Did you know... you should provide Sources when you create profiles?

+50 votes

When you create profiles on WikiTree, please provide sources that state where the information came from. This enables other researchers to verify the information and to investigate it's credibility.

For example: if you create Jane Doe born 1850 in Massachusetts, you should provide details about the birth-certificate, census, or other document you obtained the information from. If you marry her profile to that of Jim James, you should add to each profile the information about the marriage document or other proof that they were married. Links to online sources are appreciated.

It's been said a variety of ways... Genealogy without sources is mythology

Please make sure you have read and understand the WikiTree Help Page on Sources. It describes what they are, why they are important, and how to add them to profiles. Mentors are here to help.

Thank you for signing the Honor Code and agreeing to provide sources with your profiles :)

Have a super day!

in The Tree House by Keith Hathaway G2G6 Pilot (605k points)
Nice, Keith - thanks!
Do we do enough to encourage newcomers to use g2g so they see great messages like this one? I regularly come across people who don't ever use it. Many don't know what g2g is.

Jillaine --

Greeters give them a link to G2G in their confirmation message and will often tell the about it during the course of conversations.

Also, over the weekend Chris implemented TAGS as a part of volunteering. So, hopefully, as people are exploring the tags they follow, they will be more likely to find themselves in G2G.


ETA: It would be great if other genealogists besides the greeters would steer people to G2G, too. If you run across someone who is asking for genealogical help or who would benefit from a particular subject you've seen discussed out here, encourage them to take a look!  :-) 


Hi Julie!

I find the G2G forum VERY informative. I'm so glad it's here. It helps sort out some of the confusion if I have a question and I'm not sure where to find an answer. I just want to say thank you to the people who take the time to use it and answer the questions of mine and of others.


2 Answers

+22 votes
Best answer

Thank You Keith for reminding everyone about the importance of sources. I would just like to add that in my book there is no such thing as a bad source because Any Source is better than No Source.

by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
selected by Lynden Rodriguez
Thank you Dale :)
+11 votes

provide sources that state where every fact came from and if possible also explain the conclusion done

by C S G2G6 Pilot (274k points)

Two different things going on here.

"Personal knowledge of..." is totally appropriate for the pieces of data where we really did have direct experience of something. I have personal knowledge of my own marriage. Ros has the unfortunate personal knowledge of her parents' deaths. (But as Magnus points out, citing our personal knowledge doesn't offer much help to another researcher trying to verify the facts.)

But I think what started this thread was the incredibly frustrating appearance of "personal knowledge of... [living person's name]" on profiles of people born more than 100 years ago. There's no way I have personal knowledge of my great-grandparents' anything.

What Darlene and Julie didn't realize is that on probably 99% of the wikitree profiles that still include the phrase "Personal knowledge of..." the wikitree system (not a human being) automatically placed that phrase, and no one changed it later.


What Darlene and Julie didn't realize is that on probably 99% of the wikitree profiles that still include the phrase "Personal knowledge of..." the wikitree system (not a human being) automatically placed that phrase, and no one changed it later.


I'm pretty sure I didn't comment on this phrase at all. :-)

It was the default when I first joined back in the day when sources and birthdates weren't required and GEDCOMs were the size of Texas!! rofl

Oh, never fear, I have backed up my 'personal knowledge' with official certificates etc! But I know just what you mean: you go to add sources to a pre-1700 profile and see 'personal knowledge'!  What I tend to do is snort with laughter and mutter "oh, you were around back in 1600, were you?" And then remind myself that a) the system did it, not them, and b) they probably have such a huge watchlist, they haven't got around to changing it.  No laziness nor arrogance around!
Ros, my comment wasn't intended to offend. I really thought that people put up those comments themselves. I didn't know this was generated by the system... Now, I'm wondering why something as inappropriate as "personal knowledge" was entered by the system. Shouldn't it be something like, 'no documentation or verification was entered'??

I agree that it seems foolish to find something like that on pre-1700 profiles.

If you search g2g for "personal knowledge" you'll no doubt find quite a history and "energetic" exchange about it.
Here's a thread that resulted in the first change. (I think it's changed even again.)

I have stated family records and official documents on myself, my parents and grandparents without providing documentation due to the secrecy laws (125 years) where I live. No need to say it is overkill in ensuring the people really are dead before posting their info online, but following the law. :)

Juha, I would still provide a bit more detail. 

For example, for your parents or grandparents, you could be a bit more specific about which documents and identify where they are. For example something like (my apologies for mixing our families):

18 July 1906 Marriage record of John Patrick Smith and Paulina Jauch. Details withheld for 125 years due to Finland privacy laws; copy of record in files of Juga Soini. 


Marriage record of John Patrick Smith and Paulina Jauch. Due to Finland privacy laws, record will be available after 18 July 2031, through (name of institution where record can be obtained). Copy of record in files of Juga Soini.

(It’s not clear which part of the marriage is to be kept private — when they were married or where, or even that they were married at all, but I hope you understand my intent.) 

Please remember that the intent of citing our sources is to help others assess the quality of the claim and to be able to independently find the source. 

Jillaine. You mean something like this.

* Official certificate for genealogy research from the vicarage of Ylitornio parish based on church books. Finnish secrecy laws prohibit the publishing of any documents obtaining information of persons who are born less than 125 years ago. Said certificate is kept by profile manager Juha Soini and can be obtained for private viewing
That looks great, Juha!

Related questions

+32 votes
1 answer
+23 votes
3 answers
+11 votes
2 answers
+35 votes
1 answer

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

disclaimer - terms - copyright