qucikly edit such trees in language-independent way. Well, we don't even need domain name for it. Support for everyone family trees is just out of scope for foundation, because it is not reliable data, not the "knowledge" that need to be preserved. Vlsergey (talk) 13:40, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  11. Oppose There is a distinction between hobby horse style information which can be very useful or interesting (imagine volumes of data on stamp collecting) versus the kinds of reference work that WMF provides. I think that reliable genealogical data from censuses or historical documents or which relate to famous nobility can be useful but that data should be integrated into Wikidata, Wikipedia, and Wikisource as necessary. As pointed out above, a genealogy project will only attract a subset of hobbyists who have trivial information that's impossible to verify leading to a database of... what exactly? Not good and reliable information. (And I've contributed to Rodovid—I think it's a good project but not a potential WMF project. Similarly, I think Appropedia or OrthodoxWiki are good projects but not really appropriate for what is going on with these projects). —Justin (koavf)TCM 16:12, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
  12. Oppose per strong OR bias that must be resolved first. José Luiz talk 23:13, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
    You know that in genealogical research, you don't just get to make things up, right? Mutually-agreed upon trusted documentation is an essential part of the process. Whole lives go into making it verifiable. AnonymousCoward8222104 (talk) 19:34, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
  13. Oppose I've been an amateur genealogist since 1995. I'm an active user of, a lapsed user of Familypedia, a surfer of WikiTree and WeRelate, and a former user of the apparently offline Rodovid. I promote web-based collaboration among genealogists, and ultimately want to see only one web host of family trees, and for that single host to allow merging of trees into larger trees, in order to maximize collaboration. -JohnAlbertRigali (talk) 19:36, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
  14. Oppose Genealogy does not particularly lend itself to a CC license, other than for very old entries. The most valuable way of building a family tree is for people to build their own tree, using their own information, with links that become publicly available only after family members have died, and only for those who have died. The existing trees can do that just fine. Any tree that we would create would only be useful as a stable tree for very old entries, such as for the ancestors, and not the descendants, of Henry VIII. Apteva (talk) 18:41, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
  15. Oppose genealogy is a great study but as a personal project since it can keep up with a lot of original research, unsourced info or informal sources. I can't figure how the project will handle issues such pov, edit wars and privacy violations, also this subject doesn't seems to be that popular away from the rich, the royal or those who thinks is from a notable family. If this project will require very faithful sources then we will have a genealogy project just for the very royal and noble families, something they keep themselves already.Dianakc (talk) 19:10, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
  16. Oppose very strongly. I am a genealogist, and I think this would be a nightmare. The number of amateur genealogists who do not understand proper genealogical techniques FAR outweighs those who do. IThis will become an utterly useless bunch of original research, unverified information, and improper synthesis of sources. If you go ahead and create this anyway, I imagine that most serious genealogists will stay far away (I would), which means the mistakes aren't likely to be pointed out or fixed either. Karanacs (talk) 18:41, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
  17. Oppose Oppose as I have read through this page twice, and followed all the links I could to try and figure it out, yet I still am unclear on what the scope of this project is. Until there is a clearly defined proposal with a clearly defined scope, there is no way I could possibly support this "blank check" proposal. {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 19:36, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
    @Technical 13: This page is not a specific proposal, but more of a straw poll of interest and a starting point for discussing the possibility of the WMF hosting a genealogy project. I invite you to view the talk page if you wish to participate in conversations about specific ideas and concerns. -Another Believer (talk) 19:48, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
  18. Oppose. While I'd like to see genealogies of royalty and other famous historical figures on Wikipedia, WikiData or similar, the project that these pages seem to be considering would be nothing but trouble. First, there must be NO living persons on public pages (possibly with the exception of people who have articles on Wikipedia). I agree with, among others, user Karanacs just a couple of posts above. --Hordaland (talk) 00:03, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
  19. Weak oppose. First, there are the questions of competency of genealogists expressed above, which are real. Second, there are very real questions regarding individuals attempting to abuse the site to seek to gain some sort of real or perceived advantage from doing so. w:Pierre Plantard comes to mind as an obvious example of people who have sought to misuse genealogical research for personal gain of some sort or other. There are also concerns with BLP in terms of some individuals seeking to perhaps undermine the apparent or real family history of others for some reason or other. There are also questions regarding the real or relative reliability of some of the sources which editors in good faith might use or neglect. All of these concerns, and those of others above, are ones I would want to see specifically addressed before offering any support for the idea. John Carter (talk) 17:45, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
  20. I understand why Wikipedia and projects like wiktionary should be free to use, we are making the sum of all knowledge frely available to everyone. But I don't see why a genealogy service should be operated by a charity. There is also a completely different ethos to such sites as opposed to ours. On the one I use, and presumably on any that are at all privacy compliant, my personal details and those of my living relatives are not freely available for anyone to view. If others get a match on name or year they have to ask to see my tree. If we did such a project we would need to do the same, otherwise we are enabling identity theft, but to create a project where most of the data is in private silos would be culturally very different than the projects we are used to. Now we could I suspect safely open it up a little by saying that all data older than 115 years is open, but if we did we would find ourselves home to every genealogical squabble in history. WereSpielChequers (talk) 21:25, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
  21. I think there are plenty of genealogy sites without adding another one. Ksnow
  22. There is no way to substantiate most genealogical claims without dealing with primary sources and plunging into obscure provincial archives and family records in a number of dialects, most of them antiquated and comprehensible only to a handful of specialists. The project would be a terrible mess of unsourced nonsense, as all similar free-for-all genealogical compilations are. And when linking from Wikipedia articles is allowed, this will bring Wikipedia into disrepute, as well. P.S. The Russian Wikipedia decided to ban links to for a similar reason. One should keep in mind that up-to-date high-quality genealogical data is copyrighted. --Ghirla -трёп- 10:03, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
  23. Oppose - a yet another way for wikimedia to burn the funds as if there is nothing better to do. wikidata sucks, wikipedia editor base shrinks, etc. Focus, people! Staszek Lem (talk) 01:00, 19 August 2016 (UTC)