I’ve been sitting on the fence these past few months deciding whether WikiTree has a future and can meet it’s goal of “an accurate single family tree using DNA and traditional genealogical sources”. My expectation, based on years of research, is a significant percentage of genealogists compile (and fabricate) trees without sources, adequate research, and documentation. And they are being posted to WikiTree.
Examples: My father was a Weisel, my mother was a Mollers.
1) I the past I have posted a number of researched genealogies to WorldConnect wc.rootsweb.com. A cousin of mine used my Mollers tree posted on WorldConnect and added, with some sourcing, generations to WikiTree.com. But when she reached the end of the line, she manufactured dates to fill in the blanks with added another generation. I attempted to correct the errors, detached the last “fabricated” ancestor with an explanation. Subsequently someone merged the fabricated ancestor back over the correct one. I received no response to my message that it was a mistake.
I have two Y-DNA results for descendants of Hubert Mollers, but I will not post the data to WikiTree when the most distant ancestor is fabricated and does not exist.
2) I have extensively researched two Weisel genealogies. One is immigrant Michael Weisel (~1690-1770) to Bucks Co., PA. The second is my own, Johann Daniel Weisel (~1619-1694) of Muschenheim, Lich, Hessen, Germany.
In the 1930s a descendant of Michael Weisel made trips to Germany to learn his genealogy. He was unable to trace Michael’s ancestry, so in the tradition of Anjou he fabricated a family tree back to the 1200’s and nobility. It has been published and posted hundreds of times, including at the Family History Library. A person added the PA Michael Weisel family tree to WikiTree. Instead of using this fabricated ancestry, he picked out two Weisels from different WorldConnect trees to add back two more generations. The most distant Weisel he used is my ancestor Johann Daniel Weisel. I posted a private message to the person, tried to be polite and explained it was a case of mistaken identity and how I could prove it. As expected, I did not receive a response and no correction was made.
I’m the familytreedna.com project manager for the Weisel surname. I have Y-DNA test results from both Weisel lines, but again, I will not post because of the errors. I can easily prove Johann Daniel Weisel was added falsely by copying page 463 from the book Familienbuch Muschenheim mit Birklar by Gerold Buss.
3) I also spot checked a number of my genetic ancestors and found a number of errors and without any sources.
My conclusion is WikiTree will never be one tree, accurate and sourced, given the prevalence of inaccurate and unreliable user submitted data. And I do not see an easy way to correct all these errors that exist in just my ancestry.