Calling all Genea-Musings Fans:
It’s Saturday Night again –
Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along – cue the Mission Impossible music!):
1) Then and Now – How have you documented your genealogy and family history research with source citations over the years? What did you start with (Then) and what do you presently use (Now). Please share your experiences.
Are you ready for another trek down memory lane? Last week’s topic looked at previous software use. While this week’s topic is about source documentation, my documentation is tied to the software. Besides being influenced by the software in use, my documentation used several different style guides. The first style guide I used was for creating ‘notes’ in PAF (Personal Ancestral File).
While those ‘notes’ are not up to today’s standards, they amazingly provide quite a bit of information about the sources used.
When I migrated from PAF to The Master Genealogist (TMG), I also started using the book, Cite Your Sources by Richard S. Lackey as my style guide for sources. I later switched my sources from the Lackey templates to the Mills templates which were based on the book: Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian. When I migrated to RootsMagic, I started using my second edition copy of Evidence Explained. Even though I have the Kindle copy of the third edition, I tend to pull the book off of my shelf when trying to figure out a source.
In RootsMagic, I use the Source Template feature to enter my sources. As I’ve been going over my research, I’ve often updated the sources from TMG to newer templates based on Evidence Explained. When I look at RootsMagic’s Source Template window, I can still find a few TMG templates which were based on the older style guides.
While I could use RootsMagic’s built in templates, I prefer to copy them so that I have the option to edit the template if needed. That copied template is named with _EE_ at the beginning of the name. This places the template at the top of my list and also lets me know that I’ve tried to follow the recommended formats from Evidence Explained.
By using these templates, I’m also able to ‘lump’ sources. For example, I have used various formats of the Dodge City, Kansas paper, The Dodge City Globe.
While I have one source for the Dodge City Globe on Newspapers.com, I can use the citation detail to create specific citations for the various items found in the paper.
These templates remind me to enter all of the various details needed for a source citation and then generate that citation for me.
The way I work with documenting my research is dependent on the software I’m using. This has greatly influenced my choice of software and my willingness to upgrade to newer versions.