Genealogy Wise

The Genealogy & Family History Social Network


Sourcing Your Genealogy

Are you sourcing? If so, how. If not, why? What are your opinions about un-sourced genealogy?

Members: 103
Latest Activity: May 21, 2018

Discussion Forum

what do you consider Primary Sources?

Started by Kate Steere. Last reply by Burkely Hermann May 21, 2018. 21 Replies

How do you know what type of source?

Started by Sue McCormick. Last reply by Sue McCormick Nov 20, 2009. 9 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Patricia Holyome on April 21, 2013 at 12:55pm
Hello everyone.
well i have relied a lot of Ancestry for my copy and paste sourcing, i know not great :(
i understand the concept etc, but one thing that annoys me is seeing others trees with no sourcing, how do I know you didn't copy that, how do I know its real and where did you get your information.
well now I have been using Scotlandspeople to retrieve some records. sigh, great site for record finding (aside from the cost) but no where on there does it show where the record can be found. I don't know what reel or anything. i find this frustrating because I do know others are searching that family line and would like to know how I found those records.
so how would or do you source from Scotlandspeople.
Comment by RJLTrudel-PLCGS on February 23, 2012 at 7:29pm

Citation and Sourcing was my weakness till an extention to my name line was made by my last cousin who could. I ask myself "How his he going to follow my work if nothing is done correctly" this led me to start over again in a professional manner -- and i'm glad I did- thx to Genealogical Studies!

Comment by Sarah Coles on February 23, 2012 at 6:42pm

As someone else previously said, the most important issue about genealogy is the sources!  If you cannot back up your information with actual factual information, then it means nothing.  Public trees are not sources!  It may seem like dog work but it is so important to actually list your citation and source with every event or fact you put into your tree.  It is so easy to forget if you procrastinate and say you'll do it later.  Another wise thing to do is have an actual paper trail of all your sources and keep your filing up-to-date.  You never know when you might want to refer to something you've long since forgotten about. 

Comment by Carol Ellis on February 5, 2012 at 3:45pm

 Hello, I am new to the group and yes, I am sourcing.

 I thought I was doing a good job with sources when I started my research, but as the years have gone by and I've had to verify some information I find that even I am having trouble finding it again.

  I like the way FTM has sources now, but I have found that it is very easy to make a mistake when you are in the window screen.  If you happen to have a scroll mouse and move it while it is still in the source title field, it will move and change your title.  I found this out by accident when I was checking sources on an individual and discovered one that didn't make sense.  i.e. always lived in Canada, but a U.S. census record listed as a source and the dates and ages etc didn't make sense.  So, this created “a can of worms” so to speak and I have now started to check all of my sources and if I can access the source again, I am adding more information to make it a more useful source.

Comment by Sheri L. Whaley on May 22, 2011 at 1:34am

Hello.  I'm new to the group but I have a source citation suggestion.  I've started using a program called Evernote.  I wish I'd had it 10 years ago when I started searching online as I didn't realize the importance to keeping track of all my sources.  In that time I've gotten a ton of family information from various websites and now when I go back and look I can't tell you what came where on most of it. 

With Evernote, I can highlight just the parts of the page that I want to keep and it'll save each one as a note in addition to the exact web address of the page the note came from.  Adding tags and being able to save everything to different notebooks makes it great for doing genealogy online.  It can be used with files you've already got on your computer or paper files that you've scanned or need to scan.


Just something I thought would be a wonderful tool for genealogy research. I had to pass that one.

Comment by Slægtens Historie on March 6, 2011 at 6:10am

Hello, Im new to this group. Allow me to introduce myself.

I am 50 years old and a professionel genealogist living in Copenhagen Denmark. The most important issue about genealogy is the sources!

Comment by Liz Loveland on February 13, 2010 at 5:20pm
Posting in response to Richard I. Chesley's message to members:

I agree on the public trees. I've even found trees where families I've researched well are listed with the date for the wrong person - such that a child is listed as being born before a parent with the same name or some other similar thing. I've also found numerous errors in published genealogies. Any genealogical source is only as good as its own sources, in my humble opinion.
Comment by Terri O'Connell on December 19, 2009 at 8:56pm
Roberta, if you know where he was buried, you might contact the cemetery and see if what records they have. Contacting the funeral home the handled everything could be helpful as well. I would also try to get a copy of his death certificate if you know where he died.

Try googling the son and see what that gets you.
Comment by Roberta Baum on December 19, 2009 at 6:41pm
I am wondering if anyone can give me some pointers on finding my father's ancestry. I have his name and a picture of his headstone. I know the name of one of his children who lives in Argentina but I don't know how to contact him. My parents were not married to each other.
Comment by Katie Heitert Wilkinson on October 8, 2009 at 7:37pm
Old teachers die hard. Can't remember the number of times I told students, "your opinions are only as good as the facts you use to support them." That pretty much sums up how I feel about sourcing. I will admit, though, it's frustruating not to just jump on a fragment of information that looks or sounds promising.

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