With my new rabbit hole called WikiTree, I am taking on the dreaded task of cleaning up my source citations more seriously. This was one of my resolutions for the year which would, by extension, also tidy up my official off-line tree. But, it is much more fun to research, research, research!
This will, I hope, benefit my family as much as it benefits the genealogy group-think community. WikiTree is free and available to all. It is also giving me an opportunity to document errors and corrections that are otherwise being ignored or emotionally disputed on Ancestry and FamilySearch. For example, I have found at least two trees on Ancestry that attributes my grandfather Rhoades to the wrong woman – who is dead. Simply based on the fact that she has the same christian name. Very disconcerting, no source citation or proof argument and other’s are “citing” these incorrect trees. It should not be that important, after all genealogy is not official record. but it does kinda irk me. And I have seen my own information posted along with other living relatives (with incorrect information).
WikiTree family chart for Ken Jr. This information is publicly available so family can view it and navigate through it at any time. This is only a snap-shot-in time as I am still adding profiles where I have enough information to support my hypothesis.
Back to WikiTree…This week started off with reviewing ancestral profile matches between a GEDCOM version of my official tree (with messy or missing source citations) to ancestral profiles already in existence on WikiTree. And now that I have that complete, I am motivated to continue updating these ancestral profiles with my full source citations.
I have started with my paternal great-grandparents and will work my way back in time by couple. I skipped my parents and grandparents because they are still living, except for one. I am omitting my maternal line because a) they are all Thai and I only have 1 source, my mother, and 2) If you know anything about the modern Asian culture, you will know they are highly private. I would like to stay on good terms with my mother!
I will focus first on those profiles which I manage. This will take some time as I ended up managing quite a few profiles. I was very surprised at how many ancestors in my direct line were not previously entered on WikiTree. Especially popular ancestors being simultaneously researched by various genealogists on Ancestry and FamilySearch.
This is going to take a lot of time. But I am happy to report that I am making some pretty good progress. I’ve completed full source citations and biography for two profiles, Kenneth Sr and Eleanor Cobe! It doesn’t sound like much, does it? Well, Ken and Eleanor are from a prime generation for records. My progress will rapidly increase the further back I get as their will be fewer sources available to cite.
And if you are my family reading this…rest assured, I am protecting your personal details by not entering your personal details. Not even your names. I do live in a paranoid world, after all.
Just as an aside. I think I hate creating proper source citations as much as I hate doing math. In fact, I think I would rather do math! One thing going for me is I already have biography write-ups completed on many of my known direct ancestors courtesy of this blog.
What am I planning to do after I update all sources for the profile I manage? Well, I am glad you asked.
Next I am going to review the information on the ancestral profiles that already have managers and compare what is posted with what I have found or concluded. This is the real purpose of WikiTree: to collaborate on evidence and proof arguments to determine most likely relations, dates, and locations.
I have already done some quick cursory peaks at some of these profiles and I am seeing some information that I do not yet have! A few that I have spot check have great profiles maintained and I am simply excited to see what they have posted.
I am not the kind of genealogist that puts much stock in how many ancestors I have “collected,” but just to put a little perspective on how big this project is for me, let’s look at the numbers. My current direct ancestor research records 172 ancestors. This does not include branches of siblings, just direct ancestors. Of these ancestors, I now manage 69 of them on WikiTre. I have completed two profiles, leaving 67 more to go. And then I will tackle the Coomer’s!
Wish me luck!