Notes from the past…


A source is a source is a source…. NOT!!!

Keep CalmFor the past several days, I have been reviewing/reworking my source list for my RootsMagic database.


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:

I had purchased both the Citing 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’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”


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Meet my Daddy!

I was searching through’s U. S. City Directories collection, looking for a great-uncle when I came across… MY DAD! This 1949 listing is one of the earliest “non-family” (family pix, documents, etc) references to my dad that I have found.



Only 20 years old, a mere babe! Hadn’t even met Mom, yet.

I’m not quite sure what a “mtcemn” is… maybe a maintenance man…

(A little further down the page is my grandfather and step-grandmother, Victor E & Agnes Hall.)

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Monday Madness update

On Monday I posted about the need to overhaul my genealogy database and the solution to that problem that I have developed. So, how’s it going?

Pretty well, I think. I have completed the task with 9 individuals so far, all very recent and immediate family members, so there has been a lot of documents/images/data to go through. These “people pages” are now clear and as complete as I am able to make them at this time. No genealogy will ever be completely complete, but these records are much improved! The only image that I have added to each profile is a single photo of the person. All other images (documents and photographs) have been uploaded to my Flickr account. Of the 9 people, all but one are living, so all of these particular Flickr folders are set to private. Although my Mom is deceased, many of her documents list living family members, so her folder is also set to private.

As I prepared to upload these images, I also did a bit of “spring cleaning”,  rescanning some, discarding some, and bulk renaming all for clarity.

With each person, I also did a cursory web search consisting of a Google name search, as well as a check of Ancestry, Footnote, USGenWeb, GenealogyBank and the Family Search Record site, just to see if there was anything new out there. I wasn’t really expecting much, as these are all “recent” relatives and there’s usually not much available online.

To my pleasant surprise, I found a transcription of my Mom’s obituary from the Pueblo Chieftan (CO) newspaper! This was worded exactly the same as an obit from the Canon City paper that I already have, so nothing new, but since I didn’t know that the obit was even in the Pueblo paper, it was still a neat find!

I’ve also been working on other aspects of my RootsMagic database, as I’ve learned quite a few new “tricks” from reading the RootsMagic 4 manual. By the way, if you’re using RootsMagic 4 for your genealogy records, I strongly recommend you get the RootsMagic 4 manual. Wonderful stuff in here, folks! Very readable and very helpful!

I have cleaned up the places list and am working on the sources list. Many places and sources were duplicated, written just a little differently, but enough to have 2 examples of the same place or source. Those are now merged into 1 source. Also a few other corrections were made, for the sake of uniformity. Little stuff, but I hope these changes will make the database look and read better. :)