* Ancestry profile, source or fact

Questions about Generic and Templated Sources within FH and their associated Citations and Repositories
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natashahouseman
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Ancestry profile, source or fact

Post by natashahouseman »

I'm having a bit of a stuck moment and so thought I would reach out for help.
I have found a 4th cousin on ancestry. She's a DNA match, I can prove the connection as far as one of her grandparents, who emigrated, and she's got a tree full of own photos and other personal facts that makes me feel confident about it. I've messaged her, but she's not replied. Which is okay, people are allowed to do that. However it's an important profile and tree for me (for both the DNA match and the photos - there's one of her GG Grandfather which looks so much like his brother, my GG Grandfather) and I can't work out whether to use it as a fact, source or repository.
DNA I've figured out already (thanks to this group, i am using the DNA test match as the source, and adding an attribute of DNA match, DNA connection or DNA MCRA).
From there I'm kind of thinking that currently her profile is kind of her contact details, like an email, facebook profile or phone, so i could adapt one of those to make it a fact of her.
And then her tree is kind of a source for the photos, but I am not sure what kind of source to base that on (a website or database?), and then should the repository be ancestry or her personal collection?
I feel like I am over complicating right now, but somehow can't think straight so thought I would reach out here.
There are a small handful of ancestry trees which keep proving useful so I think i'd use the same approach more than once.
Thanks in advance
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sbell95
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Re: Ancestry profile, source or fact

Post by sbell95 »

This is not really a Family Historian question but rather how you would cite such things. You might like to read the following forum posts on the Evidence Explained website pertaining to citing trees and user-uploaded content on Ancestry:

Citing of an Ancestry Member Tree
Citing a photo from an Ancestry user account
Citing images from an Ancestry Media Gallery

For what it's worth, I usually include a 'Web Address' fact for these types of things as well.
Sarah Bell – Australia
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Mark1834
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Re: Ancestry profile, source or fact

Post by Mark1834 »

As it happens, I’m going through my Ancestry common-ancestor matches at the moment to see what links I can build.

I take a slightly different approach. For me, somebody else’s tree is a hypothesis, to be tested against the available evidence. If I can demonstrate the family links to my satisfaction, I add them to my tree, citing the original sources I’ve located, not the third-party tree. If I can’t demonstrate the relationship, they don’t go in my tree.
Mark Draper
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natashahouseman
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Re: Ancestry profile, source or fact

Post by natashahouseman »

sbell95 wrote: 25 Nov 2023 21:59 This is not really a Family Historian question but rather how you would cite such things. You might like to read the following forum posts on the Evidence Explained website pertaining to citing trees and user-uploaded content on Ancestry:

Citing of an Ancestry Member Tree
Citing a photo from an Ancestry user account
Citing images from an Ancestry Media Gallery

For what it's worth, I usually include a 'Web Address' fact for these types of things as well.
Thank you and you are right about it being a broader question. Family Historian has led me to think a lot more about the difference between facts, repositories, sources and citations. I think what I'm really trying to work out is whether what's most important is the broader fact that this indivdual has an ancestry profile. And if so how would you reflect that on FH. The links have given me food for thought about how I cite the individual photos etc
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natashahouseman
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Re: Ancestry profile, source or fact

Post by natashahouseman »

Mark1834 wrote: 25 Nov 2023 22:17 As it happens, I’m going through my Ancestry common-ancestor matches at the moment to see what links I can build.

I take a slightly different approach. For me, somebody else’s tree is a hypothesis, to be tested against the available evidence. If I can demonstrate the family links to my satisfaction, I add them to my tree, citing the original sources I’ve located, not the third-party tree. If I can’t demonstrate the relationship, they don’t go in my tree.
Thanks Mark, I am always super cautious and don't take them at face value.
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natashahouseman
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Re: Ancestry profile, source or fact

Post by natashahouseman »

So Sarah and Mike's contributions have really helped me clarify my original question. And I do realise this is probably broader than family historian, but the software has really helped me think more systematically about facts, sources and repositories

Family Historian accounts for two current "contact" fact types - phone and email. What I am thinking about is a different "contact" fact type ie of the ancestry profile, but that likely is the same for eg twitter account, facebook page etc both of which are contact media that some of my friends prefer......I think that's quite easy to set up.

But it's the connection between that fact and the source types that I have been pondering on. The standard source types include eg email and oral testimony. It could be helpful for the email to link to the email fact or the oral testimony to link to the phone fact of the individual concerned. But it becomes messier when the connecting thing between certain facts is a profile.

My current concern is an ancestry profile. It is a contact fact of the individual, it is am useful part of a DNA source (which after much reflection I have taken to be the cM match itself on ancestry or elsewhere), and it is the closest I can get to to being a repository of original photos.

However, I think this may play out across other social media too. For example, I have a 3rd cousin with whom our entire correspondence is through facebook. For my own records only, I can take a photo of her page, and also, every time she celebrates an older relative's birthday I hurridly write down the details.

Actually, even writing this down has made me realise that a profile (be that on ancestry or facebook or twitter) is the source. Of a contact, DNA, photo or date fact. That could work with good citation fields. Possibly more lumper than splitter than I would like, and not sure whether the repository becomes the individual or differs too.

Any further reflections would be much welcomed.
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LornaCraig
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Re: Ancestry profile, source or fact

Post by LornaCraig »

In the case of someone’s own tree and photos on Ancestry, or their posts on Facebook, your initial ‘source’ of the information is the other person. Unless you have verified the information yourself you are relying on their own personal knowledge or their own research. Even in the case of a photo, you have only their word for it that this is a picture of who they say it is.

Like Mark, I treat such information with great caution but occasionally I record it even if I can’t verify it, because it is potentially so useful. For these cases I have a Source type called “Other Researchers”. I use generic sources, but if you use templated sources you could create a new template for this type. The title of each source is “Information supplied by <name>”. The source record contains whatever contact details I have for the person and the Note field expands on this if necessary (for example do I know them personally or are they a total stranger who happens to have a tree on Ancestry?)

For each fact I have obtained from them I cite ‘their’ source record, with a further citation-specific note saying by what route it came (e.g. Ancestry, direct email, Facebook) and when. Media records don’t have sources, so for photos I use the Note field of the Media record to say where the photo came from, such as “uploaded to Ancestry by <name> on <date>”. If I know they are closely related to the person in the photo I add that too, because it adds credibility.
Lorna
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tatewise
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Re: Ancestry profile, source or fact

Post by tatewise »

Remember that any Fact can have multiple Citations.
Sometimes I set the online Tree Profile as a Source and cite it against all derived Facts but with a low Assessment.
Each Fact also has specific Citations derived from Sources in the Tree Profile or from my own research with higher Assessments and listed above the Tree Profile Citations, very similar to Lorna's description.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry
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natashahouseman
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Re: Ancestry profile, source or fact

Post by natashahouseman »

Thanks both, incredibly helpful as always and given me much food for though.
I am definitely going to create a source template for "other researchers." I am going to include their individual profile number too if they are in my tree. I can use it as a source for their profile, probably linked to a custom fact type with contact details.
I try to add most media in through a source so that i've got a way of going back to where it was from beyond what I include in the title and notes and this will allow me to continue to do that.
It seems that the citation part of the template will become more important as I think this is more like a lumper approach but i'll have a play and see where I get to,
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jmurphy
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Re: Ancestry profile, source or fact

Post by jmurphy »

Like sbell95, I find Elizabeth Shown Mills' Evidence Explained website helpful when I need to clarify my thoughts. Mills also cautions us to cite what we actually use. For example, if AncestryUser123 cites the 1931 Census of England and Wales, we don't cite the 1931 Census of England and Wales because we haven't seen it (yes, AncestryUser123 must have had a Tardis to see the census before it was destroyed, that's my point). We say the information came from AncestryUser123.

I often drop research notes into profiles on my Ancestry trees. Suppose I had personal knowledge of an event in a note on a profile that you wanted to capture.

You could print out a copy of the person's profile to PDF or do a screengrab or archive it in some fashion, then cite it as if it were a static document (which it now is). Include the URL as well as the date you accessed the profile. Something like 'Profile of [person] on Ancestry User Tree [name] owned by [AncestryUser], accessed [date of archived copy]'.

Your citation would be similar to if you had done an interview with a person on a particular date. Record the contact information about the user as well as you can, and include the information in your notes. (We might not record the address of an interviewee in a citation due to privacy concerns; in that case one can say [contact information redacted] or something like that.)

If in future more infomation appears on the profile that you wish to capture, do a fresh capture and note the new date you accessed it in the citation to distinguish it from the older one.

I realize this approach is not helpful to you since you are a lumper more than a splitter, but wanted to leave this for you to bounce your own ideas against.

P.S. Bear in mind that Elizabeth Shown Mills' use of 'primary' 'secondary' etc. is not the same as UK usage. She has a finer-grained approach which involves looking at sources (that is, documents) as containers which hold information collected from informants (sources in the 'people' sense). Those informants have primary/secondary/undetermined information. Part of your question arises because you are using "source=other researchers" in the sense of "informant" while FamilyHistorian and other programs will be expecting us to cite sources in the content sense (documents, photos, videos, etc.).

See QuickLesson 17: The Evidence Analysis Process Map for more details. https://www.evidenceexplained.com/conte ... rocess-map
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