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A Suggestion [28 May 2012]
I note that you've imported a GEDCOM on the family of Joseph Hatfield. Since I've been working on this family for a long time (and most of these pages on WeRelate originated with me), I got a stack of email alerts. And that's fine, I'm always interested to see new data on these people, . . . but in the import process, did you actually go through and match up families and individuals? Most of the changes I see are only minor variations -- a positive date that differs by one year from the approximate date that was already there (because it's an estimate, because no one has ever located an actual source for it), or a different county (which is highly debatable, because a number of us have been going through the county records for 20 years now). And none of these appear to have sources. Even if you've only found these in someone else's published material -- and you may have found some info in a couple of my own published articles, for that matter -- you really need to cite your sources. Otherwise, your guess, or someone else's guess that you've copied, isn't worth much, frankly.
Another reason I suspect you haven't looked very closely at these pages is that you apparently didn't notice that there are existing data fields for basic information. That is, not everything is to be dumped in the big text box. On Rachel (Smith) Hatfield's page, for instance, you've added burial information down in the text box. I went back just now and moved it to the "Burial" field, and also went to Find-a-Grave and added a cite for it. (I knew several people have claimed she's buried there, but I don't believe there's a marker and I'm still not convinced she's actually there.) Also, you've added a middle name of "Stalcup" for Rachel's older brother, Euricus. Stalcup was their paternal grandmother's maiden name -- but I have never seen it listed as his middle name. Nor were middle names even common before the late 18th century, and he was born in 1734. And the name doesn't appear in his christening record, where one would expect to find it. So what's your source for this?
You should be aware that a considerable amount of rather poor Hatfield research was done before c.1960, which resulted in a number of books being published that were filled with bad assumptions and wishful thinking. And they're still being quoted, mostly by novices. But since the 1970s, there has been a concerted effort by a group of researchers with better training to sort out all that stuff and either prove or disprove all those questionable assertions. Most of those results have been published online, especially by Gerry Hatfield at his GHat site, but also at a number of other locations. You might wish to do some reading. --MikeTalk 07:27, 26 May 2012 (EDT)
thanks for the Input and the advice. I will admit that I found a lot of conflicting information on line working alone. I am working from working from some word of mouth info as well as several sites on line including ghat. I am very new at this and before I even got hooked on this I had over 600 persons all in direct lineage to my daughters. I have been trying to sort it all out when I found this site and thought "HELP AT LAST!!!!" I do actually have a picture of George Washington Hatfield and his wife Anna Rader in a memorial that is sitting in my living room. the inscription reads:
"In Loving Remembrance of
using this information and what info I could muster up I tied them to Joseph unfortunately I ran through so much information in the process that I didnt even think of citing the info until after the fact now I am trying to recreate work done and actually prove out everything on my tree here at home I havent even started looking for the other lines.
anyway sorry if I messed things up just trying to put this together this was the first main branch that I have been working.
and any help is always appreciated
thanks Stephen W. Kissee--Kissmenow 21:01, 26 May 2012 (EDT)
Well, first of all, you didn't "mess things up," really. This is a wiki. Nothing is forever and everything can be changed. That's the whole point. But you do want to take your time and add information in a systematic way, building on what's already here, correcting it -- with sources -- as you go. You don't want to be the proverbial bull in the genealogy shop. . . .
Exactly what form you follow in providing sources is less important than the fact of doing it. I don't know if you've ever taken a class in genealogy (my wife and I have been teaching them for decades), but the very first thing you learn is to record the source when you find useful information. Otherwise, how will you ever find it again? How will you point someone else to it? Making eductated guesses based on what you find is inevitable, and we all do it all the time -- estimating a "latest date" for a marriage, for instance, based on the reported birth dates of a couple's children in the census -- but you have to note what sources you're working from, or anyone reading your work will assume it's just a WAG.
I would strongly suggest that before you go much further at WeRelate, you take some time and work your way through the tutorials and the many "Help" pages available. And then go back and check them again later when you attempt something you haven't done before. There are two main categories: How to do genealogy and how to do wiki stuff. (If you've ever done editing at Wikipedia, this will all be familiar because we use the same software.) But it all starts at Help:Contents.
The other thing is to click "Edit" on pages you visit to go behind the scenes and see how something was done -- especially formatting and such. We all steal ideas from each other all the time. For instance (keeping it in the Hatfield family), take a look at the page for my George Washington Hatfield. Note what the transcriptions & citations look like. Not to say the way I format censuses and such is the "right" way, there are lots of variations -- but it's one way. For another variation, take a look at Person:Francis Elliott (3), which is one of my wife's pages. The main thing is make them easily readable and to say where they came from.
Click on the first user name in the "Watchers" column at the left, by the way, to jump to the home page of whoever first created the page. On my own page (User:Mksmith) and on my wife's page (User:Jlanoux) you'll find quite a bit about what we've been up to. It's a good way to discover the existence of special projects at WeRelate, of which there are quite a few. When you get yourself organized, please do consider adding something to your own user page.
I don't know where you're located, but it's likely that your local library has at least a few "how to" books on genealogy, including research methods. There are some more-or-less standard ways of citing sources that people use in this field (it's not difficult if you've ever written a term paper), but most of those issues have already been resolved at WeRelate. Remember: Everything here is done by volunteers, which is all of us. And we've already created pages for the great majority of sources you're likely to use, so you only have to link to them. And the Help pages will tell you how to do that. And if you have a new source, they'll tell you how to create a page for that, too.
If you're getting at all serious about family history -- and it's an addiction, I admit -- you can probably find someplace locally that offers basic classes. Check with your public library and with the local genealogy or historical society. Again, it depends where you live. If you really get hooked, you might consider building a vacation around the next national conference -- National Genealogical Society (NGS) or Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) -- that happens to be near you. They're both in different cities every year. Check their websites for that. (We go off to one with our RV about every second year.) And if you happen to live in or near Alabama, there's the annual Institute for Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) which is taught every summer at Samford University in Birmingham (on about six tracks, depending on your level of expertise). So there are lots of opportunities out there to learn about this stuff.
I've gone on much longer than I intended to with all this, but you get the idea. WeRelate is a very innovative website for genealogists. There's a great deal of useful information here (more all the time), and many different ways to do things, and you will want to approach it all in an organized fashion in order to get the most out of it. One of our biggest problems is "drive-by GEDCOMS" -- people arrive, register, upload a GEDCOM file (often a huge one, often a really poor, unsourced one), and then they disappear. We never see them again and they've left debris strewn around for the regulars here to have to clean up -- and it often requires a shovel. You don't want to be one of those folks, and I doubt you are because you're still here. But you can accomplish a lot here if you take it slowly. --MikeTalk 08:47, 28 May 2012 (EDT)
Mahlon Willson spouses [30 May 2012]
I'm a descendant of Mahlon Willson and his 2nd wife. I was wondering where you found the 2nd wife to be of the Ammerman family.
Howard Johnston firstname.lastname@example.org--Howie 22:17, 29 May 2012 (EDT)
GEDCOM Export Ready [9 June 2012]
The GEDCOM for tree Kissee is ready to download..
Hatfield additions [13 June 2012]
Hi, Stephen--- I wanted to let you know that I've uploaded a GEDCOM with about 180 new Hatfield people ("new" to WeRelate), all of whom are descendants of Mordecai Ale Hatfield & Milly Richardson/Richison. That includes the children & grandchildren of Daniel Boone Hatfield that I have notes and sources for. I expect you will have a good bit of information to add to some of those pages, especially from private sources within your family that the rest of us don't have access to -- family Bibles, photos, letters, etc. I'll be cleaning up these pages for a few days yet, tidying up the formatting and such, but feel free to dig in -- especially if you can make corrections!
Add additional people you know of, too, but keep in mind the "no living people" rule. We cut off people born less than 110 years ago (which seems a bit extreme to me, frankly) if there's no known death date. By the way, if you know someone born in the 20th century has died but you don't have an actual date/place, just put a "Y" in the date-of-death field; that will take care of it and the system will accept it.
Looking at my files, it dawned on me that I never got around to adding descendants of people who are even closer to my own line than Daniel Boone. I'm going to have to start organizing all that, so there should be quite a bit more Hatfield info posted on WeRelate over the next few months.
Recommended genealogy resources [13 June 2012]
Stephen, there's a WeRelate page called User:Jlanoux/OLLI at LSU Lagniappe Course that you might find useful. Judy and I taught a summer course on basic genealogy at LSU two years ago and we set up that page for the students, and I've never taken it down. There are a number of PDF files there which you can download, which might be useful as guides and reading lists as you get into this stuff. I would suggest "Highly Selected General Bibliography" as a start. (Since you don't have a lot of extra money to spend, you might also mention a couple of these titles to other people in your family as Christmas approaches. . . .) --MikeTalk 07:34, 13 June 2012 (EDT)
Congratulations! [16 June 2012]
Congratulations! You are the winner of the WeRelate Genealogy Contest: Person:Leonard Bradbury (1). Thank you for making WeRelate a great resource for historians and genealogists. We really appreciate your contributions! If you like, you can add this graphic to your user page, signifying that you are a winner. Thanks again : )--cthrnvl 09:43, 16 June 2012 (EDT)