Team Virginia - 2016 Source-a-Thon

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1 Oct 2016 to 3 Oct 2016
Location: Virginia, West Virginia, Kentuckymap
Surnames/tags: Virginia Source-a-Thon Southern_Colonies
This page has been accessed 1,512 times.

Categories: Virginia Challenge Teams | Virginia, Unsourced Profiles.

New - A Virginia Sources Quick Reference page - a cheat sheet, if you will. Post a copy of your citation(s) on that page for easy reference during the Source-a-Thon and a great resource after!


Source-a-Thon 2016

Details: Source-a-Thon

See also G2G questions tagged Source-a-Thon - such as this question about profiles to be worked on and this one emphasizing that the goal is primarily to source unsourced profiles.


  1. If you're on Team Virginia, read the info posted there & get ready for the bell to ring at midnight!
  2. Source Unsourced Profiles during October 1-3 & note your progress in your team's G2G post (see How to Source... (below))
  3. Source-A-Thon begins at midnight on Friday night, and ends at 11:59 PM Monday night, Eastern Daylight Time, GMT -4
  4. Cross your fingers that you'll win a fabulous door prize!

Time Zone Helpers

  1. Time Zone Map
  2. Time Widget (clicking will take you off WikiTree; right-click to open in new tab or window)
  3. Another TIME WIDGET link
  4. World Clock Meeting Planner

Team Virginia!

Team Virginia will be focusing on reducing the number of Unsourced Profiles in Virginia - and Victory!

Team Captains / Cheerleaders

Team Members

We are lucky to have many very active members & the numbers are definitely a moving target! See the lists on Team Virginia's G2G post for the latest numbers.

Total # of Profiles Sourced as of Monday, Oct. 3, 11:54 PM EDT: 1191

Breakdown below:

Sortable table
Name Bib # Sourced Profiles
Liz Shifflett #016 11
Doug Lockwood #025 225
Terri Jerkes #240 160
Sandy Craig #239 54
Nancy Combs #257 10
Eric Weddington #021 505
Larry Cunningham #338 27
Robin Kabrich #336 0
Bill Harvey #390 20
Mel Lambert #073 105
Sarah Sherman-VanDeventer #163 25
Doug Barker #583 1
Teresa Christopher #130 9
Laura Lynne Hedgecock #491 35
Barry Kline #160 0
Pat Davis #337 0
Kelsey Price #353 0
Carol Sullivan #080 4
Jimmy M. Sisson #305 0
not yet officially on the team (as of 10 am, Oct. 2 ET)
make it official y'all, post an answer! (here)
And for fun... are we related?
I knew Doug and I were, so I ran our WikiTree ID's through the Relationship finder and confirmed it: we're "6th cousins three times removed" with "164 common ancestors were found between Liz and Doug within 25 generations."
Check it out - I wasn't related to Sourcer King Eric, but you might be - replace my WikiTree ID with yours to see (click here & scroll down a bit to see the boxes where you can enter WikiTree IDs)

How To Source a Profile During the Source-A-Thon

Select a Profile, and Find a Source. Team Virginia will be focusing on reducing the number of Unsourced Profiles in Virginia -and Victory!

See this tutorial for step-by-step instructions with pictures. (Nice work Abby!)

From the Participation section of the Source-a-Thon page:

Valid sources include census records, BMD records/index references, military documents, land documents, wills, etc. A source cannot be another family tree, such as Geni or an Ancestry Member Tree.

If you find a valid source:

  1. Edit the profile to add the source, according to our Sources guide. See this tutorial.
  2. Remove the {{Unsourced}} or [[Category:Unsourced Profiles]] template and any Unsourced categories, use the comment box to note your source, and save the profile. See this tutorial.
    1. If you get a red warning when you save, then copy the warning (select the text, Ctrl+c)
    2. Click the "Save anyway" button
    3. Click the WikiTree ID for the profile in the mini-menu at upper right of the profile page
    4. Add a comment saying that when you saved the profile you received the followin notice & paste the warning notice (Ctrl+v). (To make it prettier, add : at the from of the line for the Warning and * at the front of each specific notice.)
  3. Go to your Contributions List and follow the instructions in this tutorial to add the profile you just sourced to your list at Team Virginia Source-a-Thon Team Virginia's G2G tally post.
  4. Pat yourself on the back & select another Unsourced profile (hint: check for relatives that might also be included in the source you just added)

Some other tips:

  • You might run out of room in your post when listing the profiles that you have completed. Just add another comment to your post, and continue numbering the profiles that you have completed.
  • Don't forget to number your profiles in your G2G post to track how many you have done - see these instructions on how to get your list numbered automatically (and this tutorial for how to create your list from your Contibutions page).
  • For examples, take a look at how this works in the September 2016 Sourcerers Challenge, or the August 2016 Sourcerers Challenge.


Select a Profile...

Note: For Team Virginia, please focus on Virginia Unsourced Profiles. A recent change includes a profile's birth information (from the date and place datafields), so if you're working in a particular county, you can search the list by county.[1]
And while our focus is adding sources to Virginia profiles, removing any profile from any unsourced category is a good thing! Following is a brief overview of categories for Unsourced profiles.
  • Category:Unsourced Profiles - Designed to include all unsourced profiles, this top-level category is added by the {{Unsourced}} template, whether an additional location is included or not (e.g., {{Unsourced|Virginia,}}). The {{Unsourced}} template is added to all new profile created without a source. Profiles included in this category are listed below the first level of subcategories, which are regions of the world. You can click "[Limit to Watchlist]" in the upper right corner to see just Unsourced profiles on your watchlist.[2] You can also go to a surname section using the following URL (just change "Smith"):[3]
  • Category of United States Unsourced Profiles - There are links to each state category, and when you scroll down, lists of Unsourced Profiles that are only categorized as "United States", and have not yet been categorized by state.
  1. I haven't found a more efficient way than Ctrl+f on each page of 200 - please share if you know a shortcut!
  2. You can also go to your watchlist and choose "Unsourced" from the options across the top of the page.
  3. Thanks Kitty! (see her G2G post for how she's preparing Unsourced Smith profiles for the Source-a-Thon)


Find a Source...

General Sources


FamilySearch web site - Search Historical Records
  • This is probably the easiest, and fastest, way to source a profile. It's free. The link above will take you directly to their Search Historical Records page. You can find Census Records, Birth Records, Marriage Records, Death Records, Military Records, Obituaries, Grave records (i.e. to Find A Grave, or BillionGraves) and more.
  • DO NOT use any "genealogies" or "pedigree charts" as sources! Use Historical Records for finding and establishing personal or relationship information.
  • When you display a specific Record, at the bottom of the page is a section called "Citing this Record". Below this is a citation that you can copy and paste into a person's profile. This citation is specific to the person that you have clicked on, and the link in the citation will take you immediately back to the record page and person.
  • Tip: Not all records have been transcribed accurately. There will be misspellings of first names, last names, or middle initials. Birth years might be wrong. Or many other things. Transcriptions are made from many hand-written documents that are old and/or hard to read. Look for other clues that might allow you to match a record with a particular profile.
  • Tip: If you know an approximate birth year, then put in a birth year search range that is +/- 1 year of the birth year (or +/- 2 years). For example, if you have an approximate birth year of 1875, then put in "Birth Year (Range)" from 1874 to 1876. This allows you to find records (typically Census records) where the birth year is only approximate, and might be off by a year either way. Sometimes you will need to enlarge the time frame to +/- 2 years (for example, from 1873 to 1877) to find more records, again due to possibility of inaccuracies.
  • Tip: The latest US Census records that have been published are from the 1940 US Census. Do not expect to find anything later.
  • Tip: There are no 1890 US Census Records. Don't expect to find any. This can be challenging for finding sources for some people.
  • Tip: The 1860 US Census lists family member names and relationships to head of household. The 1850 US Census lists family member names, but not necessarily the relationships (to the head of household). The 1840 US Census only lists head of household. In practice, this means that it is really challenging to accurately map a person to anything in the 1840 US Census or earlier. In some cases it can be done, for example, on a unique-enough name, and accurate location (known county). As you go forward in time, it is easier to find a source for the person.
  • Tip: If you are looking for a record for a married woman, sometimes it is easier to find her by searching on her husband's name and information.
  • Tip: Conversely, if you are trying to find a record for a parent, sometimes it is easier to find them by searching on one of their children's names and information. You can find a parent through a child's marriage record (sometimes), or death record, or a Census record that shows the family.

Find A Grave

Find A Grave - Search Form
  • The link above will take you directly to the Find A Grave Search Form
  • Be careful using this for a source. This can be used to get a birth date and death date, especially if there is a good photo of a gravestone or marker. Most of the text entered here should be treated with caution unless another source can be found to corroborate it.

Chronicling America - Library of Congress

Library of Congress - Chronicling America - Historic American Newspapers
  • Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1922, for free.
  • This can be used to search for obituaries, marriage announcements, or just general references to a person.
  • Note: This can take some time to sift through and verify that it's the correct person. But also a very useful source.


National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR or DAR) and National Society Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR or SAR)
  • Both of these organizations have publicly searchable databases for ancestors who were involved in the American Revolutionary War
  • This can be useful when searching for a person who was potentially of the right age to be involved in the Revolutionary War
  • As always, the data they have is only as good as prior genealogical researchers. But it can still be a good way to find a match.
  • Tip: There are many people with the same names. Be sure to use other data to find the right match: birth dates, death dates, locations, relationships.
  • DAR Genealogical Research System (GRS) website
    • Tip: In the menu up top, click on "Ancestor" to search for someone who was involved in the Revolutionary War
    • Tip: In the menu up top, click on "Descendants" to search for someone who was descended from a person in the Revolutionary War
    • Tip: if you find a match, use the DAR Template to add the source in the Sources section of a Profile. Also add the NSDAR Patriot Ancestors Category to the top of the profile. The DAR Template will not automatically put the profile in the Category.
  • SAR Patriot & Grave Index
    • Tip: The SAR database usually contains less information about the person than the DAR database
    • Tip: Be sure to click on the "Search Again" button up top, when searching for a new person. Their web interface takes some getting used to.
    • Tip: If you find a match, use the SAR Patriot Ancestor Template at the top of the Profile. This template will automatically put the profile in the NSSAAR Patriot Ancestors Category. Note how this is done differently from a DAR source.

JSTOR Articles

JSTOR is a "digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization."
  • Search JSTOR for name and location & check search results for citations or transcriptions of primary sources. JSTOR has a wealth of published family histories, which are not by themselves an adequate source, but can definitely be used as a lead and sometimes include citations for the information in the article. Many JSTOR articles are transcriptions of records, court proceedings, and tombstones and are an adequate source.

Virginia Land Records

Cavaliers and pioneers; abstracts of Virginia land patents and grants, 1623-1800
Early Virginia Immigrants by George Cabell Greer; Publisher: Hill printing Company, 1912; Original from: the University of Virginia; Length: 376 pages. Notes: Sorted alphabetically by surname.

Virginia Tax Records

Free index to 1790 and 1800 Virginia Tax lists.
Paywalled access to complete Binns Genealogy Tax Records. Just $10 for access, no renewals being charged while no new records are being added.

WikiTree Source Profiles

Source Profiles category on WikiTree
  • A WikiTree Profile can be created for a specific source. This is the category for all Source Profiles. Each Source Profile should contain an example citation.
  • Many of these sources are books that can also be found online, usually for free. Go to the specific Source Profile page for more information.
  • These are good if you are working on a specific family, or in a specific location.
  • Be sure to reference the page number where you found the information!

Virginia Sources

See the following links for Virginia sources, but keep in mind that they may not all meet the quality level needed to remove the "Unsourced" category (for example, Tyler's Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography has some great information - that should be used to lead you to a better source).
See also Virginia county links in this table. If a county has both a post-USA and Colony category, they'll both be listed. And some counties also have a space page (the county name links to a space page). Let me know if I've overlooked a category or space page. ~ Liz

West Virginia

Resource Links for West Virginia Area
See also the West Virginia project for links to space pages for West Virginia counties and this table for links to both Virginia and West Virginia county categories for the 50 Virginia counties that became West Virginia in 1863.

What if I can't find a source?

Sometimes you can't find a source. Although that means the profile needs to stay in its Unsourced categories, and therefore cannot be added to your tally, it's good to leave a note on the profile that you tried & where you looked.

From the monthly Sourcerer's Challenge competition:

  • If you attempt to add sources to a profile and just cannot find any, please add a note under a section like == Research Notes == giving where you tried to find records and you can sign it with the four tildes (~~~~) so the date is applied as well. Something like "Looked for John in the US Census records for 1900-1940 and couldn't find him on FamilySearch or Ancestry" would be fine. Or, "Searched google for an obituary and didn't find one." That way the next researcher knows where to start.


Team Virginia Coordinator: Hi! I'm Liz Shifflett, a volunteer WikiTree Leader, Virginia Project leader (post-USA Virginia), and member of the Southern Colonies project. I'll be your number one fan during the Source-a-Thon! I think I have most everything coordinated now so that we can focus all our efforts on clearing out Virginia Unsourced Profiles.

Thanks in advance to everyone who will make this event AWESOME!

Images: 2
Nova Virginiae Tabula
Nova Virginiae Tabula


  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: Liz Shifflett, Eric Weddington, and William Foster. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)
  • Public Q&A: These will appear above and in the Genealogist-to-Genealogist (G2G) Forum. (Best for anything directed to the wider genealogy community.)

On 28 Sep 2017 at 20:14 GMT Doug Lockwood wrote:

I just signed up Liz.


On 14 Sep 2017 at 02:44 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

In case you missed it, we're forming 2017 Team Virginia ... see

If you haven't already joined the Source-a-Thon, register by posting an answer at

If you want to be on Team Virginia again, say so in your answer.

Cheers, Liz

On 30 Aug 2017 at 16:58 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

Mark your calendars! Source-a-Thon 2017 is scheduled for 30 September - 2 October!

See Source-a-Thon 2017! (from this page- link won't work from the e-mail).

Cheers, Liz

On 10 Mar 2017 at 18:51 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

sorry Eric, if that sent you a huge image. It was huge here so I deleted my comment. it's polite here:

On 11 Oct 2016 at 13:47 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

Thanks Julie!


Cheers, Liz

On 11 Oct 2016 at 07:04 GMT Julie (Fiscus) Ricketts wrote:

Really great documentation here. Thanks so much for putting it together!

On 2 Oct 2016 at 14:42 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

I added a ":" in front of the table to move it in from the far right. Doing that in front of a { sometimes does weird things in some browsers. Let me know if it looks weird.

Cheers, Liz

On 2 Oct 2016 at 01:25 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

Nice Eric! Thanks :D

On 1 Oct 2016 at 09:18 GMT Pat Davis wrote:

good luck on those counties! the county formation charts at each state at USGenWeb have been handy for me, plus state gazetteers... there is a multi-vol. work on counties, by state, too. Big 'n heavy...

On 30 Sep 2016 at 04:11 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

and what an education! I've been working on adding those 9 counties to the Virginia Project's table of counties and, well, not really feasible, because some of the 9 that became Kentucky have the same name as later Virginia counties that became West Virginia. I'm hoping to get it all sorted by tomorrow. See the "in progress" work here.

See also the table of Kentucky counties posted by Project Kentucky, which also has a section on resources.

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