We get plenty of questions around here about citing sources in genealogy researchwhat sources to cite, how to cite them, where to put all those citations, how to include citations in genealogy software, etc., etc.
That’s why I’m pumped about our upcoming Family Tree University class, Source Documentation: How to Cite Genealogy Sources Accurately and Effectively.
Source citation can sound complicated, but you’ll learn that it’s just a way of making sure youor anyone elsecan go back to the original source of the genealogical information you’ve recorded.
Different kinds of genealogy sourcesbooks, census records, online databases, oral historiesrequire different citation styles. For books, for example, record the title, author, publisher and location, year of publication, where you found the book, library call number (if applicable), and the pertinent page numbers, like so: Carmack, Sharon DeBartolo and Erin Nevius, eds., The Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogists (Cincinnati: Family Tree Books, 2004), 219-220.
Our downloadable Source Citation Cheat Sheet has examples of citations for censuses, vital records and other sources. ProGenealogists also has a guide to citing online sources, including databases such as those on Ancestry.com.
Where you cite sources is important, too. Some genealogists include a full citation on the front of every photocopied record so the citation doesn’t get separated from the data. Most genealogy software lets you type in citations or link to a digitized record when you add information to your tree. See our article for advice on adding source citations in your genealogy software.
The classic tome on source citation is Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace by Elizabeth Shown Mills (Genealogical Publishing Co.), also downloadable in digital format from Footnote.com.
The Family Tree University course Source Documentation: How to Cite Genealogy Sources Accurately and Effectively, taught by Charlotte Bocage and available for the November session (starting Nov. 8), goes into depth about why to cite sources, how to cite them, including them in genealogy software, and using them in the course of your genealogy research.
(To register, click the view upcoming course schedule link or the Register link, then scroll down a little to find the Source Documentation course link.)