Saturday, September 6, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your Best Genea-Prize in August 2014

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans: 
 It's Saturday Night again - 
time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music):

1)  Did you do some genealogy research during August 2014?  Did you find a great record or story pertaining to an ancestor or family member?

2)  Tell us about the BEST genea-prize ("record") you found during August 2014.  What was it, where did you find it, and how does it help advance your research?

3)  Share your genea-prize in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.  

3)  NOTE:  If you didn't find one in August, tell us about a recent genea-prize from another month.

Here's mine:

My "best" genea-prize was the Upper Canada Land Petitions that I found for my Canadian "Loyalist" ancestors.  These were shown on the Rachel and Kayleen McAdams episode of Who Do You Think You Are?  That provided the spur to look for them and I found them with the help of some Genea-Musings readers.  I wrote blog posts about them in:

*  Looking for United Empire Loyalist Ancestors (8 August 2014)

*  Finding Loyalist Petition Papers on Library and Archives Canada (LAC) (11 August 2014)

*  Amanuensis Monday - Post 231: 1791 Upper Canada Land Petition of Abraham Dafoe (18 August 2014)

*  Amanuensis Monday - Post 232: 1797 Upper Canada Land Petition of John, Abraham and Daniel Defoe (25 August 2014)

I also have land petition records for another set of Loyalist ancestors - John Kemp and John Kemp Jr..

As described in the blog posts, I found these records on the Libraries and Archives Canada website (  They weren't easy to find!  Read the second post on the list above for directions.

These records provide information about where my Loyalist ancestors settled after the Revolutionary War, and built their lives in Canada after being displaced from the American colonies.  This was a major change in their life stories, and it needs to be told.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - RUSSELL (England to colonial Massachusetts)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week.  

I am in the 8th great-grandmothers and I'm up to Ancestor #1039 who is Martha RUSSELL (1647-1684) 
[Note: the earlier great-grandmothers and 8th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through two generations in this RUSSELL family line is:

1. Randall J. Seaver

2. Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983)
3. Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)

4. Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942)
5. Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962)

8. Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922)
9. Hattie Louise Hildreth (1857-1920)

16. Isaac Seaver (1823-1901)
17. Lucretia Townsend Smith (1827-1884)

32. Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825)
33. Abigail Gates (1797-1869)

64. Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816)
65. Martha Whitney (1764-1832)

128.  Norman Seaver (1734-1787)
129.  Sarah Read (1736-1809)

258.  Isaac Read (1704-1780)
259.  Experience Willis (1709-1787)

518.  Samuel Willis (1675-1758)
519.  Susannah Gleason (1676-1756)

1038.  Joseph Gleason, born before 19 November 1640 in Cockfield, Suffolk, England; died 20 May 1715 in Wayland, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 2076. Thomas Gleson and 2077. Susannah Page.  He married June 1667 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
1039.  Martha Russell, born 1647 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died 02 March 1684 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  

Children of Joseph Gleason and Martha Russell are:
*  Joseph Gleason (1668-1669).
*  Joseph Gleason (1670-1711), married 1705 Hannah Moore (1674-1730).
*  Martha Gleason (1673-1685).
*  Susannah Gleason (1676-1756), married 1703 Samuel Willis (1675-1758).
*  Joyce Gleason (1678-1724), married 1700 Jacob Newell (1658-1718).
*  Abigail Gleason (1680-1718), married 1714 Noah Morse (1681-1718).
*  Mary Gleason (1682-1752), married 1716 Samuel bigelow (1679-1734).
*  Isaac Gleason (1684-1758), married 1705 Martha Livermore (1684-1728).

2078.  William Russell, born about 1605 in England; died 14 February 1662 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  He married about 1633 in England.
2079.  Martha, born about 1610 in England; died 1694 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of William Russell and Martha are:
*  Joseph Russell (1636-1694), married 1662 Mary Belcher (1638-1691).
*  Benjamin Russell (1638-1691), married 1665 Rebecca.
*  Phebe Russell (1642-1642).
*  John Russell (1645-1737), married Elizabeth Fiske (1654-1730).
*  Martha Russell (1647-1684), married 1667 Joseph Gleason (1640-1715).
*  Philip Russell (1650-1731), married (1) 1680 Joanna Cutler (1661-1703); (2) 1705 Sarah Brooks (1668-1748).
*  Thomas Russell (1653-1653).
*  William Russell (1655-1744), married 1683 Abigail Winship (1656-1727).
*  Jason Russell (1658-1736), married 1684 Mary Hubbard (1665-1738).
*  Joyce Russell (1660-1719), married 1680 Edmund Rice (1653-1719).

Information about this Russell family was obtained from:

*  Nora E. Snow, The Snow-Estes Ancestry (Hillburn, N.Y. : the author, 1939).

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, September 5, 2014

Family Trees on - Post 5: Search Results Are Improved, and Can Be Attached

On my post Family Trees on - Post 4: Searching FindMyPast Collections (22 August 2014), Phil Moir of FindMyPast made several informative comments:

On 28 August 2014:

"It's Phil Moir (Technical Lead for Findmypast Family Tree Team) again. Felt like a response would be helpful. Very interesting points made, and issues found. I'll definitely investigate these, and come back to you and your readers with the results (and fixes)!

"We're aiming to make the tree be a key start point for search and this needs to ensure you get to relevant results quickly, and in many of our tests that has been the case, so I need to check out the issues you have highlighted.

"Some of the elements you were expecting such as attach records you won't be surprised to know is in development, and some coming soon. We'll let you know when the changes are available."

On 2 September 2014:

"We released a new version of the family tree yesterday morning, and following your post, we made some changes to the search coming from the profile page, and hope it comes closer to meeting the expectations of the Findmypast user. The link from Frederick Walton Seaver for example will bring back 7 results, from the US. At least 4 of them are definitely. 1 is for his draft registration, and the other are for Census returns 1880, 1900 and 1930. The search was changed as per your suggestion, focus more on the area which are most likely to have records (in FWs case the US), and searching across all data sets. Thank you for these suggestions.

"In addition, this release also included Attach to a Tree from transcription and image pages. This has been in development for a few weeks so well timed to coincide with your observations. The ability to merge the transcription data is coming, and will contain as much source information as possible automatically.

"Will let you and your readers know when this goes live."

Thank you to Phil for his comments and his attention to my comments and suggestons about the Family Trees on  

So there are some improvements to the Family Tree - Search results from the profile page can reflect non-U.K. records, and record images can be attached to a person's Profile from the Transcription and Image pages.

So let's see how it works:

1)  Here is my grandfather's Profile page:

2)  I clicked on the "Search records for Frederick Walton "Fred" Seaver" blue button at the top of the right-hand column on the screen above:

Note that the heading says "Results for United States and Canada Records."  I could search all FindMyPast records by clicking the "Edit Your Search" button and selecting "World" after clicking on the record collection filter box.

There are seven records that match the search criteria (without editing the tree information), including four records that pertain to my grandfather (the World War I Draft Registration Card, and the 1900, 1930 and 1880 U.S. census records in Leominster, Mass.).

3)  On the screen above, there are blue icons on the right side of each result listed - one for the transcription and one for the record image.  I clicked on the "Transcription" image for the first result - the World War I Draft Registration Card:

On the image above, there are blue buttons to "View image" and "Attach to tree."  I can also click on "Print individual transcription."

4)  I clicked on the "View image" button and saw the image of the World War I Draft Registration Card - both sides of it:

The two blue buttons at the top right of the screen are for "View transcription" and "Attach to tree."

There are links in the lower right-hand corner of the screen above to "Report image error," "Print" and "Download."

5)  I wanted to attach this image to my grandfather in my FindMyPast Family Tree, so I clicked on the "Attach to tree" button:

To attach the record image to a person, I have to identify the person(s) in the Family Tree.  I started typing "Frederick Walton" and was able to pick from the list the correct person.  If this had been a record for more than one person, I could have added more persons in the tree.  I clicked on the "Save" button and saw the "Record Attached" notice.

6)  To see the attached record, I went back to the profile for Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) and clicked the "Media" tab:

The placeholder for the record is there.  I clicked on it and it went right to the record image (not shown - it's the same as the image above).

However, I did not see any reference to the record or the record image in the "Overview" or the "Fact & events" tabs on the profile screen.  Ideally, the record would be reflected in the "Facts & Events" tab.  As of today, there is no source citation for the FindMyPast record transcription or image, although Phil's comment indicates that will be coming soon.

7)  I'm glad that FindMyPast found my suggestions helpful, and that they have quickly implemented the Search results by region or world, and have implemented the Attach Record to the person.  I really like the ability to specify more than one person to attach the record to.  

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 36: #43 Rebecca (Hill) Rich (1790-1862)

Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" in her blog post Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  Here is my ancestor biography for week #36:

Rebecca (Hill) Rich (1790-1862) is #43 on my Ahnentafel list, my third great-grandmother.  She married in 1811 to #42 John Rich (1791-1868).  

I am descended through:

*  their daughter, #21 
Hannah Rich (1824-1911). who married James Richman (1821-1912)
*  their son, #10 Thomas Richmond (1848-1917), who married #11 Julia E. White (1848-1913)

*  their daughter, #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962), who married #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942), 
* their son, #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983), who married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002), in 1942.
*  their son, #1 Randall J. Seaver (1943-....)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Name:                    Rebecca Hill [1-2]

*  Alternate Name:    Rebecca Rich [3-6]
*  Sex:                       Female   
*  Father:                   John Hill (1765-1825)   
*  Mother:                 Ann Warren (1764-    )   
2)  INDIVIDUAL FACTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Birth:                    before 25 April 1790, Hilperton, Wiltshire, England [1]

*  Baptism:               25 April 1790 (after age 0), St. Michael's Church, Hilperton, Wiltshire, England [1]
*  Census:                31 March 1841 (after age 50), Hilperton, Wiltshire, England [3]
*  Census:                31 March 1851 (after age 60), Hilperton, Wiltshire, England [4]
*  Census :               31 March 1861 (after age 70), Hilperton, Wiltshire, England [5]
*  Death:                  before 7 March 1862 (before age 71), Hilperton, Wiltshire, England [6]
*  Burial:                 7 March 1862 (after age 71), Hilperton, Wiltshire, England [6]

3)  MARRIAGES AND CHILDREN (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Spouse 1:             John Rich (1791-1868)   
*  Marriage 1:          14 February 1815 (after age 24), Hilperton, Wiltshire, England [2]

*  Child 1:                James Rich (1816-    )   
*  Child 2:                Ann Rich (1818-1882)   
*  Child 3:                John Rich (1818-1822)   
*  Child 4:                William Rich (1821-1822)   
*  Child 5:                John Rich (1822-    )   
*  Child 6:                Jesse Rich (1822-1871)   
*  Child 7:                Hannah Rich (1824-1911)   
*  Child 8:                Emma Rich (1827-    )   
*  Child 9:                Elizabeth Rich (1828-    )   
*  Child 10:              William Rich (1830-1914)   
*  Child 11:              Samuel Rich (1833-1897)   
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):    

The parents of Rebecca Hill are not known with any assurance.  John and Ann (Warren) Hill, married in July, 1788, had a daughter Rebecca Hill baptized 25 Apr 1790 in Hilperton.[1]

She was probably born between 1783 and 1789, based on her age in the 1841 (age 55, perhaps rounded up), 1851 (age 63) and 1861 (age 75) census records, and age 78 at death in Hilperton on 7 March 1862.  

John Rich and Rebecca Hill were married by banns in Hilperton Parish Church by curate J. Bailes on 14 February 1815, and both signed by their mark.[2]  George Hill and Isaac Hiscock were the witnesses. 

The baptisms of the children of John and Rebecca (Hill) Rich are in the Hilperton Parish Church records.  Three of the children, Hannah (born 1824) , William (born 1830) and Samuel (born 1833) were baptized on 19 February 1837. 

In the 1841 Census for Wiltshire,  the John Rich family resided in Hilperton, Wiltshire, England.  The household included:[3]

*  Jno Rich - age 47, male, a weaver, born Wiltshire
*  Rebecka Rich - age 55, female, born Wiltshire
*  James Rich - age 18, male, born Wiltshire
*  Elizabeth Rich - age 16, female, born Wiltshire
*  Hannah Rich - age 15, female, born Wiltshire
*  William Rich - age 10, male, born Wiltshire
*  Samuel Rich - age 7, male, born Wiltshire

In the 1851 Census for Wiltshire, the John Rich family resided in Hilperton, Wiltshire, England.  The household included):[4]

*   John Rich - head, age 58, hand loom weaver, born Hilperton
*  Rebecca Rich - wife, age 63, born Hilperton
*  William Rich - son, age 21, weaver, born Hilperton
*  Samuel Rich (son, age 18, India rubber worker, born Hilperton

In the 1861 England and Wales Census, the John Rich family resided in Hilperton.  The household included:[5]

*  John Rich - age 70, married, a woolen cloth weaver, born in Hilperton, Wiltshire
*  Rebecca Rich - age 75, married, born in Hilperton, Wiltshire

Rebecca Rich of Hilperton was buried in the Hilperton church graveyard on 7 March 1862, age 78, with Rector J.H. Tait presiding.[6]

1. Church of England, Parish Church of Hilperton (Wiltshire, England), Bishop's Transcripts, 1622-1880, "Baptisms, Marriages, Burials, 1748-1812",  FHL BRITISH microfilm 1,279,404, Item 13, Baptisms, unnumbered page, Rebecca Hill, daughter of John and Ann Hill.

2. Church of England, Parish Church of Hilperton (Wiltshire, England), Bishop's Transcripts, 1622-1880, "Baptisms, Marriages, Burials, 1813-1838", Marriages: Item #16, John Rich and Rebecca Hill entry, 14 February 1815 by banns; accessed on FHL BRITISH Microfilm 1,279,404, Item 14.

3. 1841 England, Wales and Scotland Census, Wiltshire, Hilperton [parish], Folio 20, Page 1 (printed), Lines 22-25, John Rich household; digital image, ( : accessed 28 July 2012); citing The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey, Public Record Office HO 107/1182/2..

4. 1851 England and Wales Census, Wiltshire, Hilperton [parish], District 257, Folio 255 recto, page 22, household 92, John Rich household;  digital image, ( : accessed July 2012), citing The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey, Public Record Office HO 107/1840.

5. 1861 England and Wales Census, Wiltshire, Hilperton [parish], District 1, Folio 12, page 17, household 91, John Rich household; digital image, ( : accessed 14 December 2012), citing The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey, Public Record Office RG09/1295.

6. Church of England, Parish Church of Hilperton (Wiltshire, England), Bishop's Transcripts, 1622-1880, "Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1837-1880," FHL BRITISH Microfilm 1,279,404, Item 15, Burials:  Rebecca Rich entry.


The URL for this post is:

copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Help Me CrowdSource Dorothy's Denmark Question - Updated

I talked to Dorothy, one of my society colleagues, on the telephone today.  She is taking a genealogy trip to Norway Denmark at the end of September, and was frustrated by the information she has received so far through Internet searches, and a quote of over $100 per hour to do research onsite.  I listened and then tried to find information about how to do research for Denmark ancestors that migrated to the United States in the 1890 time frame.

Her second great-grandfather resided in Orum, Randers Amt (map below) in Denmark in the 1880 census (I think!), but may have been born in Viborg Amt.  When he migrated through Liverpool to Philadelphia, he left his family in Denmark and they migrated a year later.  Dorothy wondered if the family came out of Copenhagen or another European port.

I don't have any known Danish ancestry, but my grandsons do!  I have not done any research in Danish records, but have done some in Norwegian records online, on microfilm and in books with some success.  So I'm relatively uneducated about the topic.  But I know that there are church records on microfilm, and census records, and other records in repositories or online.

I went looking for Denmark genealogy resources on the Internet, and found a treasure trove of How-To articles and Helps for education, and specific information for the two Danish Amts in the FamilySearch Catalog.

I thought I would list some of my finds here, in hopes that my readers might be able to add more information or contacts to help Dorothy.

1)  FamilySearch Wiki page for Denmark:

Some pages are still incomplete.  The County pages have links to the parishes.

2)  FamilySearch Catalog page:

Enter the country, county and town/parish into the "Place" field.  Some examples:

Check out the Church records, and any other records you might find.  All records are associated with a jurisdiction - country, county, town, parish, etc.  

Some English language books I found in the catalog included:

3)  Rootsweb Message Boards:  Search for a board:

*  Surname board for Norgaard:

Search on each board for surnames and towns/parishes.

4)  Rootsweb Mailing Lists:

5)  FamilySearch Record Collections:

Put "denmark" in the "Filter by collection name" field on upper-left side of screen.  

6)  Sherry Stevens Denmark Family History Resources:

7)  Cyndis List

8)  My Danish Roots site

9)  Danish National Archives

10)  Danish Family Search

11)  Genealogy Research Denmark

13)  Denmark Genealogy Forum

There are many more links found in a Google Search, including a number of professional researchers.  
I emailed Dorothy all of the above after an hour of searching.  I know I didn't find "everything," but it should provide a good start.

What other resources would you recommend for Dorothy to help her prepare for her trip to Denmark, and how to deal with the Archives and other repositories she may visit in Copenhagen, Randers and Viborg?  How could she possibly find cousins in Denmark while there?

UPDATED 3 p.m.:  I found some great videos on FamilySearch about Danish church records, and that some are digitized and online.  Here are links:

There are handouts in PDF for these.

The Arkivaliere Online site is in Danish, and you have to download a Java reader, but it works great.  I found Orum in Randers easily but didn't have a name or birth date for your ancestor to look for.  

The videos really help understand how all of this works.  

UPDATED  8 AM Friday:  I also corrected the Norway reference in the first did that happen?  My fingers don't always do what my brain thinks they should do!  Thanks, Howland!

copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Treasure Chest Thursday - Post 230: 1851 Canada West Census Record for Mulford Putman Household

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to look in my digital image files to see what treasures I can find for my family history and genealogy musings.

The treasure today is the 1851 Canada West Census record for my 4th great-grandparents, John and Sarah (Martin) Putman in Middleton district, Norfolk County, Canada West:

The Mulford M. Martin family entry:

The extracted information from this census record is:

*  Mulford M. Putman - an Inn Keeper, born in State New York, Religion is Baptist, Residence isMiddleton, age 37, male
*  Elizabeth Putman - a Land Lady, born in State New York, Religion is Baptist, Residence is  Middleton, age 36, female
*  Malvina M. Putman - born in Norwich CU [Canada Upper], Religion is Baptist, Residence is Middleton, age 14, female
*  John W. Putman - born in Charlotteville CU, Religion is Baptist, Residence is Middleton, age 11, male
*  Josephine Putman - born in Windham CU, Religion is Baptist, Residence is Middleton, age 8, female
*  Helen M. Putman - born in P?????? CU, Religion is Baptist, Residence in Middleton, age 5, female
*  John Putman - born in State Jersey, Religion is Baptist, Residence is Middleton, age 64, male
*  Sarah Putman - born in State New Jersey, Religion is Baptist, Residence is Middleton, age 58, female.

The source citation for this record is:

Census of 1851, Norfolk County, Canada West, District 25, Subdistrict 225, Middleton township, Page 5 (stamped), Lines 2 to 9, Mulford M. Putman household; digital image, Library and Archives Canada ( : accessed 10 March 2013); Library and Archives Canada Microfilm C-11741.

This is an excellent three-generation census record - the parents of Mulford Putman (not my ancestor), Mulford Martin and his wife, and the children of Mulford and Elizabeth Putman.  John and Sarah Putman were born in New Jersey, Mulford was born in New York, and the children were born in Upper Canada (now Ontario).  

John and Sarah (Martin) Putman are my 4th great-grandparents.  I am descended through their daughter, Elizabeth (Putman) Sovereen (1820-1895), who married Alexander Sovereen (1814-1907) in 1840 in Norfolk county, Ontario.  

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Genealogy Source Citations and FHISO - A Simpler Proposal

The Family History International Standards Organisation (FHISO) recently started a public mailing list to discuss family history standards - see the Technical Standing Committee (TSC) page at, and the list archives to date in

There are some interesting ongoing discussions, but I am easily confused by the terminology that I cannot grasp yet.  A GEDCOM replacement to transfer genealogical data between programs (either online or stand-alone trees or programs) is one of the goals of FHISO, but not the only one.

One of the early discussion items with respect to a GEDCOM replacement was source citations, and how to implement them.

Louis Kessler has submitted a paper concerning sources and citations - see his blog post Standardizing Sources and Citation Templates (posted 28 August 2014).  Louis' recommendations include (see the complete list in his post):

*  FHISO should develop a set of standard source types and source element types.

*  FHISO should use a simple mechanism to transfer the source element values in the standard they will develop.

*  FHISO can allow, but should discourage user defined identifiers. FHISO should accept requests for new identifiers to be added to a future version of the standard.

Some of the discussion on the TSC list has suggested that there should be a standard list of source templates (examples might be Evidence Explained source templates) which could be used.  Other posts have noted that not every genealogist or software program or online database produces source citations in an American form, or a British form, etc., and that source citations should be able to be created in any language and in any format acceptable to the citation creator. After all, FHISO is an international organization.

My observations on this are:

1)  There are over 1,000 source citation templates in Evidence Explained and related publications.  

2)  Not EVERY source record type has a source citation template already created or implemented in genealogy software programs, by record providers, or in online family trees.

3)  Not every genealogist, or record provider, or family tree provider, wants to use source templates for source citations.

4)  Each source template in Evidence Explained may have unique fields.  There may be thousands of unique fields if EVERY source record type were to be modeled.

5)  GEDCOM uses a number of "standard" tags for source citations, including SOUR[ce], ABBR[eviation], TITL[e], NOTE, REPO[sitory], etc.  

6)  Genealogy software programs (notably RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, Family Tree Maker and perhaps others) have implemented additional custom tags to handle the Evidence Explained source template complexities.

7)  When the custom source template tags are used, many GEDCOM files do not transfer perfectly from one program or online service to another.  It is important that source citations retain their structure and format when exported and imported.

I have a suggestion for the FHISO TSC team to explore (I had this idea before reading Louis Kessler's post, but seeing his ELEM tags really helped me crystallize my suggestion):

1)  Don't use specific source templates, which in FHISO would probably have to account for differences in languages, alphabets, record terminology, local sourcing practices, etc.

2)  Do use a series of Elements (say 10, or 20, or 50, any number, really) that permit a user to create their own source citation using any source citation creation system that they wish to use.  If they want to use an Evidence Explained citation, then let them define it in Elements that would be presented in the order preferred by the user/creator.  If they want to use a British, or Hindi, or Hebrew, or Russian, or Chinese source citation system, that's fine.  Let the user create it.  We can always plug them into Google Translate to decipher them (I think?).

3)  For example, here is a fairly complex source citation (in "Footnote" or "First Reference Note" format) created by an Evidence Explained source template for an image of a City Directory entry found in an online database:

The Lakeside Annual Directory of the City of Chicago, 1909 (Chicago, Ill.: The Chicago Directory Company, 1909), page 205, entry for "Auble, Charles"; digital image, Fold3 ( : accessed 22 May 2010), searching Non-military records > City Directories > Illinois > Chicago > 1909.

I can break that source citation down into Elements like this:

Element 1:  The Lakeside Annual Directory of the City of Chicago, 1909
Element 2:  (Chicago, Ill.: The Chicago Directory Company, 1909), 
Element 3:  page 205, entry for "Auble, Charles";
Element 4:  digital image, 
Element 5:  Fold3 ( :
Element 6:  accessed 22 May 2010), 
Element 7:  searching Non-military records > City Directories > Illinois > Chicago > 1909.

4)  Here's another example, an American census record created by an Evidence Explained source template:

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

I can break that source citation down into Elements like this:

Element 1:  1940 United States Census, 
Element 2:  Worcester County, Massachusetts, population schedule, 
Element 3:  Leominster, 
Element 4:  enumeration district (ED) 14-181, 
Element 5:  Sheet 9-A, 
Element 6:  Family #202, 
Element 7:  Frederick Seaver household; 
Element 8:  digital images, 
Element 9: ( : 
Element 10: accessed 12 April 2012);
Element 11: citing National Archives Microfilm Publication T627, Roll 1651.

5)  Note that I have included the punctuation and end-of-element spaces in the Elements above.  Italics and underlines might have to be accommodated, or not.

6)  In the simplest case, there could be only one Element for the whole source citation for programs or websites that don't use source templates at all - that just provide a field.  Or the source citation could be broken up into two Elements for the "Master Source" and "Source Detail" that some software programs provide.

7)  The ABBR[eviation] and REPO [ository] fields could be used also for a Master Source title or a repository information.   Source text, source comments, citation text, and citation comments could be accommodated also.

8)  If genealogy software programs, record providers and online family trees adopted this element feature, all they have to do is create the Elements from whatever source template they use to Export them.  All they have to do is string them one after another to re-create the source citation when they are Imported.  The information should transfer from one program or website to another easily without being mangled.

9)  The beauty of this system is that it is simple to use, and can be universal - any type of source template can be used, any source citation stylesheet or practice can be accommodated.  Of course, a poor source citation will remain a poor source citation.  But a good source citation will still be a good source citation reflecting the user's practice.

10)  It should be easy to implement, and easy to understand by users.  If users use source templates, then it is nearly invisible to users unless they look in the GEDCOM-like file.  Even so, it is easily understood (as long as the GEDCOM-like file is in a text format).

11)  I know that I have ignored the "Short Footnote" and Bibliography" source formats that are part of Evidence Explained.  They are part of the source citation creation process in some genealogy software, but not in all programs, and I don't recall seeing them in an online tree.  They are mainly used in Reports and Books created by genealogy software programs.  They can still be part of the specific software program and be used in reports and books.  They just wouldn't be transferred in a GEDCOM-like file.

What do the FHISO leaders think?  What do genealogists think?  Is this workable?  I think that it would be much simpler and easier to implement than thousands of source template types in a variety of languages.  

What have I missed?  Your thoughts and comments and opinions are welcome!

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver