What is the best way to clean up this profile?

+3 votes


I came across this profile while researching my family, and don't think that this Sarah is the Sarah from my ancestry line. The profile has more issues than just the parents, though. And I'm still feeling pretty new and need hand holding, LOL.

Problems with https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Scudder-48

Data says:  1 Sep 1681 Huntington, d of Jonathon Scudder and Sarah (Brown) Scudder


Reference 1 states birth 16 Dec 1670, different parents

Reference 2 is for a Sarah Smith not Scudder getting married in 1705

Reference 3 is a findagrave for a Sarah, but doesn't prove anything

Reference 4 is a bad link

Reference 5 I can’t access

One source is a book that shows a Sarah Scudder married a Jonas Platt but nothing else. No dates or parents.

Then the biography also contradicts itself and the data, saying she got married in 1694 (at the age of 13). That she had 10 children in 25 years, except she died at 34 in 1715. Her first child was born in 1690, four years before she married her husband and when she was 9 years old.


There WAS a Sarah Scudder born to Jonathon and Sarah (Brown) Scudder (who I was looking up). But when her father made his will in 1690, he mentions his daughter Sarah as not compos mentis and to be entrusted to her older brother if she outlives her mother.



My initial interest in Sarah Scudder is the daughter from the will. I’d like to separate this Sarah from the listed parents (I’ve marked them uncertain for now) and create a new profile but I feel it would be wrong to leave the rest of this profile as-is. But I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by the consequences of what to do with a person who is virtually unsourced, but has had so many hands on the profile since I’m by no means an expert.

I’d love some advice.

WikiTree profile: Sarah Platt
in Policy and Style by Wendy Lester G2G Crew (650 points)
It got even crazier the more I delved into it. I did manage to extricate the developmentally disabled child Sarah from being a mother of 10 starting at age 9. It's possible that her mother married the guy, but there are no primary sources. She now has her own profile and the Sarah who married Platt is of unknown parentage.

2 Answers

+1 vote
Have you perhaps checked to see if the names may have been entered incorrectly, example maiden vs married, 2nd marriage or family name.

Women have been known to take previous or other family names when life situations change.
by Sharon Flax G2G2 (2.2k points)
I do believe that a Sarah Scudder married a Jonas Pratt. But not the daughter of that particular Jonathon Scudder.
+5 votes
I enjoy a challenge like this, although I mostly find them and fix them on FamilySearch.  The process should be the same though.

I wouldn't make any changes, except fixing the most obvious errors, until you have first gathered all the data you can find.  You've identified some of the bad data and sources, and you've found a few good sources.  I would continue your research into the Sarah's and people involved with her, until the moment you've gained a pretty good confidence in who is who, and what data belongs to each one.  If you start fixing things too soon, you make mistakes, because your picture of each is too incomplete, and that makes it too easy to jump to the wrong conclusions.  Finding additional sources makes finding the right conclusions easier.

But sometimes, especially that far back, it may be hard to find more sources, and you have to make the best of what you've got.  Then it's a matter of determining what facts are credible and consistent, and what facts are not, are inconsistent with the credible ones.  We make profiles based on what's credible, hopefully documented.  We make research notes about the rest.

I wish you the best in this, and hope you find the fun and satisfaction of untangling terrible tangles like this.
by Rob Jacobson G2G6 Pilot (108k points)
Thank you. That is helpful.

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