WeRelate talk:Source review

This page is for discussing issues with the Source Review. If you have a question about reviewing Source pages, please enter it below. Please see Help:Source page titles for page naming rules.


URL or link errors [7 August 2008]

Be careful when clicking on the various links. Sometimes extra characters or words get attached to the link making it appear as though it's a bad URL. For example: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mackley/1850MoCoImageLinksPages/Daviess50ImagesPage.htm%20Images%20only. The words "Images only" got attached making it look like a dead link.

What to do with partial transcription pages? [4 August 2008]

Resolution: ignore partial transcriptions - those listing records for only a few people or just one surname.

Many of the current Source URLs list record transcriptions but only for a few pages or a specific surname. For example: ftp://users.aol.com/Rechtman/posen.htm Should we ignore them so they get deleted, or do we want to keep them?

It seems to me that we want to ignore partial transcriptions?--Dallan 16:09, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

Under the theory of lack of scalability, I say ignore them.--Amelia 22:30, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

What to do with small transcription pages? [12 August 2008]

Resolution: keep even small transcriptions if they are attempting to be complete

Should we set a rough threshold on the number of records an online transcription has to have for us to keep the source? Should we say 300 records, 1000, more, less?--Dallan 23:54, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

I think I agree with something like 300 or 500. I'm trying to think of the practical consequences, and one that comes to mind is that big cemeteries will get source pages and small ones won't. I think that's okay because the better source format is the cemetery anyway?--Amelia 00:10, 5 August 2008 (EDT)
Based on your comment about losing small cemteries, I think I'm changing my opinion. Perhaps in the interest of keeping relatively-complete transcriptions of small record sets, the rule should be that if you come across a transcription that includes more than just a few people, keep it. Then we won't throw away things like small cemeteries.
The difference between partial transcriptions, which we want to ignore (delete), and small transcriptions, which we want to keep, is that a partial transcription lists only a small fraction of the people in a record set that are relevant to the transcriber, while a small transcription might be complete - just small. What do you think about this distinction?--Dallan 14:13, 5 August 2008 (EDT)

I agree with keeping all small transcriptions, if they are complete. Many of our ancestors did not live in areas with even 100 graves in a cemetery. Also, many small cemetery transcriptions will look as if someone pulled just their own surnames, while in fact it was a family cemetery with a complete list of mostly people of one surname or a few related surnames.--Gendo 15:58, 8 August 2008 (EDT)

I have a new post regarding our sources. I think that we are going about this the wrong way. I believe that we should follow the example that we created for census records.
For cemetery records, you would have United States, Alabama, Lowndes. Cemetery Records
If the city is large and has several cemeteries you would have United States, Alabama, Jefferson, Birmingham. Cemetery Records
If the cemetery is huge you could have United States, Alabama, Jefferson, Birmingham. [name of cemetery]. --Beth 20:27, 10 August 2008 (EDT)

I think the Source page title depends upon whether the source of the cemetery records is a book, a microfilm, a website, or you visited the cemetery yourself. See my comments in the "Marriage and Death records" section. I think we should handle cemetery records and marriage and death records similarly.--Dallan 15:11, 12 August 2008 (EDT)

What if the link leads to a page to ignore, but that page leads to a good page?

If the URL has a different host (domain) than the URL you are looking at, it's safe to assume that we already have another Source page for it. If it is on the same host, then notice that the URLs in the list are listed alphabetically. Check the list to see if we have a Source page for the good URL. If not, please create a Source page for it.--Dallan 16:09, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

What about pages that just include links to lots of other pages? [4 August 2008]

Resolution: if you come across a page that tries to list links to all sources relevant to a particular surname or place, and it's a high-quality page like the GenWeb pages or most surname study pages, then change the "Subject" field to "Finding aid", and fill in the Surname or Place it coveres. Alternatively, if it's a large website like "JewishGen.org" that contains multiple online databases, then rename it to a Repository, and add it to the bottom of the WeRelate:Source review page so we can create sources for the individual online databases it contains at the end of the source review. If it doesn't fall into one of these two cases, ignore it.

For example, the GenWeb pages, and pages like http://15122.com/3Rivers/ Should we ignore these?

For pages that try to cover specific surnames or places, I think we could keep high-quality pages of this sort and categorize them as "Finding Aids" for the surnames or place that they cover.

What about pages that try to cover specific cultures, ethnicities, or religions? For example: http://www.jewishgen.org Should we keep them as well, ignore them so they get deleted, or go to the trouble of creating Sources for the specific databases that they contain (for example, JewishGen has several dozen online databases)?--Dallan 16:09, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

  • You mean leave them as Source pages but add a "Category:Finding Aids" to the page?
  • If we decide that we do want to create additional source pages for the separate databases, then I think a separate "project(s)" should be started. For instance, if we come across something like JewishGen that has all these specific databases, then add them to another project page. My thinking is that I don't like getting side-tracked on my main goal which is checking the availability status of the source pages to stop and set up more source pages. The same could be said of those pages that we want to classify as repositories -- set up a separate "project" page for them as well.

--Ronni 17:16, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

Aren't these pages just links to other pages that we (should) have on WeRelate already? If that's true, than we really don't need pages for them ourselves. I suppose for a really extraordinary effort, we could keep the "source" page, add Category:Finding Aids, and at some point in the future decide how best to handle them, since they're not really sources. But if it's your run of the mill collection of links, I don't think it's useful to keep. (And for this case in particular, it's a list of repositories anyway.)--Amelia 22:08, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

We're removing the high-level source categories and replacing them with the "Subject" field, so rather than adding a new Category, please set the source "Subject" to "Finding aids".

I'll change the system so that you can turn a Source into a Repository by just renaming it. This should make it so that you can turn a source into a repository immediately, without needing to create a separate project page.

You can now rename Source pages to Repository pages.--Dallan 14:17, 5 August 2008 (EDT)

So that you don't get sidetracked as you're processing sources, if you come across a source like JewishGen.org that contains a number of online databases that we should create Source pages for, please rename the Source to a Repository, then add a link to the newly-created Repository page to the bottom of the WeRelate:Source review page.

I think the general rule of thumb on whether or not to keep a source is: If I wanted to find out about a particular surname or place or ethnicity, would I want to spend my time investigating this source? Regarding finding aids, I'd say that if the aid was unique and/or of high quality, I'd want to see it. Similarly, if a record set had a lot of records or a map collection a lot of maps, I'd want to review it. Otherwise, no. I agree the example source above is not unique/high-quality enough to keep. But I think I'd generally want to see GenWeb sites because they're generally good quality and because most of the pages they link to are probably not large enough to warrant their own source pages.--Dallan 23:54, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

Historical societies?

Resolution: Rename them to Repository pages.

For example: http://08016.com/bchs.html Should we create Repositories for them?--Dallan 16:09, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

Yes. And I think it's just as easy to do that in the scope of this project.--Amelia 22:30, 4 August 2008 (EDT)


Resolution: Ignore them unless that clearly have genealogy resources, in which case rename them to Repository pages.

For example: Should we ignore them so they get deleted (we have thousands of library pages)?--Dallan 16:09, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

I say delete them unless they clearly have genealogy resources, in which case they become repositories. If they have online resources (like NEHGS), then those databases need to be sources. And the online repository should probably be separate from the physical library, because the collections and access won't necessarily overlap (like NEHGS).--Amelia 22:30, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

Civil/revolutionary war websites? [4 August 2008]

Resolution: Keep them if they contain original or transcribed records like muster rolls or casualties. The Source title is the title of the website.

For example: http://101stindiana.tripod.com/ and http://11texascav.org/ Should we ignore them so they get deleted?--Dallan 16:09, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

I'm inclined to leave these if they have original content (like troop movements and casualties, like these do).--Amelia 22:30, 4 August 2008 (EDT)
So we keep them if they contain original/transcribed records? Should we also require, similar to other online databases, that they have more than a certain number of records in order to be kept? Also, I think the title of the Source page should correspond to the database content, not the title of the website. For example, the title of the Source page for http://101stindiana.tripod.com/ would be something like "United States, Indiana. Civil War Muster Rolls for the 101st Regiment Indiana Volunteers". Would this make sense?--Dallan 23:54, 4 August 2008 (EDT)
I view these kind of like books that collect information about a particular regiment, so I would keep the website itself as the source. I would title them something like "101st Reg't Indiana Volunteers" (the website title, there being no obvious author). Because there's more than one "database", I wouldn't go into more detail. So, yes, if they have original or transcribed info I would keep them, without a threshold, just to make things easier.--Amelia 00:20, 5 August 2008 (EDT)

County office pages? [4 August 2008]

Resolution: Rename them to Repository pages.

For example: Should we ignore them or create Repositories for them?--Dallan 16:09, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

I think they have to be repositories, because they're likely to house land and vital records.--Amelia 22:30, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

Source pages that link to "how to" or general genealogy information [4 August 2008]

Resolution: Ignore them.

I'm coming across various Ancestry.com articles that are linked to as source pages. They would be classified as a finding aid perhaps, but do we want to leave them as source pages? Example: http://www.ancestry.com/learn/library/article.aspx?article=2052 --Ronni 17:16, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

I vote ignore (delete). They are the equivalent of our articles, but we can't poach them.--Amelia 22:30, 4 August 2008 (EDT)
Agree. There's nothing in them that one would use as a reference or citation for data. I had previously set the availability in a few of them, which it won't let me change now. I'm assuming Dallan that in this case it would be ok to delete them manually if we decide they shouldn't be classified as a source? --Ronni 23:28, 4 August 2008 (EDT)
In general I'd try to apply the rule of thumb mentioned above -- is the content unique and/or high-quality enough that people searching that particular surname, place, or ethnic group would want to spend time reviewing this particular website? I agree that most of the time (and for this example), I would ignore them. (If you've already set the Availability attribute, please go ahead and delete them manually.)--Dallan 23:54, 4 August 2008 (EDT)
Thinking about it, people can find "how to" articles easily enough using Google, so I agree with you two.--Dallan 14:13, 5 August 2008 (EDT)

A couple other helps [4 August 2008]

  • Source naming rules: Help:Source page titles
  • Use the format for the original source (i.e. if it's a pdf of a book, use the book format).
  • If it's a source that might be in an offline library like FHC, check to see if it should be combined with another source page.

Renaming sources [29 November 2008]

Resolution: Rename source page titles to their proper format. If the web page is a transcription of an offline source, the Source page should be titled the way the offline source would be titled: see Help:Source page titles for more information. If the web page contains original content, then the title of the Source page is the title of the web page (found in the bar at the top of the browser window).

Are we renaming and/or redirecting source pages at this time as well? --Ronni 23:09, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

The instructions say we are.--Amelia 23:45, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

Yes, please do.--Dallan 23:54, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

Oops! My bad. Thanks. :) --Ronni 00:08, 5 August 2008 (EDT)

Deletion of auto-created sources

Since the creation and use of the Repository namespace, lots of Sources that have been autocreated are being replaced by Repositories (at least by me). I'm wondering if, rather than redirection of Source to Repository, we could just nominate for deletion those auto-created Sources that are not in the appropriate namespace. --ceyockey 09:22, 25 October 2008 (EDT)

Eventually all of the Source redirects and Place redirects that aren't linked to from anywhere will be deleted. This will include nearly all of the Source pages that are being redirected to Repositories. So the end result will be the same, but this approach doesn't take as much human time.--Dallan 22:47, 29 November 2008 (EST)

Surname studies/associations [28 August 2008]

Resolution: Keep surname studies/associations. Assign them a subject of "Finding aid" and list the surname in the "surname(s) covered" field.

If a site attempts to collect information on all families with a given surname, and posts a good portion of that data, should we keep it? I tend to vote yes, as these types of associations tend to have the most up todate research. Example: http://appleby.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ (The same question for DNA projects, the results of which are largely reported online.) --Amelia 22:42, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

I agree. Surname studies seem to generally have good information and good communities around them.--Dallan 23:54, 4 August 2008 (EDT)
What subject would we select for these types of pages? I didn't see any good choices for a DNA project source page I just updated. --Ronni 01:11, 11 August 2008 (EDT)

I've been using "Finding aid" as the subject and making sure the surname in the Surname box.--Dallan 15:11, 12 August 2008 (EDT)

County sites? [19 March 2009]

Resolution: Keep USGenWeb state and county pages. Set the "Subject" to "Finding aid".

Most RootsWeb county pages are a combination of collections of links, user submissions, and data like cemetery transcriptions. Technically, I think we've decided cemetery transcriptions are sources, which would make the county pages repositories. But that's a ton of work if we have to create source pages for every county cemetery or other data page. So I vote we leave them as sources for now, but do we want to add a category to make them findable for future work?

Another similar issue -- we have a source page for the Arkansas state genweb (www.argenweb.net). Some Arkansas counties are subdirectories of that (i.e. www.argenweb.net/bond), and others are their own domains and have separate source pages (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~arclebur/). What to do?--Amelia 23:45, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

Yes, I'd keep the RootsWeb county pages (the GenWeb pages) as Source's, and give them a "Subject" of "Finding aid". Most of the transcriptions that they link to probably won't be large enough (won't have enough records to be over the threshold that we set) to warrant creating individual Source pages for, and it would be an incredible amount of work to create individual Source pages for them anyway, so leaving the county pages as Source pages and calling them "Finding aids" works for me.

I think I'd go to the work of creating a separate Source page for each county page. If you don't want to do that now, you could add the state GenWeb page to the bottom of the WeRelate:Source review page and someone can do it later. That might be best, because then we could wait to see if pages had already been created for the various counties as part of reviewing the other websites.--Dallan 23:54, 4 August 2008 (EDT)

For USGenWeb state pages, let's keep them as finding aids just like county pages, but don't add the state pages to the bottom of WeRelate:Source review. I'll have someone go through the USGenWeb state pages at the end of the source review to make sure we have all of the USGenWeb county pages.--Dallan 14:13, 5 August 2008 (EDT)
What about this county page? [1] If we keep it what should be the title? --Beth 16:39, 24 August 2008 (EDT)

It's not a great title, but I'd use the website title: "Stepbackintime" since that's what others would use if they tried creating a new Source page for the website. So eventually the full Source page title would be "United States, Indiana, Delaware. Stepbakintime".--Dallan 01:34, 26 August 2008 (EDT)

when if at all would usgenweb be a repository? [28 March 2009]

I've been converting (redirecting) MySources to Sources and when I come across USGenWeb I've been making it a repository (free site) but now that I read this I'm thinking I'm not doing it right. Pls explain to me why it wouldn't be a repository. Thanks. -- jillaine 18:46, 19 March 2009 (EDT)

I know there's a gray area between sources and repositories. In order to avoid confusion, I'd like to restrict repositories to describe physical buildings and organizations. We've also said that major genealogy websites like JewishGen could also be repositories, since they contain a large number of individual collections, but perhaps we should not make that exception so that the distinction becomes clearer.

There's actually a project currently underway to create Source pages for each of the USGenWeb pages (see toward the bottom of WeRelate:Source review).--Dallan 00:30, 22 March 2009 (EDT)

Yikes! does that mean ancestry.com is not a repository either? I've been thinking that anything that is a collection of multiple sources is a repository. -- jillaine 22:02, 24 March 2009 (EDT)
No, Ancestry.com is a repository. I don't know what Dallan's saying, other than trying to reduce the blurry line between websites like Genweb that have both original and non-original content. But that doesn't mean that Ancestry, Rootsweb, NEHGS.org, etc. aren't repositories.--Amelia 22:55, 24 March 2009 (EDT)
Just to reduce confusion, I hope that we don't end up with a lot of websites listed as repositories because it will blur the line for most people. Listing the major websites that contain lots of individual collections as repositories is fine though.--Dallan 10:39, 28 March 2009 (EDT)

Repository page titles [28 August 2008]

Resolution: for repository pages (libraries with local genealogical collections, genealogical and historical societies, courthouses, and major websites with a wide variety of online collections), title them as "Repository:name of repository (state if not part of repository name)". For example: "Repository:Allen County Public Library (Indiana)", "Burlington County Historical Society (New Jersey)", or "Butler County Probate Court (Ohio)". Be sure to edit the repository page after you rename, and enter the place of the repository into the place field.

We need to reach an agreement on repository titles. Should the location of the repository be added to the title? Is it:

  • "Allen County Public Library" or "United States, Indiana, Allen. Allen County Public Library"?
  • "Burlington County Historical Society" or "United States, New Jersey, Burlington. Burlington County Historical Society"
  • "Butler County Probate Court" or "United States, Ohio, Butler. Butler County Probate Court"

I'm inclined to go with the left-hand format because that's how the historical societies and courts refer to themselves and it's simpler. A problem with this approach is how to handle cases where two states have counties with the same name. We can't have two Repository pages with the same title. One option is to always include the state in the title for historical societies and county offices (e.g., Burlington County New Jersey Historical Society), even though it's not how the society refers to itself. Another option is to include the state in the title only when necessary to distinguish it from a same-named county in another state. The problem with the latter approach is that if I'm linking to a Repository from a Source page and I see "Burlington County Historical Society" in a drop-down list, I don't know whether it's for Burlington County New Jersey or for a different state without visiting the page. For this reason I'm inclined to go with the following for titling Repository pages:

Title the repository the way that the repository refers to itself, unless that name may be ambiguous. In that case, add higher-level jurisdictions to make the title unambiguous. For example:

  • "Allen County Public Library" -- not ambiguous because we're creating repositories only for libraries with significant genealogical content, and it's generally understood that "Allen County Public Library" means Allen County Indiana.
  • "Burlington County New Jersey Historical Society" -- add the state to historical society Repository titles
  • "Butler County Ohio Probate Court" -- add the state to county office Repository titles

Thoughts?--Dallan 00:33, 5 August 2008 (EDT)

This recommendation is outdated. See below for current recommendation.

If your target with the Research Assistant is the less experienced researcher as well as the experienced researcher, I think you need to include the state in a repository title. Experienced researchers will definitely recognize repositories like the Allen County Public Library or the Mid-Continent Public Library without a state added to the title, but most of the beginning to intermediate genealogists I have worked with would not know where those libraries are unless they happened to live in that area -- those researchers would need to have the state. A state added to the title would also help in recognizing repositories that are named after donors instead of the locality, and it would keep the repository titling consistent.--Gendo 17:06, 8 August 2008 (EDT)

I could go along with that.--Dallan 15:11, 12 August 2008 (EDT)

I've been thinking about this further and I'd like to change the recommendation for titling repositories. I don't think we need to rename existing repositories, but going forward I think we should:

  • Title the Repository page the way the repository refers to itself; e.g., "Allen County Public Library", "Burlington County Historical Society", "Butler County Probate Court". This will be the easiest title for others to use when entering repositories.
  • If the title is ambiguous, you can append additional information in parentheses after the repository name to make the title unambiguous; e.g., "Allen County Public Library (Indiana)", "Burlington County Historical Society (New Jersey)", "Butler County Probate Court (Ohio)". You can do this either pro-actively when you first create the repository, or re-actively when you try to create a repository that has the same name as an existing one. By entering the disambiguating information after the repository name, people will see both repositories in the drop-down list after entering the repository name and can select the one they want.--Dallan 10:46, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

I've been following your suggestion above Dallan when creating new repository pages over the last few days and so far it seems the easiest, most "natural" thing to do. So I'm in agreement with titling a repository page in accordance with how the repository refers to itself and then adding a state name in parentheses. --Ronni 01:12, 17 August 2008 (EDT)

Some thoughts: Naming sources by locally known names tends to lose the source to the rest of the world searching by geographic thinking. Allen County Public Library means zero to me unless I beat up on myself to "discover" what it means. In the case of genealogy, sources refer to people in places at given times. All sources which reference records existing in or related to a specific place should be titled in drill-down fashion, identifying the source with the place (i.e.-United States, Indiana, Allen. Allen County Public Library). These can of course be cross-referenced to surname-finding and local popular name sources.

While someone already knowing the source name will look for the name (Allen County Public Library), they may or may not know where Allen County is...or was.

The key in making the name useful is not in revising the naming convention, but in making all portions of the title available by text search (substring find) or search cross-referencing. Thus whether one drills down to a known location, or searches by local place name, the result is the same...and the larger place to smaller place to specific place logic is simple and straightforward, unlike local naming conventions. Also, if at some point we use multi-combobox selection, this logic lends itself well to that style of drill-down narrowing, whereas local names do not. A comprehensive alpha listing could show the same place-source listed in more than one way, with the various listings generated by a routine which grabs a title by left character of entire title alpha, and also grabs it by left character of right portion of title alpha...listing both.

Additionally, there is the issue of boundary, name, town/city, county, state, country changes. West Virginia was once Virginia. Texas was once Mexico. Democratic Republic of Congo was once Zaire, previously Belgian Congo (not French Congo). As these boundaries and names change, it would be helpful to have geographic referencing which does not change, such as a center point's longitude/latitude linked to boundary transitions descriptions. Fictional example based on actual place: United States, West Virginia, Cabell County, Huntington, Huntington Area Historical Archives, Adena Mound Builders of the Ohio Valley. With the appropriate search capability, this would be found by WV drill-down, Cabell County, Huntington, Adena...and more. With the Latitude: 38.41 N, Longitude: 82.43 W data given as a hover link, along with a list of major changes, one could see right away that this same place was previously United States, Cabell County, Huntington, Virginia. Similar hover data could be made available for each portion of the title, showing eras of transition for the county, the state, the country...whatever. This is helpful if used, and it becomes easier to understand when (primarily) related to a straightforward logic. (Hover over title portion might look like: hover=transient pop-up, single click on portion=sticky pop-up with changes list as links, double click on portion=shift current view to list of titles at that level with current title focused.) Title could be viewed as both the title itself and any portion of the hierarchy its full title implies (once that hierarchy was entered to navigate)...allowing one to find the (drill-down to the) title while viewing at any level of the hierarchy. Searching for a city like Huntington would result in a list of possible hierarchies to enter and navigate. Searching for Adena might reveal a list of possible sources. Searching for West Virginia would reveal a list of counties and any other West Virginia-related sources...as hierarchies to enter and navigate. (If hover data links were used as above, clicking on a link in a sticky hover pop-up would navigate to a specific era and name of that location, revealing relevant lists related to that place name which were unavailable under the other place name.)

Typical problem: The Huntington Library. Many people would think this is a library in Huntington, WV or some other Huntington; however, it is a well known library, botanical garden and more located on Huntington Drive in San Marino, California and related to the Huntington family. Adding California to the title would still be ambiguous to most people. This type of "surname becomes minor or major place name" creates an ongoing problem, which specifying by "large to small to specific place to specific source" logic makes clear without requiring disambiguation beyond longitude/latitude verification.--Dougcouch 17:56, 26 August 2008 (EDT)

I think we've settled on the solution you're suggesting for Source pages. Sources that list records for a particular geographic area will be titled as "place (backwards). Source title." The other thing to not overlook is that each source has a "place(s) covered" field. Sources can be searched based upon the places entered in that field. So if a source covers multiple places, it can be searched on both of them by entering both places into the "place(s) covered".

Regarding your example, alternate place hierarchies are recorded in Place pages so they work for all sources for that place. If you entered "Huntington, Cabell, West Virginia, United States" as the place covered by the source, it would come up in searches for West Virginia, Cabell county, or Huntington. And if the Place page for Huntington said that it was previously located in Cabell, Virginia, then the source (and all other sources for Huntington) would also show up in searches for Cabell county, Virginia.

Currently, we've said that Repository pages (libraries with genealogical collections are actually Repositories, not Sources, because they house multiple sources) just list the repository name as the title, followed by the state if needed to make it unambiguous. So a page for the "Huntington Library" would be "Repository:Huntington Library (California)". Repositories also contain a searchable "place" field like sources. There are far fewer repositories than sources, so I'm not sure that including the full backwards place in repository titles is worth it. But we could automatically rename repositories to include the place in the title at the end of the source review if we change our minds.--Dallan 14:37, 28 August 2008 (EDT)

Versions of Ancestry, etc [28 August 2008]

Resolution: Create a repository for Repository:Ancestry.com. We'll create sources for each Ancestry.com collection automatically.


I have a couple of questions.

How are we dealing with the various versions of a "named" websites.

As an example. There is more than one version of Ancestry. There is the US commercial version (paid), many people have memberships of, the Library version, which many libraries have membership, and the UK version (paid), etc.

Should we "tag" websites that are bilingual. An example would be the Norwegian census website.

What happened to the "title only" choice for mysources? Does it still exist.

Thanks, Debbie Freeman--DFree 20:43, 5 August 2008 (EDT)

I'd create a Repository page titled Repository:Ancestry.com for the main version. Later we'll create Source pages for all of the sources that Ancestry contains. There are about 20,000 sources. We'll add these automatically.

I wouldn't bother tagging bilingual sources at this point.

When you add a source citation on a Person or Family page, the default is "Title only". With this option you're not prompted to create either a Source or a MySource for the citation.--Dallan 15:11, 12 August 2008 (EDT)

Aren't the vast majority of Ancestry.com sources already in the database? I mean, I've never found a book on Ancestry that the FHC doesn't have, which means it's already in the WeRelate source database, it just needs a link to Ancestry. Same thing with most of their vital records collections I thought?

And Debbie - just leave the source dropdown as "select", works the same as "title only."--Amelia 21:06, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

This is true Amelia. I've gone through the Ancestry/Genealogy.com source pages and updated the information, but I didn't look for info already on WeRelate. There are probably hundreds of pages that need to be merged and redirected. --Ronni 21:13, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

Ancestry.com currently has about 26,000 collections. When we gathered their information a few years ago they had about 21,000. We're going to go back and re-gather that information next month. When we do that we'll automatically update the Source page to add a link to the Ancestry.com repository.

Ronnie, the Ancestry/Genealogy.com source pages you're looking at are sources that don't correspond to Ancestry collections, so they need to be reviewed manually. The 20,000 pages that do correspond to collections aren't part of the source review since we'll be updating them automatically.--Dallan 22:12, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

Marriage and death records [5 September 2008]

Resolution: title all Source pages with geographically-oriented records (includes government, church, cemetery records, etc.) as "place covered (backwards). website/book/record-set title" For example: Source:United States, West Virginia. Marriages 1853-1970. Source pages for most websites are currently already titled with the name of the website, but do not include the place covered by the records. For convenience, you do not have to rename these Source pages. Once the source review is complete, we'll run an automated process to add the place-covered to the Source page title for sources that have a place in the place-covered field.

I don't remember if this was discussed on the source discussion page, but I have been entering data for marriage and death records following this format.

For marriage records, which are generally by county, I enter United States, Alabama, Lowndes. Marriage Records, as an example. I then add the various repositories and cite my repository in my citation; and the book and page number if applicable.

For death records, which are usually generated by the state, I enter United States, Texas. Death Records and cite the various repositories and cite my repository in my citation along with the certificate number if applicable.

In certain circumstances the death records would also need to be on a county or city level.

Well, actually I have also done this with other records. I have Birth Certificate and Death Certificate on the state level and deed or land, cannot remember what I named that one on the county level and have also used this method for cemetery records.

If you like this method, I suppose we need to generate standard names so I can remember what I am doing.

Opinions?? --Beth 20:00, 10 August 2008 (EDT)

In my opinion the title of the Source page depends upon where the vital records come from

  • They come from an authored book. This one's easy: the Source page title is the author and title of the book.
  • They come from a microfilm of government/church records. This one's also easy: the Source page title starts with the place (backwards) covered by the microfilm, followed by the title of the microfilm.
  • They come from a website, and you can't tell where the website got its information from. I think we should use the title of the website as the Source page title in this case. I've also been filling in the place covered field with the place covered by the website. If on the other hand, I can tell where the website got its information from, then I'd title the Source page as one of the first two options.
  • They were ordered directly from the town, county, or state office. I haven't thought a lot about this case. I guess I'd suggest having the Source page title start with the place (backwards) covered by the office, followed by the type of record.
  • You visited a cemetery to get the records. I think this case is similar to the previous one: the Source page title starts with the place (backwards) of the cemetery, followed by the name of the cemetery. To keep things simple I'd use this format for both large and small cemeteries.

--Dallan 15:11, 12 August 2008 (EDT)

In practice, I think this is being done differently.

I disagree with the idea of titling the page based on where the information comes from. For example: Source:United States, West Virginia. Marriages 1853-1970 is linking to a database at FamilySearch Labs. It is a transcription of data, not the original, so being from a website, should it be titled differently? I don't think so. I think the advantage of being titled as it is in current form is found when using the browse function. When typing "United States, West Virginia" I get a quick view of all the sources available for that area. Another scenario: Ancestry.com has databases on Jordan Dodd's books which are transcriptions of the originals. Using the suggested practice, someone getting their information directly from the book would create one page whereas another researcher getting their info from Ancestry.com would have to create another?

I think source titles should be based on the SUBJECT that the source is categorized in. If a book (cd, database, etc) is categorized as a BIOGRAPHY or HISTORY then the title format is AUTHOR, TITLE. But if that book is a transcription dealing with vital records, where the place is remembered much more so than who the author is, such as the West Virginia example as above, I believe it should be titled as PLACE, TITLE.

--Ronni 15:14, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

  • I agree with Ronni on sources from books. Vital records shouldn't be titled differently just because the compiler managed to get his name more prominently on the compilation than someone else did. This rule will have to have exceptions for collections that are known by their compiler (i.e. Arnold's RI records). The compiler can be used to disambiguate if necessary (i.e. United States, Whatever State. Marriages to 1850 (Dodd)).
  • I think the same logic applies to websites with an unknown source. Name it by the place. The website title is not going to be known by someone looking for those records, but the place should be.
  • As for records ordered from a state or county office, those shouldn't get source pages if I follow our logic right - they relate to only a single person. If an office maintains a database of, say, death certificates like Missouri does, than we create a source for Missouri death records for the range held at that office level and the website is a repository.
  • I have a specific cemeteries issue that I'm going to raise on the Source Committee page.--Amelia 21:04, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

So if I'm following correctly, the rule is that if a book or website has geographically-oriented records, the Source page title should be the place followed by the book/website title. Otherwise, for books we use "author. title" and for websites we use just "website title". Is this correct?--Dallan 01:34, 26 August 2008 (EDT)

I need to enter my source from a Rootweb index. Let me know if I understand the new resolution. The source would be entered thusly: United States, Georgia, Walker. Walker County, Georgia Marriages 1882 - 1920 Groom's Index.

The URL for the website is [2]

The repository is Rootsweb.com.

The URL for my specific page is [3]

Another question why do I have to enter the http junk; I always forget it because most places it is not necessary.--Beth 20:37, 28 August 2008 (EDT)

Okay, I am going to enter my source anyway and I can fix it when I monitor sources; but this is confusing to me.

When I go to the find/add source the instructions are:

If you want to cite a website containing a transcription of an off-line source, such as a website containing vital records transcriptions, please create a Source page for the off-line source, e.g., a "Government / Church records" Source page for the original vital records, and list the website as a repository in that Source page.

So ??--Beth 21:05, 28 August 2008 (EDT)

The above quote is exactly what I recommended at the beginning of this topic; but since the creation of the find/add box; we have once again changed our minds. That is great, one of the many things that I love about WeRelate is that it is a dynamic site, so if something does not work we can change it.

Just need a little more clarification on the new resolution. Now for review one can view my newly created source, which I am not quite happy with. I put the Grooms index in the subtitle but where would one put the Brides index?

Source is here Source:United States, Georgia, Walker. Walker County Georgia Marriages. The actual web page title has a comma between Walker County and Georgia Marriages, maybe I should add the comma.--Beth 22:56, 28 August 2008 (EDT)

I just looked at the source page you created. It looks fine to me! The reason you have to enter http in the repository location is so that the system knows that the repository location is a URL instead of a call number, but it looks like I'm always assuming it's a URL anyway, so I need to fix that. I suppose I could assume it's a URL if it starts with a www so you wouldn't have to enter the http prefix.

If you wanted to distinguish this source from a similar one for a brides index, you could put the full title of the website in the Source page title. For example, "United States, Georgia, Walker. Walker County, Georgia Marriages 1882 - 1920 Groom's Index". But I don't think it's important enough to rename the page at this point unless you want to.

Looks like I need to update the instructions again!--Dallan 20:09, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

If the Index is just an index to the source, then it does not get its own source page, according to rules we discussed on the Source Committee page. The source itself gets a page, with links under Repositories to the indexes. If you only looked at the index, note that in the source notes on the family page.--Amelia 14:11, 31 August 2008 (EDT)
I am more confused. The web page calls it an index, but includes the groom's name, bride's name, the date of marriage and the book and page # of the original records. How this is sourced does not matter to me; I would just like some clarification, so I know what I am doing.
I also do not understand why if I spend my money and time to obtain the original record or clerk's copy of the record from the courthouse or annex or whatever repository holds the record; I am then not supposed to create a source page for these records. Original records are certainly of more value than transcriptions or indexes and users should be encouraged either to get the original records or at the very least order and copy the record from the microfilm. I do not always obtain the original, that depends on the importance of the record to my research and finances are sometimes a consideration. I usually first research on line and record those sources. I recently obtained the clerk's copies of the marriage records for Chattooga County. They are presently sourced from online websites, but I plan to upload the images and change the source.

But according the following:

  • As for records ordered from a state or county office, those shouldn't get source pages if I follow our logic right - they relate to only a single person. If an office maintains a database of, say, death certificates like Missouri does, than we create a source for Missouri death records for the range held at that office level and the website is a repository.

What I have been doing is entering the record group on the county level and placing the Book # and page # in my citation. I think that I am again confused. The records for an indvidual are part of a larger record group. Help, please.--Beth 16:43, 31 August 2008 (EDT)

This is one of those places where the traditional notion of a source and WeRelate's source page don't exactly match up, I think. Source pages exist to 1) discuss how and whether to use a particular source and 2) explain where it can be found. For a birth certificate that relates to one person, so few people need to discuss it, cite it or find it that there's little point in having a separate page for it. That doesn't mean it's not the source you should cite. However, the collection in which it was found does merit that type of discussion, and if you also want to link to the collection in citing the birth certificate, you shortcut the additional info you have in your citation.
Indices are a similar issue. The issues in their reliability and location are so bound up in the original source that the discussion should be combined, but that doesn't mean that a proper citation shouldn't distinguish between the actual source and the index.
All this to say I think what you say you're doing in the last sentence is right.--Amelia 19:26, 31 August 2008 (EDT)
For marriage records the following site has links to online indexes, records, etc. [4]--Beth 18:39, 31 August 2008 (EDT)

The way I think about Source pages is like entries in a library card-catalog -- they're for groups/collections of personal sources. Putting the book# and page# in the citation is the right thing to do. (Alternatively you could create a MySource page for the personal source, but that's less preferred.)

In cases like you mention where the website is an index, but it's not obvious what source it's an index of or it's an index of multiple sources, I'd go ahead and create a Source page for the website for now. Others can come along later and redirect the Source page for the index to the Source page for the original source. If the original source is non-obvious, then having a Source page titled according to the index, that redirects to the original source, will be helpful in the long term anyway because others will likely want to look it up by the index title as well.--Dallan 12:06, 5 September 2008 (EDT)

Church Websites & State/County Vital Records Websites [13 August 2008]

Resolution: rename state/county vital records offices and larger church groups as Repository pages.


What is the decision on Websites that are done by the State or counties about Vital Records. As an example a site has contact information, price, etc.

What is the decision on Websites that are done by Religious groups like the Catholic Church that have very basic information, an example is a map of the local churches.

Thanks, --DFree 23:01, 12 August 2008 (EDT)

Please rename state/county vital records offices as Repositories.

As for religious groups, that's more difficult. I'm ignoring individuals churches unless they list records. But I'd rename larger church groups as Repositories if it looks like you can visit or write them to look up records.--Dallan 16:05, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

Repository page - add information [25 October 2008]

Resolution: Repositories are for organizations or major websites that house multiple collections. If you have a website for a single collection, then keep it as a source. If you have a website that has multiple types of records for a particular area, keep it as a source and select a subject of "Finding aid" for that place.


I have added a Repository page from a source page. Repository:Carpatho Rusyn Villages.

I am still learning the wiki system, and Werelate.

I am finding the Repository page being very limited. How do you add the information into the Repository page? There is a list of Surnames, etc I would like to add to the Repository page. Or link those surnames to that Repository.

Suggestions please Debbie Freeman--DFree 18:05, 25 August 2008 (EDT)

The Repository page is primarily to house information about the physical or virtual container of sources. I'd attach surnames to a Source page for a collection contained in the repository instead of attaching surnames to the Repository itself. Regarding Repository:Surnames of Carpathorusyn Villages, I don't think I would recommend attaching surnames here because this website isn't a very comprehensive source for any of the surnames listed. If I were looking for sources for the "Kaczmar" surname for example, I'm not sure I'd want this website to show up since it has very little information about Kaczmar's.

In the future, it might be better to keep a website like this as a Source, give it a subject of "Census records" since that's what it has the most of, and list Swiatkowa Wielka, Dudynce, and Hrabovcik as the places covered.--Dallan 01:34, 26 August 2008 (EDT)

If a surname with data exists in such as place as Repository:Surnames of Carpathorusyn Villages, and this is not listed as a source because there are few of this surname listed there circa 1352, what do the 12,000-50,000 descendants of those people do to discover their ancestors there? In general, I disagree with the convention which ignores smaller sources. Even the transcription of a single family bible is significant. If not a "source"...what category descriptor can be used in lieu of "source"? If one has searched "sources" and not found anything, and if the information and record is available but ignored, where does that leave those people? And there are many such people.--Dougcouch 18:32, 26 August 2008 (EDT)

The question has to do with the difference between directories (like Cyndislist or the early directory at Yahoo) and indexes (like Google). Directories, where you enter a surname or a place and get back a list of entries applicable to the surname or place, need to contain a limited number of entries so as not to overwhelm people with less-relevant results. If someone searches a directory for a particular surname or a particular place, we want the things that get returned to be high-quality, generally comprehensive for what they attempt to cover. The question to keep in mind is: will the average person searching on a particular surname or place covered by this source want to spend 5 minutes checking out this website to see if it's relevant to them?

Indexes on the other hand, where you can enter a full name and maybe even a date or place, and get back a list of pages where people with that name/date/place appear, don't need to be limited, because your ability to search the full text of every page in the index lets you filter the search results much more efficiently.

The Source pages are a directory. We still plan to index all of the URLs, even the ones we're not keeping in the Source pages directory, and make the pages on those websites searchable as part of our Web search. But that's a different search.--Dallan 14:37, 28 August 2008 (EDT)

Distinguishing property between Repository and Source [29 November 2008]

Would one distinguishing property between these two be that a Repository would never be used as a supporting reference itself whereas a Source may be used in this way? --ceyockey 12:48, 25 October 2008 (EDT)

Yes. A repostitory is a place (generally physical, but could also be virtual) where you could find sources, but would never be used as a supporting reference itself.--Dallan 22:47, 29 November 2008 (EST)

Dick Eastman, Dear Myrtle, etc - ignore [26 August 2008]


For websites like Dick Eastman's newsletter, or something similar we are ignoring those as "how to's" correct?

We are assuming people know who these folks are, correct?

Debbie Freeman--DFree 11:28, 26 August 2008 (EDT)

Right--Dallan 12:43, 26 August 2008 (EDT)

Ignoring 'Family Trees' [28 August 2008]

Resolution: when deciding whether or not to keep a source page, ask yourself: will the average person searching the particular surname or place covered by this source want to spend 5 minutes checking out this website to see if it's relevant to them? Use your best judgment. Don't be too concerned about ignoring family-tree websites. All websites (even ones removed from the Source directory) will be full-name/date/place searchable in future versions of the web search function.

Ok, I read your request for help (and would like to help) and I read the initial page and the talk page (completely). But, I have a question about your judgement on value of a limited source site. You have suggested that 'Family Trees' be ignored, and you have considered limits on partial transcriptions (just one SURNAME or very few entries). My question is this; what about 'family tree' sites that included transcription of wills and land grants/deeds and other documents? I might be able to glean that ONE piece of information to knock down my family wall if I can access the will or land deed of a neighboring family. And with the way the county lines changed in the colonies -- I may not know how to get to the right state or county resource, but if the SMITH family has already found that deed/will because it was about their family and all I want to or need to know is if my JONES did border/witness SMITH wouldn't it be easier for me to search SMITH for my JONES than to try to find out which Virginia county he might have been in in 1720?

I do agree that if the site is a family tree that only lists names and places and dates--they should be ignored, as they are usually borrowed and/or incorrect data. I also agree that if the 'transcript' is only one household that it should be ignored. I'm not so sure that a partial transcription of one SURNAME in a location should be tossed out so quickly. For ALL the descendants of that one SURNAME, you are in a way devaluing their heritage. If some of the decisions are based on the amount of space or bandwidth then let us know, but if it is merely to limit the sources down to relevant ones, maybe some we could be somewhat liberal in our judging?--Gendigger 10:27, 27 August 2008 (EDT)

It's really a matter of relevance. Since you can search the Source pages only by surname and/or place, I don't think we want to return hundreds of sources for a search on "Jones" that are for family trees with a few hundred people named Jones in the tree. I think the question to ask is: if I were searching on the particular surname/place covered by this website, would I want to spend 5 minutes checking it out? I think most family tree websites are better searched using a full-name searchable index. See my response a couple of topics up under the "Repository page" topic. You are free to use your best judgment as to which websites to keep. There are a lot of websites that are on the border as I help my sons (Spencer and Taylor) review them.--Dallan 14:37, 28 August 2008 (EDT)

Okay based on your answer to this question and your other response that you referred to in this reply, I think I have a better understanding of what you are doing and looking for. Thank you.--Gendigger 15:45, 28 August 2008 (EDT)

Computer Program websites - ignore? [5 September 2008]


What are we doing about websites that are about computer programs that are shareware, or paid programs?

The example I found was Source:Shareware programs by Edward Rosenbaum.

Do we ignore them?

Thanks, Debbie--DFree 18:02, 1 September 2008 (EDT)

Ignore them. I think we want to focus on Source pages for research. Thanks!--Dallan 12:06, 5 September 2008 (EDT)

Log our time [19 September 2008]

Isn't this a great opportunity to log some volunteer hours at: The admin. log?? --Msscarlet1957 00:31, 17 September 2008 (EDT)

Yes, please. WeRelate is a non-profit organization. In order to keep our tax deductible status, we have to show significant public support. Please record all the time you spend working on not-personal projects. Thanks again for all you do to help out.--sq 11:08, 19 September 2008 (EDT)

I see how quickly some of you are getting your sets of pages reviewed and I am amazed! I have worked hours and am not even half down the page! I guess I have a bit of a problem, looking at what is on the page and evaluating them. Am I making it harder that it should be? hmmmm --Msscarlet1957 18:53, 18 September 2008 (EDT)

What I've been doing is opening multiple tabs in my browser, and by multiple I mean I'll highlight half a page or more, wait until they load (which takes about a minute; also turn your sound off) and then quickly review them. However, now I've run into all the GenWeb county pages which is taking a bit longer. Before, I was mostly in the single name or family tree type data and could move through them a lot faster. I'll confess though that I don't spend a lot of time evaluating them. I'm looking for maps, BMD, census, tax, book transcriptions. If I don't see the right kinds of headings pointing me in the right direction, I'll quickly move on. Wacky blinding colors and chaotic arrangement of headings discourages me as well. I'm also on vacation, so I'm trying to get in as much volunteer time as I can. --Ronni 12:18, 19 September 2008 (EDT)

Opening multiple pages into tabs is definitely the way to go. A couple of my teenage children sit next to me and review some of the websites (although now that school has started they're putting in a lot fewer hours). It seems that most of the websites they review (9 out of 10) are either personal family trees or no longer found, so they don't take much time. The other websites take more time though.--Dallan 15:51, 22 September 2008 (EDT)

Repository or Finding Aid? [3 October 2008]

I feel some confusion about the difference between a repository and a finding aid. Some of the repositories listed in the source review appear to be more finding aids because they don't offer a broad range of topics/links and they are not physical places that one could use for research (I know that some repositories will be websites such as jewishgen). I will post a few examples for discussion and clarification

  1. http://freepages.military.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~genbel/
  2. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~adrian/OntDon.htm
  3. http://laurenzanesi.org/ (see if any of you can get the page to load)
  4. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ltmiller/
  5. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~maureenbryson/id33.htm
  6. http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~wcarr1/ (maybe list each book as a source?)--Jstump 15:13, 19 September 2008 (EDT)

Out of all the sites listed, I probably (maybe) would have only chosen one to be a repository (the one with all the parish registers). However, what I pick versus what someone else picks is going to be subjective. I know what you mean about confusion though, because I have to stop and re-evaluate my thinking every now and then while working on this project.

And nope, I couldn't get the laurenzanesi.org site to load either.

--Ronni 18:25, 20 September 2008 (EDT)

I wouldn't have classified any of the above as repositories. Websites 2 and 4 look like finding aids to me, 3 (which loaded in Firefox) looks like it has vital records, and I would have skipped 1 because it has just a few records scattered all over, and 6 (unless I wanted to take the time to list each book as a separate source).

I think we ought to use repositories almost exclusively for real-world organizations or places that you can visit: libraries with unique genealogical content, genealogy societies, historical societies, and records offices. The primary purpose of a repository is to give people additional places to look for content, especially offline content. We can include major websites like JewishGen, but I think website repositories ought to be an exception, not the rule.--Dallan 15:51, 22 September 2008 (EDT)

I agree, Dallen. It is so important for genealogist types to know that there IS an off line world that offers records which cannot be found anywhere else. So many people think that everything they need for their research can be found online and they don't even question the validity of the data they find. Off my soapbox now (you youngsters probably don't even know what a soapbox is....)! --Jstump 20:46, 22 September 2008 (EDT)

I disagree that these days quality, valuable website repositories are any rarer than offsite ones, and I think it is important to have pages for them. That said, I for one have put websites in the multi-source list not necessarily because they need to be repositories, but because they contain a variety of sources that are probably elsewhere on WeRelate, or should be, and need to be linked up. Since the point of that list was not to have us spending hours doing such things, I put them there. When the work is actually done, perhaps the repository is just Rootsweb instead of "Jane's web page", but it's the same work.

For this list, I would have skipped 1, 2 and 5 (surname specific), and 4 (not enough records, but could be finding aid); 3 works if you add www in Safari and looks like a gateway to a RootsWeb db that should have a source page; aqnd 6 is one of those ones that needs to be linked to the right book source pages. --Amelia 11:30, 2 October 2008 (EDT)

I think it's fine to put a website with a variety of sources on the multi-source list. I just hope people don't convert websites with a variety of sources into Repositories and then not put them on the multi-source list or create source pages for the collections they contain. If that happens and we end up with a repository page but no source pages for a website with a variety of online collections, I think we make the collections less "findable". Overall it sounds like we're pretty much in agreement.--Dallan 01:18, 4 October 2008 (EDT)

ROOTS-L Resource pages [1 October 2008]

Do we want to make individual source pages that Source:Roots-L (rootsweb.com) refers to? Example of a page would be the resource page for Mississippi. --Ronni 15:15, 29 September 2008 (EDT)

Wow, I'd never seen these Roots-L pages before. I think we could keep them as finding aids (one per state). A good project would be to have a crawler go through them at some point and make sure that we have Source pages for all of the pages they link to. That's a good project for early next year.--Dallan 11:27, 1 October 2008 (EDT)

Top navigational page for extensive family history [15 October 2008]

How would you propose dealing with a page like http://www.altlaw.com/edball/? My thought is to exclude it or list it as a Repository, though the content is quite focused rather than broad. It appears to redirect to an information page about the resource after a minute or so of inactivity. --Ceyockey 20:55, 13 October 2008 (EDT)

I would not make it a repository. I would list it as finding aid. That's assuming that I had spent time there trying to find out what's available. I don't like sites that have me dig to find their info. The main page should have told me what was there, instead I had to click on "the Ball room" which according to the site was a "good choice." --Ronni 10:29, 14 October 2008 (EDT)

A "finding aid" ... do you mean as a Source or as a type of categorized article? Sorry to be dense. --ceyockey 21:16, 14 October 2008 (EDT)
OK - I understand now after having looked up at WeRelate talk:Source review#What about pages that just include links to lots of other pages.3F .5B4 August 2008.5D --ceyockey 21:20, 14 October 2008 (EDT)
FYI - done and sitting at Source:Descendants of Edward Ball of New Jersey Interest Group. The Big gEDcom. --ceyockey 21:45, 14 October 2008 (EDT)

Looks real good Ceyockey and thanks for helping out! :) BTW, you weren't being dense. I should have explained myself better. A good portion of our sources that we are reviewing we'll end up being finding aids, btw. --Ronni 00:49, 15 October 2008 (EDT)

Non-English language sources [15 October 2008]

My feeling is that non-English language sources encountered during review should be included on a special related page so that they can be reviewed by people with the language skills to make sense of them. Such a page could include sections for different languages ... and of course an 'unknown' section ... into which the source and human-suggested source title could be placed for review. Thoughts? --Ceyockey 21:39, 13 October 2008 (EDT)

I had actually thought something similar at one point ... early on, but having reviewed some 19,000 pages myself up to this point, I would find it would too time consuming for the few English volunteers we have to do in anticipation of future non-English volunteers joining the party. --Ronni 10:36, 14 October 2008 (EDT)

I agree. Let's review the non-english pages as best we can. Don't spend too much time trying to figure out exactly what they're about; native-language speakers can fine-tune things later. Categorizing a German-language page that looks like it has original records because it has a big table of names and dates just as a "finding aid" for Germany right now isn't that bad in my opinion.--Dallan 00:24, 16 October 2008 (EDT)

Choice between a partial vanity page and one or more content pages [16 October 2008]

There exists the article Source:Alvey which was auto-created back in April 2006. The text placed by the bot creating the page reads "Family history, general interests and professional resume of Ken Alvey. Features the descendants of John Alvey (circa 1753) and Elizabeth Everingham (1755)." On inspection of the site, it is partially self-promotional (e.g. CV and links to immediate family members' pages - one of which features a CV as well) and partially of genealogical interest (e.g. a family tree page and a page with links to other Alvey sites of genealogical interest). I don't think that we should assist people in self-promotion, but rather focus on content of genealogical interest, meaning the most expedient path would be deletion of the auto-created page and creation of two source articles for the site (one for http://www.alvey.biz/kenalvey/ka_genealogy/gen01.htm and one for http://www.alvey.biz/kenalvey/ka_links/links02.htm). What are your thoughts on this? --ceyockey 21:23, 15 October 2008 (EDT)

Thank-you for getting involved with this project!

I definitely wouldn't keep http://www.alvey.biz/kenalvey/. I don't think I would even keep http://www.alvey.biz/kenalvey/ka_genealogy/gen01.htm because it looks like it just contains his personal ancestry. We don't generally keep personal family tree websites as Sources. The source index is intended to provide recommended websites. A problem with most family tree websites is that they don't focus on just one place or surname and they're usually not very comprehensive. Someone searching the Alvey surname for example would be unlikely to find information relevant to them on this website; even though it focuses on just the Alvey surname, there are only a few dozen Alvey's listed. So it doesn't make sense to keep it in the source index. Instead, the plan is to provide a full-name index to these personal family tree websites. So even though we're going to remove personal family-tree websites from the Source index, we still plan to index them separately under Web Search.

I wouldn't keep the second webpage: http://www.alvey.biz/kenalvey/ka_links/links02.htm either. It's just a list of links to websites at other internet domain. As with so many link-list web pages, many of the links are not worthwhile. Of the five that I clicked on, one required a password, one is a personal homepage with no genealogy that I could see, one is a personal family tree, one had nothing to do with genealogy, and one no longer exists. If the link is to a website on a different domain, chances are that we have a Source page for it already. So I wouldn't keep a website that didn't itself have worthwhile content.

I believe that most websites you keep will fall into one of four categories (maybe others could elaborate on this list?):

  1. Websites with primary records: cemeteries, military rosters, etc. These generally focus on records for a particular place, so you would fill in the "Place covered" field with the place.
  2. Websites for organizations that hold genealogical records: genealogical societies, county courthouses, libraries with local history collections, etc. These should be renamed to be Repositories, and the "place" field for the Repository should be filled in with the county or state that they have records for.
  3. Websites for one-name studies or surname organizations that focus on one particular surname with a fair amount of content and that invite anyone with an interest in that surname to contribute (so containing records by multiple individuals). These become "finding aids" for that surname, so the surname is entered into the "Surname" field.
  4. Websites with records or good-quality research guidance for a specific culture or religion. For example, a website on how to research Mennonite ancestors or one containing native-american records would be worthwhile to keep.

--Dallan 00:24, 16 October 2008 (EDT)

I'm in agreement with Dallan. I wouldn't keep them either. And the four categories he mentions is how I go through the process of whether to keep a site as a source or not. Additionally, looks and functionality matter to me as well when I'm about to categorize a site as a "finding aid." I won't dump a site as a source simply because I don't like the colors (okay, I did one time, but you should have seen it!), but there has to be some organization and structure to it.

As a side note, the more pages you review, the faster the process goes. Eventually you'll stop clicking on pages in your sleep as well. Trust me, it does go away. :) --Ronni 17:26, 16 October 2008 (EDT)

Place field for repositories [19 October 2008]

Following up on the guideline stated above the "place" field for the Repository should be filled in with the county or state that they have records for, consider Repository:Alvernia University Library (Pennsylvania). Looking at the details of this library's holdings it appears that two cultural centers are supported, a Polish American Cultural Center and an Italian American Cultural Center. If one were to consider this an opportunity to apply two place values — Poland and Italy — one runs up against the limitation that there is but a single place entry possible for the Repository article creation template. An alternative way to handle this would be to designate the "place" as "United States" and categorize the Repository to (for instance) Category:Ethnic and cultural libraries, archives and museums (or more specific category(ies) should this be needed in the future). --ceyockey 02:23, 16 October 2008 (EDT)

Good point. I don't think the Repository template has had much discussion, but there does need to be some changes made so that more helpful information can be added. --Ronni 17:08, 16 October 2008 (EDT)

Yes, the Repository namespace is pretty new. It probably needs some changes, but I won't be able to get to them until next year. For now just put this repository in the United States.--Dallan 11:24, 19 October 2008 (EDT)

Book stores? [26 October 2008]

What about book stores specializing in genealogical and historical books, maps, etc.? --Ronni 11:25, 22 October 2008 (EDT)

My gut feeling is, yes, it is ok to add these as repositories. I did recently avoid adding an author's and professional genealogist's personal website which was among the auto-found sources - including that would have felt too much like advertising for the person. --ceyockey 13:25, 22 October 2008 (EDT)

I don't agree that book stores are repositories. They are simply book stores; I would not add Amazon.com as a repository although they do sell books in the field of genealogy. If you purchase an item from a book store do you list the book store as the repository in your genie program? --Beth 19:32, 22 October 2008 (EDT)

No, I wouldn't list the bookstore as a repository in my personal record keeping; it would be (perhaps) a piece of meta-data associated with the book source. However, WeRelate has differences from personal genealogy programs in that the goal is to support all genealogy investigations as well as a focused personal investigation. Thus, a physical bookstore (which would not include Amazon.com) in a location accessible to an investigator has repository-like properties. To take a different perspective - would book stores be classed as finding aid-type sources if not repositories? Or would you suggest that they be excluded from having page-level representation in WeRelate? Any of these three (or other solutions) is quite ok by me as long as it is backed by general consensus, though I stand behind my suggestion that repository-status would be appropriate. --ceyockey 08:20, 23 October 2008 (EDT)

I will add another late comment here so as not to break a stream of commentary below ... I think that if one did add a bookstore as a repository, then in the text of the page it should be described what makes the bookstore special with respect to genealogical investigations. I would further add that a bookstore associated with a museum or historical society or library would not warrant a stand-alone repository listing, but that encompassing article could be categorized to indicate that it contains a bookstore of relevance - again with the caveat that the relevant content focus should appear in the encompassing article. These would be 'guidelines for content' of repositories of this type. --ceyockey 18:46, 23 October 2008 (EDT)

I would not add a bookstore as a repository. Bookstores are quite easily found by anyone who needs one. I think our pages should be more genealogy specific. If a bookstore specializes in genealogy type books, then I would add it.--Jstump 11:51, 23 October 2008 (EDT)

I believe bookstores specializing in specific genealogy materials should be listed as repositories. I too have steered away from listing professional genealogists' services and private authors' book sites, however a bookstore fits the very definition of a repository. Elsewhere on this page, it has already been addressed that libraries (with specific genealogy sources) be listed as a repositories, however, if they have online databases, that those databases be listed as sources. --Ronni 12:13, 26 October 2008 (EDT)

This Project [29 November 2008]

Hi, Y'all are doing a remarkable job. I am still working on my first set of pages. From reading the initial description of this project; just wondering why we could not dump the remaining pages that have not been done. Then they would become offline sources and the bot could do them also. --Beth 07:45, 4 November 2008 (EST)

I don't think I understand what you are saying (with respect to the dump and bot work). Could you rephrase this? --ceyockey 20:22, 4 November 2008 (EST)

Quoting from the project page created by Dallan:

"For off-line sources, we will be running an automated program to clean up the nearly 1,000,000 items from the FHLC and later we'll create Source pages for the material found in major genealogy libraries. However, we need to review the online sources by hand. We currently have Source pages for 120,000 online sources. Most of these point to online family trees and should be deleted. But many point to transcriptions of original records or other items of broad interest."

I guess it will not work. I just dislike this project and I made an attempt to come up with another solution.--Beth 20:54, 4 November 2008 (EST)

Beth, if you are interested and unless Dallan objects for some reason, you could possibly start adding NEW sources from the list we've created of sites with multi-source pages. Just pick a site, browse it to find the databases and create the new sources. I can't think of any reason why someone could not go ahead and get started on this part of the project and this might be more up your alley. Or it may not. :)

If you or anyone else is interested in starting this, I would suggest that when you complete a site just put "completed" by the name so we'll know it's already been reviewed. Also, don't worry about any page associated with the various GenWeb sites. That's a separate project that will be tackled after the source review project is completed.

I would also suggest that you use your own discretion when reviewing this multi-source cites. I've added sites to the list that others may not find as valuable or limited in scope and sometimes even I wondered if they would be useful, and thus would add them so another set of eyes could take a look.

Any objections Dallan?

--Ronni 12:38, 8 November 2008 (EST)

No objections here. That would be a great idea!--Dallan 22:47, 29 November 2008 (EST)

Occupations [29 November 2008]

While working on this project, I have come across a few sites that deal with occupational type material (e.g., mining, law, etc). In making my choice for the source page, I'm finding the list of occupations too specific. They also are listed as pertaining to individuals (more suitable for person pages) instead of the field. For example, miner instead of mining, sheriff instead of law enforcement, doctor instead of medical, etc.

Also, I came across a page dealing with the "foundry field" which I believe is metal working, but there were no choices available to list that occupation.

--Ronni 12:21, 8 November 2008 (EST)

That's a good point. Let me rework this list.--Dallan 22:47, 29 November 2008 (EST)

Blog sources [29 November 2008]

This topic should really be discussed in the context of categories, but I wanted to have it visible, so I've placed it here.

There are cases where blogs (such as http://ancestornews.com/) would be useful to include here as either Source and/or Repository. From a categorization point-of-view, the topically closest sub-cat of Category:Sources would be Category:Message boards and lists. Here are a couple of many possible choices to discuss (more than one would likely be applicable):

  1. categorize blog-sources to Category:Message boards and lists
  2. change the text associated with Category:Message boards and lists to indicate expansion to include blogs
  3. change the title of Category:Message boards and lists to something more like Category:Online and e-mail discussions

I personally favor the third option (changing the title). --ceyockey 15:49, 8 November 2008 (EST)

I'm planning to delete of most message boards and lists sources because we currently have 300,000-400,000 of them and I don't think they add that much value for as many as we have. How about creating a new blog category?--Dallan 22:47, 29 November 2008 (EST)

Hispanic ethnicity needed [30 November 2008]

We need a Hispanic choice when choosing ethnicity / culture as the subject. Mexican, Spanish, Puerto Rican, etc. can be too narrow a choice for some websites. --Ronni 11:35, 22 November 2008 (EST)

I'll add a Hispanic choice. Do you think we should merge Mexican and Puerto Rican, etc. into this or keep them as well?--Dallan 22:47, 29 November 2008 (EST)

I'd keep them if they aren't in the way, though I speculate they won't be used as much. --Ronni 22:29, 30 November 2008 (EST)

Check this page for me [1 December 2008]

Hello everyone,

Would someone check this page for me and tell me what to enter on the source page if anything? My ISP has blocked this page.


--Beth 22:02, 30 November 2008 (EST)

There's nothing there. It redirects to a domain/business advertisement. --Ronni 22:33, 30 November 2008 (EST)

Okay, thanks.--Beth 00:14, 1 December 2008 (EST)

Please ask general source questions on WeRelate talk:Source Committee [23 December 2008]

This page and WeRelate talk:Source Committee have similar discussions. So that we have discussions about titling and describing sources all on the same page, please ask general questions about sources on the WeRelate talk:Source Committee page. Please continue to ask questions about specific sources being reviewed on this page. Thank-you!--Dallan 22:48, 23 December 2008 (EST)

GenWeb Source Page Titles [30 June 2013]

I am wondering if we can develop a convention for GenWeb source pages. I was looking over the Connecticut pages, and their titles vary greatly. Here are a few examples, Source:CT GenWeb Project: Coventry, Source:Lisbon, CT: USGenweb Site, Source:U.S. GenWeb Project - Fairfield County, and Source:USGenWeb Windham, CT. I suggest a convention like other geographic related resources, like United States, State, County, Town. GenWeb. I will say that GenWeb is not a resource I utilize much, so I certainly welcome others' opinions! I would be willing to retitle all of the Connecticut pages. Also, are these pages actually Repositories? They are mostly links to other sources, such as the Barbour Collection, census records, and such.--Jennifer (JBS66) 17:13, 23 January 2009 (EST)

I think using the convention of titling by location is the way to go. The general label of "GenWeb" should be used instead of the more specific "WVGenWeb" or "OHGenWeb", correct? I also believe that they should be left as finding aids. Some sites are going to be better than others and have quite a bit of material that could then have their own source pages, and thus by definition the GenWeb site could be a repository. But the majority of the sites will probably not qualify as a repository which will give us a mixture of source vs repository. For this reason, I would like to see all of the GenWeb pages left as finding aids.

I put a list of States on the Project page so we can sign up for whatever area we are reviewing and below that an area for putting any other country name. Thanks! --Ronni 13:17, 24 January 2009 (EST)

I don't suppose there's a way to exclude Finding Aids from the source drop down? I know that someday there will be lots of sources for every state and county, and so we will always have to type down to the county at least, but for right now, generally only a few select useful sources are correctly named... but now all the neatly renamed GenWeb pages, almost none of which should ever be cited as a source, are clogging the list. Not a big deal in the scheme of things, but just thought I'd toss out the idea.--Amelia 09:04, 25 January 2009 (EST)

That's not an easy thing to do. You can exclude them from the search screen if you want, but not from the drop-down. One idea could be to rename all finding aids to Repositories, which could make sense depending upon how we think about repositories; that is: a repository is any collection of multiple sources, including one-name-studies and GenWeb pages. I could at some point write a program to rename them automatically if we decided to go this route.--Dallan 14:45, 26 January 2009 (EST)

When someone searches for a source, are the repositories included in that search? If so, then I guess finding aids as repositories would be ok, though I'm not a big fan of the idea. Would an alternative approach be to create a new name space called "Finding Aids"? --Ronni 16:26, 26 January 2009 (EST)

Since there's no easy way to do it, I drop the request to exclude the finding aids - it's a temporary "problem" that it would fix. I'm not saying I'm a fan of having Finding Aids as sources, but I think that it's moderately useful to have them come up where someone is actually looking for sources, and some do have some user submitted content that should be cited, so leaving them has some advantages.--Amelia 16:30, 26 January 2009 (EST)

Is the convention for naming GenWeb pages "United States, State, County" still valid? Most other sources appear to use County, State, United States. If it is still valid, what is the reasoning for the difference?--Khaentlahn 12:23, 30 June 2013 (EDT)

Hi there - you're looking at a really old page for an old project. The convention for place names is now always smallest first (it used to be the reverse). But more importantly, there shouldn't be any GenWeb source pages, at least any new ones. They are if anything repositories and not themselves sources (at least sources that qualify as the type to get pages, rather than MySources). -Amelia 12:59, 30 June 2013 (EDT)
Should these sourced GenWeb pages be converted to Repositories (if they do not currently exist) with the current naming convention? Or is there some other method being used to handle these pages?--Khaentlahn 13:45, 30 June 2013 (EDT)
It's still TBD - there's a question to the source patrol committee to similar effect that's gotten no comment. I would recommend against creating each of them as repositories. That's a lot of work, and I'm not sure it's a good idea anyway - there is a single GenWeb repository already, and pages for each individual county strike me as an impossible maintainance task (since the county-specific repository pages would be more useful than the national page only if they describe the underlying pages, which can change at whim) with very little payoff since they would be rarely used--but I'm also not the final say.-Amelia 16:40, 30 June 2013 (EDT)
Thank you for the response. I will direct further queries there.

Native American Sources [28 January 2009]

I have been thinking of a volunteer project for Werelate. I have the NARA catalog for Native American NARA records. Would it help if I located the NARA Native American records and added the NARA information? Probably most of the Werelate sources are from the FHL catalog.

If I understand - We would be titling it as an example

"Cherokee: 1885 census..." or "United States. Cherokee: 1885 census...".

I lean toward the latter but I'm not sure.

Any suggestions, comments, etc. always appreciated.

Debbie Freeman --DFree 14:02, 28 January 2009 (EST)

This is a good question. I'm not familiar with the Cherokee or Indian census rolls, but the first search hit I got at WeRelate was this one -- Census roll, 1835, of the Cherokee Indians east of the Mississippi and index to the roll, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia. Would be difficult to narrow that down to a specific geographic location. Are the NARA titles like this as well? --Ronni 15:15, 28 January 2009 (EST)

It depends. That is the basic title in the NARA catalog for the NARA Roll as well. Adding Country, Tribe, brief description etc might help. Also sometimes the Source is known by the US officials such as the Dawes Rolls.

--DFree 15:37, 28 January 2009 (EST)

Well, I dunno Debbie. Perhaps something like: United States. 1835 Census Roll, Cherokee Indians East of the Mississippi ? That's using:

  1. Location, followed by a period (.) then
  2. the year with the words Census Roll and then a comma (,) and then
  3. a concise description

2 and 3 could be reversed, but I was thinking about how it would be appear and easily called within a drop-down box.

I'm open for further suggestions. --Ronni 15:49, 28 January 2009 (EST)

How about "Source: United States. Cherokee. 1835 Census Roll, Cherokee Indians East of the Mississippi" instead?

i.e. Source-Country-Tribe-description with the Year?

Most of the time the person is looking by Tribe

--DFree 16:02, 28 January 2009 (EST)

It looks like we have pages like this in WeRelate Source:Indian census rolls, Albuquerque School, 1904-1907, 1910, 1911 where there are various years, this could get messy. Since there appears to be only one census page for the Albuquerque School, maybe we should leave the year out of the title. United States. Albuquerque School, Indian Census Rolls or United States. Indian Census Rolls (Albuquerque School).
The table at the bottom of this website shows the various Indian Censuses, the pages of which we have on WeRelate. You would be renaming these existing WeRelate pages, right?--Jennifer (JBS66) 16:13, 28 January 2009 (EST)

I like Debbie's suggestion to follow location with Tribe. And in the case of multiple years, either leave out the year or do a 1904-1911 type thing where/if appropriate.

In the school citation, I would've narrowed the place down further in the title: United States, New Mexico, Albuquerque. Indian School Census Rolls. Either way, I think we're all on the same page as to what's needed. --Ronni 16:28, 28 January 2009 (EST)

Yes - You would be renaming these existing WeRelate pages, right

--DFree 16:42, 28 January 2009 (EST)

Index of NEHGR Abstracts of Suffolk Co. Wills [2 March 2009]

I started cleaning up MySources and in the process got the idea to create an index to the Suffolk Co Wills as abstracted in NEHGR-- multiple volumes. For the time being, I placed the start of it on the Talk page of the Source:

| Abstracts of Early Suffolk Wills

But it occurs to me that this is not the best place to place such text. Should it be its own article?

-- jillaine 08:04, 28 February 2009 (EST)

I wish I had a better answer for this. I don't like the idea of creating articles for source indexes/transcriptions because the index/transcription should be tied more closely to the Source page in my opinion. Ideally they would be subpages of Sources, but this is problematic at present because subpages don't get renamed when the main page gets renamed. Until I fix subpage renaming, I think putting it on the talk page is a good solution.--Dallan 18:06, 2 March 2009 (EST)

Numbers in Parentheses following Source Name [8 March 2009]

You all who've been around for awhile probably know exactly what is causing this, but I don't yet know.

As I'm doing redirects on my MySources (as appropriate), I'm also trying to clean up the Sources that I redirect TO-- renaming to appropriate convention; adding repository info, etc. The one I'm currently working on is American Marriages before 1699. When I do a search of the Source space, I get these results:

Source:American marriage records before 1699 (5504)

Source:American marriage records before 1699 (1055041)

Source:American marriage records before 1699 (365922)

The third one appears to be the most complete. And the second one is the only one that has something linking to it.

But what do those numbers in parens mean?

And if I find dupes like this and nothing is linking to them, can I set the dupes up for speedydelete?


-- jillaine 15:17, 8 March 2009 (EDT)

The dups are a function of the extract from the Family History Library catalog, which has multiple copies of some things. Pick the one that appears to relate to the original publication, add the film or reprint or whatever information the others relate to and either redirect them or move them to speedy delete (I prefer the latter, because then they disappear and we don't have useless names showing up in the source dropdown).--Amelia 15:44, 8 March 2009 (EDT)

Thanks Amelia. Will do. -- jillaine 20:47, 8 March 2009 (EDT)

Members-only databases [9 June 2009]

I'm not sure if this is the place for this question. What do we do about databases that are in members-only sections of genealogy society websites? Do they still get classified as "Paid website" or is there another category to use? --Ajcrow 08:59, 9 June 2009 (EDT)

I have used "Paid web site" for such sources. newenglandancestors.org, for example. jillaine 12:06, 9 June 2009 (EDT)

Civil War Reports [28 April 2011]

I've noted a lot of duplicates of government reports on the American civil war. For one example, the Illinois Adjutant General reports are numerous. A keyword search for "Report of the adjutant general of the state of Illinois" will show several Source and MySource pages of the same report. There were several volumes of this report, but these are not always indicated in the sources. Most if not all are now scanned into Google Books. Here's Volume VII for example: Report of the adjutant general of the state of Illinois (1861-1866), Volume 7. Reports from other states seem to have duplicates as well. — Parsa 12:31, 26 April 2011 (EDT)

I don't doubt it. Regarding MySource pages duplicating Source pages, for new gedcom uploads it's now easier to match community Source pages so hopefully in the future duplicate MySource pages will be created much less often. In the future I plan to add a "match" link on MySource pages to make it easier for people to match their existing MySource pages with Source pages, so hopefully over time the MySoruce-Source duplication will be reduced. Regarding duplicate Source pages, please feel free to merge these when you find them by redirecting one to the other (put a #redirect [[Source:...]] in the text box of the source you want to redirect).--Dallan 10:39, 28 April 2011 (EDT)
When/if you do merge them, be sure to move over any important information to the primary source first. Once you put #redirect on the page, the information on the page being redirected will be removed. --Jennifer (JBS66) 10:53, 28 April 2011 (EDT)
Thanks, I will do that when I run into these situations in the future. — Parsa 17:20, 28 April 2011 (EDT)