Elizabeth Mackay

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Article about a 19th century New Zealand settler, which says only that she "was a homemaker." The cited source gives more details about her life, but doesn't indicate any notability other than being an early European settler in New Zealand. That doesn't seem to me to meet WP:N. NawlinWiki (talk) 18:46, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Delete — Non-notable, as per nom. C(u)w(t)C(c) 18:55, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Context: I created this as part of a mass-creation of biographies of people in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, which is the New Zealand version of the Dictionary of National Biography (and there's a clear consensus that DNB people are notable). There was extensive dicussion at the time and there was no suggestion that these people were not notable. I believe that there is a consensus that these people are notable, but I'm happy to test this consensus, see my agrument below. Stuartyeates (talk) 20:41, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep Her DNZB entry has a bibliography with two clearly independent books, one a biography of her daughter (a famous New Zealand poet of the time, but whose fame has since faded) which covers her parents and upbringing in detail and a compilation of biographies in which she features in her own right. Jessie also wrote about her in writings such as The Tragedy of the Mackays but this fails the independence test. I can get physical access to the hard-copies of these books for page-ranges and the lengths of coverage if people are skeptical, but it'll take a few days. Stuartyeates (talk) 20:41, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Note: This debate has been included in the list of People-related deletion discussions. ★☆ DUCKISJAMMMY☆★ 23:07, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Note: This debate has been included in the list of Scotland-related deletion discussions. ★☆ DUCKISJAMMMY☆★ 23:07, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Note: This debate has been included in the list of New Zealand-related deletion discussions. ★☆ DUCKISJAMMMY☆★ 23:07, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Note: This debate has been included in the Article Rescue Squadron's list of content for rescue consideration. Northamerica1000(talk) 02:51, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Weak keep, per Stuartyeates. The article certainly needs expansion. New Zealand editors are slowly working through these DNZB articles (I worked on Marion Hatton about an hour ago). My !vote is only "weak", because her notability is more marginal than most of the DNZB entries.-gadfium 04:55, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete. Not a notable subject, especially since the artcle is a stub. Andrei.smolnikov (talk) 10:53, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Would you care to put foward a position based on policy? Stuartyeates (talk) 00:50, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Weak keep, as per Gadfium's argument. This case is indeed more borderline thank anything else that I've seen on DNZB. I fully support the DNZB initiative; thanks to Stuartyeates for giving the context. Schwede66 21:47, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete despite her being in a DNZB article, and I do agree these are usually people of note, there does not appear to be anything in the article that makes her notability. Her notability seems to come solely from association, which is inadequate. NealeFamily (talk) 08:16, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: for anyone else looking for sources, this is a different person to the party in New Zealand's first divorce case. They may be notable, but that's another kettle of fish. Stuartyeates (talk) 00:50, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: if this is not kept, could it please be userfied to Wikipedia:WikiProject_Missing_encyclopedic_articles/NZ/Dictionary_of_New_Zealand_Biography/Elizabeth Mackay or similar ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Stuartyeates (talkcontribs) 23:16, 22 May 2012
    • Or it could possibly be incubated, if it's felt there's more biographical info available. -- Trevj (talk) 09:34, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
      • There are defintely other sources, but they probably print-only and need to be interloaned. Stuartyeates (talk) 08:23, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
        • After re-reading Wikipedia:Incubate, I agree that incubation would be more appropaiate "Sufficient reliable sources which deal with the subject in depth may be found, though they may not be readily available online at the moment" seems to be a pretty good match here. Stuartyeates (talk) 23:25, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete, notability is WP:NOTINHERITED. I read the entry in the DNZB, and still believe she is not notable. Her life was typical for the era, which makes it interesting for NZ history (and that's why it is included in the DNZB), but not as a biographical article in WP. -- P 1 9 9 • TALK 14:56, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep. People who feature in the DNZB or any other national dictionary of biography are inherently notable. We have entries for many thousands of people who would never make it into these works in a thousand years, so including everyone with an entry in such a work is a no-brainer. -- Necrothesp (talk) 09:25, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Relisted to generate a more thorough discussion so a clearer consensus may be reached.
Please add new comments below this notice. Thanks, Monty845 15:57, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Keep It is established policy that DNB entrants pass the notability test, and whilst there is nothing about her story that makes her inherently notable the fact is that she has made it. If it was her daughter that made her so that does not matter - WP:NOTINHERITED does not mean that a subject is disqualified if their notability came about because of a relationship, just that a relationship does not in itself confer notability. There are actually quite a few entries in WP for foundation settlers and the like who would never make it if they had lived a similar life back home, but that is in the nature of things. --AJHingston (talk) 21:58, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep - Inclusion in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography is sufficient to establish notability. Early settlers can be held notable by being early settlers and it appears that this is the case here. -- Whpq (talk) 15:57, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete I am not willing to accept the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography as a source for notability. I know we normally accept national biographies, but we accept them on the ground that they are discriminating sources. The penchant of NZNB to include entries for people of this degree of unimportance as , apparently, characteristic figures of their period, is not sufficiently discriminating selectivity. It may seem odd to say we're a more carefully encyclopedic source than such a publication, but it seems to be the case. There is no need to lower our standard. Perhaps this source needs a discussion on RSN,because we might want wider consensus for a change in one of our usual criteria. DGG ( talk ) 04:19, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
    • The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography is at the forefront of dictionaries of biograhy attempting to combat Systemic bias. Doesn't excluding them simply reinforce Wikipedia:Systemic bias? Stuartyeates (talk) 05:11, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
      • I share Stuartyeates' view here. Men tend to be remembered, correctly, for achievements within wider society. At most times, and in most places, women have been largely excluded from the public sphere and so are mainly remembered, if at all, either through the men they are associated with or for lives lived within a domestic or family context. The vehicles through which that memory is transmitted tend to be autobiographical or biographies recorded by family members. Probably because I am a man, such things tend not to interest me but I acknowledge that there is an enormous appetite for such material and that some of its subjects become widely known as a consequence. It may sometimes be the 'ordinariness' of their lives that appeals because it is representative and something readers can empathise with. WP inclusion criteria are not based simply on objective 'merit' - once you are well enough known, and if in a DNB you will be, that is enough. --AJHingston (talk) 08:32, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
      • Comment If deleting this article means the entire Dictionary of New Zealand Biography is at question because of this discussion then I am happy to change my stance to Keep. However, I do not accept that because one item in this Dictionary is called into question, it affects the whole work to the extent DGG suggests. I can not find anything that makes Elizabeth Mackay any more notable than most of the pioneer women of her day, and therefore, can not support keeping the article solely because she is listed in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. No one has suggested that she has any other form of notability. I also have difficulty with AJHingston's argument around 'ordinariness'. Extrapolating it would leave you with Wikipedia including everybody and everything. Where would you draw the line? NealeFamily (talk) 10:10, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Relisted to generate a more thorough discussion so a clearer consensus may be reached.
Please add new comments below this notice. Thanks,   REPLY   TOW  talk  04:26, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Keep for the reasons articulated by Stuartyeates and AJHingston. I don't think we'd gain much by starting to carve out exceptions from the general notability of subjects in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, and certainly not enough to justify the cost of undermining the NZ project and potentially unleashing additional AfDs aimed at other figures in the DNZB. I'd note, though, that in this case there may a satisfactory, if ad hoc, compromise: if there's really only a couple of sentences to say about her, would it be sufficient to merge and redirect this to Jessie Mackay? --Arxiloxos (talk) 04:59, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep - If it's good enough for the Kiwi Dictionary of National Biography, it should be good enough for Wikipedia. That said, I wish people wouldn't start shitty little stubs like this. If you wanna write a biography, write a god damned biography. We've already wasted about 4 times as much effort fighting over this as the creator spent launching this and putting a dubious notch in their "pages started" belt buckle. Carrite (talk) 05:17, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete Per DGG. The inclusion of the bio of this random person who was someone's mom in the NZ bio compilation is an indication of a lack of editorial judgement on the part of the editors of that compendium, and a reason to reject inclusion there as satisfaction of WP:BIO. Sorry, but we are the editors of Wikipedia, not some group of editors of the DNZB. Our standards are higher, apparently, than theirs. That compendium sounds more like a phone directory than a selective listing of notable persons. It is sufficient to mention her in her daughter's bio. Edison (talk) 13:47, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete - let's be clear about this: the criterion is whether she's notable in her own right. Being someone's mother does not make her notable; being a woman and from New Zealand do not exclude her from notability, but do not of themselves guarantee inclusion: WP:N, WP:NOTINHERITED etc etc must take precedence over any automatic assumption of the total accuracy of the DNB, DNZB or any other DNxxxB - they might get it wrong occasionally. Unfortunately, it seems the DNZB's criteria are not always as strict as the DNB's (and even that could surely make a rare mistake), so simply being in there isn't sufficient: it has to be a good hint that a person might be notable, and a source of information; and telling us she's a homemaker and wrote about her daughter wouldn't cut the mustard from any country, sorry. Chiswick Chap (talk) 14:18, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete - parents do not generally inherit notability from their better known children. I don't want to underestimate the difficulties of settling on the other side of the world and bringing up a family, but there is not a lot said about Elizabeth in her own NZB entry, and that is the only strong source about her. The obituary is a routine announcement. Sionk (talk) 14:28, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete - per the above, espec. comments by Edison. By our standards there is no evidence of notability and we are not here to create a Directory of all New Zealanders regardless, even if DNZB may be. Ben MacDui
  • Comment: A number of editors have questioned the rationale for inclusion in DNZB. The second paragraph of the DNZB article lays out the reasons: to give a representative gender and racial balance across the period of coverage—which are broadly equalivent to the reasons and motivation behind Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias. My reading is that filtering such articles out from otherwise presumed-notable encyclopedias we are actively working to increase wikipedia's systemic bias. Which seems like a bad thing. Stuartyeates (talk) 09:13, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
    • Forgive me if I'm wrong, and for broaching a delicate matter, but while that may be an excellent policy in NZ for their dictionary, it isn't the same as the Wikipedia policy of treating all topics and people equally. Positive discrimination is an important political mechanism and has its place in many walks of life, but just because DNZB has decided to include a quota of less-notable or barely-notable women, that doesn't mean we have to do the same. We have to decide on grounds of notability. Which means we must be prepared, now and again, to exclude some article subjects that DNZB chose to include. Chiswick Chap (talk) 11:12, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep: Per Stuartyeates's comments regarding the DNZB. I think inclusion there and in comparable texts for other countries imply notability and would be equivalent to having an encyclopedia in print format. If there was better digitization of New Zealand newspapers, I'm confident you would find additional references to her. --LauraHale (talk) 10:18, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • That a person is "unremarkable" or "ordinary" is a subjective judgement on the part of a Wikipedia editor, and notability is not subjective. Notability is an objective standard, based upon how much a person has been noted by the world at large. The problem here is that the biographical sources are themselves a bit of stretch, in that they don't focus so much upon this person as upon her daughter and husband, even those that are nominally about this person, and when they do they don't supply much in the way of factual content. The source depth is not particularly good, in other words.

    I had a look around for more sources, and even Macdonald's and Penfold's The Book of New Zealand women only mentions this person in the entry for Jessie Mackay. I'd like to see the information that was promised in this discussion a month ago but that has not yet been supplied: what and how much is in Brave days: pioneer women of New Zealand. about this person. If it's an extensive biography that concentrates upon this person, rather than her husband and daughter, then it along with the very weak DNZB entry are enough to convince me that enough sourcing exists for a proper biography to be written, and that this person is properly documented in her own right rather than as an ancillary to her daughter.<p>But on the other hand if it's just all-about-the-famous-daughter again, that's still on the borderline for me, since the DNZB really doesn't provide enough knowledge of this person for a non-permastub encyclopaedia article to be written.<p>Notice: It's all about the depths and provenances of sources. No subjective judgement of the subject itself involved.<p>Uncle G (talk) 12:06, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

    Was the 'promise' you mention my statement 'There are defintely other sources, but they probably print-only and need to be interloaned.' ? If you read it carefully, there was no promise. I've not interloaned this material since there's been no indication that the AfD would still be open when the materials arrived (to be honest, I'm surprised it's still open). Stuartyeates (talk) 19:50, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Articles for deletion/Elizabeth Mackay, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Author(s): Stuartyeates Search for "Articles for deletion/Elizabeth Mackay" on Google
View Wikipedia's deletion log of "Articles for deletion/Elizabeth Mackay"

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