How do I add sources?

+4 votes

Although I am sure it is very simple, I am unable to figure out how to correctly add sources to my family members.  

I have read all of the help and suggestions, yet I am still not sure how to do it.  I appreciate any help or suggestions!  


WikiTree profile: Charles McLain
in WikiTree Help by Julie Simmons G2G Rookie (250 points)

4 Answers

+5 votes

I found this video on inline referencing by Julie Ricketts was useful when I was learning how to add sources.

by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (634k points)
+5 votes

Julie, on the edit page you should see a large free text area that you use for the biography.  At the end of this area, you'll see the following:

<references />

Under that, you can place an asterisk (*) followed by a space at the start of a line, then put the source citation there.  For each source, use a new line that starts with asterisk followed by space.

Please note that this is the easy way - it will add the source citations.  As you become more comfortable writing profiles, you will probably want to learn how to use footnotes in the biography that link to the sources.  This is the recommended way, but it is not required to be done this way.

I just looked at the profile and see that you used the <ref>(source citation)</ref> construction to add the footnotes, but the <references /> line was missing - that is why they did not display.  That tag tells the computer "display all the citations here now".  I made the change for you, with an explanation there ... you probably want to move your <ref>(source citation)</ref> entries to the place in the biography where each one supports a fact that you state, so that the footnote numbers are displayed at the place where the fact is stated.

by Gaile Connolly G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
edited by Gaile Connolly
+2 votes


I found adding sources very difficult when I first started. How are you getting on?  When you're in Edit Text mode there's a button labeled  C;  if you click that you'll see this:  <ref> </ref>

You need to copy/paste your source information between these two signs, then scroll down and click on PREVIEW. You'll see your text in a window as it will appear after you've saved it, tidy and readable.  At the bottom of the page, under Sources, you'll see how the source information looks.

The hard part for me was working with the Edit Text mode, where the page looks like garble. To make it easier, I go to the next line before typing <ref> </ref>. 

One thing you can do is play with. Try out the formatting suggestions then look at the preview. Trial and error.

Hope this helps.



by C Ryder G2G6 Mach 8 (83.0k points)
+3 votes

Hi Julie,

I noticed you've been with WikiTree for less than a month.......  It's great you're working on your sources so soon.   

When I first started,   I wasn't at all familiar with the WikiTree  "Code"  used in writing biographies.   This included the  "code" used to properly imbed sources.   

I don't mean to tell you to be sloppy, but your skills will evolve and if you're not to the point of writing biographies,  you might just consider listing the sources when you're creating the profiles.  For example,  Allen-16972  is a profile where I just listed the sources  and now plan on imbedding the sources into the biography when I write it.    When I tried to use more advanced methods of imbedding sources before my skill level improved,  I didn't like the appearance and ended up redoing  it later anyway.

Also,   WikiTree volunteers has written a  "code"  for Find A Grave sources......... just insert the proper memorial number in the following "code" WHILE IN EDIT MODE.....  {{FindAGrave|13689561}}

McReynolds-158 is an example of sources imbedded in the biography that I think is well done:     but she didn't have to use the same source multiple times...... if you don't want to continually  repeat the same source,  there's a more advanced method to avoid it........ but don't short circuit yourself,  hopefully you'll be fine tuning your profiles after you've gotten your basic information posted.   

Just my approach......  there are certainly more skillful members that have answered your question. 


by Peggy McReynolds G2G6 Pilot (450k points)
Apparently my links to the example WikiTree profiles didn't work...... so I just gave you the ID numbers.

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