Questions about Citations and Sources

  1. Web sources, for example for a place, if you use a site (For example wikipedia or thats place own site) to figure out what its name was in different years, and/or if it merged with something else, would you put that source. Would you put it Just directily at a place “internet” tab, or would you add it via Source Citations --> Source --> Repositories, if the last one, would you quote the info in a note to either the source OR citation or just have a link?

  2. If all your information on a person is just something the person himself or someone else said to you, would you mark that somehow, if so, how? a note? If so, a note on indevidual events or just on the person?

  3. What if you do not really know where information came from, because you got the tree from your grandparent and there are not sources for everything, or they are not very spesific? (But you trust the person that gave it to you)

  4. Whats the point of having to do Citation --> Source and not just Source directly if the Source will only be used a single place?

  5. What place to have media that can possibly have the possibility cause least problems or whatever?

Bonus question:
If two people lived the same place, would you share the hole event, or have different events (but ofc share place). What if one person dies or move out before the other?

I & 4. I just attach the Wikipedia page in the Internet tab. Besides name and geography information it will often have historical information that a cousin may be interested in. The same for a site like

These links become available in the Narrative Website output.

5 Media on a Place record (Flag, Coat of Arms, Banner, etc) only show up when the report page is about that place so rarely added to an output.

2 You can add a Person as a source.

Source: Aunt Mary
Citation: Letter… or Email…

I started my genealogy when I got my first computer (Apple IIe) and started organizing all the information my maternal grandmother had amassed. When a cousin asks for their limbs of the tree, I just offer this general acknowledgement on the Home Page of the Narrative Website.

3 If I get information like this, I will put the Source/Citation in the Person’s general citation and NOT on the specific event. I only source events with a citation that proves that event. Otherwise, I treat the information as a “Clue”. Yes, maybe a very good clue, but not proof.

i.e. The Birth information found in a Death Certificate is not proof of the birth information. Other users will share the citation between the Death and the Birth as an indication where they found even that bit of information. I just treat any bit of information absent a citation as a clue. This sharing of a citation among items I consider clues also adds to what I call “Citation Clutter”.

And other users will have their own methods. You determine what is best for you.

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It is traditional to identify some sources as Oral History. These inherently have a lower confidence than a written source backed up with Primary Sources. By identifying the Person, it implied whether the Oral History is Direct Experience or from the game of Telephone (politically incorrect aka: Chinese Whispers) variant.

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For 2 and 3, if you don’t already have the information in writing (because it was only something that was spoken and not written), create a document with your recollection of what the person said and when they said it, and use that document as your source. Date the document according to when you created it. This doesn’t make the information any more or less accurate, but it prevents it from getting confused with other memories later on.

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Each Person can have their own set of Addresses that can be dated. There is a “House Timeline” gramplet that uses the information.

Agreed. As an example, my eldest brother recently told a motivational parable of Dad’s early employment imparted when that brother was veering toward a dark path in his teen years. The rest of us had never heard of Dad’s childhood memory. (Dad generally only spoke when there was a definite need.) So I asked my brother to write it up.

The story involved pre-teen work experience as a drover, leading cart mules in & out of a relative’s mine. My brother assumed it was a coal seam and he was doing collier work. But that didn’t track. Could one boy and couple mules move enough of the local low-grade coal to be profitable? And I was positive that there were no precious metals mines anywhere in the county. So I decided to track down the relative(s) owning the mine.

I eventually found the following and untangled the mis-assumptions about the details:

The founding brothers were Dad’s 2nd cousins (4x removed) and the ad was 30 years before my father’s birth. But it corrected the misinterpreted information of this Oral History record.

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I did read someone would copy the info they get from the site in to a note just in case it changes, not sure if I want to spend time on that.

Like in the Source thing just add the persons name to Author and nothing else?
I do not nessesarly have writen down what the person have said, just put it in the tree.
An example is grandmother saying info about herself or her husband. Add her as a source to herself? Or my dad on himelf for that matter.

If you have some text to someone, I should probably add a screenshot of them to either the source or citation probably tho, and then a new one for every time?

Like, Just having a Citation/Source there that just says “From the tree of X” on the people?

I dont think I can do that, May do that in the future, but those things already done is too late for something like that.

I attach the Link to the Wikipedia page. I do not copy the actual text.

IF you feel the need to add a citation that you got information about one relative from another, or even information about them self, you can create a source/citation to do this.

Source: Person’s name
Citation Personal Conversation. or Letter or …

Or a another scheme

Source: Oral Tradition
Citation: Person’s name

The idea is to give yourself (and others) a way to evaluate the information. Obviously, any written information is better and can be added as a note or image in the citation.

I’ll give a better example. During my COVID lockdown, I went through a book written by one of my Mormon (distant) cousins that he wrote about his branch of the family. It is available as a PDF off FamilySearch.

So I added the Book as the source and the pages as citations. I attached the citations to the person, not to the events detailed in the book. I did enter missing information that the book provided and while the information is good, none of it Proves the event information. I am in the process of finding each event proof.


If you really want to cite Wikipedia, not just linking the page url to the place record, and if you don’t want copying the page you cite in a note to avoid its changes, cite the url + the date and time you read it. Wikis are conceived to permit to see archived versions of their content so with url+date+time you always could retrieve what you previously seen even if changes are made after you read the Wikipedia page.

This is the current Wikipedia page about France, and this is the same page in 2016

(Advice from Evidence Explained)


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