WeRelate:About source pages

A source page is a WeRelate wiki page that contains information about a genealogical source. When documenting facts and events on Person and Family pages, you can put a link to the Source page for the source you used to attach the proper citation to the information. Source pages are used for generally accessible sources of interest to the community. Sources that apply only to a handful of people (such as a will or pension application) or that consist only of one person's website or family tree are considered "personal" sources on WeRelate and should be given a "MySource" page.



  • A single page collecting information about the source, regardless of whether it's been printed once as a book, or a dozen times in print, CD, and online.
  • Citation information for the source
  • List of repositories where the source is available, with a focus on online availability
  • Tips (added by the community) on using the source, such as its reliability, relation to other sources, previous or later editions, and its general usefulness
  • Information on the surnames and places covered by the source, allowing users to search the source database by this information

Sources v. Source Pages

A "source page" doesn't necessarily correlate to what any one person has as a "source" in his or her private database. Source pages are communal, and they are intended to centralize discussion and to help people find copies of the source in question. They also need to be findable based on the information on the face of the source, as much as possible. As a result, the following principles guide what "sources" get "source pages."

  • Sources that pertain only to one person or one nuclear family are not communal sources, they are MySources.
  • Sources that are ephemeral, unreliable, or difficult for another person to access are MySources, including personal genealogy websites, downloaded gedcoms, family trees uploaded to sites like Ancestry and WorldConnect, and letters, emails, and message board posts from family members or other researchers.
  • Sources that share the same content share the same source page. Thus there is one source page for a book that has been through 17 printings, microfilmed, digitized, and transcribed on the internet. When books are reprinted or micro-reproduced without changing the content, they fit under this rule.
  • Sources that share some but not all of their substantive content get different source pages. Thus books of census transcriptions that include editorial notes are different than the census records themselves. When an author (or his descendants, or anyone else) revises a work with new research and republishes it (even under the same title), the later edition(s) gets a different source page. If a new publisher changes the layout of a book and corrects some typos, the new volume is not substantively different and falls under the first rule (to the degree that can be determined).
  • Sources that may be largely or entirely identical, but that have different titles, have separate source pages. This most often occurs when two different organizations digitize the same or similar vital records sets. Each page and should reference the other. (Although this rule contradicts somewhat the first rule, the way in which these sets are constructed often makes it difficult if not impossible to determine if the records are the same, and thus we create new pages for usability reasons.)
  • If you can't tell if something should be a source page, create one and the community can sort it out later.

Getting started

Follow these steps to find a source page relevant to your surname:

  1. Click on the blue Search tab at the top of this page.
  2. Click on the Sources heading.
  3. Type your last or surname into the Surname field and fill in any other field heading you can. Click on "Search".
  4. Browse the list of results for a page for a relevant source. If this is a very large group click exact on the upper left courner and search again.

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