Study Groups  - 
THIS is where to VIEW and COMMENT.

So Chapter 4 has got you stumped? Then head on over to our LIVE Hangout on Air Sunday, 23 March 2014 as we discuss more from Thomas W. Jones' Mastering Genealogical Proof. 


1. Between now and Sunday's session, review MGP1 - Chapter 4 GPS Element 2: Source Citations located here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?va=ym4sO6pZbcc&list=PLR41jOFxoDYw5glhWOY-1JcW931SnMuMv

2. Come back here to VIEW and COMMENT before, during and after the LIVE Hnagout on Air. Notice, if you click the start button in the video screen below, the time will be reflected in your time zone.

Here's our scheduled start time
Sunday, 23 March 2014

10am Eastern (New York)
9am Central (Chicago)
8am Mountain (Salt Lake City, Denver)
7am Pacific (Los Angeles)

If you need a time zone converter, use:

Read each chapter in advance of the study group session, but don't attempt to do your written homework until the panel has discussed the chapter. We are on the honor system here. No need to check in with Ol' Myrt. In fact, Dr. Jones has provided answers at the end of the book.

WATCH LATER right here!

The MGP Study Group 2 will have one advantage: we can view the archived sessions of the initial MGP Study Group in addition to attending our own sessions. Those archived versions appear on DearMYRTLE's YouTube Channel located here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLR41jOFxoDYw5glhWOY-1JcW931SnMuMv
Hilary Gadsby's profile photoJennifer Shoer's profile photoRuss Worthington's profile photoJune Butka's profile photo
We woke up to a power outage this morning...I'll be on as soon as the electricity returns. 
Now I have to document my quilts?!?  I do put a tag in the clothes I make...does that count?  ;)
Knowing the history of the time of the source needs to be noted to help understand our ancestors point of view. Three things genealogist need to know for each source is Purpose, History and content of each source.
I agree that EE doesn't cover British sources in sufficient detail. It does include many of the basic principles that must be acknowledged in any citation, and so is invaluable, but the few British examples weren't very useful. I ended up crafting citation formats that followed the letter of what Mills was recommending, but were better adapted to our sources. A good example is the civil BMD registrations. Mills (2nd ed.) includes the date of the event but not the date of the registration. The latter is important for anyone seeking a copy since that's the date used to organise/index them. Although there is a prescribed limit to the duration between the event itself and the registration, it might still appear in a different quarter, or even a different year. For a death with an inquest then the gap could be large.
In reality, there is no formulaic solution to citations. Each source is like to have its peculiarities and specific context that needs to be mentioned. Mills does cover such things, and presents examples of many of those cases. In other words, it's useful to see worked examples for each category of source but they can only be guidelines for the most simple and straightforward cases.
Concerning the use of "n.d." - are future genealogists going to know what means?
I did like how Dr. Jones wrote phrases to describe some of those non-traditional sources, such as Figure 2 #7.  Along the lines of "that thing I got from Joe on date X, that I believe is from about date Y" - that gives me hope of flexibility in citation.
I've been working with church ledgers that are broken up into events so the page starts over per event. I put the event and then the page number in my citation.
Re: differences in quotes and punctuation, I had to place a statement at the bottom of my blog emphasising that I use British spelling, grammar, and punctuation, just to prevent being "pulled up" on it. For instance, we put closing punctuation outside quotation marks. One important issue that EE sort of covers, although it's a little ambiguous, is the placement of the footnote/endnote indicators. Most times, I put them inline immediately after the relevant claim or information ,i.e. part-way through the sentences. Occasionally, though, I want it to refer to the whole of a preceding paragraph, in which case I put it after the terminating period as a way of distinguishing the two scenarios. I know of no other way to achieve this.

(Sorry, I've been on a skiing trip, and now visiting my folks in the UK. I have no webcam here)
Much as file cabinets can change, so do people's addresses.  Someone mentioned earlier that they use actual addresses in citations - I usually use something of the form "Personal holdings of so-and-so" instead.  My copy of the item may come from a specific address they had, but to find the item again, you need to determine where they are now, which is not necessarily where they were then.  Do I need to be citing the address of where I got my copy, or does "personal holding" with the date suffice?
Sometimes the "Who" element can be confusing to identify especially for non-English records. I ordered the FHL microfilm of my great grandfather's baptismal record. He was born and baptized in the former Austrian-Hungarian Empire. This citation exercise was extremely beneficial to me, even though I made a lot of mistakes in crafting it. This is my final citation with a LOT of help from Dr. Jones (especially the Hungarian):

Római Katólikus Egyház [Roman Catholic parish] (Románd, Veszprém, Hungary), Anyakönyvek [baptismal register], chronologically arranged, for Fábian Meringer, 7 November 1882, image 00225, line 34; Magyar Országos Levéltár [Hungarian national archives], Budapest; microfilm 699,660, Family History Library, Salt Lake City.
Here is my citation for a family Bible:   Burrows Bible Records, 1776-1845, transcribed family pages by Nancy Baer Strubbe from unknown bible; digital image made by Laura Cosgrove Lorenzana, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Bloomington, Indiana, 2012. The Bible apparently originated with Stephen Burrows, whose birth is the earliest entry; the Bible was passed down and was last known to be in the possession of Nancy Strubbe, Cincinnati, Ohio, at the time of her death in 2006. Nancy’s children are currently looking for the Bible as they were unaware of its existence.
+Kim Jordan I would put the address because it is part of the history of the document along with personal holdings statement. that person may have moved, but I would want to know where they were when you first viewed the document. 
I just finished Dr. Jones' module for the Boston course. He discussed waypoints, which I had not thought to use for my genealogical citations. Waypoints can be very useful when citing digitized images from non-indexed sources, such as pages from a baptismal registry. I submitted a citation for the death of Isaac Cross, who died at Andersonville Prison in September 1864, for Dr. Jones' feedback. Here is the final citation incorporating Dr. Jones' comments:

“Georgia, Andersonville Prison Records, 1862-1865,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 11 March 2014), Deaths and burials > vol 28 Prisoner burials 1864 Feb-1865 Apr, no 1-2356, 5851-7450, 7501-12848, image 205; citing NARA microfilm publication M1303, entry for I. S. Cross, no. 7982.
In our class, Dr. Jones cautioned us against using templates for our citations, because each citation is unique and usually do not fit into a general template. However, I have examples of citations for sources that I use frequently and use them as a guide.
Love how Judy hyperlinks her citations. Click on the reference note # and it connects to the note at the bottom of the page.
Don't forget attribution too. When we include images that we don't own, we should include some attribution.  As far as I know, the format of attribution is less formalised, but it's also discussed less than citations  :-(
Such as, "item currently in the possession of..." - do you put the date you wrote the citation or would that be the access date? 
Not only the wife but children may not be the head of households or the females unless you see a notation of relationship on the census. 
I had an 1850 census for my ancestor. His wife died and her unmarried sister moved in with them to help out. The enumerator indexed her as Susan Hunter but put ditto marks afterwards for the name Read (the husband's name). People assumed that Susan was his wife due to those ditto marks and nothing else.
Thank you for all the comments
Yeah, Sunday meetings are good for us non-retired working folks!  :)
+Tony Proctor In my family I have 2 birth registrations for 1 person which are years apart so this would need to be noted in any citation.
+Kim Jordan I have seen records held by one of my uncles it would make sense to say that he held them and where he lived when I saw them but if he moved or the records went to my cousin then I would need to include a note in my records but the citation would still stand because at the time I accessed them the records were at a given address. Otherwise every time an Archive moved premises we would have to recite all our sources from that Archive. Records do get destroyed but this does not change the value or details of your citation.
Cousin +Russ Worthington, I am once again amazed by the generosity of our panelists who so willingly donate their time and energy in support of our study group.

I appreciate our panelists' candor when encountering challenges posed by Dr. Jones' text. How pleasant to observe kindness as we guide each other through the discussion of Jones' research methodology.

Thank-you! It's an honor to sit on the panel with you all.

Thank-you as well to the community members who keep the conversation going by commenting before, during and after the live HOA (Hangout on Air). We learn so much by collectively rolling up our sleeves and studying together.

Great collaboration! 😊
+Hilary Gadsby , would that be when a change was retrospectively made to the details? I have a client who's grandfather's birth cert. was adjusted to change his mother's maiden name just as he went into the army. That put the two registrations nearly 20 years apart  :-)
+Pat Richley-Erickson , this great discussion certainly tapped into a nerve. It's a subject many people are concerned about. We all want to do it correctly but there are so many unusual or novel situations & records to consider. Wouldn't it be nice to have a forum where we can collaborate on effective and consistent citation forms for specific cases. It would create a very useful backlog for current and future genealogists.
+Tony Proctor +Pat Richley-Erickson A forum where we collaborate with others to try to come up with the best way to cite unusual sources is a great idea.  One of the things that has always struck me over the last 30+ years as the most wonderful part of the genealogy world is the collaboration of our community.  We work together to find data, learn and inspire.  I would definitely love to be part of such a forum or would help start one.  Let me know if I can be of any assistance.
The Journal of the Guild of One-Name Studies does have contact details end the end of each article but is an in-house glossy magazine & as to a  scholar;y journal I would suggest Family History News and Digest the in-house journal of the Federation of Family History Societies which has clear citations throughout.
The US magazine I always liked was Heritage Quest to which I subscribed until April 1995
+Pat Richley-Erickson +Ann Royal I would like to participate in such a project too - especially for a UK edition. However, for it to be recognised by the wider community then it would have to be endorsed (I believe) by ESM. Any suggestions anyone? Does anyone else feel this would be a good idea?
I think Tony's suggestion about a citation forum is a wonderful idea. That way people can get constructive feedback on their citations. It would be a great learning tool for everyone. 
The fact that her site never showed up in any of my searches when I needed direction must indicate that it falls short of the backlog that I/we need going forwards. I'm thinking along the lines of UK sources here, especially as that was the subject of the Hangout, although there could be variations for other countries too. I would therefore hope that representatives from such institutions asThe National Archives (UK) participated too.
I think we can get them to meet us there. Then we'll have a central place to discuss as most of us have some kind of European background. 
+Sue Adams, I agree the call number is essential to a proper citation as you've described.

We wouldn't want to equate this to viewing a US census record in digital image at Ancestry, which adds its own "image number", quite specific to Ancestry.com alone. US researchers bemoan the regrettably poor citations at this website,

After finding a US federal census enumeration in person at our National Archives, we'd have to settle for microfilm copies, only generally referenced in the Ancestry.com citation.

A competent would need to cite the specific roll number, but not a drawer number, because the drawers are labeled with beginning and ending roll number. One would also include page number and household numbers.

Much more to say on this, but as you know I'm at the hospital keeping watch on Mr. Myrt.

Suffice it to say, we cannot judge an appropriate census citation if it appears at Ancestry.com. Good clues are found therein, but full citations require additional components.

Hilary, if you are going to use fancy fonts, use of a spelling checker will avoid embarasment later, nice article though and love your graphics
+John Laws It is a quirk of the font not a spelling mistake I thought the same when I first noticed this on a previous post." Embarrassment" avoided.:-)
+Jennifer Shoer 

I really liked your "cheer leader" and communications view of this chapter. Awesome. Thank you.

Now, I am certainly no expert on this topic, but I was working with a colleague about Citations and did a blog post about it:


For what that's worth. But my point, relating to your blog post, has to do with some Citations that I have seen that go on forever. It's almost a discussion between the text of your research and the Citation which may be pages away. 

What I get out of Evidence Explained and Mastering Genealogical Proof, is that some times we make the Citation "work" too complicated.

Sticking to the 5 questions we can get that Citation created quickly. We don't have to tell the story in the citation, which is what I was referring to.

I may be wrong on this, but I'd like to hear what others have experienced in this work.

Thank you,

+Jennifer Shoer  I agree with Russ on both accounts; I like the "Cheer Leader" and answering the 5 questions has me more willing to write my citation. Both Russ Worthington and Dear Myrtle have stated the Scholarly Journal type Citations can be left to those publications (paraphrased) . Keep it simple answer the 5 W's using Evidence Explained and Mastering Genealogical Proof for guidelines. I'm not an expert, citations are my  fear to face, but it is getting easier each time I do one. I think I will take up Dear Myrtle "The Ragu Challenge; 3 2 1 Cite" in the month of April. 
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