Mastering Genealogical Proof – Chapter 4 Homework

Chapter Four Homework Assignment
Russ Worthington
21 July 2013


Reference:
Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof , (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013), 33.

Book available from the publisher at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/mastering_genealogical_proof

In reading this chapter, I thought I should go back to see how my genealogy database program handles my citations. I have spent a bit of time studying this, after Family Tree Maker provided us with Evidence Explained (Mills 2007) source templates.

Specifically, I used the 1940 census, here, as an example. What I had done in the past, is to determine what data was asked for in the creation of a New Source entry, then determine what data is needed to be entered in the Citation Detail and Citation Text fields.

Family Tree Maker 1940 US Census Template:

Population Schedule – United States, 1880-1940 (by Census Year and Location)

Fields Data Entry
Census Year 1940
State Pennsylvania
County Chester County
Publication number T627
Film roll number 3579
Website title Ancestry.com
Database publisher Ancestry.com Operations, Inc
Publisher location Provo, Utah
Database year 2012
URL www.ancestry.com
Comments

The Reference Note below, is the output of the above.

Reference Note:

1940 U.S. census, population schedule, Pennsylvania, Chester County; NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 3579; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com).

I wanted to determine what were the results of my data entry and what was provided from within Family Tree Maker

From the Template:

1940 U.S. census, population schedule, Pennsylvania, Chester County; NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 3579; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com).

From the hidden information:

1940 U.S. census, population schedule, Pennsylvania, Chester County; NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 3579; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com).

Template Information Not used:

Database publisher
Publisher location
Database year

Reviewing Evidence Explained (Mills 2007) as the basis of the citation / reference note, I identified what I needed to include in the Citation Detail field. It is apparent that the Citation Text field information is not needed for the complete reference note.

But, to remember what information I needed to enter into the Citation Detail field, I put this in the Comment Screen for the Source template. Each new Census Template that I create, I copy and paste this from a previous Census Template.

What I put in the Comments on the Edit Template Screen:

[ civil division ]; enumeration district [ __ – __ ]; sheet number [ ___ ]; house number _; [ street name ]; family number _ ; Lines _ – _; [ person of interest ] household; accessed

This is the Citation Detail information that was entered for this example

Birmingham; enumeration district 15-3; sheet number 3-A; family number 49; Lines 31 – 34; John Marshall Highley household; accessed 06 Apr 2012

The completed reference note looks like this, color coded below as a reminder of where the information came from in Family Tree Maker

Reference Note:

1940
U.S. census, population schedule, Pennsylvania, Chester County, Birmingham; enumeration district 15-3; sheet number 3-A; family number 49; Lines 31 – 34; John Marshall Highley household; accessed 06 Apr 2012; NARA microfilm publication
T627, roll
3467; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com).

To compare this to Evidence Explained, I went to the QuickCheck Model for a U.S. Census Record from Ancestry.com

QuickCheck Model (p. 240) (Mills 2007)

Field Example
Census ID 1850 U. S. census
Jurisdiction Marian County, Iowa
Schedule Population schedule
Civil Division Lake Prairie
Page ID p. 290 (stamped)
Household ID Dwelling 151 family 156
Person(s) of interest Virgil W. and Wyatt B. Earp
Item Type or Format Digital image
Website Title Ancestry.com
URL (Digital Location http://www.ancesry.com
Date Accessed 16 January 2006
Credit Line (Sources of this Source) Citing NARA microfilm publication M432; roll 187

1850 U.S. Census, Marion County, Iowa, population schedule, Lake Prairie, p. 290 (stamped), dwelling 141, family 156, Virgil W. and Wyatt B. Earp; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com ; accessed 16 January 2006); citing NARA microfilm publication M432, roll 187.

Compare this example, to my example:

1940 U.S. census, population schedule, Pennsylvania, Chester County, Birmingham; enumeration district 15-3; sheet number 3-A; family number 49; Lines 31 – 34; John Marshall Highley household; accessed 06 Apr 2012; NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 3467; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com).

Differences:

(Mills 2007) Year US Census, County, State, population schedule, Jurisdiction

(Family Tree Maker) Year US Census, population schedule, State, County, Jurisdiction

Page number vs Sheet Number – 6.8 Citing Page, Folio, or Sheet Numbers, page 261 (Mills 2007) has a note, that I interpret so say that, depending on the Census Year and Enumeration District, the form may be different.

Line Numbers – 6.7 Citing Line Numbers, page 260 (Mills 2007) has a note, that I interpret to say, if there are line numbers, they should be included, as well as the page number.

Household – can be eliminated

Citing – should be added

What is the importance of Stamped and Penned – (Mills 2007) page 270 indicates that some pages may have multiple penned numbers as well as stamped numbers on some pages. – need to re-evaluate and update as appropriate

Mastering Genealogical Proof, page 33 – 35
(Jones 2013)

But, does the above meet the standard provided by Dr. Jones, which is:

  1. Who
  2. What
  3. When
  4. Where in the source
  5. Where is the source

I think so, but:

Questions:

  1. Is the order of the information significantly important?
  2. Is the punctuation significantly important?
  3. Do either of these examples meet the “standard components” of a good Source Citation
  4. What about the use of “p. #” or “page #”, as seen in Table 1 (Jones 2013)?
  5. How important are End Notes vs Foot Notes, specifically in the way our genealogy software programs provide us?
  6. Chapter 4, page 36 (Jones 2013), figure 1, used the term “Viewed”, Appendix B used the term “Accessed”. Which one is correct?

In the panel discussion in the 21 July 2013 with DearMYRTLE, we discussed these and a couple of other issues that others had.

  1. The panel suggested that State names should be spelled out.
  2. Abbreviate where possible, terms like Not Dated to be n.d.; but should be noted somewhere the list of abbreviations being used and be consistent
  3. The order of information is not all that important, but be consistent
  4. Punctuation, was not discussed, but I will be reviewing those punctuation characters that I can control
  5. Page # or P #; like the earlier comments, be consistent
  6. The Foot Notes vs End Notes could go on for a while, but the most preferred Foot Notes for ease of reading. It should be noted that some of our genealogy database management programs will not allow the user to control this.
  7. Viewed or Accessed was more about the physical viewing of a document, while accessing was for online information being reviewed

The above two examples, Evidence Explained (Mills 2007) and Family Tree Maker, I think clearly reflect what we used for the information (Facts or Events) provided in the container (Source), but there is no indication in the reliability of the source.

References

Jones, Thomas W. 2013. Mastering Genealogical Proof. Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society.

Mills, Elizabeth Shown. 2007. Evidence Explained. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company.


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