When I moved my genealogy database from Family Tree Maker to RootsMagic almost 5 years ago, most of the sources and citations came through… sort of… kinda like when your house comes through a tornado…
When I originally created those sources and citations for FTM, I didn’t do them correctly (not a clue!).
A couple of years ago, I started a project to go back through my RootsMagic database, examine each person’s information and create new/correct old sources and citations, since I still hadn’t done many of them correctly (still clueless…).
But a lot of the sources and citations are still not quite right (pardon my OCD).
Ok, but what is the correct way to cite a genealogical source?
After a couple of long days of online research, I discovered that there is no one correct way! Many different citation styles…
Well, that certainly cleared things up!
My solution is an Alphabet Soup of sorts. These are what I am using to learn to “correctly” cite my sources:
- Genealogical Source Citations Quick Reference– free, from Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers
- Citing Ancestry.com Databases & Images– $8.95 from Genealogical.com
- Genealogists’ Guide to Documentation and Citing Sources– free, from Emily Anne Croom
- Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian– $19.95 from Genealogical.com
- My Solution for US Census Free-form Source Citations in RootsMagic 4– an article written by Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings
I had purchased both the Citing Ancestry.com QuickSheet and Evidence some years ago and have never really used them, so I haven’t spent any new money on this project. I eventually want to get Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, but at $59.95, it’s a bit out of my budget right now.
I thought about changing all of my citations to a free-form format, but with 189 pages of sources… not gonna happen. So I’ll use RootsMagic’s Source Templates, except for census entries and a couple of other much-used sources, such as FamilySearch.org’s various Texas Death databases. These master sources have been used hundreds of times, so I’m not too keen on rewriting each and every citation. Enter Randy’s post above.
Yesterday I reworked several citations in my Mom’s file. A lot of work, but I think I’m beginning to get the hang of it. Remember:
“Genealogy without proof is Mythology”