How does one note contradictory or incorrect information in a reference?

+8 votes
125 views

While reading the help page on writing biographies

http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Biographies

I noticed this statement  "Ideally, you should include a source citation for every fact included in the narrative. Be sure to note when a fact is disputed or when there is contradictory information."

Does the note go in the reference itself, after the reference or in a separate place somewhere on the biography page?

I'm using my grandfather's death certificate as a source for his birth date since there was no birth certificate. The birth date itself and everything else on the death certificate is correct except for the place of birth.  How and where do I note this?

in The Tree House by Karen Raichle G2G6 Mach 7 (74.1k points)

3 Answers

+6 votes
Hi Karen,

Good question.  Bottom line, it's up to you.  These biographies are very individual, especially ones as recent as your grandfather  You could look at some of the examples http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Biographies#Where_can_I_find_more_examples.3F

You will probably be the only one writing it (unless some cousins or siblings will get involved). Also, keep in mind that you can always edit.  None of these profiles are ever "finished."

Welcome to WikiTree!
by Cynthia B G2G6 Pilot (127k points)
Thanks Cynthia.  So what I'm getting is basically whatever makes me happy will work here.
+8 votes
I'd put that into the biography section. Something like:

Grandfather was born on May 23, 1910 in Smallville, Kansas. The date was obtained from his Death Certificate<ref>http://deathcertificate.com</ref>, however, the birth place was noted incorrectly on the death certificate. His actual birth place was discovered through direct family information.<ref>Information supplied by (family member) on (date).</ref>

That's one example, but there's dozens of ways you can put down this info.
by Scott Fulkerson G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
Thanks for the suggestion Scott.   Looks like I'm making it harder than it really is.
If your grandfather was Clark Kent then everyone will know he's from Krypton and not Smallville anyway!  :D
+5 votes

One thing to consider in answering this question is, how likely is it that someone will come along later and mistake this person for someone else (particularly someone with the same or very similar name)? Disputed facts often lead to mistaken identity on WikiTree profiles. When I'm concerned about mistaken identity, I set off the note as a separate section within the Biography/Notes portion of the profile.  Here's an example:  http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Dutton-333

by Kyle Dane G2G6 Pilot (100k points)
Thanks Kyle.   In this case I'm not really worried about him being mistaken for someone else.  It is something to keep in mind though for some of my other really common names like my John Brown. I guess it's still whichever way looks best to me.I
also to consider... adding the note in the bio that the birth place is wrong on the death certificate, and what it should be, will help future generations keep the WikiTree info correct. Cheers, Liz

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