About wikipedia?

+5 votes
Hi, I just wanted to know if Wikipedia a reliable source and can be used here?
in The Tree House by Teresa Davis G2G6 Mach 4 (47.3k points)

4 Answers

+7 votes
Hi, Teresa!

In my opinion Wikipedia is not a reliable source. If I am not allowed to use it in my essays for college (and was not even allowed to use it in middle school), it has no business being used on Wikitree. Just like here on Wikitree, anyone can edit a profile on Wikipedia. However, Wikipedia allows LITERALLY anyone to edit, even if they don't have an account. I personally have spread untrue things on Wikipedia (I was in high school and it was something dumb all my friends had been doing at the time, please don't judge me), and you see different things like that all the time. It's just not reliable at all.

However, Wikipedia does cite all of their sources (similarly to Wikitree) at the bottom of profiles. If you open up those specific sources and find the info you're looking for, you can more than likely cite them.

But please don't cite Wikipedia.
by Liz Marshall G2G6 Mach 9 (94.6k points)
Yes, the better method would be to find the information and documentation from Wikipedia's citation list.
+8 votes

Hello Teresa.

Wikipedia can be used as a source in WikiTree. Please se the following help page:


Regarding to how reliable Wikipedia is as a source, it all depends on the quality of the sources of the Wikipedia article.

by Rubén Hernández G2G6 Pilot (756k points)
It would also depend on what information you are sourcing.

If you are referencing general information (a location, for example), Wikipedia can be a good starter source. But as a source for birth, marriage, or death data, primary documentation would be the preferred source type.

A good example of what Lindy says:

Martín de Espinoza Monzón was born in la Villa de Toluca according to an ancient (1629) document. Wikipedia says that Martin de Espinoza was born in Valladolid because that's what is said in the source Wikipedia is using.

What you might like to do is source all the events from things like birth certificates etc, then at the bottom of the ==Sources== section, put See Also: and the Wikipedia link.
+6 votes
It may depend on people's ability to understand Wikipedia. When it correctly says somewhere is in North Yorkshire, that does not mean in the North Riding. I'm tired of correcting that mistake.
by anonymous G2G6 Pilot (258k points)
+5 votes
There are no reliable sources.  We have to make do with what there is.
by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (572k points)

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