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Citing Censuses in FTM - a rant

Replies: 9

Citing Censuses in FTM - a rant

Posted: 31 Mar 2013 12:28AM GMT
Classification: Query
OK, first the rant.

Easily the most time consuming aspect of my genealogical research is figuring out how to cite sources. With Mills' "Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace" (2007) as my standard, I've lost track of the time I've spent trying to shoehorn stuff into FTM 2011's templates in order to squeeze out something approximating Mills. is worse -- far worse -- than trying to deal with FTM's templates.

And I'll admit to some of the blame myself, as well.

This time 'round, it's the 1870 census. I've got an ancestor up in MN. Following Mills (pg. 240 - Digital Images, Online Commercial Site), I should have something like this:

1870 U.S. Census, St. Louis County, Minnesota, population schedule, City of Duluth Ward 2, p. 5, Line 7, Jos B. Culver; digital image, ( : accessed March 30, 2013); citing NARA microfilm publication ???, roll ???.

My first problem is the publication and roll numbers. Here's the godawful mess dumps on me for the "source citation":

Year: 1870; Census Place: Duluth Ward 2, St Louis, Minnesota; Roll: T132_10; Page: 311; Image: 265; Family History Library Film: 830430.

Makes my blood boil. First, it says p. 311. "0311" is stamped on the microfilm image, but it's actually pp. 4,5. Second, "T132_10" is not the roll. Based on other census years I'm tempted to interpret that as publication T132, Roll 10. But other census year publication numbers start with M.

Directly below is the "Source Information" which says BOTH "NARA microfilm publication M593" and "NARA microfilm publication T132".

So I googled "1870 US census M593 T132" and the first THREE pages of results were all connections to peoples' online genealogies, everyone of which had just copied and pasted the mess handed them. A.C's mess is polluting the entire Internet.

So is the 1870 census M593 or T132?

In FTM I've been using the template "Population Schedule - United States, 1850-1870 (by Census Year and Location)" (under Census records / Digital Images), and have gotten been able to achieve this:

"1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Minnesota, St. Louis County, City of Duluth Ward 2, page 5, Line 2, Jos B. Culver (accessed 31 March 2013); NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 10; digital image, (

That fairly closely approximates Mills, but is there a way to get any closer?
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
calvinculver 31 Mar 2013 6:28AM GMT 
BurgessDonnel... 31 Mar 2013 11:22AM GMT 
calvinculver 31 Mar 2013 2:12PM GMT 
kj_norway 31 Mar 2013 3:19PM GMT 
calvinculver 31 Mar 2013 5:24PM GMT 
kj_norway 31 Mar 2013 6:59PM GMT 
calvinculver 31 Mar 2013 11:37PM GMT 
silverfox3280 31 Mar 2013 11:53PM GMT 
calvinculver 2 Apr 2013 1:12PM GMT 
silverfox3280 2 Apr 2013 4:24PM GMT 
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