Saturday, October 28, 2017

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 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 7 database statistics file (File > Properties) says that I have 89,399 source citations in 1,579 master sources, and there are 48,881 persons in this tree.  My source/person ratio is 1.83, but not every name or event has a citation. 

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 7, 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 1,579 master sources was 3,111 pages long.

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

**  Find A Grave:  21,702 (26.0% of the total)

**  Social Security Death Index: 3,512
**  Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1920:  3,205
**  1920 U.S. Census:  2,806
**  Social Security Applications and Claims Index:  1,616
**  World War I Draft Registrations:  1,592
**  California Death Index:  1,449
**  Vermont Vital Records, 1760-2003:  1,441
**  1930 U.S. Census:  1,320
**  1940 U.S. Census:  1,001
**  Medfield, Mass. Vital Records book:  865
**  Roxbury, Mass. Vital Records Book:  779
**  Woburn, Mass. Vital Records book:  703
**  Concord, Mass. Vital Records Book:  699
**  1900 U.S. Census:  620
**  World War II Draft Registrations:  590
**  1910 U.S. Census:  568
**  California Birth Index, 1905-1995:  550

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


Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at


Lisa S. Gorrell said...

I'm improving. My source to person ratio is higher than in 2014.

Nancy said...

Randy, I can't tell you how much good it does my heart to know that I'm not the only researcher who doesn't or hasn't kept up with source citations and who adds individuals and events without citations. I've added notes or just not added the people or events at all and kept files, both paper and digital, with all the information. You are an inspiration! If you can do it there's hope for me. Thank you.

Lois Willis said...

My source to person ratio is lower than in 2016

Anne Young said...

I didn't seem to be able to work out which source I used the most :( I look forward to reading other people's posts to see how they answer the question. My source to person ratio is 1.9 citations per person. There is still room for improvement with about 11% of the facts in my tree lacing sources and I know that the sources I do have need cleaning up.

Greenhill39 said...

I have 1895 people with 4795 Sources in 595 Categories but I am not sure how to count my facts in Family Tree Maker. Some of my sources or low quality but I wanted to keep track of where the information came from. I liked the challenge of making the Pivot table.

Baxley Family Knowledge, Hand Drawn Trees at Reunion (276)

U.S., Find A Grave (236)

North America, Family Histories, 1500-2000, Ancestry (183)

1900 United States Federal Census (157)
1940 United States Federal Census (129)
1880 United States Federal Census (121)
1930 United States Federal Census (110)
1910 United States Federal Census (108)
1920 United States Federal Census (101)

"Book, 1991, Rundle Rundel Randle Randall Rundall
Ancestry of Long Island And Greenwich" (96)

Book, 1895, The Stiles Family in America (90)

World Family Tree Vol. 3, Ed. 1, From when Broderbund owned Family Tree. (81)

College of Arms, Greenhill Hand Drawn Tree, Pre- 1800 (70)

Steve K said...

People: 796
Sources: 177
Citations: 1,304
Media: 424

SourceCitation per person ratio is 1.64 (note: spell check first changed “per person” to “perversion”

Sources and citations need work

Ancestry Hints totals:

All Hints: 3309
Records: 2406
Photos: 527
Stories: 25
Member Trees: 351

Lots of records to search!

At least on one member tree, we share great-grandparents, and she does good work so I need to work on this hints from her. I wonder if there is a similar method to see hints from just her tree like the method to see hints from a specific database. Randy?

The source with the most citations is the 1910 US Census. But I have a lot of work to correct and complete this area. I would suspect more from later years, since on my paternal side, many arrived in 1920s.


Steve K said...

Looking further, I realize the citation per person is not accurate. I have one citation for the 1850 US Census which applies to six people.

Greenhill39 said...

I think the one off Sources are more interesting

Affidavit Harold Foss and Sophia Foss, Replacement for Birth Certificate
Ancestry: Hurst, Hurst & Greenhill Court Minutes
Bermuda, Passenger and Crew Manifests, 1957-1969
Coroner's Inquest: Cook County Il, 1911
Defiance Crescent-News
New Orleans, Louisiana, Birth Records Index, 1790-1915
Text from Tommy, Birth of grandson 2017

Anne said...

SteveK, you can use the Member Connect button to identify those individuals on other people’s trees where you are interested in their sources. You can use those sources and apply them to your tree from within that mode or if you choose to connect with them then the sources populate your hints. You still need to evaluate the sources of course to make sure you are convinced they are belonging to the people you are researching. You also get hints sometimes when looking at records of other records that might be associated. These appear on the right of the screen when reviewing records.