How should we deal with challenges to data or other disputes?

+2 votes

Someone has launched a challenge to one of my ancestor's marriages. Obviously I can show this questioning in the biogs of both parties but it'd be nice to include a big question mark in the core part of the data - that the whole marriage is uncertain ! Obviously I don't want to delete what's there in case it's later confirmed to be true.




 - as it didn't like this being put in the box below !



asked in WikiTree Tech by Mike Paley G2G Crew (960 points)
edited by Jillaine Smith
(I reformatted the title to a question to make it a bit easier for people to find this great topic; thanks for bringing it up, Mike.)

2 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer


Here are some examples of how you can deal with disputes:

Notice not only the use of a Disputed Origins/Spouse section in the narrative, but also use of the "bulletin board" feature on the profile page itself as well as, in some cases, the use of a linked-to G2G question. 



answered by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (663k points)
selected by Mary Hammond
+1 vote

The best answer to a dispute is to solve the problem. So I've tried to do that.

The Jane Jones seems OK. In Hereford in 1846. The first son Edward was born about 1847 in Hereford according to the 1861 census.

1861 has Edward born 1819 in Portsea and Jane born 1831 in Gosport. If that is correct then she was 15 when married which might acccount for being in Hereford. Although the 1861 census is in Bath, the other children were born in Middlesex. This has all the classic signs of movement of someone connected with railway building.

I can find no death of a Jane Schmidt before 1861 and so a remarriage seems unlikely. I think Jane died in Tonbridge in 1918.

The three are in Westminster St James in 1851. This is the same Jane born Gosport 1831. The census was 30th March, so the January marriage is impossible. Unless it was bigamy!

Incidentally, Edward was christened 1818 RC in Portsea. Father - Joannis Thomae Schmidt Mother Caroletae Murray. Jane is also in Familysearch.

The 1911 census does confuse the issue. Jane is married but husband is nit there. She claims 61 years of marriage! but I'm prepared to believe that that is a mistake.

1901 Jane is a widow. 1891 married but no husband. 1881 ditto. 1871 Edward and Jane. Since she went into service in 1881, it seems likely that Edward died between 71 & 81.

 I've put a reference to this answer in Edward's profile.

Also add in Thomas Schmidt marriage to Charlotte Murray here

answered by anonymous G2G6 Pilot (253k points)
edited by anonymous
Many thanks Martin.  This is a lot of info and difficult to get my head around! I Take it you've added the Thomas and Charlotte marriage in FamilySearch - and I wondered whether it'd have been better to use established names in FS rather than Thomas and Charlotte - and possibly adding (or correcting) the 'other name' spellings to clarify they're the same person. I've added Joannis to wikitree as John Thomas but wonder whether to have him as Joannis Thomae instead. Reading the marriage details for him and Charlotte, his father's details are missing - will the church have such details - hence be worth me pursuing (or does the lack of details indicate the church doesn't) ?

This could be the channel-crosser - so any tips on seaching further overseas would be appreciated.


I've got Jane Jones (1st marriage) b c 1820 and Jane Woods (2nd Marriage) b 1831 & m 1851 (Jan 25th) - so where you refer to 1851, that could be the 2nd Jane.

The Charlotte Murray info is great - as decendents changed surname from Scmidt to Murray - and that explains why that name was chosen.
Hi Mike, taking things in turn.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'added'. I haven't added anything. My view on names is to use standard English. The fact that a church chose to write its records in Latin is neither here not there. I would stick with Thomas as the first name since that is the first we know of him. Admittedly the 1841 census has him as John. And 1851 as Johann. Up to you. It appears at best interpretation that his birthplace is Holstein. That.needs following up.

As for Familysearch and his father. If it is in the records, they usually transcribe it. But no guarantees.

On the Janes. You are right, it is possible. Where does your Jones dob of 1820 come from? Have you got the 1846 marriage cert.? If that gives her as full age then we definitely have two. I'll continue to look for them.
So you've not added the Charlotte / Thomas marriage to FamilySearch. My misunderstanding of your use of 'add in' ! Your previous of taking a Jane b 1831 and m on 1846 giving a 15 yr age of her is a confusion of Janes. Jane Woods was b 1831 and marriage 1851 - hence she'd be 20. 1st Jane (Jones) b c 1820 data from 1861 Census, Walcot, Somerset (aka Bath, I believe).

Throwing perhaps more mystery into the melting pot, there's a register of an Edward Schmidt marrying a few months later, this time, St. George's Church, Hanover Sq, London. This is much more the right neck of the woods for the Schmidts and I'm wondering if there's been a mix-up with the two [families]! Even worse if it's the same man !

Holstein - as in Switzerland ? I'll have to see if I can find any 'pattern' to my grandmother's european trips of the 70s-80 - although I think they were just random places.

No, I have nothing to do with familysearch other than that I use the IGI occasionally.

The key is the marriage certificates. If you haven't got them, I'd suggest you do so. You still haven't said where your evidence for Jane Jones comes from. I haven't found any, although it is possible. If you go to the GRO website you can get the certificate by entering Edward Schmidt Hereford 2nd quarter 1846 Vol 26 page 301.

Here are the censuses

1851 Edward - 32, cooper, born Portsea, Jane - 20, born Gosport, Edward - 4, born Herefordshire.

1861 Edward - 42, journeyman builder, born Portsea, Jane - 300, born Gosport, Edward - 14, born Hereford.

That is obviously the same Jane born 1831. I agree that there have to be two Janes. But I still can't find a death. Acyually without proof the first marriage doesn't have to be a Jane at all. It could be a Louisa or a Margaret.

The other Edward Schmidt was born in Germany.

I'd assume Holstein as in the northernmost part of Germany between Lübeck and Kiel.


Hi Martin,

I'm working on getting data from marriage cert (& poss birth cert of Ed. jr) and am trying Herefored rather than GRO first.

If Ed married Louisa, there's only one Jane. Jane Jones appears on the same page as Louisa Strongitharm (P301) - along with the other Louisa and Margaret. I've queried the Jane Jones with my source - even though another party supported this link (oh, it was you ! :) ). Certs will clearly clear up the doubt. Apart from Louisa's handy death, Edward named a daughter Louisa with his 2nd marriage (first daughter) - indicating a possible Louisa link.

Where did you get the notion of a link to Holstein area ?
That should sort it out. Holstein comes from the 1851 census for Johann (Thomas).

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