Person talk:Katherine de Roët (1)


What does "primary" mean to you? [1 November 2009]

Based on some back-and-forth edits I'm seeing to this page, it seems like there may be some difference of opinion about what we each mean by a primary source.

My understanding -- and I realize the following are perhaps oversimplified for the sake of brevity is that:

  • a primary source is usually an original document, contemporary to the time period-- i.e., a birth certificate at the time of birth, a land deed at the time the property was sold, an original last will and testament, etc.
  • A secondary source is a copy or transcription of a primary.
  • A tertiary (WR only has "questionable") is something like a narrative or report about the person/event that does not include primary and secondary sources. My sense is that Plantagenet Ancestry : A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families would fall into this category.

-- Jillaine 15:07, 31 October 2009 (EDT)


I'm pretty sure Scot and I know what primary means. On the other hand, I'm sure your guidance would be appreciated by the folks at Family Search, who do seem perplexed in this regard.
What you're looking at here, is the result of Scot uploading a fragment of one of those "high maturity" trees. He uploaded a piece so we can start to figure out what they have over there, and how we'll deal with it when it starts landing here.
So do I take it that you're downloading medieval GEDCOMs from FamilySearch and re-uploading them here? Are you two discussing this somewhere else where I can understand the broader context of your project? (I'm watching C/Katherine because I have a personal interest in her, not because I'm working on medieval British genealogy.) For example, what do you mean by "when it starts landing here"? Jillaine 08:16, 1 November 2009 (EST)
It has no special formality as a project - we talk back and forth on our talk pages. I thought about it, Scot started first. Beyond that, considering that this is being distributed freely, it seems probable that it will wind up here sooner or later. My focus is on erratic page-body fact material, that seems to be a common practice in this material. --Jrm03063 08:50, 1 November 2009 (EST)
At present, Scot started by turning the MySources into real sources. I've been looking at turning the erratic (non-GEDCOM standard) fact types, trying to decide how to blend those onto our event/fact lists nicely. Questions on the fantastical source quality assignments have yet to be addressed.
--Jrm03063 15:50, 31 October 2009 (EDT)

If you see my comment a couple of days ago, I stated that PA, CP, MGS and AR7 among others are hardly primary sources. The "LDS GML3-4" calls them primary as part of the source record, whereas WR catagorizes them in the citation, so if we change it it must be done manually.

I've always wondered why WR does this at the citation level; I think it should be done at the source level.

Some folks maintain that the only proof is in a primary contemporary source. However, many contemporary writers had an axe to grind and since history is written by the winners, sources like the above may be more reliable. Had things turned out differently, we might have a totally different view of Richard, III rather than as a vile little hunchback. So being tertiary does not automatically make sources questionable.

This is why I don't like WR's use of the word "questionable" for third-level ratings of sources. Jillaine 08:16, 1 November 2009 (EST)
For my part, I don't really see value in any of those labels, when applied devoid of context. They are a useful element in a discussion that compares the relative value and trustworthiness of different sources, but on an arbitrary per-source or per-citation basis, they seem pretty useless. Can the source not "speak for itself" in this regard? --Jrm03063 09:11, 1 November 2009 (EST)

BTW Katherine's name was not Swynford but de Roet, Swynford being the surname of her first husband. Neither was John of Gaunt named Plantagenet. Plantagenet was a sobriquet used by Geoffrey of Anjou and was first used as a surname by Richard, 3rd Duke of York, 1411-1460, the father of Edward, IV and Richard, III, both of the house of York. Contemporarily, the kings from Henry, II thru Richard, II are known as the Angevin kings not Plantagenet. I am currently merging the pages I uploaded and will try to deal with such corrections later, although JRM has a decent handle on it and has been cleaning up behind me. Feel free to do the same. Of 138 families uploaded, 94 were proposed as candidates for merger. This leaves only about 100,000 families to go. I am seeing matching pages with things such as 19 children credited to a couple who only had six or credited to the wrong wife, etc. Apparently there is still much merging to be done as merging of families has created many duplicates among the children.--Scot 16:31, 31 October 2009 (EDT)

Again, I'd love to understand the broader nature of your project. Because as I'm reading what you're saying here, doesn't seem to make sense to upload kaka data and then have to merge tens of thousands of pages. This experiment/project also seems to support the notion of putting limits or otherwise setting criteria for some (if not all) uploaded GEDCOMs, but that's for a broader conversation. Jillaine 08:16, 1 November 2009 (EST)

Jillaine, I have long lamented that the work of the Medieval Families Identification unit was lost in a political squabble and the source documentation was never published. Our pages for medieval personages are a godawful mess, mostly unsourced. While I hesitate to accept wholesale the work of folk who don't understand what a primary source is, but Cokayne, Weis, Sheppard, Faris etc. are well-respected as reliable sources as opposed to Burke's, Roderick Stuart and such, who are not. I am not uploading kaka data, that has already been done, some of the existing pages in WR are the result of 15 or 20 versions of unsourced kaka data merged into one. maybe the best way to fix it is to delete all of it and start over. This just occurred to me, but maybe it is a viable solution. After all we have been discussing how to protect these pages, eliminating Adam and Eve, mythical descents etc. Thoughts anyone? JRM?--Scot 13:22, 1 November 2009 (EST)

Sorry, Scot, I didn't (still don't?) understand what you are uploading from the LDS. I jumped to the conclusion that it was AFN files or something. Mm... interesting idea to delete the whole batch and start over. Can you do that without, say, affecting work like mine that is "medieval" German? -- Jillaine 14:38, 1 November 2009 (EST)

Probably not, but if it were a coordinated effort, you could download your Gedcom prior to deletion and then re-upload it after. It's just a wild idea but as I think about it more, the more I like it. At onetime the AF was closed to submissions after 1500 or so from the public. All of the data for that period was submitted by a committee. Nothing was entered unles there was a valid source. The committee was eventually disolved over lack of agreement on the definition of valid. It is all in the AF but the sources are not. In order to tell if it was a committe submission, each individual entry had to be examined for submitter. This new database has culled that data and pubished with source information, however a bit sketchy. At least it is a guide of where to look. Someone of us just might have access to Cokayne for example (a 14 volume work.--Scot 15:24, 1 November 2009 (EST)

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