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Genealogically Defined

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Location: Beaumont, Jefferson, Texas, United Statesmap
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Profile manager: Bob Keniston private message [send private message]
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Robert Charles Anderson, FASG, Director of the Great Migration Study Project and author of Elements of Genealogical Analysis says a person is Genealogically Defined when "we have at least one piece of evidence that will lead to the identification of his or her parents, one piece of evidence for each spouse(s), and one piece of evidence for each child."

Sources that qualify:
Vital Records (Birth, Marriage, Death)
Published Genealogies/Histories
Census Records
Published Obituaries

Sources that DO NOT qualify:
Ancestry family trees (if sourced, go to the source, and use that)
Find-a-Grave (if sourced, go to the source, and use that)

Put another way, can you answer YES to each of these questions?

1. Do you have a source that will identify the PARENTS?

2. Do you have a source for each SPOUSE?

3. Do you have a source for each CHILD?

If so, your profile is Genealogically Defined and has a great start on sourcing.

Notice that each of these sources is reciprocal with the person it connects. You can then put that same source on the connected person's profile and begin the process again. (Borrowed from Michael Stills' G2G post.)

If you have a Genealogically Defined profile, unless the WikiTree community develops and adopts a Research Note Box, you can use this:

'''[[Space:Genealogically Defined|Genealogically Defined]]'''

Place below Categories and above Templates

Genealogically Defined Profile Examples





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Is there a perspective on infant deaths and stillborns in a family in the context of "Genealogically Defined". Often there is a source that these offspring existed, e.g., mortality data in census, but not specifically what year they were born and died. If I have a family in the United States identified in the 1880 census that have six children over the next 20 years and three died before 1900, we only know about them from the 1900 census data regarding the number of births for a mother and the number of surviving children in 1900. There is insufficient data to even create a profile for these three children. Did one die in infancy and another at age 18? We may never know.

In such a case, how must the three children that born and died between 1880 and 1900 be documented to meet the "Genealogically Defined" criteria. I suggest we add this scenario, and similar scenarios, to this page.

posted by Jeff Gentry
Each of the deceased children could be listed as being born after 1880 and dying before 1900. Not knowing the specifics of the missing children wouldn’t exclude the parents from being genealogically defined if the children are mentioned in the bio and the census information is listed as a source.
posted by Bob Keniston Jr.
That's consistent with my thinking. I would also assert that these children would not necessarily need their own distinct child profiles. In the scenario given, these might be three offspring named "Unknown Smith" with identical birth and death ranges. Doesn't seem to add any value if there is no differentiation (sometimes there is some differentiation and that's different". If the situation with the children is fully described in both profiles, that would seem to me to be sufficient to meet the criteria, but I don't see any reason to feel strongly about that at the moment.
posted by Jeff Gentry
Does an Obituary count as a source?
posted by Pam (Dale) Fraley
Pam,

An obituary is used for anything besides a date and place of death, such as spouse, children, or siblings, they should have better sources. Obituaries are third level sources. If you use an obituary, try to post an image, if one is available. Bob

posted by Bob Keniston Jr.
But if you post an image of ANYTHING, post full details of what it is, who wrote it, what the title is, what page number it is, who published it and when, plus a link if it's online. I' ve seen too man images of a page out of a book that is full of "information" but the reader has no idea where the information came from. The poster perhaps assumed that if it's in a published book, it must be true, and one need look no farther! Wrong.
posted by Jack Day
I have been researching all 4 sides of my family for at least 25 years. After reading this page I suppose to my disillusionment I have been doing it all wrong. But they say it's never to late to begin again. I'm pleased to have come to this page for correction and for guidance. Thanks
posted by Judy (Garris) Mauldin
As a newbie to WikiTree I’m exploring and came across your page on ‘genealogically defined’. This is so helpful, thank you!
posted by Rebecca (Holtz) Reed
Here is a g2g post named "How does a "Genealogically Defined" notation value add?:

https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/988570

posted by Pat (Fuller) Credit
A date of death, and a record seem to be missing from the hypothetical.
posted by Bob Keniston Jr.
To clarify my question, do we need, as an example, the marriage record and will to identify John's parents with names that match the birth record? Or as another example, we could require the documents to provide identical birth months for the John Smith in question. While this is desirable, perhaps it is more restrictive than what is meant by "genealogically defined."
posted by Barry Smith
Suppose we have a birth record of a John Smith in TinyTown, Massachusetts to parents Alfred and Betsey Smith. Suppose we have also a marriage record 20 years later in TinyTown of John Smith to Jane Doe. Suppose also we have a will of John Smith proving that he never had children. Is John Smith's profile genealogically defined?

It has not been proved that Jane's husband was the son of Alfred and Betsey, nor that the will belonged either to their son or to Jane's husband. Yet each record clearly identifies the parents, the spouse, and the lack of children of *some* John Smith.

Does part of the definition of "genealogically defined" require that the identifying pieces of evidence are all mutually connected through inter-referencing?

posted by Barry Smith
Not that we don't want vital records, but how would you consider the headstone image that is include as part of a FindAGrave profile. Note that these may be replacement headstones and death information can be considered contemporary information. Would it matter if I took a picture of the headstone versus it being in FAG, or if I had a cemetery card image or the equivalent or evidence from the files of the organization that manages the cemetery.
posted by Marty (Lenover) Acks
Love this page, use it all the time and have been marking my profiles as defined as I accomplish it:

This profile is Genealogically Defined.

posted by SJ Baty
Beautiful! Wish everybody would stop by and read this. :o)
posted by Pare (Howie) Chase
I think the definition needs some refinement that indicates the evidence is not coming from user donated trees or secondary sources but are from primary sources.

The way it is currently written an Ancestry tree would qualify and they do not qualify as a credible source here on WikiTree.

posted by Laura (Pennie) Bozzay
For our reference: List of profiles that have been tagged as Genealogically Defined:

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Special:Whatlinkshere/Space:Genealogically_Defined

posted by E. Compton
Great idea. Look great.

I add this to most of my free-space pages:

It will be a good tool to help check that all the Profiles are entered here.

posted by Pat (Fuller) Credit