Is this fact, or hearsay ?

+1 vote
We have probably all had comments sent to us, concerning a particular authors opinion on the genealogy of the profiles we manage. However, given that most of the members are unlikely to own copies of these publications, how are they to verify that data ? Are we expected to simply accept it because somebody said so, or do we treat it as speculation, or at best third hand hearsay. If we cannot personally check those sources, are they any better than a comment overheard in the local pub ?
in The Tree House by Tim Perry G2G6 Mach 3 (32.8k points)
edited by Tim Perry

3 Answers

+1 vote
Best answer
Hi Tim,

I agree - I wouldn't change info in a profile based on an unseen source (nor cite such as a source). If it's a published work, doing an Internet search or using WorldCat might point you to a copy, but I suspect that you've already tried that. You could also post the name/author of the publication/work here in a G2G question to determine if anyone here might have familiarity with it and/or access to it.

You can also include such information and the potential "source" in a Research Notes section in case it may provide a hint for someone that might eventually come along that can access that or another source of the info in question.
by Rick Peterson G2G6 Pilot (159k points)
selected by Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz
Research notes are just the place to record these things. Shows everyone Wikitree's been listening without committing to anything.
+1 vote
I would say they are hearsay if you cannot check the sources for yourself.
by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (945k points)
+5 votes
Here is the problem with disavowing sources that cannot easily be checked, and I'm deliberately using an extreme case: The genealogies of certain Tyrolian and Steyr noble houses are based on a contemporaneous manuscript existing in one (handwritten) codex with one transcription, both held at the Tyrolian State Museum in Innsbruck. Since they are considered so valuable normal mortals don't get to see them except behind glass in a secure display case. Following the argument made by several people all about these families must therefore be just hear-say since practically nobody can access the original source and that information consequently should not be used on WikiTree..
by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (545k points)

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