Thursday, November 3, 2011

Exploring Family Tree Maker 2012 - Post 17: Creating a Vital Record Certificate Source Citation

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See all posts in this series at Exploring Family Tree Maker 2012 Compendium.

One of my major criteria for selecting a "preferred" genealogy management program is the ease in creating source citations.  I want to demonstrate the source citation creation process in Family Tree Maker 2012 in a number of posts for several different types of records, both for my own education and, hopefully, to help others navigate this fairly complex process.

I'm going to work with my grandfather's birth, which occurred on 9 October 1876 in Leominster, Worcester County, Massachusetts.  I received a Birth Certificate from the Town Clerk of Leominster back in 1996 via postal mail.  I want to create a source citation for that Birth Certificate.  I already had two other source citations for his birth, but they were from the state vital records register, which is not an original source.

1)  Here is the "Person" page in the "People" workspace for my grandfather:


In the "Individual and Shared Facts" panel (the largest panel above), the "Birth" Fact is highlighted, and in the "Person's name" panel on the right, in the "Fact" "Source" tab, the two existing sources are shown.

2)  I want to add a new source for this "Fact," so I click on the "New" button in the "Fact" "source" tab area and select "Add new source citation."  The "Add source citation for ..." window opens:


3)  In the blank "Add source citation for..." window, I clicked the "New" button, and saw the "Add source" window, and then clicked on the "More" button to get to the "Select source template" window:


In the screen above, I selected "Local and State Records - Registrations, Rolls and Vital Records" group, then selected "Local Records" from the "Category" drop-down menu, and then selected "Vital Records Certificate" from the "Template" drop-down menu.

4)  I clicked OK, and the "Add Source" window had the "Source template" and "Source repository" fields had entries (although the "Repository" said "None"):


Note in the screen above, that FTM 2012 provides hints as to what to add to the template fields. 

5)  I entered this information in the template fields:

*  State or country:  Massachusetts
*  County:  [I left it blank]
*  Local jurisdiction:  Leominster
*  Record series:  Birth Certificates
*  Source repository: Town Clerk's Office, Leominster Mass. (50 Main Street, Leominster MA)
*  Call number: [blank]
*  Comments: [blank]

Here is the completed source template:


6)  I clicked the "OK" button on the screen above and was back to the "Add source citation for Birth of ..." window with the "source title" and "source repository" fields filled in.  The next step is to add the "Citation detail" - so I looked at the Birth Certificate and entered:

*  Citation detail:  Volume 16, Page 155, Fred Walton Seaver entry, 1876 (certified 9 September 1996)
*  Citation text: [blank]

Here is a view of the completed Source citation template:


Note at the top of the "Add source citation for ..." window that there are tabs for "Source," "Reference Note," "Media" and "Notes." 

7)  I clicked on the "Reference Note" tab and saw:


The resulting "Reference Note" is:

Leominster, Massachusetts, Volume 16, Page 155, Fred Walton Seaver entry, 1876 (certified 9 September 1996); Town Clerk's Office, Leominster Mass. (50 Main Street, Leominster MA).

That looks pretty good to me - it identifies the location, the record book that the record was found by the town clerk, identifies the person's name, when the certificate was obtained, and the location of the repository.

It compares favorably with the "First Reference Note" item on page 456 of Evidence! Explained (First Edition) under "City Certificates & Registrations." 

8)  Back on Frederick Walton Seaver's "Person" page, I noted that a third source citation had been added to the source list for the Birth Fact:


If I want to Edit this citation, then I can double click on the highlighted source, or click on the Pencil icon on the Fact Source row of icons, and edit the fields on either the "Edit source" or "Edit source citation" templates.

This process is fairly complicated (meaning there's a lot of clicks, and the "next move" is not always obvious) so there is a learning curve, but it seems to create excellent source citations, at least for this record type. 

The source citation creation process for a Marriage or Death Certificate would entail creating a separate "Master Source" each of them, but the process used above would be identical.

UPDATED 4 November:

Russ Worthington commented:

"What's nice, if you add another Fact, and select Use Existing, the LAST Citation will already be selected for you. So, for example, if you want that Citation on the Name, or any other information on that Birth Certificate, you can just enter the New Fact or select an Existing Fact, then click on Source (new), but click the down arrow just to the right, and select Use Existing.

"You can move quickly through the various Facts that you might want to use that SAME citation on.

"Just a word a caution here. Watch the Check Mark to the right of the Citation Text box to make sure that you want to use the Citation Text or not use the Citation Text."


Thanks, Russ, for the added explanations about options.  I learned something!

2 comments:

Russ Worthington said...

Randy,

How many Facts did you associate that Citation To?

What's nice, if you add another Fact, and select Use Existing, the LAST Citation will already be selected for you. So, for example, you want that Citation on the Name, or any other information on that Birth Certificate. You and just enter the New Fact or select and Existing Fact, then click on Source (new), but the down arrow just to the right, and select Use Existing.

You can move quickly through that various Facts that you might want to use that SAME citation on.

Just a word a caution here. What the Check Mark to the right of the Citation Text box to make sure that you want to use the Citation Text or not use the Citation Text.

Lets say that the Mother's name is on that birth certificate. You could put something in the Citation Text about that, and NOT have that additional information included in the Reference Note.

There are options to be aware of in the area. But, spending a couple of minutes watching what happens in these fields may make the job of documentation easier.

Just a thought.

Russ

Anonymous said...

Notice in your resultant FTM citation (reference note) that although the Volume and Page are given, the series is not! Notice that the template had a field for "Record series" which you filled in as Birth Certificates. But that key piece of information did not become part of the citation. I'm finding that in several templates. This is what makes templates and EE citations exhausting.

Jeff