My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Follow Friday -- Don't Follow Me For Sources

On September 22, 2010, I received the following message below. It is a very nice one, and the topic has been on my mind for about as long as I've been blogging, and I would like to address it now.


My reply is directed to the readers who are rather new to genealogy, not the more advanced, who do things right.


When I began doing genealogy over 20 years ago, I knew little about sources, other than putting the title of the book, page number, author's name, publisher and date. There were many times I forgot, and every once and a while, I come across a surname without a source. Many of my sourcing shouldn't be used as a guide. However, most of my book sources should be okay, but my censuses are totally wrong. So wrong, that I've had a lot of compliments about my method! In my early days, I entered information for family members, and didn't follow the "proper" or "correct" guidelines.


I sourced my way so distant cousins could see and understand what is on the census. Simple things like name and age. An example of how I did it and still do is shown for my grandfather in the 1930 census:


"1930 U.S. Census for Evanston, Cook Co., Illinois. Dist. 2113, sheet 33, Pg. 221. Clarence Poole, age 39 b. Ill., attorney (parents b. DC and Mass.); Marjorie age 39 b. Mich. (parents b. Michigan). Note: Clarence and Marjorie married at age 27. Children: John age 10 and Judy age 7 (both born Illinois). Roma Schneider age 25 (maid), b. Wisconsin. This was indexed as Coole by Ancestry.com." My aunt and her brother, and my cousins can understand this, it is cut and dry, and I believe they could locate this census page, perhaps with a little help. Note: Sometimes I type in the occupation, immigration date and anything else I think might be important.


The correct way is something like this: Illinois. Cook County. 1930 U.S. census, population schedule. Digital images. Ancestry.com http://www.ancestry.com : 2005. From National Archives microfilm T9, roll 535. If you do a full reference, it would be much longer, still with little family information other than the head of household's name.


Books have been published on how to do sourcing, and I would be glad to point you in the right direction, if you write me.


If you are hoping to become a professional and want others to admire your work, you should do it the "right" way. But, if you are doing genealogy as a hobby, and want others to understand it, you will need to decide which way to go.


So Freda, I do have time to write, and my reply to you is a huge thank you because your letter became the perfect platform for which I was able to write this blog.


"Hi Barbara,
I realize you don't have time to respond, but I just wanted to tell you how much I respect your references! I have never seem them done so well!
I am researching people in the Eastern Townships.
(There was more to the letter.)  Take Care!
Freda"

7 comments:

Carol said...

Barbara, I like you frequently do my sourcing for the reader. And, a lot of my sourcing actually ends up in the general notes for the person. It prints as a biography that way, telling their story.

CLAP CLAP for terrific sourcing.

Nolichucky Roots said...

Thank you! I get so conflicted. You've given me another way to think about this that makes enormous sense.

Wendy said...

I know that I don't source perfectly; I cite sources in a way that I will remember exactly where and how something was found. If I was going to publish a genealogy, I would work on perfecting those sources. But, for me, being able to find the information again is of the utmost importance! My sourcing definitely resembles yours. :)

TCasteel said...

Like you my sourcing style has evolved. I have also been doing genealogy for sooo long that I know I have plenty of flukes still lingering in my database. I just change them when I get to them..otherwise I would become quite overwhelmed and neurotic about it all. I know I am often not "proper" in the 'Elizabeth Shown Mill's way, but I always try to keep my main goal in mind: to ensure that a 3rd party can understand and locate what I was referring to in my data.

Barbara Poole said...

Thank you all for your comments, and I'm hoping new readers will see what you have to say. None of us is perfect...yet.

Apple said...

I have always added source information. I dare not call what I do "source citations" as the source police would surely swear out an arrest warrant for me! If I had to make all of my source information perfect I would give up genealogy altogether.

Barbara Poole said...

Apple, I appreciate your comment. We all do what we can, so don't be hard on yourself.