What "source" information should be saved when a profile from an Ancestry GEDCOM file is merged?

+12 votes
See for example http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Newbold-131 with lots of automatic "source" information from Ancestry.  What parts would you save in the clean up?
in The Tree House by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (726k points)
retagged by Living Sälgö

My vote: Save 
St. Matthew's Parish Death Records and add {{Citation Needed}}

as for me this source doesn't say to much: A try to use Google...  

Maybe add to See also: the link to the private tree at Ancestry it could give something....


Is this the correct parrish?

Not being an Anglican, I don't know how they archive their records. I did, however, find a website for the church. Contact info is on the page.

Perhaps emailing will lead to instructions for obtaining a copy of the death record. Then you could post a digital copy to the profile, et voila!, problem with that source is solved. ;-)
One of them looks like a myheritage link back to wikitree.

Update: I requested access to Ancestry profile 2 weeks ago no reaction

On Ancestry John Jasen has more family trees one profile is open  but it looks like

  • It is created from a GEDCOM upload 2016 feb 28
  • It use this GEDCOM upload as a source
  • It use a link to another private Ancestry family tree by John Jasen  as a source
  • ..... 

Feels like Genealogy 2016 when people export and upload GEDCOMs to more sites and just references other sites....

I am getting more and more convinced that a GEDCOM file containing a person without a source should ALWAYS be skipped and we only import people in gedcoms with sources....

6 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer
This is not a pre-1700 profile so I do not think we have any guideline saying you cannot use Ancrstry as a source. I agree keep the note about the parish record. The ancestry link just goes to the sign in page but it's always good to have a link.

The important thing is that this is where the intormation for this profile came from which is what a source is. If I thought the profile came from parish records and didn't know it actually was a combination of Ancestry.com trees,  I would give it more weight than I should. Remember that ancestry could have matched anyone's parish record to that person. Have you ever seen an Ancestry gedcom that has linked multiple death dates, places and records?

If there is time, I always try to add a good source where I can check the data but if not I want to leave the info of where that data came from and technically it came from Ancestry.com.  That is good to know.

The entered by note is not needed.  It's in the change pages and is meant to be replaced with a source citation.

Thanks, Peter!!
by Paula J G2G6 Pilot (286k points)
selected by Jeanne Aloia
Just googling resulted in this info from the Haynes library which may be helpful. If I am reading this correctly, this is a second marriage and the wife was a widow so Newbold might not be her LNAB. It's another clue, maybe.

+8 votes
Honestly Peter, not a single item listed under "Sources" has any value-add at all.  The only thing we learn from that is several people found records and other family trees on Ancestry that referenced this person. There isn't enough information to even FIND the sources, much less verify them for accuracy. I'd categorized this as {{Unsourced}}.

It is, no doubt, a royal pain to create a bibliography in MLA style from the information gleened from an Ancestry tree. I fully understand why folks don't want to invest the time to do it. But that means the profile isn't complete.

Here's a colorful profile that has been souced entirely online. But the source section has been given attention.

by Michele Britton G2G6 Mach 2 (21.2k points)
I think the references to St Matthew Parish should be retained - it means nothing to us, but it might to a future researcher
+9 votes
I didn't see anything worth saving in the specific profile linked to above. HOWEVER, Ancestry gedcom's CAN contain useful source information that should be retained. In many if not most cases, a profile that is created from an Ancestry gedcom import will just contain references to one or more Ancestry family trees, which are not reliable sources. HOWEVER, not infrequently, the person who created the imported Ancestry tree will have also added more reliable Ancestry sources to the person's Ancestry page - eg citations to US Censuses or vital records data bases.  If so, references to those sources will also be part of the imported gedcom and should not be deleted. Ultimately, those sources should be reviewed, either verified or discarded, and, if retained, put in a preferred wikitree format.
by Chase Ashley G2G6 Pilot (320k points)
edited by Chase Ashley
+11 votes
Hi, I agree most of this data is not needed.  A lot of it is a personal choice.   Here is what I choose to retain when I clean up profiles like this one:-

- I keep the hyperlinks to the Ancestry personal family trees.  Sometimes the links work, and if you have an Ancestry account, a future reader might want to see them.  

- I retain references to the title of general sources sometimes seen on Ancestry, eg "US and International Marriage Records").  Again, it is not accessible but useful for people to know the underlying "source" of the data.

As Magnus said, if a profile is completely reliant on Ancestry material, it should be considered as unsourced unless the person has been able to provide supporting information as to where the record could be found.  For example, this profile says "St Matthew Parish Records".  Of itself, it tells us nothing, so its unsourced.  However, if the record had said "St Matthew Parish Records, accessed on Ancestry, originals kept at the Berkshire Public Record Office, Volume XXX, page XXX" then my view is different, it is sourced.   Note I have not used "Evidence Explained" source descriptions, this is just shorthand.

So, in a nutshell, I would not delete 100% of the Ancestry data, I would keep the hyperlinks to personal trees, and descriptions of Ancestry record sets if included, but delete the rest.
by Living Hoolihan G2G6 Mach 6 (62.8k points)
+10 votes

See the earlier discussions like this one  http://www.wikitree.com/g2g/125076/should-we-cite-public-family-trees-source-properly-wikitree

You should Never remove any source material unless you can provide a better source.  It may seem useless if you can not check it yourself, BUT, it is where the information came from and is the information the profile was created from and for that reason should stay. Removing source information without providing better information is not improving anything.

by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.7m points)
edited by Dale Byers

Question asked what is source info on the profile...

Please explain what you think is source info on profile Newbold-131 

Actually, there were 2 questions asked: a generic one in the question title, which was not limited to the particular profile, and one about the particular profile.

Ok my understanding was that the title was generic but the real question was specific and without examples from the Newbold-131 profile I think the discussion will not move forward...

A) is there something on the Newbold-131 profile worth saving? 

B) What can be called source material? 

C) If someone is interested who created the profile cant they look on the Changes tab or the Change Details - Change 16:27 25 April 2016 is adding most of the text 

+10 votes

The single biggest problem I see with the sources on that profile is that the same source citations are repeated over and over again. One particular Ancestry Family Tree page shouldn't be listed more than once in the Sources section, but this profile lists the same page three times (each time in a long paragraph). And John Jasen's Gedcom is listed six times under Sources (six long paragraphs). When you eliminate duplication, the profile still isn't adequately sourced, but it's much less onerous to figure out what's there.

Until there are solid sources to back up the information in the profile, I think there's a lot of value in retaining indications of where the profile information came from. (It may be useful to know whether the information came from an Ancestry tree or grandma's shoebox.) So I'd keep one source citation to the Ancestry Family Tree at http://trees.ancestry.com/pt/AMTCitationRedir.aspx?tid=87558839&pid=2394 (note: contrary to what Magnus said, it is accessible, but it's a private tree, requiring permission from the tree owner -- it could turn out to be well-supported by good sources, or maybe not) and one source citation to the gedcom. And I'd trim those citations by removing the repetition in the descriptions of the content.

by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)

I agree Ellen. I do not want to get into another lengthy debate with others on this subject but I have explained quite a few times on G2G-feeds the importance of keeping some (albeit trimmed down) GEDCOM data for our project - see this G2G feed for example. With the new boiler plate much information is rendered completely useless though ....

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