Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What Source Have You Used the Most?

It's Saturday Night - 
time for more Genealogy Fun! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  Have you done a good job of citing your sources in your genealogy management program or online family tree?  How are you doing?  How many source citations do you have, and how many people are in your tree?  What is the sources to persons ratio?

2)  Which master source (e.g., 1900 U.S. census, Find A Grave, specific book, etc.) do you have the most citations for?  How many?  How did you figure this out?

3)  Tell us in your own blog post, in comments to this post, or on Facebook or Google+ in a post.  Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your post on this blog post.

Here's mine:

1) I'm trying!  I'm not nearly done.  I'm almost obsessive now...I've been adding source citations almost every day based on new research, on MyHeritage Record Matches, on Ancestry green leaf Hints, etc., all for persons and events that are in my database without a source citation (due to slacking off for many years).  I'm also trying to "improve" existing source citations when I find them by adding better citation details.

At present, my RootsMagic 6 database statistics file says that I have 51,239 source citations in 1,030 master sources, and there are 42,752 persons in this tree.  My source/person ratio is 1.1985. 

2)  I think that Find A Grave is the master source in my database that has the most individuals and source citations.  I found this out by:

*  In RootsMagic 6, I created a Source List report (selecting Reports > All reports > Source list > select "Print all sources in database sorted by source name") and browsed the list.  The list for all 1,030 master sources was 1,546 pages long.

The number of citations for some of the master sources were:

**  Find A Grave:  11,572 (22.6% of the total)

**  Social Security Death Index: 1,997
**  New England Vital Records, 1841-1915:  1,769
**  Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1915:  865
**  California Death Index:  828
**  Medfield, Mass. Vital Record book:  785
**  1900 U.S. Census:  476

I just realized that the New England and Massachusetts Vital Records sources are identical record collections with different Master Source names.  So there are 2,634 for the record collection cited.

*  In Legacy Family Tree 8, I created a Source Report (selecting Reports > Other Reports > Source Citations > checking "Master Sources and Citation Summary Accounts") to get a list of all master sources and the number of individuals with a citation to that source.  

For Find A Grave, there were 4,365 individuals with a Find A Grave source.  I couldn't find a way to obtain the total number of source citations for each master source.  

3)  I expected to find a better statistics report in both reports that listed the master sources with the number of individuals and citations, and in numerical order.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver


GeneGinny said...

My documentation/citations are pretty poor, but I can't figure out a way to generate statistics similar to your's in FTM.

Cousin Russ said...


I just posted a blog from FTM2014. It wasn't an easy task. BUT, I don't normally try to generate these kinds of statistics.

The best Stats are in the Plan Workspace, More button at the top of the Left Panel.


Cousin Russ said...


Great Challenge.

I just posted my reply:


Bill West said...

I hope I did this right. Mine's at :

Geolover said...

Randy, thank you for this post. It had not occurred to me before to look for this data.

In one RM6 database I have 10707 individuals, 101895 source citations (avg. 9.5 per person). I am only doing middling well at getting the citations properly entered.

Like you, I am surprised that I can not generate better statistics -- such as a ~summary list~ of how often each specific source was used. The generated report listing uses of each source was more than 3400 pages long. I did not browse this report, but did find that the 1850 US Census was used 3299 times) and the 1860, 4505.

Lisa S. Gorrell said...

Here's mine, Randy. I will have a better ratio once I move more of my citations from Notes to various Events.

GeneGinny said...

Thanks to Russ Worthington, here's my more complete response to this week's challenge:
This was more than a tad humbling, Randy!

Shannon Thomas said...

A little late but here is my post