"Randy, how do you cite this source? Should I use Evidence Explained 11.36 Military: Headstone & Burial Records - Online Database & Indexes? I could not find anything on EvidenceExplained.com in regards to U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File."
Reader Rosemary offered: "@Jason - I would use a generic online database template for this. I think of it as similar in function to the SSDI."
My grandfather's entry in the "Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem" on Ancestry.com is:
The title says that it is a "Death File" compiled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Is it a vital record? Is it a military record? It has both sets of information. It's an online searchable indexed database, but it doesn't have record images. It is on Ancestry.com as a database indexed from records at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Ancestry.com source citation for this record is:
Ancestry.com. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
The Ancestry.com source citation does not describe the specific source detail like the Evidence Explained models do. If I cite this record, I want to be sure that I, and other researchers who see the citation, can find it again and use it to evaluate all the evidence for the birth date, death date, military enlistment, military release, and military ID number for this person.
I decided to see which Evidence Explained source citation model that could be used. I think that the most similar record type and record source is the source citation model in Evidence Explained is section 11.33 for the "Military, Draft Registrations," except that the BIRLS database does not have an online image of the record.
In RootsMagic 6, I used the "Military Records, Databases" source template to craft this source citation for my grandfather, Lyle L. Carringer (1891-1976):
Footnote: "U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010," indexed database, Ancestry.com, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 November 2011), entry for Lyle Carringer (1891-1976), SSN 553109373; citing Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) Death File. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Short Footnote: "U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010," indexed database, Ancestry.com, entry for Lyle Carringer (1891-1976), SSN 553109373.
Bibliography: "U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010." Indexed database. Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2011.
I usually put the "citing ..." information in the Source Comment field in the RootsMagic source citations rather than include it in the Footnote.
As Rosemary noted, a generic online database source template can be used, and her example of the Social Security Death Index is an excellent suggestion. The format is the same as the BIRLS Death File - it's an online database without an image created from government records.
For the record, all of the information in this record matches well with the information about my grandfather's birth, death, enlistment date, release date, and social security number.
Thanks for the question, Jason, and I hope that this helps.
The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/02/crafting-source-citation-for-us.html
Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver