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Source Citation Tabs

Source Citation Tabs

Posted: 1380926568000
Classification: Query
I have read thru so many messages on 'source citation' that I think I'm going crazy! And I still don't have an answer to my question, so here goes:

There are 4 tabs on the Source Citation box: Source, Reference Note, Media, Notes. I like to put the transcription of important information from the document (i.e. birth certificate, marriage license, death certificate) to be connected to that fact. If I put it in the Notes tab, it doesn't print out. Right now I am adding it to the Reference Note and putting it in italics, but I'm not really happy with that. I've thought about adding it to Person Notes, but that means the information is only under that person and not everyone linked to that fact.

My question is: Where is the best place to put the transcription?

Re: Source Citation Tabs

Posted: 1380936490000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1380971355000
Most transcriptions that only belong to one fact for one person (or just a few persons), I put in the FACT NOTE. The note you described is the Source Note, which as you've seen is not printable in any report. The Fact Note, on the other hand, is printable in the all-important Genealogy (Register) Reports (either Ahnentafel or Descendant), by checking the box to include Fact Notes.

Examples of that include birth and death certificate information (from FTM databases, I copy and paste the info that FTM has transcribed in the "printer-friendly" option.)

In other cases, I put the transcribed info in a Notepad file which I attach to the source as Source Media. I use this, for example, where an obituary names a lot of people. By including the transcription as an attached media item, it will be attached to whoever is mentioned in the obituary.

Sometimes, I'll do both. The Fact Note that I have created called "Obituary" of the deceased person so that it will print in a Genealogy Report under that person - but also in the source media so that I can see it immediately from within my FTM when I am at another person's Person Tab - so I don't have to navigate back to the deceased person's Person Tab. Source media never prints in a report.

Re: Source Citation Tabs

Posted: 1380940819000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1380940904000
The correct place to put text (a transcript) from a source that pertains to the citation is the field title "Citation Text".

This field when exported to a GEDCOM has the definition of: "A verbatim copy of any description contained within the source. This indicates notes or text that are actually contained in the source document, not the submitter's opinion about the source. This should be, from the evidence point of view, "what the original record keeper said" as opposed to the researcher's interpretation."

If the text is too long or you want additional information an appropriate place to put source_citation information is a image of the page from the document. The NOTEs tab is for entering "Comments or opinions from the submitter" about the source_citation, for example a comment from you the reader saying that the handwritting is not completely legable and your thoughts about the possible words. Or that the interview was taken while the interviewed was drunk, distraught, or on their death bed. The reason NOTEs generally do not get printed in reports is that they are normally for the researchers eyes not public consumption.

Re: Source Citation Tabs

Posted: 1380972540000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1380972890000

There are a couple of issues with using Citation Text portion of the a citation to include the actual text from a citation (versus, for example, a Fact Note).

1) If chosen to include in a printed paper report - it will print in End Notes - which may be far removed from the sketch of the person you want it to be included. For many users Genealogy (Register-style) Reports will be hundreds to thousands pages long, with hundreds to thousands more pages of End Notes (as opposed to Page by Page footnotes - the "industry standard"). Do you really want to force the reader to "jump" forward several hundred pages to search for the "fine print" in an End Note? To include the info in the sketch of the person requires it to included in a research note, person note, or fact note.

2) If you want the info to be convenient to the FTM user of the file - the Citation Text window is a small window which only exposes a few lines of text at a time. I don't know how much text can actually be put in the Citation Text window.


That said, I think more & more users are becoming less and less concerned with paper reports. Paper reports were my primary concern for years. However, I am now much more concerned with web presentation. Whether one uses a product like WorldConnect, or ged2html, or even ancestry member trees, the citations will show on the page of the concerned person; which is the equivalent of Page by Page footnotes in printed report.

If you go to your local library and review examples of recent genealogy books and journals, you will probably find that you will come closer to those examples by actually typing sketches in the Person Note of a person, which only includes excerpts and interpretations and comments by the researcher, and then post the actual full text of wills & obits for "your eyes only" in whatever "cubby hole" makes most sense to you - either a Fact Note or Citation text or a Citation Media.

Note that Fact Notes can be globally controlled in a Genealogy (Register-style) Report; and can also be marked "private" on an individual basis - which blocks individual Fact Notes from being printed even if the global print note is turned on. Citation text can only be controlled to print on an individual citation by citation basis.

Re: Source Citation Tabs

Posted: 1380975522000
Classification: Query
Thank you so very much. I decided to add the information to FACT notes if it is for a few people (I can copy and paste to each of them) and I like the idea of putting the information in NOTEPAD and attaching it as a media item to the source.

Re: Source Citation Tabs

Posted: 1380975572000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1380980381000

1) yes, if this is an excerpt from the source, used as proof of this fact, then it should go with and stay with the citation information. This is the correct placement of this information. Just because FTM can't produce a footnote is not a reason to put data in the wrong place in the database.

2) in theory you should be able to put as much information in this field as you want. If you can't this is a bug. However that being said, an excerpt is normally short. Remember, this is an except from a source regarding this fact not the whole person. A death fact except from a book should only be a sentence or two long. Not many cases where you would go beyond a couple of paragraphs if they where describing the event/fact.

Just because some software programs misuse the NOTEs area, in their reports does not mean you should aid that misuse by not complaining and getting them to use the fields correctly. NOTEs are not the right place to anything but notes from you the researcher. These notes are then passed to/used by other researchers in their work. If you mix other types of information in the notes field then future readers have little clue to what is what. Book generation from FTM needs a lot of work, but book generation is a very hard process to automate, so I grant them lots of slack. The reality is that different "styles" put notes, bibliographic and other information in different places. A generic and simple program like FTM could never get it totally right. If the except warrants inclusion in the pages of the book, two places come to mind, as an indented text block in the body of the page or as page foot notes. These elements are better prepared by the author manually than an program automatically.

FTM does a very poor job of helping newbies understand what information should go where, but then I feel they don't tell users what to do because they have no clue what the right thing to do is anyway.

Re: Source Citation Tabs

Posted: 1380981976000
Classification: Query
You said: "... then it should go with and stay with the citation information. This is the correct placement of this information.."

No, it isn't. The person presenting the information always has the option to put the info directly into the sketch of the person or the source text information. For example, the followng textual informations may be desired in the sketch of a person.

John married Sally Smith on 05/18/1853 by the Rev Wm Clark, witnessed by parents: Joe & Betty Jone and Tom and Jane Smith. (then the footnote given for this statement only gives the source - ie where to find it info. period, nothing else.)

Or, the text can say:

John married Sally Smith on 05/18/1853. (then the footnote citation text gives the officiater and the witnesses.)

Where to put the info is a choice by the person presenting the info.


You said "FTM does a very poor job of helping newbies understand what information should go where, but then I feel they don't tell users what to do because they have no clue what the right thing to do is anyway."

I'd second that statement.

Re: Source Citation Tabs

Posted: 1380982315000
Classification: Query
In other words, however you choose to put the information into your program is up to you. As long as you use proper citations and record everything?

Re: Source Citation Tabs

Posted: 1380982874000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1380983016000
Yes, but I would suggest that you go to your local library and look at recently published Genealogies by "established" publishers, like PPC or NEHGS, or journals, like The Genealogist, The American Genealogist, or the NEHGR - to get a feel for how the "pros" present their information.

If you want to see a great presentation that no software that I am aware of handles - then see the recent series on The Great Migration Begins and The Great Migration. In this presentation, citation text information is never presented with the citation, but in the sketches. The sketches have a standard outline format. Sources are described in a separate appendix (which is presented in the front of the book - describing the source, its nature, its limitations, etc, etc.). Sources are given an alphabetical code and presented in-line, or in the sketch right after the info is presented. And the appendices not only includes a name index, but a separate index for places.

You might find an example of that format somewhere on the internet (besides actually subscribing to the NEHGS.)

Re: Source Citation Tabs

Posted: 1381005708000
Classification: Query
As a library cataloguer I would say NO. Data has specific places, and everything goes in a place. If you place data in the wrong place it stays data and rarely becomes information, and can not be shared so it will never become knowledge. You would not decide to put a date in the place field why put citation text in a notes field? Unfortunately FTM forces you to put things in the wrong place to achieve something close to the output you want.

Any historical or research book that does not have footnotes or a least chapter end notes makes its information very inaccessible.

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