Should I delete all of my unsourced relatives?

+5 votes
I'm new to this and was so eager to get started that I entered my family tree for several generations without sourcing anything.  I want to do this in the right way and realize that I need to provide sources.  Should I delete my tree and start over?  Or can I go back and start sourcing everything as I get to it?  Sorry for jumping the gun in my enthusiasm.
in The Tree House by Darrel Patterson G2G1 (1.4k points)
retagged by Maggie N.

I would not be too quick to dump unsourced relatives. You could look for documentation a little bit at a time, if you feel so inclined. Here's a free site with origins of many surnames:

Last name: Patterson

This distinguished surname, with several entries in the "Dictionary of National Biography", and having no less than ten Coats of Arms, is one of the most popular of Scottish surnames, and is a patronymic form of the male given name Pat(t) or Pate, itself a short form of Patrick. Patrick derives ultimately from the Latin "Patricius", patrician, or "son of a noble father", that is, a member of the patrician class, the Roman hereditary aristocracy. Patrick has been chiefly used in Ireland and Scotland, but was widespread in the North of England from the 12th Century, giving rise to a number of surnames including: Patrickson, Pate(s), Paty, Paton, Patten, Patti(n)son and Pat(t)erson. Its popularity in these parts was largely due to St. Patrick, 5th Century Apostle of Ireland. The original territory of the Clan Pheadirean (Patersons) lay on the north side of Lochfyne where they were formerly numerous. Early examples of the surname include: John Patonson (Aberdeen, 1446); Donald Patryson, burgess of Aberdeen (1495); and George Paterson, a monk in the monastery of Culross (1569). Emma Anne Paterson (1848 - 1886), who founded the Women's Protective and Provident League in 1874, was the first woman admitted to the Trade Union Congress in 1875. The Paterson Coat of Arms depicts argent, three pelicans feeding their golden young in nests vert, on a blue chief as many mullets argent. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Patrison, which was dated 1446, witness in the "Episcopal Register of Aberdeen", Scotland, during the reign of King James 11 of Scotland, 1437 - 1460.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2016

Read more:

Many with the Patterson surame in USA, England and Scotland, some in Wales.
Thank you for the reply and information!

4 Answers

+12 votes
Best answer
Please add sources to the ancestors you've added. We don't delete profiles on WikiTree once they are created.

There are many unsourced profiles on WikiTree, unfortunately. It's good that you're interested in providing sources for yours!

by S Willson G2G6 Pilot (176k points)
selected by Anne B
Darrel, definitely just go back and add sources, no need to delete. Glad you recognized the need for those sources. Your family list isn't too long yet, so it won't be an overwhelming task.

Welcome to Wikitree.
Thanks for the nice encouragement.  I feel like I've broken a cardinal rule and need to make it right.
+3 votes
You should add sources to your unsourced profiles, perhaps weekly at first?
by Iain Cooke G2G6 Mach 1 (10.8k points)
+3 votes
I'd suggest entering census information first as it's available on FamilySearch and on if you happen to have a subscription there.  Both have easy to copy source/citation information which you can copy to your profiles.  Look around at various profiles by other people and see how it's done (my profiles are works in progress and probably not the best ones to emulate.)  Create what you think are good sources and then ask here again to see if you're on the right track.
by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (411k points)
thanks for the good answer.
+3 votes
Absolutely keep them and work on them as you can. There are people on Wikitree, like myself, called sourcerers who participate in monthly challenges to find unsourced profiles to research and add sources.  So you may find other people jumping in to help you source them.

I assume since you recently added them, that the category "unsourced profile" was automatically added when you set up a profile. That helps us find them so we can add sources to them.
by Carolyn Martin G2G6 Pilot (236k points)
Thanks for the encouraging answer

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