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Genealogically Defined

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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]]'''

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Comments: 15

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Does an Obituary count as a source?
posted by Pam Dale

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?:


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:


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