Sources Resources

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This page is designed to facilitate finding information about Sources within WikiTree, from G2G discussions to pages created by members.
It was removed from various categories in January 2019,[1] due to the changes to WikiTree since this "Sources Resources" was written. Please see Category:Reliable Sources for Pre-1700 Profiles and also this page's discussion of sources. Thanks!


Sources Resources


Because of WikiTree's collaborative nature, sources are very important. They allow current and future genealogists to assess the accuracy of the information. With details, a citation of "Granddad told me," can actually be a pretty decent source.

For example, citing a date or location as coming from a story your Grandfather told you in 1984 when he was 68 and you were 15 shows how close the knowledge was to the event and allows for a surmise as to the reliability of the memory. For example, if the citation is for something that happened in your great-grandfather's life in 1944, an event just 40 years past at the time of the telling, when your Grandfather would have been 28 years old, your citation is vastly better than no indication at all or a reference to someone else's tree, which may or not have sources or may have been compiled by someone with a less direct relationship. The goal is that, generations from now, our descendants will have the best information we can provide.

  • The more documents, sources, dates, and locations you provide on the profiles you create, the stronger our global tree will be. If you don't know the correct date, please estimate using before or after.
~ from a welcome message by Debby Black, member of the Greeters Project
  • For a discussion of the quality of Sources, see Jillaine Smith's excellent G2G post

The beauty of WikiTree is that with each merge, with each added cousin, the potential of improving an ancestor's profile increases. A distant cousin who shares the same 2x-gr-grandfather may have family documents you didn't know existed - it happened to me, a cousin I didn't know I had sent me a portrait of my ancestor William H. Watkins. What a thrill to see what he'd looked like, when I'd never even heard a description of him.

~ Liz Shifflett, May 1, 2013


G2G messages with the Sources tag

G2G discussions of interest (not tagged Sources, but tangentially of interest)

Citing Sources

Ideally, every piece of information in a profile would have a source citation. And what may start as "firsthand knowledge" - say, for my grandmother's birthday - would be replaced by a citation to her "birth certificate issued by Vicksburg, Mississippi on September 28, 1935, attesting to her birth on October 31, 1901 with her brother Leon as witness."

  • Sources, WikiTree Help page on citing sources (technical, e.g., creating a link)

Resources within WikiTree

WikiTree has so much great information available, it's sometimes hard to find. Some resources are within WikiTree Help, some are given in category pages or project pages (see also the list of projects), and some are stand-alone, such as Biographies. Some pages are posted by members as free-space pages or included in individual profiles. Following are some links WikiTree supervisors recommend fairly frequently or find especially useful:

This is a wonderful list of resources that the more experienced genealogists on WikiTree started to help with finding sources. To provide additions to it, see How to contribute to the Genealogy Help section. The Genealogy Help page is a gateway to more specific pages, such as
Some non-WikiTree links that used to found there included
If you have a link to add for a research source, Genealogy Help is the best place to add it. If you know of other good sites for documentation from the specific countries of your interest, please let Paul Bech know (basic starting points, such as LDS's Family Search, are likely already listed).
This is a free-space page created by Debby Black, past Leader of the Greeters Project, listing her favorite websites for documentation and sourcing.
Supervisor and DNA Project leader Kitty Smith put together this amazing list of resources she uses.

You might also go to the Surname page for your ancestor. Check the box along the right side of the page (on a desktop computer) for related free-space pages. If you see collateral ancestors in the list (a gr-gr aunt or uncle, for instance), you might want to check their profiles for source citations (although I more frequently find myself adding citations than finding them, this is part of the beauty of WikiTree - collaborating to provide the best profiles possible).

Library Sources

Whether public, private, individual, online, or not technically a library (such as museums and courthouses with reference sections accessible by the public), libraries have been a major resource for genealogists for centuries. Following are some that WikiTreeers use frequently.

Online Libraries

More Links

Profile of the Week!
And a recent G2G discussion brought some more pages to light:


  1. Category:Genealogy_Help, Category:Profile_Improvement_Project, and the now-deleted category: Free-Space Projects - Sources, Editing, Tips.

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See the Sources Style Guide page for more information - at

see also templates available for source citations at

Especially cool is the new one for DAR Patriot Ancestors - see

posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Here are some Canadian resources that people may find useful, all of these resources are currently free - although some do have links to paid services offered by genealogical societies, &c.

Canada Census records:

Canadian Headstones and Cemetery records:

United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada:

British Columbia BMD.

Ontario BMD Transcriptions (rootsweb):

Ontario Genealogical Society Provincial Index

Ontario County Atlases 1874-1881


posted by Rob Ton

Categories: Noland-165