How to handle uncited information

+8 votes
164 views

I wanted some feedback on a profile I've been working on:

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Freeman-1215

The profile seems to have no cited sources but does mention some dates. However As far as I can tell the death date was incorrect (I fixed it just now). For starters the same profile at other locations that claim to be done by experienced genealogists have a later date (the one I changed the profile to):

https://www.geni.com/people/John-Freeman/6000000005234111538?through=6000000006912579282#/tab/overview

This lead me to try to investigate it as I wanted to make sure I could source it before I updated it without just relying on "well someone else said so". So what I did was I pulled up the perish death records for where he supposidly died and lived (both profiles agree on that point). What I found was that no one by that name or similar was listed under the burial record for the year originally claimed. I did however find a death record for 10 years later in the same town with the proper persons name. The date I found also agrees with the geni profile I linked.

As such I updated the death record, provided a link to the source of the record, and even added images of the death record itself.

My question, and problem is this. I have no way of knowing the person in the record is the same John Freeman. It doesnt list anything about them other than name and death date. The name would be fairly common too. Since I cant be certain about this information did I do the correct thing by updating the record? The way I see it my date seems more likely and at least has a sourced date. But is that enough?

WikiTree profile: John Freeman
in Genealogy Help by Jeff Freeman G2G Crew (810 points)
Just want to say: well done!

There is real value in your work. You actually checked the claims, and did not find any proof for it. Many genealogical trees have links that are just there as they fitted best at the time. If the records are not present, you disproved their hypothesis.
Thank you!

1 Answer

+18 votes
 
Best answer
For examples like this I include a research note to say that although I have this source, there is no way of knowing whether or not it applies to this person, and further research is required. That may be the best that can be done, and hopefully it encourages others to think before mindlessly copying from tree to tree.
by Leandra Ford G2G6 Pilot (119k points)
selected by Carolyn Martin
I agree with Leandra. In these type of situations, I add a short paragraph explaining what was existing and what was changed with an explanation of why I think the change was appropriate. Your info from this post  (edited/abbreviated) would go a long way to clarifying everything for future readers.

Related questions

+1 vote
1 answer
54 views asked Nov 22, 2020 in Genealogy Help by Shree Hicks G2G Rookie (160 points)
+1 vote
2 answers
+2 votes
1 answer
+5 votes
3 answers
+4 votes
1 answer
137 views asked Aug 25, 2014 in Genealogy Help by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (711k points)

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright

...