When using first or second-hand knowledge in a biography...

+8 votes
...I referred to the granddaughter (who is the source) and her relation to the facts in the biography.  And then inserted her as the source.  

But I am wondering if I'm supposed to leave the mention of the granddaughter and how she relates to the facts out of the biography.  And simply state her recollections as facts.  And then add her as the source.  

I have just started going back and adding biographies to the profiles I created.  Thank you!
asked in Policy and Style by Mary Cole G2G6 Mach 9 (97.6k points)
reshown by Mary Cole
Mary, the only thing I would change is adding a name for the granddaughter who provided the information.  To help keep the granddaughter's personal information private, you can create a profile for her and set the granddaughter's profile to private.  Then in grandma's profile you can link the information source to the granddaughter's profile.
I really like Erik's idea.  Your granddaughter's name won't show up to the public but the info will be sourced to her for the future.
Thank you, Erik and Kathy ~

Actually, I'm "the granddaughter" and I didn't necessarily want to link myself to the biography.  I just wondered if the mentioning of "the granddaughter" in the bio was too much.  And if it was okay just to state the info as fact and add "the granddaughter" only as the source using the inline reference.

But if that is all you'd change.  Then there is my answer.

Though I still would like to know if it is okay to do it the other way I mentioned and state the info as fact, with source?
I wonder why you wouldn't just simply cite "Mary Cole, first-hand knowledge," or "personal knowledge" as the source, if that's what it really is?  When you invent a somewhat hokey granddaughter construct like that, it comes across to me as trying to imply to the reader more credibility than is really there.  If you know the data is correct, go ahead and use it and claim it.  There's no need to pretend there was some more knowledgeable third party whose input you vetted or validated.  Just my opinion.
Dennis ~

I (Mary Cole) am the granddaughter of Orevell Cole.  I don't believe omitting my proper name makes it "hokey".  There is nothing untrue there.  I included "the granddaughter's" situation only to indicate she was in a position to know these things.  I don't need to reveal that it is part of my life's story.  It isn't my bio.  It should be okay to provide the info and remain somewhat private to the public.  Orevell's profile is open.  Mine is not.  I believe, I have the option to remove this whole conversation from the public if I choose.

And besides, that wasn't the question!  Sorry if that was not clear.
I'm not saying anything is untrue.  In fact there was true confession there in your first comment, which is now in the data base forevermore.  Just like me, your profile is private, but you have decided to participate in a public web site, using (I presume) your real name, and you have shown interest and knowledge in documenting your ancestry for current and future generations.  And like me, your fingerprints are probably all over the profiles of those ancestors.  So, use what you know and just own it!  If there's some part of your life story you don't want to reveal, don't put that on a public web site.  But don't give those future generations something they could interpret as an attempt to mislead or conceal when they figure out the whole scenario.
As I said.  I understand that I shouldn't use myself as a source if I want to maintain privacy.   

As for future generations.  When I am dead and gone, my profile will be open.  And even if I decided to keep Orevell's profile as is, someone in my family can edit it to include me as the source.  

And please don't imply that I am bogus and fabricating here.  

Why are you so willing to criticize the way I chose to do something?  But you are not willing to address the original question?  Because that might be helpful?
But Mary, don't take it personally, I'm not criticizing you.  I think I gave you my humble opinion on the answer to the original question -- just go ahead and identify yourself as the granddaughter and say that's your recollection.  I don't see anything negative or embarrassing at all in that profile that would give you pause.  My humble opinion is not a policy ruling, of course, so if you don't like my opinion, go ahead and do it the way you want.
My question had nothing to do with the identity of the source.  If that wasn't clear in the original question.  I am certain it was clear in my comments.  I will post it again (a bit differently) and hope for the best.

3 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer

Hello, Mary!

I think I get what you are asking (and agree with your supposition).

Instead of phrasing the granddaughter's (in this case, your) recollections as "the granddaughter recalls this or that," state the facts directly and cite the granddaughter as the source (as you have done with citation #6).

When you need to mention the granddaughter, you should refer to her as her (meaning Orevell) granddaughter if you don't want to identify yourself in the biography. This procedure should create better clarity and flow to the biography.

answered by Lindy Jones G2G6 Pilot (150k points)
selected by Mary Cole
I do agree with the others who posted that you should identify yourself as the source in your citation. As profile managers, we should hold ourselves to the same credibility standards we expect for any other source.
Thank you, Lindy!  That is exactly what I was asking.  And you have made it clear to me.  I am no writer.   

I appreciate your addressing the question.  As far as the identity of the source  (which is not that big a deal, but the point of it matters), I do understand the other member's concerns.  I just don't entirely agree.  All I did there (for whatever reason) was write in the third person.  Which is perfectly excepted for non-fiction writing.  My name could be replaced as the source at any time in the future.  But even if it wasn't.  If I were the future descendant and learned that the granddaughter and the author were the same, I wouldn't think it less credible.

And if any family member were to contact me (the author) personally, I'd be more than willing to provide info.  

Again, thank you!
+6 votes
Mary, I'm in agreement with Dennis.  I see no reason not to cite yourself when it is stories/info you heard/saw etc.  However, every statement that is stated as a fact must have a source.  For my relatives who are now deceased, I cite myself.  * Personal knowledge of [[my profile number|KZipperer]].  People can find me, question me, etc.  I was thinking your granddaughter was the information source so I liked Erik's solution because it kept her anonimity, assuming she was living and young.
answered by Kathy Zipperer G2G6 Pilot (212k points)
Kathy ~

I understand where you are coming from.  I shouldn't be using myself as a source if I want to maintain any privacy.  And I won't in the future.  

But for now, let's say I did use my proper name as the source.  Can I then just state the info as fact in the bio.  And add Mary Cole as a source.  Instead of writing "According to so and so...blah, blah, blah.  That is the part I am unsure of.  

Thank you!
+2 votes
I'll agree with the other posts here and add: why not create a source and save it as a free space.  Title it "Interview with Grandma, Nashville, Tennessee, 15 May 2009," and put the interview like you would write a newspaper article saved to a free space.  Now, it is a written citation that can be referred to in the bio and can be used in other profiles, etc.
answered by SJ Baty G2G6 Pilot (245k points)
Yes I was going to add just make sure you put the date of when you put the information so your future family folks can cite your information properly

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