Does one have to have a source other than from personal experience for their grandparents

+6 votes
This person was brought up by their grandparents but their grandfather has now been changed to unsourced even though source is personal experience
asked ago in Policy and Style by Jean Skar G2G1 (1.6k points)
recategorized ago by Steve Schmidt

There is a John Nisbet showing as born in Prestonpans in 1907 on searching Scotland's People.  (I can't see beyond the results index, though, as I don't have credits there.)  None of the other results show Prestonpans.

The reference number I see is: 718/50.

Editing to paste:

718/ 50
RD Name

Death reference is

Age at death
Mother's Maiden Name
760/ 167
RD Name

Err, sorry for the paste, but I didn't want to try to type all that.

Those two references should be enough to remove the "unsourced" tags.

Thanks I have the info and will add

correct is 

718/ 64

Ooooooooooh, I needed to change my search options. blush  (Just goes to show that rushing a task isn't always the best way to go.)

Redoing the search shows that second Prestonpans.  (But, hey, at least I tried.)

Been there done that thanks anyway
Jean, I grew up with my grandparents and have loads of personal knowledge. However, they also have documentary sources in their profiles.
I have on mine too and agree that is best..
Let me ask ya'll something. If our parents/grandparents bio's are filled with life event facts but there's also narrative in-between filled with first hand knowledge is that still appropriate? Some of my time on this site has been spent looking at current wikitree bio's which are usually filled with a lot of first hand experience narrative. :) I was using them as a guideline for this piece of the profile pie  :)
Absolutely! I knew my grandfather for the last 28 years of his life and include much information that I know firsthand. Important: make it into a source!
It appears from the comments then, that probably Grandparents parents and close family probably should not be labeled as "unsourced" as personal knowledge should be enough.

We all agree the best option is is to source as much as possible, and is always the best option.

Any disagreemnets??

5 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer
Source citations are supposed to answer the questions Who, What, When and Where? That applies to personal knowledge as well. That is, who told you  what and when. Where can it be accessed? You would need to identify yourself since "personal knowledge" doesn't fully identify "you"

The citation should detail what was said and when.
answered ago by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (211k points)
selected ago by Gaile Connolly

For an example, I found several different dates in different documents for my grandmother's half-sister's birth date, most of which were census records, but family information passed to me also shows her birth date.  I included mention of all possible dates, with links to the source citation for each.  Here is the citation I used for what might otherwise be called "personal information" (Rosi is the subject of the profile):  

Family tree information compiled by Frances (Lichtman) Rich, daughter of Rosi's half-sister, Esther, drawn August 17, 1968 and revised January 2, 1973 by Frances' brother, Herman Lichtman. The original document is in possession of Gaile Connolly, niece of both Frances and Herman.

Gaile, this is a perfect example of how to do a personal information type of source citation. It meets all the requirements and gives someone else a fighting chance to find the information (e.g. contacting you).
+5 votes

Hi Jean,

A Viewable source that others can view is preferred however 

First hand information and second hand information is allowed per Policy and Style 


On how to properly source using this information.

 If you have further questions feel free to ask 

answered ago by Steve Schmidt G2G6 Pilot (342k points)
Re: Independent verification review of source citations: The difficulties of reviewing 1st or 2nd hand, personally witnessed, source records i.e. once the record is created by a 'Wikitree'r' how can the record be located independently for validation purposes:  

At some point what we document in an ancestor's bio, which includes personal witnessed comments, has to be considered publicly available information if the profile is about the deceased and is set for public view.

WikiTree is large enough to be considered a publicly available source of information. A profile is easily found just thru Google or an MS search. And it's free. This fact should help ameliorate your concerns about not having valid access for independent review purposes.

The other issue I perceive is how does personal experience fit in with your approach to fact-based information profiles. Yet, personal profiles that go on and on for tens of thousands of Wiki profiles are filled with first hand knowledge not explicitly saying so. It's confusing to your new public as opposed to your more professional users with whom I'm beginning to believe put up with a lot in order to pursue their goals. :)

As far as first/second hand quotes or witnessed events notable in the life of a profile I suggest Journalism standards to write up the event.
+5 votes
Personal source Is a source, but in the future how will a person be able to confirm this information?

I am sure you were not present at a few of the milestones this person experienced. It would be nice to see them backed up by sources
answered ago by Marion Poole G2G6 Mach 7 (74k points)

I agree but I disagree that someone should edit it as unsourced when it says 

  • Supplied by xxxx Grandson
I posted two sources that can be added.  (I agree with you, as that is an allowed source, but I also agree that we need to add searchable sources when able for those who come after us: which is why I've been working so hard on sourcing my own family based on my mother's notes and what she, or my father, or grandmother told me.  Because nobody can search my head .. not even me!)
+5 votes
The problem is originally "personal information" or "first-hand knowledge" were the default entries if you put no legitimate sources.

If you put something more descriptive like "This information was passed down to me by john doe" or "I was physically there to witness this event" or something similar then it won't look like a generic entry and WOULD be considered a personal source.
answered ago by Steven Tibbetts G2G6 Pilot (160k points)
+4 votes
Hi Jean

It was me who added the unsourced category to John Nisbet's profile.  I did hesitate at first, but as he didn't marry until 1930 and any grandchildren probably wouldn't have been born until abut 16 or more years later I thought it was reasonable to add it.

I'm sorry it annoyed you.
answered ago by Sheena Tait G2G6 Mach 3 (34.2k points)
You did not annoy me SORRY if you thought that and I realize your intention were only the best so thanks for that. ..

I just didn't understand WHY it was done when you would not know the circumstances and wanted a clarification of what others thought and what was the norm. It has happened before by others on other Nisbet(t)/Nesbit(t) profiles, that I have also wondered why it was done.

When I removed the tag {{Unsourced|East Lothian|Midlothian}} and added refs to sources

 I also removed then {{East Lothian|Midlothian}} 

Was I suppose to add some tag to replace this??? 

If you added sources then the first one should then be removed. The second one however dealt with their location and should have remained unless you found reason to show it was false.

Thanks---That's what I thought might be the case,, should the FORMAT stay the same or should their be a category??  {{East Lothian|Midlothian}}   ???

Hi Jean, when I added the {{Unsourced|East Lothian|Midlothian}} category, it added the profile to the unsourced categories for both East Lothian and  Midlothian. I'm also a sourcerer (adding sources to unsourced profiles) and I concentrate on Scotland. So the next time I'm in the mood for sourcing, I (or anyone else) working on unsourced profiles in either East Lothian or Midlothian could find John Nisbet's profile easily to add any sources needed.  

I don't use many other location profiles myself, but a lot of people add location categories for significant events in their ancestors' lives.  If you want to use location categories this way, check the Scotland project pages to find the correct formatting for people who came from either East Lothian or Midlothian (it might help with the Nisbet one-name study, depending on how it's organised).  If you don't want to use the location categories then you can just delete the whole {{.............}} line.
Hi Sheena thanks loads for your reply--good to know


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