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Sources and Citations - Plea for educating contributors

I am a frequent contributor to the Family Tree. I often see edits that give their "source" for the their added info as "Ancestry" or Gedcom or something else that is NOT a source. FS does have a tutorial and info on how to and what constitutes a source....why not put that link in every space where info can be added.  On "Add Source" the process and parts of a source are pretty laid out with info buttons..... so perhaps encourage adding their source to the "Add source" page too.

This "educational" tool would not only add to the accuracy of the tree, but informs as well. 


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  • I’m about to give up! I’m an experienced genealogy researcher and in fact, have taught research techniques including sources and proof standard. I spent time recently entering and documenting a family in the tree - went in today to add a new finding only to find additions ....some using "Ancestry tree" or "gedcom" or a 1830 census to verify children .... by name. WHY doesn’t FS give some guidance about documentation....what is and is not a valid source, even a way for users to indicate "possible" evidence. IF THE OBJECTIVE IS TO CREATE A WORLD TREE, ACCURACY IS IMPORTANT. I think many, many people would appreciate guidance and info regarding building a an accurate (as possible) family tree.

  • @bonniesamuel1 great post - sources are so vital!

  • Thanks, Cindy -- so much!

    There are more and more "genealogy" sites out there, all commercial, and do NOT promote accepted research methods.

    It seems to me that this provides an opening for FS to lead, educate and foster the building of an accurate tree. When I taught "basic genealogical process" many students, who had been creating a family tree for some time, embraced documentation. Why? Once they learned what sources were, where to find them, how to cite, they also discovered that one source leads to another! Brick walls fell, real ancestors appeared.

    FS is considered a reliable source for finding original evidence...their WIKI a phenomenal resource too. I'm a fan for sure and for that reason, I feel the accuracy of tree entries can be much improved by providing educational prompts and more.


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