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Sources and Source Citations

Sources and Source Citations

Posted: 14 Mar 2013 10:20PM GMT
Classification: Query
(Hopefully the following will have breaks between paragraphs for readability. I've been having intermittent problems getting my messages to format properly.)

I did multiple searches but could not find where this issue had been discussed on the boards within the last year. This is a shared problem between ancestry.com website and FTM Mac 2 which was highlighted for me when I started looking at reports I could create in FTM to document and share my research. I'm finding lots of problems with the source and source citation information that is downloaded to FTM.

The reference note example from Ancestry's help looks like a text book example of the Elizabeth Shown Mills Census Record QuickCheck Model for digital images at an online commercial site. But what is actually downloaded to and gets created in FTM bears little resemblance to this example. It is not apparent which citation template (if any) is being followed. Ancestry.com is filled in for the author, publisher and repository which makes for a very redundant reference note. What actually gets created is about twice as long as the Help example.

Example from Ancestry Help for reference note:

1930 U.S. census, Gooding County, Idaho, population schedule, Wendell precinct, p. 247 (stamped), enumeration district (ED) 24-8, sheet 5A, dwelling 85, family 85, John Smith; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 April 2010), entry for John Smith; citing National Archives microfilm publication T626, Roll 399.

What Ancestry - FTM Mac 2 actually creates for a reference note:

Ancestry.com, 1930 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626,), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Year: 1930; Census Place: Alton, Anderson, Kentucky; Roll: 732; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 5; Image: 109.0. Birth date: abt 1872 Birth place: Kentucky Residence date: 1930 Residence place: Alton, Anderson, Kentucky.

In the 1930 census source citation I copied and pasted above, the citation detail is complete but this is rarely the case in the 18 federal census schedules currently included in my sources. It ranges from being entirely blank to having a list of labels (i.e., Year, Census Place, Roll, Page, Image, etc.) where some of the information is blank. For the source citations I reviewed, when the detail is not entirely blank and at least includes the detail labels, Year and Census Place are consistently filled in but some combination of Roll, Page and Image are blank. Only a small subset of my source citations include an FHL Film # and enumeration district. The source citations for the 1810 and 1890 Veterans were the only schedules I found where the citation detail was entirely complete. For six other schedules, i.e. 1860, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1930 and 1940 at least some of the source citations were complete. For the remaining 10 schedules, I could not find any citation detail which was not missing one or more labels or where the info for one or more labels was not blank.

Does anyone have any insight to what is going on here or what Ancestry's plans may be to rectify? How is everyone else dealing with this situation? Do I really need to bite the bullet and MANUALLY update every source citation?

Re: Sources and Source Citations

Posted: 15 Mar 2013 2:14AM GMT
Classification: Query
Do you attach your records directly in FTM via Web Search, or do you attach them to your Ancestry tree and then bring them down via TreeSync?

Here is a Reference Note for a record I just added the other day. I merged this record to my Ancestry.com tree, and then TreeSync brought it into FTM Mac 2:

Ancestry.com, 1860 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.Original data - 1860 U.S. census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Year: 1860; Census Place: Van Buren, Brown, Indiana; Roll: ; Page: 26; Image: 26. Birth date: abt 1857
Birth place: Indiana
Residence date: 1860
Residence place: Van Buren, Brown, Indiana, United States.

Re: Sources and Source Citations

Posted: 15 Mar 2013 2:49AM GMT
Classification: Query
Thus far all of my records have been attached to my Ancestry tree and brought to FTM Mac 2 via TreeSync.

Please take another look at the 1860 example you posted. It suffers from the problems I mentioned:

- The "Roll:" label is present but there is no roll number specified.
- The enumeration district and the Family Library Film number are missing entirely.
- Ancestry.com is author, publisher and repository in the reference note, that's why it appears 4 times in the note. It may be easier to see what I mean about this one if you open the edit for the 1860 source in FTM.
- The 1860 example is quit a bit more verbose (~40% longer) than the text book example from Ancestry's help I posted in my original note. My source bibliography is about 30 pages so reducing the size by ~40% would be significant.

I know all of this may seem overly picky but on the off chance that I might get something published by my local historical society someday I would like for Ancentry-FTM to meet the required standard for source citation but also keep the citations as efficient as possible.

Re: Sources and Source Citations

Posted: 15 Mar 2013 4:52AM GMT
Classification: Query
As to the verbosity, the one I quoted looks pretty typical. Here is another one that would have been done around a year ago, then imported into FTM Windows. It's very similar in style:

Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 18), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Year: 1900; Census Place: Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana; Roll: T623_390; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 158. Birth date: Jan 1853 Birth place: West Virginia Marriage date: 1876 Marriage place: Residence date: 1900 Residence place: Indianapolis City, Marion, Indiana.

So I don't think this is a fluke, it's just how Ancestry is creating their citations. As to how it should be done, that's a whole other issue.

Sending some additional info via PM.
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