Aparently there are sources, and there are SOURCES.

+8 votes

I have entered several thousand profiles with the source of "Pettibone Registry page No. ###" and find that many of these are tagged as Unsourced.

Its my understanding that published genealogies are sources. The Pettibone Registry has been distributed to perhaps 2 dozen individuals on WikiTree and to the Simsbury (Connecticut) Historical Society, the DAR And the NEHGS.

It comes on a DVD, not bound in leather, but is it    "Published".

Is there something more I could do? Does WikiTree have a library to which I could send a copy? I suppose I could put it in a Free Space Profile, but it's 575 single spaced pages typed.


WikiTree profile: John Pettibone
asked in The Tree House by Tom Bredehoft G2G6 Pilot (187k points)
retagged by Tom Bredehoft

It doesn't matter if it's published. What does matter is whether you have identifying information. Most of us have never heard of "Pettibone Registry". I'd put a US tag on that too.

6 Answers

+3 votes
I have the same happen for 1st hand information, or even 2nd hand information, I do think there's a leaning to online sources BUT they aren't always correct they are only as good as the person putting the information on to begin with, ORIGINAL sources are always best but obviously they aren't always available on line :/

My suggestion is just find one - be it a grave or an online source with the CORRECT information :)
answered by Heather Jenkinson G2G6 Mach 1 (18.6k points)
I'll put US on "first hand information" if someone obviously just put it in there as a way to evade the source requirement. If it's a profile for someone born 300 years ago, it's not first hand. Some people seem to think that "first hand" can mean something like "I heard this myself when Joebob told me that this was in a GEDCOM somebody emailed him".
+10 votes
To add to what Heather just said, I’d include the FULL publication information of the DVD, not just the brief reference to the source.
answered by Pip Sheppard G2G6 Pilot (896k points)
May I have a definition of "FULL publication Information"?  Here's a link to the story of the Pettibone Registry.


I can see the points made by Pip and Heather. It sure would be a lot of profiles to update this source on, and it is somewhat in limbo. That it is held by both the DAR and NEHGS holds weight. Also, the last time I looked, FamilySearch had it in their queue to add to their collection.

Maybe it should be added as a source (under https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Sources-Family_Genealogies). It could then be referenced as a source from a profile, and the source space page could explain where to get a copy and also link to your space page for it.

I can see where folks are coming from, since very often 'grandmas written genealogy' isn't really a SOURCE.
Thanks, Kay.  Yes, this seems at first glance to be "Grandma's Recollections, but I believe the author did source everything to published texts and records.

I'll look into a free space.
Tom - I know. In fact, I first found WikiTree via Google looking for some of my Cornish/Pettibone ancestors -- hence I've looked into the registry.

FYI. There's an example source space for Cornish at https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:The_History_and_Genealogy_of_the_Cornish_Families_in_America and I've referenced it from https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Cornish-315

Once I get through my pictures from my visit to NY this summer, I'll add a picture for John Pettibone's gravestone. The back of the stone says "Erected by Joel Cornish Jr. & Geo Montgomery"

Personally, what I would post as an example of full publication information would be something like this: 

Booklet: "The Pettibone Registry. Descendants of John Pettibone, 1633 - 1713." by Key Sharp, published 1970. Page(s) xx-xx

Then I would also add a "See also: " below the sources heading and link to your freespace page.

Since it is self-published I assume it does not have a ISBN number (or MARC)?? If it does, I would add that too. 

I disagree that "Grandma's recollections" aren't a real source.

My mother typed up "Miriam's Memories" in the early 2000s. She recalled stories of her childhood, of their depression-era move to Buffalo, of her meeting my father, etc. etc. This is absolutely a source for much information I would NEVER find on a birth certificate or a probate record.

When citing this source, I need to include as muchinformation as possible, since it is not published and won't be easily accessible to anyone outside of our immediate family (unless I scan it and post it online, which I may do after her death).

In either case, it IS a source.
+3 votes
Tom, do you have an example of one of your thousands of profiles where the "Pettibone Registry" is marked as Unsourced? Because I don't see it on the example you posted for John Pettibone

Usually, if a profile is marked as Unsourced, its because it still has the {{Unsourced}} template on it. That does not automatically go away after adding sources. It must be manually deleted.
answered by Dennis Wheeler G2G6 Pilot (388k points)
I used John's profile as the first Pettibone in New England. I'd have to hunt for an example (natural laws of search apply, you never can find what you want to). I just went through about 150 years of  Pettibones in my watch list, can't find any. It's started in the last couple of months, I suspected a 'bot's work.
Tom, Thanks for posting this, it's a very interesting topic, as I have a similar situation with "The Phelps Family in America and Their English Ancestors" published in 1899. It now survives as an online document and can be downloaded here: https://archive.org/details/phelpsfamilyofam02phel/page/n3

The issue is that many Phelps researchers have disproved some of the information included. It is still a good repository for the copied wills and other papers, but not all of the information has the needed veracity. It takes a tremendous amount of backwards research to find the sources from which the information was derived.

That being said, there was a significant population of Phelps's in SImsbury at the same time who were also original settlers;  if they're included in your registry, I'd love a copy!
+5 votes

A more complete citation would be something like:

Sharp, Kay, 'Pettibone Registry', Tom Bredehoft, ed., (unpublished, 2013), register of descendents of John Pettibone (1633-1713), DAR Library.

Or you could refer to the Space page on Wikitree by replacing DAR Library with See https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:The_Pettibone_Registry

This was just a quick attempt at a source citation. I didn't find the material on FamilySearch where it would have a good source citation to work from.

answered by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (243k points)
I'll look into a Free Space profile, can't hurt. Every profile is referenced to Kay Pontius' profile, where the reader is referred to an early free space. I'll redirect to the new one when it's set up.

Thanks for all the good suggestions.
+1 vote
Apologies ... this is really picky ... : Would you consider editing the tag on this original post form "souorces" to "sources"?

And, great question/topic, BTW. I am apt to trip on this issue sooner than later with my own editing.
answered by Susan Keil G2G6 Mach 2 (20.9k points)
0 votes
Anyone still watching this, I've put the first chapter, Generation 1, of the Pettibone Register on


It didn't transfer well, needs lots of tweaking, but if you'd like to view it, please do. and note all the sources that are listed.

This is seven pages, I don't know if I have the patience to edit all 575 pages or not. The bulk of the document (its not bound) is not so text heavy.

Let me know what you think.

I can also post the Seven Generations as PDFs, retaining their format.
answered by Tom Bredehoft G2G6 Pilot (187k points)
edited by Tom Bredehoft
It reads more like a profile page than a freespace page about a source.

Tom, I wonder if it would be better to scan the document to a single PDF would be a better option, then uploading the single PDF either here or somewhere.

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