Genealogy Proof Standard
Genealogy Source Citations
All professional genealogists should provide source citations to all of the genealogy research information they collect for your family history. As a consumer you should expect this service. To give credibility to your personal genealogical research it is very important to create a source citation that describes the source of the genealogy research information you discover and attach it to your genealogy research in the form of a footnote. Footnotes are best because it is located on the same page along with the genealogy research information you discover.
Basic Genealogy Source Citation Templates
There are a number of basic citation templates depending on the type of source such as:
- online historical resources
- ancestry.com databases and images
- archival manuscripts
- electronic data
- local government records
Genealogy Research Quicksheets
These are available in the form of a “Quicksheet” by Elizabeth Shown Mills, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, MD, or in the book “Evidence, Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian” by Elizabeth Shown Mills, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, MD, 1997. These can be purchased on-line.
Simply put, the goal for citations is to lead the reader to exactly where you discovered your genealogical research source. Any genealogy research information that you find that does not have a source citation should be viewed as only a suggestion or a clue that requires followup genealogy research. Any information that is not considered common knowledge should have a source citation.
What do you think of this research standard?
- Are citations important?
- Are citations important to the researcher?
- Are citations important to the client?
- Are citations important for later finding the source of the information?
- All of the above?