Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dear Randy - How Do I Cite an Online Family Tree?

Dawn emailed me recently, asking:

"I am new to citing sources and I would like to know how would you cite a family tree web site like Myheritage, or one I have that is a family member's website?"

My response to Dawn included:

I used the "Family Trees, documented" source template in RootsMagic to craft this source citation.

A source citation for a specific person and a specific Fact on a Family website, like on MyHeritage, might be:

"MyHeritage Family Trees", family tree database, MyHeritage ( : accessed 14 December 2012), "Randy Seaver's Genealogy Research (," Randy Seaver's residence in 1944-1946; submitted February 2012 by Randall J. Seaver, [contact information for private use], Chula Vista, Calif. USA 91911.

The master source elements include:

Database title:  MyHeritage Family Trees
Format: family tree database
Website title:  MyHeritage
Website URL:

The source details elements include:

Access date:  14 December 2012
Tree title:  Randy Seaver's Genealogy Research (
Item of interest:  Randy Seaver's residence in 1944-1946 [note - this is the specific event being sourced]
Submit date: February 2012
Submitted by:  Randall J. Seaver
Email address: [hidden in citation]
Street address:  1154 Via Trieste [hidden in citation]
City address:  Chula Vista, Calif. USA 91911.

You can substitute the information from another website with a family tree on it into the elements listed above.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


  1. Randy,

    Is your citation done in the ESM method?

  2. Randy,
    I would like to suggest that when we cite an online source that can only be viewed by subscription we should make that aspect of the citation clear to the reader.
    John Carruthers