Can I just delete the Millenium File 'source' on a profile from 1300s?

+5 votes
While working on Magna Carta profiles, I've found a 'source' from Millenium File.  Is everyone OK with me deleting these?

Related, what about 'North America, Family Histories' and 'Family Data' both from Ancestry?  I consider them not credible even in Ancestry, and just delete them when they come up as hints.  Can these be deleted, if found in pre-1500 profiles?
in Policy and Style by Robin Anderson G2G6 Mach 4 (40.0k points)

Sometimes when using the 'North America, Family Histories' it is actually possible to locate the source from which the information came. The name of the publication will appear in the films.

Sure.  If I get desperate later on, it's possible to go back to ignored hints and mine for data.  I even use other family trees to look for sources.  I just don't use them, in their original state, as sources.

1 Answer

+12 votes
Best answer
Everybody agrees these are weak sources.  If you have a fact on the profile and this is the only source for that fact, you should keep it -- and try to replace it with a better source.  If you end up with the same date sourced from the milennium File and from a charter sited by the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, discard the Milennium File source -- all you need is the best one.  And if you end up with conflicting dates, one from the Millenium File and one from the Foundation for Medieval Genealoy, get rid of the Mellenium File AND the date that came with it.

But the bottom line is (a fact + some clue as to where it came from) is better than (a fact + no clue as to where it came from).
by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (363k points)
selected by Laura Bozzay
I'm sorry, but, IMO, a fact + no source is the same thing as a fact + Millenium File.  MF has no one's name attached, no idea where it came from, or whose fantasy it is.  How is that a source?  Might as well say, 'well I had a dream...'  

(which actually might be more reliable than many of the MF entries I've seen :-) )

a fact is something that has independent verification.
Robin, nobody is arguing whether this is or is not garbage, and nobody is saying that the quality of Millenium Files is better than it is!  The point I'm making is that if you're a garbage collector, it's important to know where the garbage came from.  Is it household garbage?  Does it contain toxic chemicals?  Does it come in red hospital bags that require special handling?

If you don't know where the garbage came from, you have to treat it as the most toxic garbage available.  The same with profiles.  If the file says that John was born in 1623, no source, then I have no idea what I'm looking at.  If it says the same thing with millenium file as the source, then I know it may be true, it may be not -- but that credulous people all over the internet are relying on it.  It gives me information that is useful for research.  And then, yes, I go and find better sourcing that can tell me whether the fact is actually true.  And if it came from Millenium file and it's wrong, then I know that I need to acknowledge this pre-emptively, because otherwise someone is likely to come along and try to replace the solidly researched date with the millenium fantasy!  

I suppose I worked in healthcare too long, and know that researchers can discover things important for public health by studying excrement!
If Millenium files are the only sources on the profile and it's from a broken link. Then it might as well just be deleted,and replaced by direct and accurate sources. Because it is very doubtful that the profile had any effort put into it,clearly it did not. So what ever you add would be highly appreciated surly by who ever created the entry and would set a good example of how pre-1500 profiles are handled on wikitree. XD
Of course it should be replaced.  The minute there's a better source, replace the bad source.  My concern is with those who don't want to do the work of researching the good sources, but think they are doing good by just stripping the profile of something that might help a real researcher.  Fortunately, one can always look in the changes section to see what's been stripped out, but that just creates an extra step for the person who is trying to figure out who the person in the profile is.
Ahh that is true. Anyone even without a pre-1500 badge should be encouraged too write in the comment section they're research. So in the instance of taking out the trash a non pre-1500 volunteer can help provide information too other non pre-1500 volunteer what is going on with the profile in it's historical context. I see that is proactive. XD
Point taken, Jack.  Thanks.

After looking at (many) really atrociously "sourced" profiles, I get discouraged.  I'll buck up a bit.  :-)
Oh Robin, many of us know this feeling. Sometimes I just take a break from these old tangled unverified branches and work on something completely different. I like to alternate work on deep ancestors with work on 19th century notables who can be sourced with confidence. This is the advantage of being involved in several projects.

And follow Jack's advice - if you find evidence that something is bogus, document it as much as possible.

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