November 2019 - Southern Pioneer's Project Newsletter
If you would like to join us, post an answer to our G2G join post. Why don't you join us today ?
Thank You for participating in Southern Pioneer's
A big "Thank You" to all Southern Pioneer's Project members new and old for all you do to make the life and times of our pioneering ancestors come alive through the preservation of their family history and genealogy. Your excellent work and dedicated efforts to ensure that the profiles of our ancestors are accurate, clear, concise and properly sourced is what sets WikiTree and our Projects apart from many other online genealogy communities, You can be proud of your work.
Meet project member and "Trail Master", Pam Kreutzer
Pam Kreutzer joined WikiTree in October, 2018, hit the ground running and hasn't slowed down for a breath yet. One of our most active project members, Pam became the first Southern Pioneer's Project member to submit a "Pioneers Trail" for review, and the first member to take on the position of "Trail Master". She is now doing a fine job of review and approval of "Pioneers Trail" submissions. Pam is also active in several projects including Data Doctors, England, EuroAristo, and Profiles. among others. She is both Pre-1700 and Pre-1500 qualified.
On her personal profile she writes of her genealogy beginnings. "In 1978, I started working on the Volga German ancestors of my husband's family, and then the Volga German ancestors of my mother." She goes on to add that, "My ancestors are a mixture of England, Irish, Norman (Viking), German, Sweden, Scotland, with a toss in of several other nationalities." The Southern Pioneer's Project is pleased that she decided to share all that experience and knowledge with us. A big thanks to our November member of the month, Pam Kreutzer.
Our Members, New and Old are Awesome
Please help us welcome our newest members! If you are a new member and you haven't already done so be sure to grab the member's sticker for your profile and join us in the Southern Pioneer's discussion group.
Are you listed here ? See our membership roster If you didn't find your name contact Mary Richardson to update our list.
- Dave Martin told me,"I joined southern pioneers group. Seems the prefect fit for my profiles." Dave's tree is full of notable pioneers from Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. We are looking forward to working with him to improve the profiles of his pioneer ancestors.
- Sandy Patak is a professional genealogist with a focus on Adoptees but she also works extensively on W Virginia profiles. She remarks that, "Personally, and sometimes professionally, my focus on Genealogy is Western Virginia (ex. Bedford, Augusta, Bath, Fort Wilderness, etc) and all of West Virginia. I also have completed extensive Cemetery documentation/surveying/photographing in WV that is a large project to get the photos online. "
Sources - What is considered a reliable source ?
(Part One of a multi-part series)
As I am fond of saying, "Good sources = Good genealogy". Good sources are what gives genealogical information a certainty or reliability. Good sources increase the likelihood that the information and relationships presented are accurate and can be trusted. So, what do we consider to be the characteristics of a good source ?
Sources are of two types, Original and Derivative. An "original source" is created at or about the time that the event occurred. The informant of the source information was either a witness to the recorded event. or participated in the event. In other words, the information recorded was based on "first-hand" information. This information is considered original in that it was not taken from previously recorded information.  On the other hand, a "derivative source" is one that is taken from previously recorded or repeated information. A better way to put it might be to say that it is any non-original source. A derivative source is not considered to be as reliable as an original source due to the greater possibility of human error. Derivative sources should not be taken at face value and should be investigated for the "who-why-how-when-where of their creation" 
Sources are also characterized as being Primary, Secondary or Tertiary. Primary sources, considered to be the most reliable are defined as follows:
Primary sources are documents, images or artifacts that provide firsthand testimony or direct evidence concerning an historical topic under research investigation. Primary sources are original documents created or experienced contemporaneously with the event being researched. Primary sources enable researchers to get as close as possible to what actually happened during an historical event or time period. 
We answer your Questions
Question ?: Why are web sites such as "ancestry.com" or "familysearch.com" not considered to be usable sources ?
Answer : Sometimes we see citations such as "ancestry.com", "familysearch.com", or even "family records" given to support genealogical facts. We are told that these are not acceptable as sources, but why? After all, isn't that where the information came from ? The short answer is that sites such as "ancestry.com" are not considered sources but rather repositories of digitized records and family trees. These records are many times of unknown quality and origin. To be considered as a usable source one should be able to answer not only the "who-why-how-when-where of their creation" but where the source can be located for review and independent verification. Citing repositories such as "ancestry.com" does not meet this criteria.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Using the Genealogical Proof Standard in Your Research (National Institute)
- ↑ What Are Primary Sources?. University of California, Irvine, CA (Publically accessible tutorial)