Friday, July 20, 2012

Follow Friday: Citing sources from Finding Forgotten Stories

Today's blog post was inspired by a very informative presentation I watched about citing sources. Citing sources in a genealogy program has been the bane of my entire genealogy process.

Citing Your Sources Can be Fun! by Anne Gillespie Mitchell

Even five or so years into my family history research, I still find all of those little blanks, and the way the citation is organized once the data is in place, confusing to say the least. Anne Gillespie Mitchell gives a very liberating video presentation on how to plan your source citations, and talks about why it is important to cite your sources. She uses Family Tree Maker for the demonstration, but the information is transferable to any genealogy program.

I've been playing around with Personal Ancestral File from FamilySearch, and ran into the same frustrations as before when I tried Gramps and MyHeritage. Who is the "author" of a death certificate? The clerk or registrar who filed it? The county it was filed in? The state?

Anne outlines a very logical way to create a source citation that includes all of the information you need in order to find the source again, without the frustration of trying to figure out what information belongs in what box.

The best part about the presentation is that Anne points out that there is no one way to cite your sources. You just have to think about what information you will need to know in order to find the resource again, or what you need to know in order to some day find the original source, such as a book or microfilm roll.

Thanks, Anne, for taking the pressure off. It all seems so much simpler now.

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