Source Public Member Trees

Delete this source [26 February 2019]

I would like to see this "source" deleted. We have a new user who is using it to source every page on 5-6 large gedcoms recently uploaded. --Susan Irish 23:05, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

Agreed! AndrewRT 23:07, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

I disagree. Keeping the source at least lets us have a place for notes that it is not considered a reliable source. It also lets people know what was used as a source (rather than primary sources), so when better data is found, there can be confidence in updating it without worrying that another primary source had different info.

I have been doing a lot of updating of incomplete and potentially living pages so that we can retain the pages at WeRelate, and sometimes the fastest (or only) way to find data on 20th century individuals is Public Member Trees. The choice is either use it as a source or delete the page because we have no evidence of death (or enter a death with no source). At least the next person coming along will not waste a lot of time looking for my source (or asking me about it) if I cite Public Member Trees. I know it is not ideal, but it provides information on what the source was. (And BTW, Public Member Trees are not all that bad for 20th century people.)

What we really need is to write something up on data quality expectations, including source expectations. I haven't had the time or energy yet and I'm not sure when I might. It would take some degree of consensus on what our expectations are.--DataAnalyst 23:36, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

I do agree if the source for a person's existence is only "Public Member Trees" on To many trees on were copied from other trees that had no sources.

The way that happened was one of the "Hints" was "Ancestry Member Trees". You could choose a tree then put the information for parents, spouses and children directly into your own tree.

Many people complained that Public Member Trees are not sources and Ancestry ended that feature. Now one has to search the archives at Ancestry to find real sources like census, Land and other "real sources".

I do not agree if using a link to an Ancestry document, say a particular census, should not be accepted.

Chrstdvd--Chrstdvd 12:55, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Let's not confuse the merits of keeping this WR page intact with the merits (or lack thereof) of using the trees as a source. These are not the same thing. I agree with DataAnalyst that this WR Source page should remain as is, because often that is the only source used for a page. It alerts the reader that the poster has not gone any further into their research than someone else's tree.

To address Susan Irish's concern - "We have a new user who is using it to source every page on 5-6 large gedcoms recently uploaded." - I would say the responsibility for preventing this type of large scale acceptance of poorly sourced pages falls mainly on the administrator who is allowing these types of GEDCOMs in. That should not be happening, but unfortunately not all admins have the same standards. I did this GEDCOM upload monitoring job for a while and would not have accepted a file whose only source was public member trees. I would have contacted the user and encouraged them to shore up their tree with better sources before importing.

I encourage anyone who agrees that these types of trees should not be uploaded to express your concerns on both WeRelate talk:GEDCOM review for the committee members who review the GEDCOMs and WeRelate talk:Review GEDCOM for those who are uploading GEDCOMs.

To address Crstdvd's concern - I do not think anyone here is saying that citations to records held by Ancestry should be eliminated, but I would love to see as many as possible converted to those that can be found outside of Ancestry's paywall (which is almost all).
Best Wishes, --cos1776 15:34, 26 February 2019 (UTC)