I had started another blog several years ago at http://myfamilyresearchadventures.blogspot.com/, but when google plus ended some how I messed things up and now it is very difficult for me to get into that blog to post. So I decided to start a new blog that I can get to easier.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mastering Genealogical Proof Chapter 4

Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013). [Book available from the publisher at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/r/mastering_genealogical_proof , also available
in Kindle format through Amazon.com]

Chapter 4
This chapter has to do with source citations.

Dr Jones explains that citations used for academic papers do not always work for genealogists.
Genealogists work with many sources that are not in published book form and some times we work with packets or loose papers. So how do genealogist write citations then. I have always heard the main purpose for the citation is so that some one else can find the source that I used.

Dr Jones states there are 5 things that need to be in a genealogical long-form citation:
  1. Who - meaning who is the author. Not all citations will have a who, if it is records from a court house of archives this may not apply.
  2. What - meaning some kind of source title, this may also include a database title, or a collection of papers.
  3. When - meaning the publishing date, the exact date of viewing it on line, the date of the record (for vital church records). There may be 2 dates if you are citing a birth certificate from an on line database.
  4. Where in the source - meaning the page or image number, the name on the will or land deed, the chapter, etc.
  5. Where is the source found - meaning the URL and name of the web site or database, the library, the court house, your own personal copy, etc.
There is also a short-form citation that is used when referring back to a source you have already used. The short-form citation usually contains the author, the title and the new item detail (a different page number or item of interest)

That is the first part of learning about citations. Dr Jones goes on and says there are 2 ways that you can list citations in your document.

  1. Reference Notes - These are used when you use footnotes or endnotes. Reference notes are used when you are citing each separate fact and use the form described above. This is where you will use both long-form and short-form citations.
  2. Source Lists - These are used when you are doing a Bibliography or listing all the things you have looked at whether you used something from the source. Source Lists help determine if you indeed looked at all the relevant records.
Now with all that I am going to need to practice making citations and will more than likely use short cuts. There are many places you can go and find examples of citations and most software programs have templates for making citations. Also, FamilySearch and Ancestry are providing citations for their records that can be used.

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