Citation for an Online Tree

Dear Editor,

In my genealogy database program, I have links to a profiles on several "online tree websites". I have this so that I know that I have a profile on that "other" website and may need to update it, as I update my own database. That process has become very helpful. Not only do I know I need to update that online tree, but can look at that online tree for other resources.

My question is, how can I Cite that Link, in my database. I have them all cited, but not sure the Reference Note is correct. I am sure that this is a Program limitation that may need to be fixed, but I need some help in defining what the Reference Note "should" look like.

Here is an example:

Benjamin Franklin Wallace (1858 - 1942), WikiTree, discussion list ( : accessed 23 August 2021).

The term "discussion list" is from the program and I can not control it. My guess is that I need a good replacement term for what WikiTree is. But, in my mind, that might be the same for any Online Tree website.

In my database, the only information (Facts / Events) that would have that Reference Note would be the Name and the Identifier on that website. (FamilySearch ID, for example). That identifier would only be seen by me, but it does remind me that I need to update that profile on the other website.

Thank you for your help.




Submitted byEEon Thu, 08/26/2021 - 09:09

Hello, Russ.

With the current structure of WikiTree and Geni, the simplest and clearest citation format that's usable across the board for all these "one giant tree for the whole, wide world" sites would be this:

<"Name/ID of Individual,"> profile page, <website> (<exact URL> : <date>), <specific item>.

In this case, that would be:

"Benjamin Franklin Wallace (1858-1942)," profile page, WikiTree ( : 26 August 2021)," discussion page.

As in our prior (2014) discussions of citing online trees, EE style uses italics and quotation marks to distinguish between the title of the website (the standalone publication) and the specific article at that website. 

You will note that this format follows the same basic format used for citing books, and articles within books.  No special format has to be learned by new researchers in order to cite a profile at a tree.




Submitted byrowrthingtonon Thu, 08/26/2021 - 09:18

Dear Editor,

Thank you.

I forgot the HTML formatting option when I pasted my Research Notes. My error.

The term Profile Page is the clue I need. I can't change it (yet), but I can submit an enhancement request to have it fixed in the program.

Thank you,