Using Wikitree as a source on FamilySearch

+9 votes

So I've noticed some serious errors on FamilySearch, such as people having wrong birth dates, missing first or middle names, being attached to parents that died decades before they were born, etc.  Most of these attachments were added by people years and years ago, it's just been sitting ever since.

I've found that I can actually edit FamilySearch profiles and fix them.  Hurray!

While my Wikitree profiles all have sources from other places (which are almost all in FamilySearch's database by the way), I thought it might be helpful to link the two profiles in both directions.

It is very common to attach FamilySearch as a source for Wikitree profiles, but what about the other way around?  What about using Wikitree as a source on FamilySearch?

Do you guys recommend it?  Or is it a bad idea?

It might bring more researchers to Wikitree if they see can the connection on the other side of the web.

in The Tree House by D. Botkin G2G6 Mach 3 (35.3k points)

Okay side question: Why does FamilySearch have both a One World Tree and personal family trees?

I've found a family that is correct in someone's personal family tree, but the same individuals are missing a ton of information on their Big Tree counterparts.

If there was only the One Tree like on Wikitree, this would have never happened!  There would be nothing that needed to be fixed right now!


Like WikiTree, FamilySearch started out with separate trees but is now a single tree. There are fewer guidelines there and it is more difficult to get things under control but it is becoming a single tree.
- and , I find very SLOW, or is it me, and my computer - - cheers =

7 Answers

+9 votes
Best answer
by Dennis Wheeler G2G6 Pilot (539k points)
selected by Frank Stanley
oh my goodness.  I'm in heaven.
Dennis, how do you remember stuff like this... from two years ago?!?
Its a blessing, and a curse...

I read stuff, and I remember (mostly, vaguely, sometimes incorrectly).

But this one, I use all the time, and had added it to my favorites.
Thank you Dennis, this will keep me busy for the rest of the day ... and maybe more.  It's OK because it is HOT today, over 100.
Yay Dennis.  Broke through one of my brick walls!  I found the correct Polly Gill on FamilySearch after going through 500 matches ... and it took only 8 hours.  I spanked it!

FamilySearch has the same problem as WikiTree - duplicates.  I have six for Polly.
+6 votes
Yes, it's a great idea! For far too long I've seen people with messed up trees there. Turnabout is fair play. Use FS sourced wikitree pages on them. I say do it. DO IT!
by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (571k points)
Careful.  You could create a recursive self-referential loop scenario and open a wormhole.
you mean's paywall?

Point goes to D. Botkin!

Self-referential loops won't be too bad. Just shows that there are other trees for the person. Now if we were to toss Geni into the mix.....that might be going overboard.
If only Geni was fixable.... for free
Basic account users can still edit profiles.
noooooo.... I can't divert my attention to a THIRD website!
Tardy, Herbert, “Quantum Physics in WikiTonian Genealogy and Its Parallel Effects on Complementarian Research Facilities,” Journal of the Society for the Study of Theoretical Genealogy, 16:53-82

LOL Pip, I still can't believe that one made it through peer review.  blush

I had an inside source who said you made a very meticulous defense of the argument. One dude held out because sometime, somehow, you p***ed him off, something about beating him to publication. Apparently, his opposition to your research didn’t hold up, as it was confirmed at the Royal Society in London.

Oh, and since your research is now considered primary, it may be used in on any WikiTree profile. laugh

Well, someone is talking out of school.  It's supposed to be what happens in peer review stays in peer review.  But I know who you're talking about, and oh yeah, I beat him.  Like egg whites.
There are no secrets... anywhere... Gossipers gotta have their day, man.
Love how you guys took the ball and ran with it. =)

Personally, I found Tardy's work FAR too on the nose. I much prefer

Sheppard, Pip, "Sheppard's Pie: The Ultimate Guide to Genealogy. How did we get here."  The stories therein are not for the faint of heart. Neither are the recipes for that matter....

The book is more well received for two reasons. First. It's cheaper. And second it has the words "Don't Panic" in bold letters on the back cover.

Well, I don’t wan to toot my own horn, but.... it was on The NY Times Best Seller List for about 3.87 hours. And at $5.99, why not?

Not bad, sir. =D
+5 votes
Do you actually mean using WikiTree as a source for Family Tree?

Family Search sources, for the most part, are microfilms of primary sources (Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource File not withstanding; the IGI is a mixed bag - parts are extracted records and parts are user submitted records).
by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (499k points)
Soo.. it's not possible?
I don't think you should as wikitree is not a source, it's a family tree. Maybe add the link as "further info" instead.
No, the terminology is not right.

Family Tree corresponds to WikiTree.
Famil Search Trees and Wikitree are equivalent as they depend on records and other primary sources.  If the records and other primary sources are wrong,then the trees will be wrong, no matter where they are found.  Corrections in trees can be found  by comparing the records and sources used to create wikitree and proceed to fix familySearch trees or vice versa.  One cannot fix the records themselves, except for transcription errors.
+11 votes
Another tree or another profile is not a source in either direction. Both sites need to be sourced with real sources. Also Herbert’s comment about a self-referential loop should be taken seriously. We could end up with many profiles on Wikitree supposedly sourced by a familysearch profile which then shows the same Wikitree profile as a source. Just adding nonsense to both sites.
by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (633k points)
Circular referencing is already becoming an issue. Personally I joined Wikitree to do Wikitree, not worry about all the genealogy on the Internet. No profile should be considered fully sourced until it has the primary sources discussed even if they are not viewable on the Internet.
Got a point.  This is why I kinda gave up on FS trees a LONG time ago. That's a different story.
When I use WikiTree Watchlist FS Matches and find a match, WikiTree adds the FS link to the WT profile.  FamilySearch does not add the link to WikiTree.  And because it is not a source, the WT ID does not belong in the Sources section.  FS does not have an appropriate section for such a link.

+9 votes
I have recently been using and correcting the tree as I have been working on profiles on WikiTree.This includes merging duplicate profiles at FS. I figure the more correct information out there the better for all of us.

I do think it's fine to reference WikiTree on FamilySearch in a manner similar to the "See also:" section of sources here (this is where I put links to Wikipedia and the FamilySearch profile).
by Deb Durham G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
Yeah. That's what I was getting at, too. One can put a link to the profile in the sources.

Say Joe Jones has a profile here and on Wikitree. You can link Joe Jone's profile on the FS site.
+1 vote
I am not quite certain what you mean by a 'source.'  Let's take for example a U.S. Census page from 1940 that details the names, ages, sex, and other information for a family.  The source would be the page.  FamilySearch, MyHeritage, and Ancestry might have copies of that page and references to the source but the source is the page itself.  Using a FS reference as a source is commonly done and acceptable as it does contain the actual source although one could forgo the indirect reference.

As WikiTree can host images of documents, then a reference to an image on WikiTree that is an acceptable source would be valid for use in FS or anywhere else.  Note, it is not the profile of the person rather the image.

Another aspect of 'source' is really just a reference in the form of a web link.  As Dennis Wheeler has already pointed out, this is done by Justin York's 'Connections App' or one can do it by hand.  I do this myself religiously so that there is both a link from WikiTree to FS and from FS to WikiTree creating a doubly-linked pair.  I also sometimes add a web link from my Ancestry tree profiles to the corresponding WikiTree profile (but not the other direction, of course).
by Thom Anderson G2G6 Mach 6 (63.6k points)
I'm not viewing these as sources to each other, but rather as links to each other...

such that my ancestor David Wheeler here, is the same David Wheeler there, and visa versa.
+3 votes
After reading through the answers and comments it all comes down to quality research that stands up to scrutiny.

Internet genealogies, as well as some published ones, are so often without sources, or have poor quality sources (I just bought a recently published genealogy that falls into this category). WikiTree is no exception (it is full of references to family trees and “first hand knowledge” of events that happened long before the person with this “ knowledge” was alive).

There is some good work in internet genealogies, so you can’t reject them all out of hand.

You have to evaluate all of these, keep what is good and verifiable. The rest you can just file away.

I do not think any lineage society gives any credence to internet genealogies.
by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (499k points)

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