Married, marked certain or not [closed]

+2 votes
Where I do not have a marriage record on the profile but only an estimate of a date based on the oldest known child's DOB, is it okay to mark the marriage (& est. locale) as "Certain"?
closed with the note: Resolved, it's better to have some documentation in hand before stating that the event's date / place are Certain.
in WikiTree Help by Susan Smith G2G6 Pilot (667k points)
closed by Susan Smith

Just noticed this from 2017 Certain dates - WikiTree G2G

2 Answers

+6 votes
I wouldn’t do it, as there is no proof they actually married.
by Living Poole G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
This is a problem that I am seeing system wide.  People are marking dates and names as Certain / Confident with no source to verify them.

Family Trees is not sufficient to be sure of names, dates, or locations. That may be solving the Profile Completeness Suggestions, but that is not the correct thing to be doing.
+4 votes

It is as I thought, that for certain / confident to be selected there has to be something substantive such as a certificate issued by the civil authority (city, county, state, federal, in the US) or one of the secondary documents  -- and sometimes even that might not be obtained ... 

Taken from Types of Sources for Your Genealogy Research

Primary sources are documents, oral accounts — if the account is made soon after the actual event and witnessed by the person who created the account — photographs, or any other items created at the time of an event. Some primary sources include birth and marriage certificates, deeds, leases, diplomas or certificates of degree, military records, and tax records.

Secondary sources are documents, oral accounts, and records that are created some length of time after the event or for which information is supplied by someone who wasn’t an eyewitness to the event. A secondary source can also be a person who was an eyewitness to the event but recalls it after significant time passes.

by Susan Smith G2G6 Pilot (667k points)
That only works if the couple lived in a culture that regulated marriage with religious or civil authorites and written records. Many of my ancestors lived in a culture without a written language or a European concept of marriage.  That doesn’t mean they were not accepted as a couple or family unit by their community.  Many people today have created families without a civil or religious marriage document.  I think  the definition of “marriage” and what constitutes confirmation of a marriage in Wikitree needs to be broadened.
Kathie, my own realm where I roam at WT is USA 1750 to current year so these old debate points do not apply.

And here the Q is whether IN GENERAL it is "okay" to mark as Certain that the nuptials have occurred as per the laws of the land at that time and place WITHOUT any substantive documentation for that certainty to stand on -- 

WT standard is to have a basis in some sort of documentation even if it's nothing more than a privately published mss or a letter from person to another -- WT is supposed to be genealogy based on facts, evidence, proofs

Something, in short, that could be laid in front of a Court of Law along with any other evidence 

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