How can Ken have "first hand knowledge" of John Harper's birth in 1660?

+6 votes
WikiTree profile: John Harper
in Genealogy Help by
He can't.  'First-hand knowledge' is the bane of WikiTree.  Thanks for the heads up!
I have added the Unsourced template.
Thank you!!  One of the things that annoys me with online data bases is the incomplete entry of information, whether it be lack of sources or just plain omission.  If you enter a date & give the source as a marriage record of a particular location, how can you say "location of marriage unknown" - etc.  I may not enter sources in the format preferred by Wikitree, but I try to give enough information that someone could find it if they wished.  Oh, well, such is the struggles of genealogical researchers!!
Well, Ken is nearly 400 years old now, and his memory is great!  The comment about "first-hand knowledge" used to be a default phrase that the software entered automatically when someone created a profile with no sources.  After many, many complaints that practice was abandoned, but there are still quite a few older profiles that haven't been updated.
I think some people still use it, or something like, to avoid the bots adding the Unsourced template.  And because the official rule is that anything you write in there counts as a 'source.'
Have we allowed for the possibility that Ken's crystal ball can reach that far back?
I agree Herbert! And Dennis/Herbert, my profile also still has a similar statement from my registration here in March 2018. Not sure if I added that or if it's still in use as default for new member profiles and I just didn't remove it.

It's interesting that of the 3 sets of dates/places that are actually fielded here as data on WikiTree (birth, marriage, death), an individual can really only have first-hand knowledge of 1 of those 3 types of their own sets of dates/places: start/stop for marriage date(s)/place(s). I don't have first-hand knowledge of my birth date/place. And I'm pretty certain that I will not be able to record first-hand knowledge of my death date/place, tho maybe a projected burial location. But it could pertain to other info that people add to the bio.
I chip away at the list of unsourced profiles daily and let me tell you... there are many many profiles that only have first hand knowledge as the source.  Maybe a bot can be created to remove the first hand knowledge source for any profiles of people born more than 100 years ago (or something similar), or at the very least, perhaps a bot can add the unsourced category if first hand knowledge is the only source listed on a profile of someone born more than 100 years ago?

Great idea, Jill!  yes

Unfortunately this sort of stuff is too easy to find. When I see this in a profile, I close it, and give the profile no credence.

2 Answers

+1 vote
Anonymous, George, and anybody else,

If that's the only source, please consider trying to add a good source, especially if it's in a profile that you care enough to view.
by Rick Peterson G2G6 Pilot (174k points)
edited by Rick Peterson

If you would like to do more digging into this person. I doubt very much the person was born in Virginia in 1660

"England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," database, FamilySearch ( : 11 February 2018, John Harper, 04 May 1660); citing , index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 501,809.

0 votes
Some time age, 'First hand Knowledge'' was an automatic entry on WikiTree when a new profile was entered/started.

That has been changed (don't remember when)  and now when a new ancestor is added the entry requires a source in the 'Source Box' on the page prior to entering the new individual.

If you click on the Changes tab on your profile example on John Harper, go to the very first one or 2 entries - you'll see when that occurred.

So there are numerous older profiles, many from gedcoms as well, that have that entry.  Particularly those that were never added to after download/entry into WikiTree.
by Chris Hoyt G2G6 Pilot (771k points)

Actually the newer profiles will still allow you to not add a source, provided you promise to add a source by a future date - usually 1 or 2 days in advance. There is nothing to stop the PM from accepting this "Deal," and then NOT adding a source!!

And a brand new profile I am working on has THIS as a source

Personal recollection of events witnessed by (Name) as remembered 18 Aug 2018.

The person in this profile, DIED in 1870!!

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