I see *many* profiles where the sources are "S1", "S2", etc. Is there something I'm missing here?

+11 votes
Here's one example. I don't mean to single out the writer; this is only one example of what I see in many profiles written by many people:


This style is so pervasive that I have to wonder if they are right and I just don't understand. Can someone explain this?



THANKS to all. My question has been answered.
in Policy and Style by Jim Moore G2G6 Mach 1 (13.9k points)
edited by Jim Moore
They come from gedcom imports.

You could replace the S# with some suitable key like "Torrey" or "Burke 1838".  Just make sure the [[#]] tags match the span id tags and the visible labels also match up.
I've seen some with a bunch of just numbers.  No idea what they mean.
RJ, Could you expand on your answer and give us an example?

In the example given,


<ref>Source: [[#S3]] </ref>

== Sources ==

* Source: <span id='S3'>S3</span>Title:  Richard Mellen of Massachusetts: A Brief Genealogy of the Mellen Family. Sea Genes. pdf. Author:  N. P. Maling Publication:  seagenes.wordpress.com: 2011 Date:  6 Oct 2012


you could put


<ref>Source: [[#S3|Mellen]] </ref>

== Sources ==

* Source: <span id='S3'>Mellen: </span>Title:  Richard Mellen of Massachusetts: A Brief Genealogy of the Mellen Family. Sea Genes. pdf. Author:  N. P. Maling Publication:  seagenes.wordpress.com: 2011 Date:  6 Oct 2012


to remove the visible S3 codes.  The footnote would appear as

1. Source: Mellen

and the source would appear as

* Source: Mellen: Title: etc


You could also swap out the invisible S3 codes if you like.



Thank you!

Actually there's a better way.  This is doubly banned, but I'm going to suggest it because it looks like the gedcom importer could easily be made to do it


Where it says

<ref>Source: [[#S3]] </ref>

change that to

<ref name="S3" />

and where it says

* Source: <span id='S3'>S3</span>blah blah blah

change that to

<span style="display:none">
<ref name="S3">Source: blah blah blah</ref>

Note the <references /> tag has to come after this.


This could be made prettier with a couple of templates

blah blah {{fn|Torrey}} blah blah {{fn|Burke}} blah blah {{fn|Torrey}} blah blah

. . .

== Sources ==


| Torrey

| Torrey: ''New England Marriages'' etc

| Burke

| Burke, J: ''Extinct Peerages'' etc



PS.  Well maybe that was a bit optimistic, given that nothing in MediaWiki seems to work the way it's supposed to
I look at those S1, etc.  and source them out. Than I delete the S1 etc. and include the fully sourced citation. Often times these are books I can find online and then I search for the exact page number and possibly an excerpt. References to the census or find a grave are easy to source out. Vital statistics can usually be found too.   If I can't figure out what the actual citation is I insert it in a section at the bottom. I never realized they were supposed to have more info than s2,Birth - year -location as so many don't.  I could never figure out what the utility of them was.

2 Answers

+4 votes
Looks like an attempt to link from a footnote to an entry in the Sources section, in this case the second entry. I agree that it isn't immediately obvious and it's not something I would want to do.
by Living Hampson G2G6 Pilot (105k points)
+9 votes
To expand on RJ's answer:

When someone uploads a Gedcom of a file that included source citations, wikitree translates those citations and labels them with a number that starts with S (as in Source).

The inline citations make reference to the S#, then the full citation is pasted to the bottom of the profile. So for every ref S# there should be a full citation at the bottom of the page.

Hope this clarifies things for you.
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (817k points)
Jillaine, thanks for explaining where these things come from.

Unfortunately, I often see that the links among the footnotes, the references, and the citations are broken. I guess this simply results from imperfect stewardship of the profile, rather than a systematic issue. Am I right about that?
Yes, you're right.  If you peruse the links in the Changes tab, you should find the original source data. I'll bet though that 90% of them are links to unsourced family trees.  I'd spend my time sourcing afresh.
One additional issue  has to do with the fact that numbers like S1 and S2 represent the code that was assigned to the reference by somebody's genealogy software package or online family tree. A few times I've run across situations where two merged profiles had the same Source number for different sources. Unraveling that definitely requires an investigation of the change history!

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