Monday, January 18, 2016

Creating Source Citations in RootsMagic 7 - Post 5: Crafting a Source Citation for a Census Entry Using a Source Template

Researchers new to RootsMagic 7 may have challenges learning how to enter source citations into RootsMagic, so I thought I would show how I enter a new source and then create a citation, with the Evidence Explained source templates, and with a free-form template (in a later post in this series).Previous posts in this series include:

*  Creating Source Citations in RootsMagic 7 - Post 1: New Master Source (posted 12 January 2016).

*  Creating Source Citations in RootsMagic 7 - Post 2: Adding Source Details to the Master Source (posted 13 January 2016).

*  Creating Source Citations in RootsMagic 7 - Post 3: Adding Master Text, Detail Text, Quality and Repository Information (posted 14 January 2016).

*  Creating Source Citations in RootsMagic 7 - Post 4: Crafting a Source Citation for a Published Book Found Online (posted 15 January 2016)

In this post, I will demonstrate how to find and use a RootsMagic source template for a U.S. Census Record.  

1)  I found the 1940 U.S. census record for my grandfather, Frederick W. Seaver (1876-1942) several years ago in Worcester County, Massachusetts.  Here is the census image on

note that I have the "Source" tab open on the right-hand side of the screen above - much of the information I need to create the source citation is on that tab.

For comparison purposes, the source citation for this digital image from the 1940 United States Federal Census is:

Year: 1940; Census Place: Leominster, Worcester, Massachusetts; Roll:T627_1651; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 14-181

2)  I created a Census Fact in my "Edit Person" screen, entered the date and location, and clicked the "Source" button to create a source for this record.  I need to select a Source Type for this record, which is a digital image of a census record found on, which obtained it from the U.S. National Archives.

On the "Select Source Type" screen, I scrolled down to find Census source types.  There are many options - I have a digital image of a specific page, not a microfilm image or a camera image, and not the actual page at the Archives.  The best Source Type to select is probably the "Census, U.S. Federal (online images)" template.

3)  I selected the "Census, U.S. Federal (online images)" source template, and filled in the source template fields based on the information in the source citation above:

The "Master Source" template fields, and my entries, are:

*  Country:  [left blank]
*  Year and type:  1940 United States Federal Census
*  Jurisdiction:  Worcester County, Massachusetts
*  Schedule:  population schedule
*  Item type:  digital image
*  Website:
*  URL:
*  Credit line:  citing National Archives Microfilm Publication T627, Roll 1651

The "Source Detail" template fields, and my entries, are:

*  Civil Division:  Leominster
*  Enumeration District:  14-181
*  Page ID:  Sheet 9-A
*  Household ID: family #202
*  Person of Interest:   Frederick Seaver household
*  Access type:  accessed
*  Access Date:  12 April 2012

I clicked the "OK" button and then added the "Master Source Title: as:

1940 U.S. Federal Census - Worcester County, Mass.- Roll 1651 (Ancestry)

4)  After clicking the "OK" button again, I could see the source citation information in the "Citation Manager" screen:

I need to click the "Edit" button again to add "Master Text," "Detail Text," "Quality" and "Repository" information to complete the data entry for this master source and source detail, and save and attach the record image to the person and the event.

5)  The Evidence Explained quality source citation elements are:

Footnote: 1940 United States Federal Census, Worcester County, Massachusetts, population schedule, Leominster, enumeration district (ED) 14-181, sheet 9-A, family #202, Frederick Seaver household; digital image, ( : accessed 12 April 2012); citing National Archives Microfilm Publication T627, Roll 1651.

Short Footnote: 1940 United States Federal Census, Worcester County, Massachusetts, population schedule, Leominster, ED 14-181, sheet 9-A, family #202, Frederick Seaver household.

Bibliography: Massachusetts. Worcester County. 1940 United States Federal Census, population schedule. Digital image. : 2012.

The "Master Source" field entries are in red, the "Source Detail" entries are in blue, and the information added by the source template are in purple.  Note that the source template adds the words "enumeration district (ED)" in the Footnote, and all of the punctuation not entered into the template fields.  If you enter a comma or period in the template fields at the end of an entry, it appears in the source citation.

Using the color coded source entries above, you can see how the Evidence Explained source citation uses the information in the different "Master Source" and "Source Detail" fields to create the finished source citation.

6)  If you use this specific source template for your census source citations in RootsMagic 7, you will have to create a new Master Source for every census year and every census Roll number you use.  

Note that, in the "Master Source" fields, I entered "Worcester County, Massachusetts" in the "Jurisdiction" field and also "...Roll 1651" in the "Credit line" field.  This makes this Master Source unique to that jurisdiction and roll number, and I should only use it for that census year, that county/state and that roll number.  That is why I created the "Master Source Title" the way I did.

7)  If you have many census records to source, you will end up creating hundreds of unique source citations in your RootsMagic databases.  That's OK - that's how they were designed.  

There is another option - you can use a "free-form" source template to create an equivalent source citation, but it requires more typing for each "Source Detail."

I will discuss "free-form" citations and use this same census record as the example in the next post in this series.  

Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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Grandpa Landmeier said...

Great series. When I fill in the cell for "accessed" I generally put in "viewed online" to better clarify how I accessed and saw the information.

Roger D said...

Using this template requires creating multiple master sources for the same census year and locality if you use for one persons record and or some other source for a second person. I prefer to describe the online source with "viewed online at" to cut down on the number of master sources. I haven't tried that in RootsMagic yet; is there a reason to avoid doing that?

Gwen Pryor said...

Randy, thanks so much for doing this series. It has really helped me transfer from Family Tree Maker.