How do you decide if a parent is confident?

+9 votes
262 views
I haven't used the confident button much perhaps because I like to be pretty confident anyway. How do you all decide if something is confident? Does it take a primary source?
in Policy and Style by C. Mackinnon G2G6 Pilot (271k points)
retagged by Robin Lee

3 Answers

+7 votes
 
Best answer

If by primary source you mean a source document issued by an authoritative entity (government, e.g.) and which was relevant to the relationship, I would answer your last question as yes.

I would mark data certain if it came from a government-issued document such as a birth, marriage, or death certificate. I would also accept data from a census form if it specifically states a relationship (and I don't have conflicting information); in this case, I may be able to mark only the relationship to the head of household as certain. Passports and visas would probably also qualify as acceptable records for establishing relationship certainty.

Church/religious records would be acceptable if the church was the/an acknowledged authority at the time.

Those are some of my standards for determining certainty levels, C.

edit: added link for Confident setting

by Lindy Jones G2G6 Pilot (217k points)
selected by C Ryder
I often find that transcriptions of primary documents are faulty.  If possible, look at the "original," meaning the hand-written copy and see if you agree with the printed copy made at a later time.  I'm somewhat confident if several independent sources match, if originals are not available.  But, with many records, handwriting must be studied (hopefully by an expert) to evaluate for accuracy.
Yes, viewing the actual document or a quality image of it is definitely preferred over a transcription.

Of course, we never know then the original information is incorrect, so we also use our own judgment when we evaluate our source documentation.

Perhaps certainty/confidence levels are another feature we will need to re-evaluate!
Yes, even handwritten records are often copies of earlier documents, which can be mis-transcribed...a rabbit hole of uncertanty.  I make these comments only to flag the idea that we have no actual knowledge of the truth, just hopes based on the good will of those previous to us.  Perhaps our 'certainty' levels are OK, but possibly also they could instead be designated by quality of source: "handwritten source,"  "governmental source," "secondary research source," "secondary family/genealogy," etc.
+3 votes
Here is the WikiTree Help page, it explains it all...

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Uncertain
by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (707k points)
+1 vote
I think you have made a wise choice in ignoring that button. Your peers will judge if they have confidence in your work by the quality of your sourcing and information.
by George Churchill G2G6 Mach 8 (86.8k points)

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