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Ancestry as repository?

Ancestry as repository?

Posted: 1368350913000
Classification: Query
It appears that most of the source information that you get from Ancestry lists Ancestry as the REPOSITORY. However, is this really factual? For example:is not the USA Federal Government the Repository for census etc? In the early days I recieved much of my documentation through NARA. I have USA Army and Navy records that I received directly from those facilities. To me, Ancestory is the middleman because we are using the service, but what about the future? And those people that do not use Ancestry?
I was wondering how others enter the repository information.
Betty Dahlstedt

Re: Ancestry as repository?

Posted: 1368352082000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1368352880000
"It appears that most of the source information that you get from Ancestry lists Ancestry as the REPOSITORY. However, is this really factual?"

When it is your access to the source document, of course it is.

"I was wondering how others enter the repository information."

Easy rule of thumb, whatever you "link" to is the repository for that particular source. Changing every document citation to its original source (e.g. Bureau of the Census) is just not feasible (or necessary). For bloodlines, I will often offer alternatives (with repository designated eg. 1910 United States Federal Census [Internet Archive])...but I'm not dogmatic about that either. They can, however, be useful for non-subscribers.

Re: Ancestry as repository?

Posted: 1368358221000
Classification: Query
For the repository I use the actual repository not Ancestry, Family Search, etc.

The reason is that the online web site change URL's and may not be here tomorrow, so what is to day may not be tomorrow.

If I list the LOC or NARA as the repository I will list one or multiple access points. ie Ancestry, Family Search

I print AKK of my document image to PDF's, so later as I am preparing my sources, I don't always remember exactly which site I found the census records.

I handle state and local data in the same manner. If I have a death record, I can request it form the proper government office. This used to be difficult but is easy with Google.

There are some document images where I reference the online site. An example is the undocumented records from Family Search. From experience, I know that while they came from a local government, the local government may have no idea of where the record is located.

There are some records ie Pennsylvania Church records where Ancestry is truly the repository, and I list as such.

Re: Ancestry as repository?

Posted: 1368359875000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1368360074000
"The reason is that the online web site change URL's and may not be here tomorrow..."

So (if I understand your approach correctly), you will change every ACOM generated citation to reflect a different repository where a superior repository can be identified because an ACOM link isn't infinite?

Yikes. To each his own I guess.

Re: Ancestry as repository?

Posted: 1368361473000
Classification: Query
In my database there are no Ancestry, Family Search, or any other automatically generated sources.

I got burned once by merging data into my database and after 10 years I still have not remove all of the of the bad sources from my database. It is just not worth it.

On the other hand I do not have any source that point to documents that do not show the data that is purported to be in the reference.

Re: Ancestry as repository?

Posted: 1368365653000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1368366263000
I suggest you look at the citation as a whole, not just the particular isolated feature of "repository". If ancestry is already mentioned in the citation, it is totally unnecessary to repeat it again and again in the citation.

Let's give an example, say, of an 1850 census entry coming from the census at, 1850 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2009),, Database online. Year: 1850; Census Place: , Butte, California; Roll: M432_33; Page: 12A; Image:.

I suggest that having the text string "" 3 times in the citation is ridiculous, the text string "database online" is redundant and ridiculous (knowing that the info coming from ancestry already says the database is online), ancestry's address "Provo, UT, USA" is easily findable and equally ridiculous, the text string "census place" is obvious and ridiculous. And, note the image reference was omitted. Which could lead to this citation, which is a more appropriate citation, IMHO:

1850 US Federal Census,, 2009, Butte, California; Roll: M432_33; Page: 12A; Image: xx.

This is of particular significance to those who may wish to publish their findings in a paper format, eg a genealogy (register) report on paper (where endnotes in a "normal" length report can generate hundreds of pages of citations). This is not so significant for an on-line presentation because on-line trees typically have unlimited resources to include all of this extra citation "garbage" in their citations.


Another example:

Social Security DataBase:, Social Security Death Index (Provo, UT, USA, Operations Inc, 2010),, Database online. Number: ; Issue State: California; Issue Date: Before 1951.

Besides the above comments, does not include the date of the latest update of this particular index:

could be shortened to:

Social Security Death Index,, updated 02/17/2010, Issue State: California; Issue Date: Before 1951.

Unfortunately, since I still use ancestry for my main research source, I can't do anything about these citations because the next record from 1850 (for example) will replace an "edited" version of the source with the "garbage" citation of the next 1850 census record I merge into my database.

And.. I have more pressing demands on my time than to correct all of the dumb ancestry source & citation "garbage", so I move forward putting up with them.

Re: Ancestry as repository?

Posted: 1368367453000
Classification: Query
I think you answered my question.
Thank you.

Re: Ancestry as repository?

Posted: 1368374500000
Classification: Query
These issue with the generated source, source_ citation, repository_citation and repository are the exact reasons I always enter my own information and never let ACOM, FMT or any other automatic system enter/create my sourcing entries.

It takes longer to do the entry but it follows the standards I use (EE, Chicago, etc.) while also allowing me to create better custom reports from my report writer.

Re: Ancestry as repository?

Posted: 1486162789000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1486208674000
In my opinion, acom never was a repository, it isn't one now, and it's not looking very promising for the near future.

Hence, for almost every digital image record I find on acom, that image is copied to a local device so that I always have that image. And, many of the more significant documents are printed. Those image "repositories" are then placed on a jump drive and are also secured in the so-called cloud. Setting out with the best effort, I attempt my own citations. But, neither shall I endure the "trials of Salem" because I haven't satisfactorily recited the liturgy of the Citation Church. And, yes, I CAN prove my research!

Physical repositories, with expensive environmental engineering and disciplined study of proper handling and storage of documents of antiquity aren't going anywhere, precluding natural or man made disasters. The same cannot be said of provo, ut. Purchasing reels of microfilm does not, of itself, establish one as a repository. You are, at best, a convenient middle man.

acom advocates, and with great vigor, "cite your sources!" Yet, many of acom's supplied source citations simply list acom, database online, provo, ut acom etc etc etc which isn't a citation at all, but is opportunistic marketing with no compensation to the subscriber. Similar to automotive dealerships which advertise on the border of your license plate. At least with them, one can demand compensation, or, alternatively, remove the advertising which they did not ask for prior permission.

Further, on one side of their mouths, they say "Cite your sources!" Yet, when one attempts to comprehend acom supplied citations, that effort can be a fool's journey. Acom seems to have no pricking of the conscience as they bastardize true source citations into something that fits their methodology. It reminds me of the proverbial physician who admonishes their patient to refrain from smoking while they blow smoke in your face. And, when challenged, they respond by telling you, Don't do as I do, do as I say.

Nevertheless, I do believe acom provides a good value for the subscribers' subscription. They have made discovery easier than ever before. But, I believe they could provide an even more enriching experience with more focused effort as opposed to marketing hype.

Stay true to the disciplines and industry best practices first. The profits will come as a result of consequence.

Re: Ancestry as repository?

Posted: 1487796221000
Classification: Query
Perfect response.
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