Sources & Citations Series – Your Own Citation, Guidance for Others

Sources & Citations SeriesWe are at the last of the Sources and Citations Series and I hope that you have found it useful and it has given you food for thought on your studies.

Whether you have a blog or website for your research others should cite your site as the place where they saw a photograph or article. Not everyone thinks of that, so to ease people into this concept, why not create a citation yourself, that other researchers can use?

This blog should be cited as Anglers Rest blog, Julie Goucher 2019 – site accessed and then the date, or at the very least a link, which is what I tend to do. My websites will be similar – reflecting each of my One-Name studies etc. My Butcher One-Name Study site shows the following copyright note

The Butcher One-Name study is the property of Julie Goucher. I have made numerous purchases of documents or copies of documents. I also have genealogical subscriptions that I have purchased so that I can develop the study further and add media to this site for illustration purposes and as evidences. Please always acknowledge the Butcher One-Name Study in your research.

My other sites show a similar copyright note and the date.

I hope you have found this series useful. I move on to a different series later this week.

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Sources & Citations Series – Approaches to Writing Sources

Sources & Citations SeriesContinuing with the Sources and Citations Series. Whilst we all hope that we will record absolutely perfect citations we have to accept that there will be days when we do not.

These will occur because there are a million things whizzing around your head, children demanding attention, spouses reminding you they exist and a whole host of other things.

My recommendation is that as you enter research into your database you do the full process, starting at the beginning and entering all the details about individual X and provide all the citations relevant to X. It maybe that you make a decision to record Census material as brief for example England & Wales 1881 Census or you might decide you want to include the correct reference number allocated by The National Archives at Kew.

You might decide you want to reference which provider you accessed the census material (Ancestry, Find My Past). Be mindful that whilst a service provider might have the rights to that document now, they might not in the future. If you stop having a subscription to that provider, you will also loose access to that material should you want to access it again and the same applies to genealogical trees with documents attached. 

The purpose of a citation is so that you and others can follow the trail, essentially the evidence is supporting the research.

Find a way of writing a citation. Either undertake it in an academic format, as described in Evidence Explained or Citations and Sources, which we looked at earlier in this series; or one that is simple and has “no fuss”, but has limited, but useful and essential information. You might just write against a burial records, Parish Record for X parish and leave it at that, and that works, as long as the place is specific. for example – You might have a burial for Richard Budd in 1831 in Puttenham and simply write the citation as Puttenham. You would need to specify the Country, in this case England. However, we still have a problem, there are two Puttenham’s in England.

Therefore, if you are going the simple and essential approach, it would be Parish Record, Puttenham, Surrey, England. The originals of this particular book has been deposited at the Surrey History Centre, with the books filmed. The films have been uploaded to Ancestry and I have seen Richard Budd’s burial several times. The first time it was the actual book that I had in my hands and I turned the pages, truly that was a magical feeling. The second time via the microfilm at the archive and several times since via Ancestry.

Richard Budd - Baptism 1742

And here is the actual image of my several times Great Grandfather who was buried in Puttenham, Surrey in 1831. He was born in the village in 1742, and the son of Henry & Martha Budd (nee Otway).

Whatever you decide to do, make sure that your citation enables you and others to access the data in the future should you need to.

Posted in Budd, Genealogy, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course, Puttenham & Wanborough, Sources & Citations Series | 2 Comments

Sources & Citations Series – Genealogical Proof Standard & One-Name Studies

Sources & Citations SeriesSometime ago I promised to write a post about Genealogical Proof Standard. I cannot recall, if I indeed did write the post or if I added it to my never-ending to do list, but thought that I would write this post as it fits into this current series.

The genealogical proof standard has essentially five elements to it –

a) Reasonably exhaustive research has been conducted.
b) Each statement of fact has a complete and accurate source citation.
c) The evidence is reliable and has been skill-fully correlated and interpreted.
d) Any contradictory evidence has been resolved.
e) The conclusion has been soundly reasoned and coherently written

It is much easier to follow this standard if undertaking reconstruction of families. I follow the same process as my personal genealogy, only entering material into my database when I am sure that the facts are pertaining to the specific individual.

I hand draw out trees, just on scrap paper or in my notebook, it helps me think and I always date the tree and always note if this is because I have material to confirm the tree or if the tree is based upon a hypothetical basis. At the same time as drawing a tree I am able to construct my to do list, identifying what information I need to locate.

Ultimately, the purpose of the genealogical proof standard is a way of confirming if the evidence we have relating to a particular person, is indeed correct and can you justify your thinking and conclusion with evidence.

I have already shared several examples when primary source material can be incorrect – here and here.

The same applies to Secondary Source material, which can include Oral history. In the coming weeks, when this series finishes I will write more in depth about Oral history, the importance and pit falls of it, but for now I will give you a few tips about documenting oral history.

  1. Document who you were speaking with (include other identifying information if you have two individuals with the same name)
  2. Date when the conversation took place
  3. Record what they said, either word for word if you are able or a summary of it.
  4. Write legibly – oral history will be lost over time, as earlier generations pass away. It would be a shame if those recollections were lost because you cannot decipher your own handwriting!
  5. Set about reviewing the information – how can you prove it’s accuracy?

I have some great examples of the above and I will be sharing them in the next series along with other useful information.

References for Genealogical Proof Standard:

  • Genealogical Proof Standard by Thomas W. Jones
  • Genealogical Standards (50th Anniversary edition) by Board for Certification of Genealogists
  • Webinars by the Board of Certification of Genealogists, hosted by Legacy Webinars (you may need to have access to a subscription)
  • Genealogy: Essential Research Methods by Helen Osborn
  • Mastering Genealogical Documentation by Thomas Jones
  • Standards & Good Practice – Society of Genealogists (London England)
  • National Genealogical Society (NGS), US organisation – NGS Guidelines

All the books listed above, with the exception of the one by Helen Osborn are written from a US perspective, but that should not dissuade you from considering to purchase. I own the two by Jones in Kindle format and the Osborn book in both Kindle and handback. The Society of Genealogists and NGS have some material available freely accessible.

Disclaimer – I have not financially benefited from naming nor recommending these books. I purchased the books myself and all comments and opinions are my own.

I will be back tomorrow as the series continues.

Posted in Genealogy, Mastering Genealogical Proof, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course, Sources & Citations Series | Leave a comment

Sources & Citations Series – Repository Lists

Sources & Citations SeriesContinuing with the Sources and Citations Series and today we are going to focus on Repository Lists.

Being a prolific note taker and list maker I am in my element with a list of repositories being an important part of my genealogy and my specialised studies – One-Name & One-Place Studies.

Over the years I have added to my original list from way back in the late 1980’s which exists on a series of index cards, held together with staples and each side numbered. It is looking rather tatty, but I am rather fond of it, but the time has come for it to be replaced.  I record the date when I physically visited or when I accessed the website. For some venues there is both a physical & digital venue.

At some point in the near future I want to add this to my Roots Magic Databases. A quick glance my list of repositories will have to be manually typed into each database and there does not seem to be a way of exporting the repository list from one database into another, but I have not played with the software to see if it is possible to that.

What is an repository? – In short a location where material is held. Now I choose to record:

  • Digital venues
  • Physical venues
    • State Library of New South Wales, Australia (October 2012)
    • The Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia (October 2012)
    • Guildford Muniment Room (August 1988, now part of Surrey History Centre, Woking, England)

As part of this list, I have added various other specialised studies, so those of One-Name Studies or One-Place studies which have some cross over with my own studies. I prefer to have these as sources, and whilst the material I have may well have submitted to another study, by recording it as a source, it enables cross pollination of studies. An example is that I sent some material relating to a family following the marriage of a female Howes to a male Butcher. The owner of the Howes study has linked me as the source and I have done likewise.

I will be back tomorrow with Genealogical Proof Standard.

Posted in Genealogy, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course, Sources & Citations Series | Leave a comment

Sources & Citations Series – Are Sources Ever Wrong?

Sources & Citations SeriesContinuing with the Sources and Citations Series. Early on in the series we talked about sources, what they are the differences between primary and secondary sources; you an read that earlier post here.

Primary Source is something written at the time, by someone who had first hand knowledge of an event. Of course we as family historians are reliant on the person with the first hand knowledge, not be economical with the true facts or simply making a mistake. My earlier post gave an example of an mistake, likely a misunderstanding at the time of the event as I explained.

In my family files I have a photograph of a commemoration of someone’s life in the book of Remembrance at a crematorium. The entry is completely wrong. It makes no mention of children from a previous of the deceased, which was a deliberate omission. It references a Grandson, but not a deceased Grandson. The memorial stone goes a step further in some respects, and names only the widow, which might at first glance suggest that there was no descendants.

In my file I have provided the accurate information because I know it, but what what if I was researching 40 years from now and came across the entry in the book of remembrance? That is why Genealogical Proof Standard is so important, we need to verify information and not take everything as being accurate, even primary source material.

Of course, if this was not my own family, but featured as part of my One-Name Study I might not know that the information was incorrect, and again, Genealogical Proof Standard comes into play here.

In many ways, this is why when I add individuals to my genealogical database, whether that is my own family or for my One-Name or One-Place study I provide the source for each fact and that might mean that there are multiple entries of the same source in the database and the source maybe held at repositories or just one – it rather depends on the source material.

I will be back tomorrow talking about Repository lists and how they are useful.

Posted in Genealogy, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course, Sources & Citations Series | 1 Comment

Sources & Citations Series – References & Guidance for Citations

Sources & Citations SeriesThe first book I wholeheartedly recommend is Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.Evidence Explained

The author has created a comprehensive website which offers many examples and explanations for citations for a variety of source material.

Sources & Citations BookThe second book that I recommend is by a fellow Guild of One-Name Studies member, Dr Ian G. Macdonald. This book almost passed me by, but when I saw it was scheduled for publication in May 2018 I advanced ordered it. It is written from a UK perspective, in contrast to Evidence Explained, and I consider it is a worthy book for any genealogists to have in their reference library, along side, Evidence Explained.

Other recommendations:

Disclaimer – I have not financially benefited from naming nor recommending these books. I purchased the books myself and all comments and opinions are my own.

Posted in Genealogy, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course, Sources & Citations Series | 2 Comments

Sources & Citations Series – What is the Point of Recording Citations?

Sources & Citations SeriesContinuing with the Sources and Citations Series. We talked yesterday about what a citation is and you can read that post here. Today we are going to look at the point of recording of citations, and I did touch on this yesterday and a bit earlier in the series.

If we add citations to our genealogy we add credence to our work. We are demonstrating that for every fact we can provide evidence to substantiate our claims. That adds value to our research and enables us to identify where that material is, should we want to retrace our own footsteps or for others to review it.

We have all done it, been swept away in a burst of genealogical excitement and failed to record a citation appropriately or at all. Is any citation better than none is a question worth asking ourselves.

As a history graduate, I would totally agree, that the citation should be written in a standard format and that it should be 100% accurate. As a genealogist, I would say that any citation is better than none, and we should all strive to create accurate citations. Rightly or wrongly, a strong citation suggests that the research is sound, and the evidence is backing up the facts as they are presented, with facts that cannot be confirmed, stated as such and perhaps even a hypothesis.

I will be back tomorrow, sharing some great resources and guidance that will help all of us use better citations.

 

Posted in Genealogy, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course, Sources & Citations Series | 1 Comment

Sources & Citations Series – What is a Citation?

Sources & Citations SeriesAs I said earlier in this series, in this post,

In short, think of a source and citation as a journey and destination. The destination is the source, whereas the citation is how you got there and how you and others might get there again.

A citation is exactly where you found a particular reference, and in the case of websites when the website was accessed. Essentially, it is confirming a factual statement by backing it up with evidence. The reference will enable you and others to follow your research road map.

However…….

Some twenty five years ago I came across a file of Bastardy Bond Papers sitting in a local heritage room in a Surrey (England) library. I occupied about two months by transcribing the material. When the Surrey History Centre in Woking was opened, about five years later, it amalgamated the research materials from the Surrey Records Office at Kingston, A wonderful resource called the Muniment Room at Guildford and the local studies library which had been located at the central library in Guildford.

All the materials from those repositories retained their original reference information, the citations. Fast forward another decade and I wanted to use the Bastardy Bond material in an article and went to check the reference material, so I began by asking where the papers were? They had been deposited at the Surrey History Centre it was believed, but none of the staff at that time could confirm it as they had not been working there at the time. The Surrey History Centre eventually confirmed it, but the reference material had been changed.

Meanwhile, I record the citation of where the material is now and I also note the previous location of the material, because others, like me may well have used that material whilst it had been in the original location. To me it adds to the providence of the information and the documentation’s journey.

Posted in Genealogy, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course, Sources & Citations Series | 2 Comments

Sources & Citations Series – What is a Source?

Sources & Citations SeriesThere are two types of sources:

  1. Primary Sources
  2. Secondary Sources

A Primary Source is something written at the time, by someone who had first hand knowledge of an event. For example, the diaries of Samuel Pepys. In his diary, he writes about the Fire of London in 1666 and tells of the destruction of the city.

A Secondary Source is something written later, after an event, and may even draw upon notes from a Primary Source. Someone writing about the Fire of London and using Pepys diary would be a secondary source.

What is not a source? In a genealogical sense, Ancestry or one of the three big data set providers is NOT a source. For example, a Census is the source, but you might have accessed it via a library, archive or via Ancestry.

I began my research before the internet, so I have print outs of the various Census documents, taken from the films. Let’s say I have been working on my Butcher ancestors, from the rural Surrey village of Wonersh. I would record the source as the reference number for the particular page, and year of the Census. If I then subsequently used that Census image or wanted to double check something, I might then use Ancestry and in that instance I would say “accessed via Ancestry and the date” I do that because, whilst Ancestry has the Census for Surrey online currently, they might not in the future.

Not all Primary Sources are accurate, and that could be for a variety of reasons. For example, I was Christened at the Church where three generations of my family had been Christened or married. My parents were given a Certificate of Baptism which named my Godparents and my full name, except that my middle name is recorded incorrectly. I can hypothesis why it is incorrect, but I do not know for sure.

The middle name recorded on my Certificate of Baptism, is in fact my Mum’s. I suspect that I was crying and the vicar asked for the middle name and Mum gave her own. As Mum is not here, I cannot ask her and it was one of those questions, that I never got around to asking before she passed away.

In my genealogical database, I have recorded the Christening date, I have added the image as part of my One-Name study site and the event linked to me, although it is not showing as I am still living. My hypothesis appears in the notes and is clearly identified that it is a hypothesis

So, you cannot believe all that you read!

Posted in Genealogy, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course, Sources & Citations Series | 2 Comments

Sources & Citations Series –Differences between Sources and Citations.

Sources & Citations Series

In short, think of a source and citation as a journey and destination. The destination is the source, whereas the citation is how you got there and how you and others might get there again.

There are lots of types of sources and we talk in more detail about them in the next instalment, but here are a few to get you thinking:

  • Census
  • Directories
  • Diaries
  • Parish Records
  • Vital Records
  • Naturalisation Records
  • Taxation Records
  • Occupational Records
  • Land Grants
  • Newspapers

It is worth remembering that not all source material is mirrored across different locations.  Some might be country specific, an example of this is the Hearth Tax which will be found in the UK only. As will the 1939 Register, with only the records relating to those in England and Wales available online. Those in Scotland are held at the archives, but not freely available.

Census documents, whilst being mirrored across numerous Countries will provide different details, across the years and across the Countries.

Another point worth remembering is that whilst some of these sources are Primary Sources, (we discuss those tomorrow), not all Primary sources are in fact accurate.

Which of those Source documents have you used and have you used one that is Country specific?

Posted in Genealogy, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course, Sources & Citations Series | 2 Comments