Today’s episode of Research Like a Pro is about creating layered citations for images found on the four major genealogy websites: Ancestry, FamilySearch, MyHeritage, and Findmypast. We discuss how to separate the digital layer from the physical layer, and the five elements of a source citation. We discuss what element to lead with and how to find the details you need to include.
Peeling Back the Layers: Online Source Citations Part 1 – by Diana about Ancestry.com
Peeling Back the Layers: Online Source Citations Part 2 – by Diana about FamilySearch.org
Peeling Back the Layers: Online Source Citations Part 3 – by Diana about MyHeritage and Findmypast
Study Group – more information and email list
Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist’s Guide by Diana Elder with Nicole Dyer on Amazon.com
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Thanks for today’s deep dive into layered citations. I have been practicing writing different types of source citations, using the information in the e-course, your book, and your other podcast episodes. I like the “who-what-when-where-where in” approach, because it really helps to bring things down to a more concrete level when I get confused! I have a question about something related, but slightly different than your topic today. If I want to add my own source to my Ancestry tree (for example, a death certificate that I sent away for from New York City, or a document that was in the family’s possession, such as a cemetery plot ownership certificate), Ancestry provides a form to, fill out, rather than letting me write my own citation. How do their categories relate to your 5 questions? Thanks, as always, for your excellent teaching and encouragement!
Great question, Ancestry does give you several fields to complete which can answer the 5 questions. I write my citations in my research log, then copy and paste that citation into the citation detail box which is required. That will keep my citation how I originally created it. I often add a transcription and other details. It can be tricky when using the fields in any genealogy program (online or in personal genealogy software) to create a citation that is complete enough, so I tend not to use them but create my own in my research log then copy and paste it into the main fields like author and title so my citation stays intact. I hope that helps. It sounds like the basis of another blog post!
Thanks so much, Diana! And I just read the blog post related to this…so helpful, and completely answers my question!
I’m glad it helped!
Diane and Nicole;
I really enjoy the podcast and even after more than 30 years doing this work both professional and personally I still get inspired by listening to you.
One thing though, that I wanted to point about about citations to National Archives material – there isn’t just one National Archives in the US. And different record sets are located at different places. So if I want to look at Railroad records (service and pension) I need to work with the National Archives Atlanta branch. If I want Chinese Exclusion Act records (a truly AMAZINGLY informative source and not digitized at all) I need to find out where those are now (they were in Seattle but NARA was recently forced to close that branch of the Archives.) Even records that you think might be in DC are just as likely to be at the remote facility in College Park, Maryland or at the St. Louis Branch which specializes in military records.
My point, I guess, is that NARA records are much more vast than the available material on Ancestry or Fold-3 or FamilySearch would lead you to believe and even when you have seen a part of the file online (Civil War pension files on Fold-3 for example) you should seek out the original file for more information AND that means your source needs to reference exactly which NARA branch holds the actual record.
Again – I very much enjoy the podcast and have recommended your book multiple times. Thank you.
You are absolutely correct! For any record collection not widely known such as the census, indicating the specific NARA branch would be necessary. Thanks for taking the time to comment and thanks for listening!
Great discussion of layered citations. Makes things less daunting.