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Sources, citations, census images etc.

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#1 rconn2



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Posted 27 February 2005 - 09:10 AM

I'm still going 'round on how to do my sourcing/citations.

How do/would you handle the sourcing of census images?

1. Should I use a source of say 1880 Federal Census, then add all the census images that are relevant for different individuals in the multimedia tab for this source?

That's appealing because it'd be one nice location to collect and view all 1880 census images. But, where to add the individual census sheet and microfilm numbers? That'd have to be in citations that use that source... but then, that's info that has to be copied and pasted over and over (a census sheet has a lot of facts), and it seems it'd be best to have it in one master location.

2. I have also thought about just having each census sheet/image be a master source. But then that's lots of sources!

3. Or... have the source just be 1880 Federal Census, and put the images, sheet number etc. in the multimedia for each... but again, like in 1., the citation info and image links have to be repeated over and over for each fact.

It's very confusing... none of the genealogy programs really seem to do a good job of handling sourcing. So what do those of you w/ some experience recommend as best practice? Hmmm....

Would you make an individual birth certificate a source (along w/ the scanned image)? I think that'd be what most would do. And a birth certificate also has lots of facts (mother's maiden name etc.). You wouldn't make, say, Minnesota Health Services the master and put the info/image for the individual birth certificate in each citation? Then... a census page would be very similar... each as an individual source?

Thanks for any advice... I'm stuck!

-- rc

#2 Kathy Fowler

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 10:42 PM

I make each household for each census a separate source (your choice number 2). Yes, that's lots of sources, but it seems to be the best choice for me. I may have some census data from microfilm, some from census CDs--and for some years I may have data from both sources. If each household is reported as a separate source, I can make my source citation exactly right for each household, include a typed transcript of the data--and attach an image if I have one; then I just cite that source for each member of the household.

One disadvantage of your choices 1 and 3--aside from having to cut-and-paste data for each citation--is the issue of how to export part of your database and have just the source data that's relevant. If each household gets its own citation, you won't be dragging along a lot of census data for another part of the database that you're not exporting.

I don't hesitate to use a single image file for multiple census sources--say, when Dad and the eldest son are on the same census page as heads of separate households. I'll have the Dad-census, the Son-census, and the same image file for both. And I (usually) name my census sources after the head of the household, like this:

Dunn, James Gordon. 1880 U.S. Census, Clayton County, Georgia. Census Place: District 1088, Clayton, Georgia. Source: FHL Film 1254140, National Archives Film T9-0140, page 501B. (CD)

The exception to this is if I have a census where the head of the household is not my family member. For one census where the family member was an employee at an inn, I listed the census under the family member's name--rather than the innkeeper's--and just included the innkeeper's name in the actual citation.

Finally, I don't hesitate to flesh out the names in the source citation; "James Gordon Dunn," cited here, was just "J.G. Dunn" on the CD. But I have too many common and repeated names. So I flesh out the name as needed on the source list, while the "actual text" box reports exactly what the original source said.

#3 Anthony Barbieri

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 01:46 PM

I would make a general source US Census 1880. I would clarify in the Citation Details window. Make a folder with all the documents for 1880 and name each file in the folder. Then you can link to that document in multimedia. As it says in the book. A Citation is a reference to a source. You can allow a source to be entered just once, but cited many times. See page 75 of the RM book. That is exactly what I do and it works great. Keep it simple.