Back in 1996 when I started Olive Tree Genealogy, I didn't think about the importance of sources for data I found and brought online. So if I found a ships passenger list, I typed it up and put it online. I didn't worry about including the reference or citation for the original source.
In later years I became fussier and started documenting all data brought to Olive Tree and any of its sister sites. For example my New York Almshouse Records 1819-1840 on Olive Tree Genealogy include full details of
- the source I used (Source: Alms House Admission Foreigners & Nativity Records (New York; City, NY) Item 5 LDS Film 1304647 Bond Registers 1819-1840. Original records in the Municipal Archives, New York, New York)
- my introduction to the records
- my notes about the records (that there are 2 pages but my transcribers and I only transcribed one)
The question Illya posed was "Does this mean that unsourced material has no place online?"
My response, after some serious deliberation, is that unsourced material, while not the pick of the litter so to speak, does deserve a place online. Yes, fully sourced material is always the optimum. But if one has the opportunity to obtain unsourced data, it can still be useful to genealogists, if for nothing more than a clue. A tiny clue from a page ripped from an old bible (unsourced, origin unknown) might be the clue that leads us to facts, to sources that will either verify or disprove the original clue.
So my vote is YES. I'd love to hear from others on this topic.
Do you think unsourced data has any value on websites?
Leave a comment on this post with YES or NO and your reasons why. I'll be reading your opinions with interest!