Can I use a headstone (website) if it is the lone source for me in creating a profile page?

+15 votes
in Policy and Style by Donald Gibson G2G6 Mach 1 (12.7k points)
retagged by Keith Hathaway

I would consider creating the profile if the image of the headstone gives sufficient details (surname and a date). Would I create a profile based only on a transcription of a headstone without an accompanying photo of the actual headstone... it depends - does the contributor of the transcription appear to be accurate in other transcriptions, is there a reasonable explanation why no photo is provided (for example, not permitted by cemetery).

Perhaps more important in my decision is, is it likely that the profile will ever be confidently associated with other records? I would be much less likely to create a profile for a person based on a gravestone inscribed " J. Smith 1872", found in a large metropolitan cemetery, as it probably will not be associated with other records. On the other hand a headstone for Janet Smith, died 1 March 1872 found in a relatively small village cemetery has a much higher probability of being added to by other researchers.

I have a couple of thoughts on this, yes the is helpful and there is no reason why you shouldn't start a new profile with it but i have a concern with the amount of orphan profiles that are on wikitree at the moment unless you intend to add relatives at some point?
Working with the Cemeteries Project, I've added several profiles at the Cemetery I'm working on, and do revisit them from time to time to try to get sources and family for each. I agree, the orphans are a concern, but I've had success with a decent number of them - enough that I think as long as (as you mention above) the concept is not to add and abandon, but to add and research, then it should be OK.

1 Answer

+17 votes
Best answer

Hi Donald!  Thanks for your additions to the WikiTree!

Absolutely yes.  If you have a FindAGrave memorial, just create a link in the Source section to the memorial.  I use this format:

*[ Find-A-Grave Virtual Cemetery memorial #XXXXXX] in Name and location of the cemetery.

The blue XXXXXX is the memorial number copy and pasted in two spots.  Then I add the name and location of the cemetery.  If you can find census data or other supporting information on, that would help with sourcing your profile.  (

by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (586k points)
selected by Ronda Roberts

This is where you may find many a free source.

 Kitty is just being modest :)
If you're tempted to copy the photo of the gravestone make sure the person who posted it to findagrave gives permission.
Wow, I feel like I just struck gold!!!!!! A great big thank you to Kitty Smith. I sure would like to see this page in the main FIND drop down window.

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