Monday, June 1, 2009

Which census source citation should I use in RootsMagic 4?

I've been working in RootsMagic 4 for about three months now, and am investigating some of the advanced features of the program. One of those features are the Source citations. The RootsMagic Overview web site says:

"RootsMagic provides a powerful source list which lets you add, edit, delete, and print the sources of your information. Simply add the source once, then when you add a fact to a person and want to document where that information came from, you simply point to the source in the source list.

"And best of all, the RootsMagic SourceWizard will help you write properly formatted sources regardless of your expertise. Quickly and easily create sources as defined by Evidence!, Evidence Explained, or Cite Your Sources. You can even create your own source types."

I wanted to add a source, and an image, for the 1880 United States census entry of the family of my great-grandfather, Frank W. Seaver that I found on Ancestry.com.

When I clicked on "Add a Source," I was faced with a list of over 450 record types, including many that dealt with the US census. The ones I considered choosing for my 1880 census citation included (with the description provided for the citation, and the reference for the template):

* Census Record (U.S.)
US Census, federal or state; either Film Detail or Repository/Repository location should be entered not both. Ref: [CYS, p 59-63]


* Census, U.S. Federal (Database/Index)
Evidence style; Compiler or Title as lead elements; Uses :Abbrev function in several fields to substitute abbreviations if entered; if no abbrev data entered, field used as is Ref: [EE, QC-6, p 254; QS, inside left]


* Census, U.S. Federal (Online images)
online commercial site; Evidence style; Place and year as lead source list elements; Census ID as lead full note element; Uses :Abbrev function in several fields to substitute abbreviations if entered; if no abbrev data entered, field used as is; Credit line not included in Source List. For 1790 to 1930 (and beyond) Ref: [EE, QC-6, p 240; QS, front cover]


* Census, U.S. Federal (Original, NA)
National Archives copy consulted on-site, NARA Style citation; uses :Abbrev function in several fields to substitute abbreviation if entered; if no abbrev data, field used as is. Place and year as lead source list elements, item of interest as lead reference note element. Ref: [EE, QC-6, p 238]


* Census, U.S. Federal, 1880-1930 (Filmed)
Population or slave schedule; Evidence! style; uses :Abbrev function in many fields to substitute an abbreviation if entered – if no abbrev data, field used as is. Place and year as lead source list elements; person of interest as lead ref. note element. Ref: [E!, p. 73-74]


Too much information! Which one should I use? Initially, I was a bit confused. I selected the for the last one, filled out the fields in the template, and then realized that there was no place to say that I viewed it on Ancestry.com. Oops, must be another one!

I went back and looked at the templates of each one of those listed above before I selected:

* Census, U.S. Federal (Online images)
online commercial site; Evidence style; Place and year as lead source list elements; Census ID as lead full note element; Uses :Abbrev function in several fields to substitute abbreviations if entered; if no abbrev data entered, field used as is; Credit line not included in Source List. For 1790 to 1930 (and beyond)Ref: [EE, QC-6, p 240; QS, front cover]

That's the one I want to use IF I accessed the census information online using Ancestry.com's web site. When I selected that template from the list, the template looked like this:


There are fields for (and helpful suggestions for the timid):

Master source (Name to be displayed in Master source list)
* Country (optional) (country in which census was taken)
* Year and type (e.g., 1880 U.S. census)
* Jurisdiction (e.g., Avon County, Iowa Abbreviation: Avon Co, Iowa
* Schedule (e.g., population schedule abbreviation, e.g, pop.sch.
* Item type (e.g., digital images [default = digital images]
* Website (title of the website, e.g. Ancestry.com)
* URL (digital location)
* Credit line (source of the source - repository and film details)

Source Details
* Civil Division (e.g., Ward 7, Holyoke, or Pea River Post office abbreviated to Pea River P.O.)
* Enumeration District (1880 or later) ED number (e.g., 307)
* Page ID (e.g., p. 123 penned, or sheet 12-B (stamped, or p. 239, line 7)
* Household ID (1850 or later, e.g., dwelling 1034, family 1046 abbreviated, e.g. dwell 1034, fam. 1046)
* Person of interest (name of person)
* Access type (e.g., accessed, viewed, downloaded [default = accessed]

That sure looks like a lot of information to input, doesn't it. And there's a bit more about the quality of the information and the repository where the information was found.

I will post some of the screen shots from the actual source citation process and my resulting citations in the next RootsMagic 4 posts.

5 comments:

Tina said...

Randy -
I started using Roots Magic last month and found that I didn't like the source templates that it used. I did not like that for census records the master source included the county and state therefore giving me a master source for each county and every year that I had a census record for. I also did not like that the author's name on a book is only one entry. When I have books written by societies the citation comes out something like "Society, Ohio Genealogical." I went into the source citation templates from the list menu and created my own. Now I have one master source for each census year instead of multiple master sources for each year. I have also created templates based on Evidence Explained for records that Roots Magic did not have a template, for example pension files. Please let me know if you would like more information about the templates I created. I have been meaning to blog about it when I get a chance.
Tina

Russ said...

Randy - The way I choose the Template is based on What I am looking at that I want to Cite. Since you mentioned that you are looking at a Census Record at Ancestry.com, I think this is the template to use.

* Census, U.S. Federal (Online images)
online commercial site; Evidence style; Place and year as lead source list elements; Census ID as lead full note element; Uses :Abbrev function in several fields to substitute abbreviations if entered; if no abbrev data entered, field used as is; Credit line not included in Source List. For 1790 to 1930 (and beyond) Ref: [EE, QC-6, p 240; QS, front cover]

The QuickSheet, Evidence! Style, shows. as an example:

"1930 U.S. Census, Boyd County, Nebraska, population schedule, Butte Village, Enumeration District (ED) 8-8 sheet 6-A, p. 239 (stamped), dwelling 139, family 142, Christena Fast: digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 January 2009), citing National Archives microfilm publication T626, roll 1265.

Don't know if that helps.

Russ

ProGenealogists, Inc. said...

Hi Randy, I have posted some cut and paste citation templates here http://progenealogists.com/commoncitations.htm . These have been developed over the past several years with ease and clarity in mind and with the help of several professionals, including Kyle J. Betit, Kory Meyerink, MLS, AG, and Elizabeth S. Mills, CG among others.

Julie Cahill Tarr said...

One thing I was going to mention was the fact that it asks you for the state and county in the Master Source record. Legacy does the same thing. To curb this, and only have 1 master source for each census year, I simply place all of the info in the "Civil" (RM4) / "Jurisdiction City" (Legacy 7). So it would look like this in that field for the details: Chicago, Cook, Illinois. It still displays the entire source correctly and then I don't have a gazillion master sources for censuses.

Legacy also does this with BMD sources, asking for the county and state. I haven't figured out a good way around this one, so I just override the citations by manually entering the correct format. Again, this reduces the need for a billion master sources.

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