WeRelate talk:Source patrol

I'll volunteer to be involved with sources, but I'm not clear at this point what this committee's brief ought to be -- other than the obvious one of merging duplicated source pages. --MikeTalk 14:07, 14 August 2012 (EDT)

Hi Mike, additional examples that would fall under this patrol include:
  1. Reviewing recent Source edits to make sure they follow WR's naming standards
  2. Determining if new Source pages should actually be MySources or entered as Citation Only (ie, family tree websites). Fix the citations and delete the Source pages as necessary. One example in the recent edits is this page --Jennifer (JBS66) 15:16, 14 August 2012 (EDT)


I'll help too. Jennifer - re the last point above, I usually ask users to do the changes themselves, we should probably talk about a rule of thumb about that.--Amelia 13:03, 16 August 2012 (EDT)

If they are a new user, changing their citation for them may be helpful for illustrative purposes. The instructions on this page have not yet been developed, so feel free to add details about how you've handled checking and fixing Source pages. --Jennifer (JBS66) 13:56, 18 August 2012 (EDT)

Thinking back over all the extended discussions and arguments during the Great Source Repair Project a while back, I was taking my time and thinking about what goals & instructions are needed. Anyway, I've posted a first draft of what seems like the most obvious points that I think we're likely to agree on, so see what you think and edit and extend as necessary. (I didn't get into who should actually do the changes.) --MikeTalk 10:13, 20 August 2012 (EDT)

Hi Mike. Agreed :-) I added a couple little things and likewise punted on the website question. Regarding the first instruction, do you run a search for every source that shows up? I don't, unless I suspect because of what it is (i.e. VR at Ancestry) that it must exist. That sounds rather time intensive, honestly. Also, another issue I'm seeing is articles. Jacques adds a ton, and I think understands the general criteria (i.e. this is about a lot of people and it's going to be/should be cited a lot). But I think a reminder to those creating article sources and citing them, say, once, might be useful.--Amelia 11:24, 20 August 2012 (EDT)
Being the kind of person I am, when I go to cite a new book-type source, and I discover it already exists, I almost alwys go to the Library of Congress website and check it, and add the relevant bib data. (The LoC site has a very nice new front end, by the way.) Those of us who prefer the county-level census Source pages seem to have settled into the preferred pattern, but I always check that a pre-existing one has the template & category notes. If I come across a useful transcript at GenWeb or somewhere (usually the result of a Google search), I will go ahead and chase down the WR Source page and add the link while I'm at it -- but I haven't been routinely doing all of that for Source pages I create myself, esp when they are for courthouse records and such. You're right, that's too much to try to do it all for every new page. Having a link to one online source is probably adequate, with alternatives simply being added as they turn up. --MikeTalk 12:22, 20 August 2012 (EDT)

Topics


Sources vs. MySources [26 August 2012]

We need a rule-of-thumb standard for when to promote a user's MySource to a general Source. I don't think I've ever run across a case of demoting a Source to a MySource. . . . --MikeTalk 10:44, 24 August 2012 (EDT)

Oh, gosh, I see the latter all the time - people create Source pages for websites, birth certificates, bibles, etc.
Ogg. I guess I've missed seeing those. Bibles need to be demoted, certainly. For birth certificates, see below. (I don't think we've all ever come close to agreement on what to do about websites.)
We do agree that "Joe's Family Tree" website gets demoted, though, right? (That's what I see most often.)
Oh, yeah. Definitely. But there are some websites, like the Hatfield Family History site, which have become major clearinghouses for certain family groups. I regard sites like that as the online equivalent of a good-quality published book.
For MySource to Source, do you mean when there isn't a Source already? I usually leave that up to the user to do that work, since if there's not already a Source page, it tends to be pretty obscure and the user's going to know more than I am.--Amelia 11:41, 24 August 2012 (EDT)
I even come across census-type sources created as MySources -- mostly, I assume, because that's the default on GEDCOM import and the importer doesn't bother to match sources (or anything else, like places). But I also sometimes find courthouse records cited that way -- a MySource pointing to an individual certificate or other public document, rather than to the aggregate of the record type, for the place. We need to add a few links here to the "How To" help pages, I think. --MikeTalk 08:15, 25 August 2012 (EDT)
Agree on links to help pages, because I generally think that's got to be the user's job; it's simply too big for us.
But on that front, I'm playing around with this, which might help with this issue, and a lot of others. There are some possible permutations on the talk page. It's a variation on the template Wikipedia uses for everything. While technically we could have a "this page needs sources" version and put it everywhere, I thought it would be more something we (and the other patrol groups) could use for fixes that either will take a fair amount of effort or specific knowledge that we just don't have. Thoughts?--Amelia 01:30, 26 August 2012 (EDT)
Yes, I like that . . . assuming the original uploader ever returns to see it. For what it's worth, I've been using this template (judiciously) for some time now. --MikeTalk 13:39, 26 August 2012 (EDT)
Right - but at least in that respect it might work better than a note on the talk page :-) --Amelia 16:14, 26 August 2012 (EDT)

"This page belongs to the Source Patrol. Please feel free to edit the instructions as you see fit." [1 October 2012]

If this page belongs to the Source Patrol, ought anyone else dare edit it?

You may think my question out-of-place or a piece of spam, but it is a genuine question from a WeRelate participant--maybe a fairly new WeRelate participant, but one who joined because she thought she would like to help.

First of all -- yes, talk pages are here as a venue for discussing things, and therefore anyone can edit. However, I think the Source Patrol would prefer that changes to the actual page (the page which this page is talking about . . .) be made by people who are actively involved in patrolling the Source pages. Of course, we'd like to invite anyone with a particular interest in sources to join us, and that includes you.

I have been looking at the instructions about sources and I have a lot of questions about why things have been arranged the way they are. But I get the feeling that those of you who were here in the early days and did a lot of the groundwork aren't especially anxious for newbies with new ideas to put their oar in. I didn't know WeRelate existed until February 2012.

Several years ago now, there was a major project to regularize Source pages, eliminate duplicates (of which there were literally many thousands), thrash out a standard style for different types of sources, and so on. In other words, the whole issue of Sources at WeRelate have a considerable history and it's likely that any question you come up with has probably been asked -- and wrangled over -- before. Sources are important in a way that the style for (e.g.) entering data in the big text box on a page is not, since sources are key in modern genealogical practice. (Several of us at WR have been teaching this stuff for some time, as well as doing research, so we've had to present it in a rational, coherent way to beginners, too.) But don't think that means we don't want useful input from anyone, regardless of how long they've had an account here!

Particularly, I don’t understand why it is okay to create a source record for a census at the county level, or even at the state or province level. If the census was authorized and supervised at federal level, then, logically, the records produced should consider the federal government as the “author”--and the author's choice of a title is the title we should cite. The place for the county and the state or province is in the reference. (I got as far back as 2009 in the archives before raising this question, but I have so many other questions I want answered I am not keen on looking any further back.)

I note that your background is apparently Canadian & British, so I don't know how much experience you may have with the history of the census in the U.S. First, the U.S. Census Bureau wasn't established until 1840; the censuses for 1790-1830 were carried out by marshals in the judicial districts, who further divided their efforts by counties within each state. The results of the enumeration were compiled by county officials and forwarded to the next-higher jurisdiction. (What you see on NARA microfilm & at Ancestry is a clerical copy, not the "original" original.) It's still possible to find the original enumerator's copies of the decennial census in courthouse attics in certain parts of the country. The 1890 census, as you know, was destroyed in Washington -- but about 15% of the census actually survived at the state & country level, here and there. And that's not even to mention all the NON-federal censuses carried out for their own purposes by a considerable number of states in non-decennial years. . . .
Second, it has been traditional (i.e., standard practice) among genealogists since at least the 1930s to cite census records by county, since that's how the first microfilm copies made available to researchers were organized. (And EDs, first introduced in 1880, still never cross country boundaries.) Having said that, a lot of users at WR prefer not to go deeper than state-level on citing the census, and you will find Source pages for each state & census under that system, too. But I think most of us would feel that doing it only at the federal level and leaving everything else for the citation detail box would be too extreme. You could make an argument not much broader than that for a single source called "Source" and just put everything else in citation detail.

I am speaking here of original census records produced on microfilm or online by a department of a federal government, or made available by a commercial agency such as Ancestry or FindMyPast. I am not referring to a transcription where there is no means of immediately checking the original (e.g. information obtained on FamilySearch). Five years or so ago most genealogists depended on a transcription, but now original images are much more available, even if one has to pay for the privilege of viewing them.

Well, you're obviously aware of the necessity of going to the original record if at all possible. These days, with the original page images of all U.S. censuses so widely available (and for free, too, if you don't mind doing a little extra work), there's really no excuse for using only a transcript. I compiled & published a few of those myself, back in the 1960s & '70s, but it would be a waste of time now. --MikeTalk 18:12, 30 September 2012 (EDT)

--goldenoldie 14:58, 30 September 2012 (EDT)


I am sorry to see that you have taken your philosophy entirely from American practice. Maybe that's the reason why my Canadian and British friends have no interest in WeRelate. --goldenoldie 01:41, 1 October 2012 (EDT)

You asked why the U.S. census Source pages followed the pattern they do, so that's what I endeavored to explain. The UK census, with a different history, a difference purpose, and a non-federal governmental system, has Source pages that are substantially different. French parish records, Dutch town records, and various other sorts of sources are also somewhat different from U.S.-type vital records, and the relevant Source pages at WeRelate reflect that.
And we do have quite a few European users registered here, in fact -- though the majority are, of course, in the U.S. There are simply far more genealogists in this country than anywhere else and they're far more active. American researchers who are serious about this stuff soon find themselves involved in the records and sources for other countries, which is less likely to be the case in, for instance, the UK. I've been a member of the SoG for a couple of decades, as it happens, and I know far more about English records than the English researchers of my acquaintance know about the U.S. They tend to be more parochial -- and why not? Nearly all their ancestors came from only a few miles away. --MikeTalk 08:16, 1 October 2012 (EDT)

Sort keys on census pages [27 November 2012]

Based on a conversation on this talk page, I wanted to bring up this issue here. Some census categories have a mixture of pages that do and do not use sort keys. I know the thinking has been that since the pages generally sort alphabetically (though under the letter S), sort keys should not be added.

Should we add text to the Help:Source page titles#United States stating that sort keys should not be used (and should be removed when noticed)? Or, would we like to move in the direction of adding them in the future since other categories such as the Cemeteries do use them? --Jennifer (JBS66) 20:26, 26 November 2012 (EST)

I don't really have an opinion one way or the other in a vacuum, but my logic has always been what you state -- that it's a lot of work to switch at this point, for no benefit except theoretical consistency. Hence I have no interest in using my mindless edit hours (minutes) to deal with this issue, and as a matter of source patrol prefer whichever is less work, which at this point remains removing sort keys for census pages (and in any other category that will be all geographical sources, if we want a consistent rule).--Amelia 23:30, 26 November 2012 (EST)
I've been getting quite a few email alerts lately because a couple of people (not either of you guys, obviously) has been going through all the census source pages for this or that county and adding sort keys to them. I've gone to the pages to see what was happening, and I frankly can't see that adding keys makes much practical difference -- except, as you say, as a matter of theoretical consistency. (When I was 20, that might might have been enough justification, but not now.) OTOH, I don't think it's worth going through thousands of source pages systematically and removing sort keys, either. If one user or another feels a holy mission to track all those down, they have my blessing, anyway.
Since WR started, a variety of more or less equally useful ways of doing certain things have evolved. Usually, they work equally well both for the editors and for later viewers. Almost always, they're not worth the time and effort to make them conform to a single rigid standard. Census-sources are a good example of this. There are plenty of other cases where uniform single standards are necessary and I think we're probably better off concentrating on them. --MikeTalk 07:23, 27 November 2012 (EST)
I believe Amelia and I have discussed this before, though I can't find the discussion. The thought of adding sort keys to the census category was to make it easier to browse, since everything wouldn't be lumped together under S (albeit, it would still sort alphabetically). Compare Category:1860 Indiana census with Category:1930 Texas census. I would argue that the Indiana example is easier to browse than the Texas example. Although the Texas example is sorted alphabetically, it is hard to browse with no breaks in the list. What's bad are the pages like Category:1920 Ohio census where half of the entries use sort keys and the other half doesn't. There's going to be clean-up to do either way (though I don't think it's a huge priority). However, I would be in favor of changing the instructions to include the sort key for the census as they are added. --Ajcrow 08:13, 27 November 2012 (EST)
Well, okay, . . . but, Amy, I have to confess I can't think of a situation in which I would particularly want to browse the census category for a given state and year. I use the search function to see if a particular census Source page has already been created. It's quick and (thanks to Dallan's honing) it's accurate. And if it hasn't been created, I can easily go on and do so right from that point in the failed search. So this is just another example, I think, of multiple equally useful ways of accomplishing the same thing. --MikeTalk 09:12, 27 November 2012 (EST)
I agree with Amy's point that there would be clean-up involved either way. I also agree that it's not a priority (or even a task) for the Source patrol to add the sort key to existing census pages. To be consistent with other categories on WR and with common wiki practices, I would lean toward editing the help pages to include the sort key from here on. --Jennifer (JBS66) 18:27, 27 November 2012 (EST)

Cleaning up book source pages [27 November 2012]

Speaking of priorities -- I've been mostly concentrating on cleaning up and extending the info on Source pages for published books, and I'm about to start systematically merging duplicate book-source pages, too. With regard to that, can someone remind me where the trailing parenthetical numbers following the page title of many of these sources came from? (Yes, there are still a lot of them around.) It's an artifact of the original import back at the beginning of WR, and it was discussed during the Great Source Cleanup Project, but I can't remember which original database that was. I want to extend the description of the preferred clean-up method on the Source Patrol page, which includes noting what these numbers represent and why they should be removed. --MikeTalk 09:27, 27 November 2012 (EST)

It looks like from this discussion, these were FHL film numbers carried over from importing that catalog. During the source project, Dallan removed these automatically from most titles. However, if removing the number would have caused a duplicate page title, the numbers were not removed. --Jennifer (JBS66) 18:39, 27 November 2012 (EST)

Flagging dubious pages [30 May 2013]

I was recently asked how a user can flag sources for us that maybe don't fit WR rules, and the user is not sure how to or if the page should be fixed. Does it make sense to create a "source patrol" category? Or even a broader admin category for questionable pages? We have "Review Needed", but that seems to be for images only. I'm not aware of any similar existing category.--Amelia 15:48, 13 December 2012 (EST)

We used to have an Image Review category and then changed its name to Review needed to broaden its scope. The Copypaste template, when added to a page, places the page in the Review needed category. Also, I'm nearly certain that images are no longer going to be added to that category, because Dallan removed the "need help" option from the image upload dropdown box. I like the idea of creating a template to flag pages where users need help, and that template could place the page in the Review cat like the copypaste does. --Jennifer (JBS66) 15:57, 13 December 2012 (EST)
I kind of like that idea, it's more public than a category.--Amelia 16:02, 13 December 2012 (EST)
Somehow, I never got back to this. Has one of you tweeked the "Review" template so it can be logically used to flag any page that needs review, not just for copyright questions? I'm thinking specifically of flagging Source pages that need reworking, but which I don't want to stop and do at the moment I discover one. I think a re-worked template could point to the same "Category: Review needed" page, though. We just need them all together in one place as a checklist. --MikeTalk 09:34, 30 May 2013 (EDT)

GenWeb sources [30 June 2013]

The discussion above started from a new GenWeb page, which has no original content and so should not be a source. But we have 2000 "GenWeb Project" pages, and at least one user is going through and editing them right now. The best I can find in the archives is that we made these Finding Aids and punted the question, but that was 2008 and predates a lot of fine-tuning the question of what gets source pages. Do we want to delete them on sight (at least the uncited ones)? Explain to users that edit them that they're not actually supposed to be used for citation? Develop a template for them that explains that that we can drop in when we see them?--Amelia 16:02, 13 December 2012 (EST)

Has there been a determination concerning GenWeb pages?--Khaentlahn 17:17, 30 June 2013 (EDT)

Colorado State Census [16 December 2012]

After trying a couple of searches, I could not find examples of a State Census to use as a guideline in creating a source for the Colorado 1885 State Census. I went with the standard of the Federal Census and added a category reference for 1885, but did not create the related category page. Should these state census's be linked to the same category as the Federal ones? Should the category be the same?

See Source:El Paso, Colorado, United States. 1885 Colorado State Census

Thanks for your input Rick--RGMoffat 16:15, 16 December 2012 (EST)


WR sources with no credit to the original provider. [21 January 2013]

This is the current citation in WR sources for vital statistics of births in Ontario, Canada:

Ontario. Registrar General. Births, stillbirths, and delayed registration with indexes, 1869-1908. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1992-2004).

Since I work with Ontario families a great deal, I see this reference on a lot of birth references.

Archives of Ontario provide the microfilms to FamilySearch (and to Ancestry, for that matter). The Registrar General for the province annually provides Archives of Ontario with a further year of births, marriages and deaths to the records that they can make publicly available at their headquarters in Toronto, on interlibrary loan throughout Canada, and, after an extra year's pause, to FamilySearch and Ancestry.

Is there a way in which we could phrase this source to give credit to the original provider? I hesitate to alter it myself. Birth registrations have been used as an example here, but the same goes for marriages and deaths. The end year in the date range should be adjusted annually, but that's an easy job.

--goldenoldie 10:03, 19 January 2013 (EST)

You're quite right. We ordinarily cite the original provider of the data -- especially when it's a government agency, because that makes it "official" information. Ancestry (and any other subsequent source where the data is repeated) is then noted on the Source page itself, similar to the way we note out-of-copyright books offered at Ancestry. It appears that in this case the main part of the Source page entry ("Ontario. Registrar General." etc) is correct as it stands, so I don't think an entirely new Source page would have to be created. Don't hesitate to alter it, either! Remember that nothing at a wiki is carved in stone. Take a look at a few other "official government" Source pages, whether U.S. federal, U.S. state, Canadian provincial, or whatever, as models, if you aren't sure. Explanatory and scope notes on a Source page are always good, too.
There's also a standard way of indicating an "open entry" when the title changes with the addition of new material each year. It's taken from library and academic bibliographical practice and it looks like this: so and so, 1910-     . At some point in the future, should that source cease to be updated, it then would be changed to put the closing date in the place of the open space. This being a wiki, to get it to look right, I've been formatting it with the "non-breaking space" code. --MikeTalk 12:06, 19 January 2013 (EST)

I have now had a go at revising the main source entries for both the births and deaths. In both cases there are a few additional entries that will either be revised or redirected to the main source. There are now four repositories instead of the original two with the Archives given their rightful first place (although I am sure most people will use the online sources).

Under the Usage Tips I found a long list of LDS microfilms with no explanations of what was on each. This may have been added before the LDS Catalog went online. After inspecting the Catalogue--where each of the same numbers has a description--I removed the list of numbers and replaced it with a hyperlink to the the Catalogue website. Are there any objections?

The marriages are trickier. Before vital statistics started in 1869, the province had different ways of calling in data from clergymen and justices of the peace out in the hinterland. My opinion is that pre-1869 marriages need to be dealt with separately, but in such a way that anyone can find them and not just link up to one general category. Maybe others will think differently. --goldenoldie 01:57, 21 January 2013 (EST)


Family Search Community Trees - Welsh Medieval Tree [26 January 2013]

I recently observed Werebear making effective use of information from a FamilySearch community tree while working through ancient welsh genealogy. Having recently been burned by having source pages condemned, I was a little concerned about this. Upon looking at the particular tree in question, it seemed better than what I had encountered elsewhere - more sources at first glance. Also, while these are trees contributed to FamilySearch by the public, FamilySearch does not appear to be taking just any contributed tree. There also seems to be some effort to continue to work and/or update the content.

So I worked with Werebear to create this source page. I also created a template to smooth page citation. Further, I said that he should feel free to use the source to the extent that it really helped him with work he was interested in - but to hold off on any wider page-tagging effort until we discussed this more widely. I started by launching a discussion on JBS66's talk page, the content of which is below (discussion resumes below included content):

Not seeking another database myself, but I've noticed someone making use of a Family Search tree on Wales. The address of one individual being:
http://histfam.familysearch.org/getperson.php?personID=I24549&tree=Welsh
I've skimmed some of it, and it's much better than some I've seen. How does this fit into the source/reference universe as presently conceived?
--jrm03063 18:49, 22 January 2013 (EST)
My belief is that we'd address this source in a similar way that we addressed Source:RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project and Source:Ancestry.com - Ancestry World Tree. They contain user/community submitted trees that have varying degrees of accuracy. A user would cite the main source in the Title field, and add either a text description of the specific database/page - or a link to the webpage. We would not create source pages for each individual community tree. That being said, since this is a Source-related question, I would suggest that you leave a message on the Source patrol talk page for their input.
--Jennifer (JBS66) 14:27, 23 January 2013 (EST)
I'll take it over there. I can't say for sure, but the familysearch trees seem better than the others you note - since they have to actually be accepted. There also seems to be evidence of updating and revision, which holds some promise. --jrm03063 16:01, 25 January 2013 (EST)

I wouldn't be too quick to lump this in with WorldConnect or the Ancestry World Tree. This seems more selective. I googled the subject and, while there were a number of breathless claims about this being the greatest thing since sliced bread, there was also a 2009 claim that the databases contained some observable and obvious errors (which may have since been corrected). I havn't seen other concrete claims, but will keep looking.

I'm also not sure whether it's a great idea to take all the trees over there as part of just one source - as each seems to have different focus, basis, and provenance. Different communities may be more dilligent than others.

I see two possible good reasons for making use of material from one or more trees on this site.

  • We might actually conclude that the information is pretty good - and that we'll benefit
  • We might also find that a particular tree, or trees, are backed by an active community, with which WeRelate would like to cooperate.

All I've got for now. Will post more as I find it. --jrm03063 16:01, 25 January 2013 (EST)

I am the guilty one. I don't have any insider knowledge into how the FamilySearch Community Trees are put together. I have emailed the person listed as owner of the Welsh Medieval Database Primarily of Nobility and Gentry for more information. My impression, just from looking through them, is that the databases do not all follow the same practices. For example, my impression is that the Welsh one uses Peter Bartrum's published work as a "core", systematically entering persons and their relationships from Bartrum's published work, with citations, and then adding information and persons from other sources, again, with citations. The database provides specific sources, although sometimes it is not clear to me which of the sources is being cited for a death date, for example. You also have to be aware that the database uses a generational dating scheme, which means the birth dates ending in 00, 30, or 70, could be way off. Also, they have a, to me, annoying habit of listing the places of residence in the birthplace space. Another of the FamilySearch Community Trees I have found useful is Sussex. Genealogies of Families Living In Sussex. It seems to be simply a database extraction of John Comber's Sussex Genealogies. I don't have access to this work at home, and, in any case, I am not sure how different me citing the database (with a specific hyperlink given) is from me simply citing Comber directly (since you all don't know how reliable I am.)--Werebear 10:02, 26 January 2013 (EST)
I too have sent him e-mail (and he certainly seems to have an impressive genealogical CV...). I'm interested in knowing if this tree is a static snap shot, or if there are people continuing to work on it. If the former, then perhaps it is no better than citing Bartrum's work directly. However, if it's the latter, then it could be a quite different matter. --jrm03063 11:43, 26 January 2013 (EST)
At a minimum, it is obvious that man-years of work have gone into this, and so far, when I have checked, the sources say what they are claimed to say.--Werebear 15:33, 26 January 2013 (EST)
By the way - there's nothing "guilty" about you in this. I'm very happy to see anyone who helps to take on the ancient spaces, because I think it reflects badly upon WeRelate when we tolerate large swaths of stuff that's criminally weak. I would just hate for good intentions to lead anyone astray... --jrm03063 15:43, 26 January 2013 (EST)

Amendment to a source description [11 April 2013]

I just added to

Source talk:Gunn, George. Early History of Stichill


and would like to bring it to the attention of the Source Patrol. To me the FHLC reference infers the book is not available at FHCs (books usually aren't), but it needs a second opinion. --goldenoldie 09:29, 11 April 2013 (EDT)


Rootsweb [15 April 2013]

I noticed this new repository page and source page. I thought that Source pages were discouraged for RootsWeb trees - should they also be for message boards? --Jennifer (JBS66) 09:10, 15 April 2013 (EDT)

Thanks for the head's up. Source:Rootsweb Message Boards exists, like various other large questionable sources, for people to cite in these cases, but we long ago deleted pages for the individual boards as unnecessary and unwieldy. There's no content or citation information that would be specific to a particular surname board. I'll leave Ceyockey a message and delete.--Amelia 11:50, 15 April 2013 (EDT)
Thanks for the alert, Amelia. I have made the redirect an orphan so that it can be deleted now if desired. I will put some thoughts about best practice in using the source on the source's talk page, which could go to the content page if there is agreement. --ceyockey 20:50, 15 April 2013 (EDT)

New additions to sources: seeking phrasing approval [30 May 2013]

I have just added a new source at [[1]].

This is the first of a series of about 50 books and CDs published by a Scottish Family History Society. Before I add any more, I would appreciate if someone on the Source Patrol would cast their eyes over this one and see if there is any more (or any less) that I should put on each entry.

I notice that a CD is not on the list of types of sources. This has become a very common way of publishing for local genealogical and family history societies and I wonder if consideration could be made to adding it.

--goldenoldie 14:09, 16 April 2013 (EDT)

This looks fine, as one way of doing it. The only thing I might do is to remove the street address from behind the publisher's name, but only because that makes it appear in the automatically-generated "Citation" section, where it isn't needed. You can move the address down to the general text box with any notes on usage, etc. In fact, I would include a note that this is the beginning of a projected series expected to run to 50+ volumes. (I've done that on a couple of Source pages for ongoing series of diocesan records.)
Until pretty recently, CDs weren't considered "original" sources because most of those on the market were digital reprints of books or records published long ago. So the other way of doing this page would be to point to the original records at the Abbey, which constitute the actual source. Then the CD information would be given below in the text box, just as if it were a reprint in hardcopy book form. However, it may not be that cut and dried, really, because if the CDs published by the Society reorganize and index the Abbey's records, . . . well, they've just created a new source. It gets complicated if you're a bibliographer. But that only matters, usually, to other bibliographers and I wouldn't be in a rush to change what you've done in any fundamental way. --MikeTalk 09:55, 30 May 2013 (EDT)

Duplicate Sources? [27 August 2013]

These seem to me to be duplicates; not sure how to handle a situation like this.--GayelKnott 21:05, 25 August 2013 (EDT)

Source:Brenner, Allen Lewis. Brenner - James Genealogy
Source:Brenner, Allen Lewis. Brenner-James Genealogy


It looks like there're actually four souce pages involved here, and only a single content page (Family:William Dunn and Sarah Brenner (1)) that uses them:

  • What links to: Source:Brenner, Allen Lewis. Brenner-James Genealogy
    • Source:Ancestry.com - Brenner-James genealogy (redirect page)
    • Family:William Dunn and Sarah Brenner (1)
  • What links to: Source:Brenner, Allen Lewis. Brenner - James Genealogy
    • Source:Brenner - James genealogy (redirect page)

I'd say that the Family page is pointing to the correct source page, and that the other one should be merged into that one. Although, if you want to be thorough, maybe that hyphen could be changed to an en dash (but still unspaced).

Sam Wilson ( TalkContribs ) … 22:32, 25 August 2013 (EDT)

Thanks, Sam. I guess I'm a little slow -- do I use Redirect to merge the two pages? (Also, I'd be inclined to keep the Family Search citation and add info from the Ancestry citation to it because I think the Family Search citation gives better information, but that's just my opinion.)--GayelKnott 23:43, 26 August 2013 (EDT)
No, because there is only the one Family page pointing to this source, I would suggest copying and pasting everything known about it into Source:Brenner, Allen Lewis. Brenner-James Genealogy, and then deleting the other three source pages (as there's nothing linking into them there's no need to keep them as redirects). — Sam Wilson ( TalkContribs ) … 00:28, 27 August 2013 (EDT)

Source patrol [3 December 2013]

A Source page slipped through the cracks recently, Source:Suicide. I did a random check of recent new Source pages and found more that don't follow WR's titling conventions (or may not even qualify as Source pages):

Amelia and Mike, you are both listed as current Source patrol members. Do either of you feel that you would like me to try to recruit additional members to assist in Source patrols? --Jennifer (JBS66) 21:32, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Always. I go back and forth in my ability to check on new ones (and I'm on person patrol too), so more help is always good. Although I note that 6 problems out of what must be over 500 changes is not too bad. Question though, how do you even see back to the ones added more than a week ago? Even setting it on 500 changes in the last 30 days, all I can see is 7 days back.--Amelia 21:58, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
Admin>Special Pages>New pages is one option, but that appears to show only 7 days as well. I did this search though this shows all source edits, not just new pages. --Jennifer (JBS66) 22:15, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
Amelia, do you happen to have a recommendation of a user or two that shows good knowledge of Sources? Before I ask generally on the Watercooler for volunteers, either you or I could ask the user(s) specifically if they'd like to assist with this patrol. --Jennifer (JBS66) 16:06, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Simply for informational purposes, the search you provided as an example was very interesting, but it isn't an accurate representation of Source pages I personally have edited. The listed sources may have been affected by Person pages which have been changed or removed by me, but the actual source was not touched for many of them.--Khaentlahn 16:19, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Quality of a source [21 February 2014]

Hello, Jennifer and others ... What about the serious and verifiability of "Ancestry.com" ! I noticed several errors from some contributors who used this site as reference. We can't access gratis to the site ! See for example what I modified for Person:Marie Gaillard (3), Person:Marie Massieu (1) and Person:Laurent Seguin (2) --> MySource:Dustysabs/Ancestry Family Trees - Amicalement - Marc ROUSSEL - --Markus3 07:09, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Bonjour Marc, regarding Ancestry Trees: "citation to Public Member Trees is discouraged generally and should be limited wherever possible" (from Source:Ancestry.com Public Member Trees). It shows where the user found their information and can show the general quality (or lack of quality) of the data. When you find better data from primary sources you can delete the Ancestry Tree source citation. --Jennifer (JBS66) 14:06, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Places in VR titles [5 November 2014]

Does any one remember if this has been resolved, and if not, we should discuss and state the rule: If a vital record source exists for a geographic area that no longer exists or has changed, how is the source titled? Based on the title/place at the time, or based on the place as of 1900? The example spurring the question is the 1850 census for counties of Virginia that became West Virginia. --Amelia 05:19, 6 November 2014 (UTC)