How detailed do you make profiles?

+5 votes
I am transposing information from a genealogy book written in 1951. I put in the info I have from the book but am unsure deep to go with these entries. I try to find birth, death and marriage dates for people that don't have them in the book. But I find I don't like doing imbedded sources since it makes it hard to read. So I am just putting the resources in the source section. I am wondering if i should just put the info from the book and move on. I have been working on this on and off for almost a year.

All I knew about this person was who they were married to.
WikiTree profile: John Surber
in The Tree House by Nancy Wilson G2G6 Mach 8 (88.4k points)
I usually put as much information as I can.

Names of parents, places they were born, married, lived, died.  Names of spouse/s, and of children.

If I can find where they went to school, I'll add that.

Census data is good for getting where they lived, and with whom, and, often,  what their occupation was.

Immigration data, too, can be helpful.
I don’t enter redundant information.

As someone that often has to work through old profiles while working on connections may I please make a request that you do use inline citations - it is the only way someone later can easily find the material and and perhaps add to the profile.

If you find that inline citations are inconvenient - write the basic profile - make sure it looks right.  Then add the citations in the appropriate spots.

I work in sections

Birth, date place parents - citations

Marriage date place who - citations

Death date place burial - citations  

The result is easy to read and easy to work with for the next person.
I had not thought of that. I know when I look at old profiles, they can be confusing. I like your idea of working in sections.

3 Answers

+5 votes
How much information I enter usually depends on how interested I am in the person or family and what my purpose is in entering them.  For my families of interest i add their basic info, mine the census and other records for their occupations, residences and who they lived with, and search for obituaries for all of the above plus other activities and interests.

If I'm not so interested in a person or family, and, for example, am adding them so I can connect someone to the main tree then I add enough information to confirm relationships and identify who they were (birth, marriage, death, children).

I think bulleted sources are fine for people who lived in the late 1800s and/or early 1900s, especially if all info on them agrees.  These are fairly easy to research, and not likely to be controversial.  For people who lived earlier I'm more likely to use in-line references which helps others evaluate the information.  I do this especially if I can cite primary sources, rather than a compiled genealogy.
by Paige Kolze G2G6 Mach 3 (35.8k points)
+5 votes
Compiled genealogies are only as good as their sources, but they can be good places to begin a search.  I would not add information from a compiled genealogy if that is the only source.  In-line sources make editing a little more difficult, but they make the connection between a source and a fact much clearer.  A basic bio would include birth, marriage, children, and death.  Some of those genealogy books have the kind of more personal information that turns those basic facts into a more rounded bio.
by Kathie Forbes G2G6 Pilot (623k points)
This is so true about the compiled genealogies. But, I think it is good to put down what they say, so that someone else can research them if they want. I just was working on a profile where the only record of death was from a compiled genealogy. The one I am using now was compiled by someone in 1951 who wrote letters with questionnaires attached. So if there were any secrets, I am sure the answers could be wrong, just as they could on Census records. we can only do the best we can.
+5 votes
These answers make wonder why DO I enter information? I think it is because I like the idea of entering all the descendants of an ancestor. I got interested when my Dad gave me the book, Descendants of Zadock Bliss. I like to see the descendant charts. I do it to hopefully help someone who is a direct descendant of the the profiles that I add.
by Nancy Wilson G2G6 Mach 8 (88.4k points)
All great reasons!

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