Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – What Source Have You Used the Most?

April 12, 2014

Genealogy friend and now cousin, has this Saturday Night “fun” challenge. It’s been a while since I participated.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – What Source Have You Used the Most? 

 

His challenge is:

It’s Saturday Night – 

time for more Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  Have you done a good job of citing your sources in your genealogy management program or online family tree?  How are you doing?  How many source citations do you have, and how many people are in your tree?  What is the sources to persons ratio?

2)  Which master source (e.g., 1900 U.S. census, Find A Grave, specific book, etc.) do you have the most citations for?  How many?  How did you figure this out?

3)  Tell us in your own blog post, in comments to this post, or on Facebook or Google+ in a post.  Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your post on this blog post.

Well, let’s see:

1) What’s that saying ?? “Fair to Mid-lan” or something like that. Doing OK.

For the most part, last year I spent my time cleaning up my Citations in my genealogy database management program. Getting all of my Sources into the Template format that my program offers. It’s been well worth the time, but it is still a work in progress.

That and the second round of the Mastering Genealogical Proof book, by Dr Thomas W Jones in the Google+ Dear MYRTLE Genealogy Community keeps me busy working with our source material.

Here is some information about my file:

  • 8,937 People in my file
  • 448 Sources of which 197 are in the Template format
  • 2,697 Citations
  • 871 Media files
  • 38,426 Facts
  • 7,920 Hints to follow on Ancestry.com

That’s a little less than 5 Facts per person. In this file, that’s not a good number. I have a lot of people that really need to be researched, but most of them, are not my direct line, so I don’t focus on them a lot.

Still have a lot of work to do on moving my Source material into the Template format. So, I am not quite 50% finished with that project. BUT, I have learned much since I first started this file, and look at records and my information differently now, so as I am cleaning up my Source information, I am picking up details that I didn’t see before or know that I should be looking into the information and recording what I should.

Also, the process of Evaluating what I had recorded before, I am now doing. Using a feature in my program, at times, has really helped with this. Also, using Evidentia, which I have talked about before, is also a great help in this process.

Of the 38,426 Facts in my file, there are 6 that do not have a citation associated with them. THAT has been a real help to me. The ability to go back and find out where I got my information from.

I guess to answer the question, I get about find about 20 people in each source. That sounds lopsided I guess, but having several authored works in hand, plus a large number of Family Group Sheets from one of my cousin’s family doing decades of research, my numbers are probably out of whack. BUT, I have a mission to document, on my own, all of those facts from those Family Group Sheets.

Most of my research is from within my genealogy database management program, searching on Ancestry, Family Search, Fold3, Find-A-Grave and Google Books. A couple of research trips have proven to be very helpful. Most of which have been blogged about here.

I did  a review of my Find-A-Grave Sources. I have 55 Sources, or Contributors on the website. 334 Citations, on 2,572 Facts. Of those facts, 243 were mine. I was wondering how much information I collected from the Find-A-Grave website.

2) I think it is good, to sometimes, “look at the numbers”. I went into be database and ran a Source Usage Report to see if that would help.

There were 397 pages of information, where the facts were not included and almost 4,000 pages where the facts were included. Not helpful at all. When I pulled a Source Usage. The file Bibliography is 13 pages long.

I could have go into my Sources Workspace and do a manual count. An example of a count that I did was in the 1940 Census, I looked have 23 Citations that accounted for 565 facts.

What I did find, is that I have 554 Direct Ancestors in my file.

I will add, that I am working very hard at two things in my research. 1) keeping a Research Log, and 2) keeping a ToDo list. This is becoming very  helpful.

It got me to stop for a few minutes to see where I am in documenting my file. I saw a number of places I need to go back and clean up. I also realized how much better my citations have gotten since I started.

This was a great challenge Randy. Thank you.


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