Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Creating the Land Record Source Citation in Family Tree Maker 2012

Three weeks ago, I created a source citation for a land deed record, found in a FamilySearch online record collection, using RootsMagic 6.  I crafted both a source template citation that used Evidence! Explained formatting for a "Digital Archive," and also crafted a free-form source citation that closely emulated the Evidence! Explained source format.

One of my readers asked "Can you do the same thing in Family Tree Maker 2012?"  Well, I had hoped that Russ Worthington or another expert in FTM 2012 would jump in and rescue me, but they haven't, so I'll do my best.

The source citation crafted in RootsMagic 6 using the "Digital Archives" source template was:

"New York, Land Records, 1630-1975," Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,  FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 2 February 2013), digital images, "Erie County New York Deeds, 1844-1850, Volumes 78-79," Image 184 of 792, in Volume 78, Page 396, Samuel Vaux deed in Aurora, N.Y. from Seth Sprague, 1845.

I thought that the source citation captured all of the elements required - someone with access to FamilySearch, or to the actual deed book, could find the specific deed.  

I will try to use an appropriate source template in Family Tree Maker 2012 to craft a similar source citation below.

I clicked on Samuel Vaux, and then highlighted his 1845 deed on the list of Facts for him:

With the "sources" tab in the right-hand panel selected, I clicked on the "New" button and selected "Add new source citation."  The "Add Source Citation " window opened, and I selected "New" and the "Add Source" window opened, with blank fields, and I clicked on the "More" button.  This opened the "Select Source Template" window, and I selected the "Land and State Records - Property and Probate" Source group, as shown below:

In order to select a source template appropriate for digital images from a specific volume in a record collection on FamilySearch, I selected "Image Copies" from the "Category" dropdown menu, and "Online" from the "Template" dropdown menu, as shown above.

The window says "Online -- Use this model to document information from online images of property and probate records.  The jurisdiction and series are the lead elements in the Source list."

I clicked on the "OK" button and the fields in the "Edit Source" window were blank.  I tried to fill them in appropriately:

The source field entries I selected were:

State:  "New York, Land Records, 1630-1975"
County:  [left blank]
Local jurisdiction: [left blank]
Record series: [left blank]
Website creator/owner:   Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Website title:  FamilySearch
URL: https://familysearch.org
Year:  2012
Source repository:  FamilySearch International (https://familysearch.org)
Call number: [left blank]
Comments:  citing Original Records in New York Land Office. New York, Land Records. Holland Land Office Museum, Batavia, New York

I clicked on "OK" and the "Edit Source Citation" window opened, and I could add the Citation detail:

Citation detail:  "Erie County, New York Deeds, 1844-1850, Volumes 78-79," Image 184 of 792, in Volume 78, Page 396, Samuel Vaux deed in Aurora, N.Y. from Seth Sprague, 1845 (accessed 2 February 2013)
Citation text:  [left blank]
Web address: [left blank]

On the "Edit source citation" window with the "Reference Note" tab selected, the Reference note source citation was created:

The source citation crafted by Family Tree Maker 2012 for this online image of a deed in a specific county deed book in a large state record collection is:

 "New York, Land Records, 1630-1975", "Erie County, New York Deeds, 1844-1850, Volumes 78-79," Image 184 of 792, in Volume 78, Page 396, Samuel Vaux deed in Aurora, N.Y. from Seth Sprague, 1845 (accessed 2 February 2013); digital images,  Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org).

That's the best I could do in the FTM 2012 source templates.  All of the elements are there, but they are not in the same order as was the RootsMagic 6 source citation.

So how compliant are these source citations to the Evidence! Explained models?  I carefully looked through my First Edition of Evidence! Explained, and the Property and Probate models are in Chapter 10.  I did not see a model for exactly my case - a deed in a specific record book in a specific county in a state digital archive.  The best example I found was on the QuickSheet: Citing Online Historical Resources, Evidence! Style for "Land-Entry Records, State Patent Images."  The example was:

Peter Smith patent, 10 July 1767, Land Office Patents [Book] 37, 1767-1768: 40; Colonial Land Office Patents, 1623-1774,; Virginia State Archives; digital images, "Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants," Library of Virginia (http://www.lva.lib.va.us/whatwehave/land/index.htm : accessed 22 January 2007).

If I used that as the model, my source citation should look something like:

Samuel Vaux deed from Seth Sprague, 29 March 1845, Erie County, New York Deeds, 1844-1850, Volumes 78-79, 78:396 (image 184 of 792), Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, digital images, "New York, Land Records, 1630-1975," FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 2 February 2013).

Neither the RootsMagic nor the Family Tree Maker 2012 source citation is close to the model in the QuickSheet.  The elements are kind of mixed up - the QuickSheet citation has the elements from the RootsMagic citation in "end, front, middle" order.

I understand that crafting source citations is an art, and I know that I am a fairly poor artist, which is why the source citation templates in genealogy software were a great implementation just made for me.

I don't know what's "right" and am trying to not be uptight about it...where are the source citation police when I need them???  Why do the source templates in the software programs create different source citations for the same information, and why do they create source citations significantly different from Evidence! Explained models?  Or did I choose the wrong template?  Or the wrong EE model in the book?  What do my readers suggest?

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2013/03/creating-land-record-source-citation-in.html

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Cousin Russ said...


I have just posted this topic on my Blog.


Thank you,


alicetaylor said...

Here are three steps to good genealogy source citations for beginners. .

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