How does a "Genealogically Defined" notation value add?

+11 votes
I know what it is, but does adding the "genealogically defined" statement to a profile add value? I can't see a category in use. There's no way to flag them on my watchlist so I can see what profiles need work. What benefits are there to adding this statement?
in Policy and Style by Leandra Ford G2G6 Mach 3 (35.5k points)
recategorized by Jillaine Smith

For those that don't know the term Space:Genealogically Defined

3 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer
I have been trying to document all my direct ancestor profiles to the point that I can add that statement.  One way it adds value is that it ensures I have sufficient information on each profile that another researcher can come along and see my source for each family relationship I've identified.
by Julie Kelts G2G6 Pilot (295k points)
selected by Kenneth Evans
+10 votes

At one time, the Bio-Builders Challenge included a call to complete a profile to the point of being Genealogically Defined. The member working on the profile would add the statement so that the facilitator would know they had completed that portion. I don't know if that is still a goal of Bio-Builders.

by Debi Hoag G2G6 Pilot (265k points)
Hi Debi

The bio builders challenge does still ask for profiles to be genealogically defined
+5 votes

The "genealogical definition" standards here are a bit of a joke. The "sources that qualify" are only Vital Records, Published Genealogies/Histories, Census Records, and Published Obituaries.. Really? So if I have a published genealogy that says one thing and a probate file that says something else, in order for a profile to be genealogically defined I have to go with the published genealogy?

This is not a hypothetical question. According to the extremely unreliable 1861 Reed family genealogy (J. W. Reed, The Reed Family in England and America), the paternal ancestry of James5  Reed of Milton, Mass., was James4 James3 Obadiah2 Esdras1. But the probate file of James3 Reed makes it clean that his son James4 Reed had only one child, a daughter Mary. Further analysis of the information in that probate file along with a baptismal record together show that the correct ancestry of James5 Reed of Milton is Thomas4 James3 Obadiah2 Esdras1,

There are times when secondary sources are all that is available, and there are many secondary sources that are very reliable (though all do have errors). But to say that secondary sources are acceptable sources for declaring a profile "genealogically defined" and exclude primary sources probate records, deed, church records, etc., is ridiculous.

by Stu Bloom G2G6 Mach 3 (39.2k points)
Stu, I don't see anywhere on the page that says the list of approved sources is exclusive.  Nor that this is an official definition.  I think the spirit of the policy is that you need a source for each family relationship, and it should be a source that WikiTree would consider valid--i.e., no Ancestry trees or unsourced FindAGrave memorials.

In your example, you contrast two conflicting records.  But you would already have had to decide which was reliable in order to connect James to his father.  Your sources would have been the probate and baptismal records.  An unreliable family genealogy would have nothing to do with anything.

It would indeed be ridiculous to report wrong information and cite an unreliable source simply to be able to stick a "Genealogically defined" label on a profile--something that is not required in the first place.

The list is titled "Sources that qualify." It does not say "sources that qualify include" or "some sources that qualify are." The plain meaning of that is that these are the only sources that qualify. And even if you choose to read it in a different way, this is one of a lot of unclear and confusing statements that proliferate in the WikiTree help files.

And no, I would not "already have had to decide which was reliable" in order to connect James to his father. For 20 years, I had James connected to the wrong father, because the Reed family genealogy was all that I had found. When I dug into the probate file of James3, the error in the genealogy became clear. The misidentification of James' father still pollutes the family tree, as in this Ancestry,com profile (subscription required).

But it only lists two sources that do not qualify--Ancestry, and FindAGrave.

The page is not an official Help page.  It is a free-space page created by someone trying to be helpful.  Anyone can comment on the page, and you might consider asking for clarification.

Julie, I agree with all your posts here.

The implication is that primary sources and reliable secondary sources are preferred.

FindAGrave is only a primary source for burial information with a tombstone. Genealogically Defined profiles do not consider death and burial information.

Edited because I just reread page which seems to have added death as a record. If death is valid than shouldn't wills be also included.

I do not think that all the qualifying sources were intended to be listed.

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