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Source Gripe Compendium

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Note: This is an unofficial page, not an official Help Page. It was created and edited by J.N. Murphy. Additions to it are ongoing.

Contents

Introduction

Gripe, noun
1: GRIEVANCE, COMPLAINT [1]

This page was created to document and catalogue some recurring themes among the gripes posted to WikiTree's G2G forum.

Gripes are grouped by focus or subject, then sorted by date. This page is publicly accessible to aid other users in finding relevant posts and in examining and understanding the issues and themes presented.

Additionally, as there is often conflation and blending of issues when griping about sources in G2G posts, the author proposes a descriptive classification of the issues, first by separating the issue of specificity. By developing a classification of the issues presented, we can have a useful vocabulary and perhaps constructive dialogue, rather than conflating issues in the course of discussion.

This compilation is not intended to be completely comprehensive, but rather a select collection to illustrate recurrent themes and the history of the issues here on WikiTree. It is not a "Help page" (which presents official policy), but rather a document compiled by one WT contributor.

List of Symbols

I've marked a few of the discussions to point to ones that are particularly germane.

  • ❓ : Post presents a question about the source
  • πŸ”: Discussion/Post attempting to classify or qualify the source
  • ⭐: Discussions with particularly useful answers that I suggest be read.
  • πŸ’‘ : Informative post
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Specificity & Source Citations

Many genealogists think in terms of how original or, conversely, derivative a source is when qualifying the credibility of a source. One other aspect of sourcing is the specificity. The more specific the information supplied, the greater the utility it is to others.

Many gripes in G2G have been posted about the misapplication of the Unsourced Template to various profiles where the sources provided are vague, non-specific, or lacking in detail. This is partially separate from the debate over whether certain specific sources are "insufficient" or otherwise lacking some quality which should, some claim, be considered as "insufficient". However, the two issues are often conflated and pressed together.

I've set up a classification system below. The citations given are not meant to be complete examples; some information is omitted (e.g. city, state, country) to simplify the comparison.

Non-Specific Source Citations

For online resources, these tend to lack utility because they do not point to a specific database, but rather solely identifies a data provider. Such citations are often used by users who are beginners both to WikiTree and to the practice of genealogy. For print materials, this might be analogous to stating in which Library one found the information.

  • FamilySearch.org
  • Ancestry.com
    • "Ancestry Tree" or "Ancestry.com" is not a specific database.
  • Vancouver Public Library
  • Australian Government

Database-Specific Source Citations

Database-specific source citations may vary in specificity, however they are a step above non-specific, as they tend to point to a specific database or subset of data, from which details about a particular individual can be readily located with a small amount of effort, pending access. These citations are often employed by both intermediate and advanced WikiTree users, depending upon the context.

Item-Specific Source Citations

Item-specific sourcing, practiced by more advanced WikiTree users, identifies specific items or objects within a database. These might be a profile within a family tree or a specific record or entry within a database collection. The data entry details can generally be accessed with minimal effort, pending access.

G2G Gripes

  • 2019-12-05 Acceptable behaviour
    • Does "Vic BDM" or "Victoriam BD&M" on the profile of a person from the state of Victoria, Australia, count as a source?
  • 2018-07-12 ⭐ Need a definitive answer on "What is Unsourced"
    • Sourcerers Project previously had conflicting info. Earliest version of the Sourcerers Project page in the Internet Archive is dated 2019-12-07.
    • Eowyn Langholf: "In the context of what you are asking, regarding the Unsourced template it was decided that it was meant for profiles that had nothing listed as a source."
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FindAGrave

FindAGrave (also: Find-A-Grave, Find a Grave, F-A-G, or FAG) is a website where user-contributors are able to add profiles, or "memorials", corresponding to the graves and monuments of the deceased.

How to Cite

Note that for links to FindAGrave, one can use a template that is specific to the website. Read more about it on "Help:Links to FindAGrave". The basic template uses the memorial ID number, which is included in the URL structure, e.g.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/1075 or
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/1075/george-washington

That same profile, linked using a template:

{{FindAGrave|1075}}

Formatted on the profile this appears as:

Find A Grave: Memorial #1075

I find it useful to include the name of the individual, dates (listed on the physical memorial), and the location of the memorial, <name of cemetery> in/near/at <city or town>, <province or state>, <country>. e.g.:

George Washington (1732-1799). Mount Vernon Estate in Mount Vernon, Virginia, United States. Find A Grave: Memorial #1075

G2G Gripes

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Bibliography

Citation Data [1]

  1. ↑ 1.0 1.1 β€œGripe.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gripe. Accessed 7 December 2019.


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