View Full Version : Documenting Your Family Genealogy

01-24-2008, 11:42 PM
Rather than try to combine articles and write my own lesson this time, I'm going to provide 2 links for articles on the importance of documentation and ways in which to go about it. If anyone would like to add something or post a link to other articles of interest on this subject, please feel free to do so.

I think we will all agree that it is very important to document where our information is found so that we can not only pick up where we left off, but it will allow others to verify what we have been able to find. When using the internet for research, ALWAYS verify the information that you will find. Not all information is documented and many times it is not accurate.

You can find more about documentation here:

Why Bother? The Value of Documentation in Family History Research - Kory Meyerink, MLS, CG (http://www.genealogy.com/19_kory.html)

How To Cite Sources - John Wylie (http://www.genealogy.com/19_wylie_print.html)


01-26-2008, 03:17 PM
Excellent resources for the importance of documentation Jan. Thanks for sharing!

03-12-2008, 02:48 PM
Where do you include sources and citations for a printed heritage album?

03-12-2008, 04:31 PM
There is an old addage that I love:

An undocumented genealogy is a mythology.

I am BIG on documentation and making copies of sources.

03-12-2008, 09:20 PM
Where do you include sources and citations for a printed heritage album?

You know, this is a very good question! I'll do some digging to see what I can come up with. It's not something I have given thought to before. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.


04-14-2008, 08:54 AM
Just a thought ...

If it were me I would add a footnote number to the bottom of each page that was going into one album. Then create a document/source page at the end of the album. Many of our sources are repeated from one family member to another. So instead of loading up a picture/layout page with lots of unnecessary printing add it in one location at the back of the album.

"Source Documentation, p. 1, in Addendum"


"See Addendum for Source Documentation, Court Records and Family Research"

Unfortunately few of our decedents will be interested enough to follow through on looking up and reading those sources but it is so important to publish them along with the photos and journaling.

We had a situation where a very notable source for one family line was clearly incorrect in their information. Now, I will note here that I am grateful to the author of the work and amazed at what he did discover as the book was published in the late 1800's. So all of his work was actual 'go to the court house and read' work.

So my genealogy notes also include a Comparison page of what had been published and the documentation of what I discovered so that I and those who might also work on my family line can continue research.

But that's just me ... I include family charts and ancestor charts right in my digiscrap albums too.

04-14-2008, 08:57 AM
Opps! Sorry, another thought.

You can also hand write the source info on the back of the printed page for that layout or slide a printed paper behind that layout page that includes the info. Use a micro fine sharpie ... we all know that pencil fades quickly! I would prefer the former as hand written to the back can not accidentally get lost.

08-31-2009, 10:38 AM
I just ran across a site that defines relationships. I always got confused between terms like second cousin & cousin once removed etc.
Here is the link http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/relation.htm#Cousin

09-11-2009, 09:43 PM
When I first started working on my genealogy, I thought that since I was doing it for my own personal benefit and not "so someone in the future could continue it" I did not see the need for citing my sources. I found a reason later on down the road: I found another date for an event that did not match the date I already had. I entered the second date as an alternate date, but because I had no sources telling me where I pulled the first date from, I had no way of determining which source was most likely the more reliable one and should therefore be entered as the more likely date with the date from the less reliable source as the alternate. The lesson I learned: EVERY piece of information I enter into my genealogy program I now include a source so that later if I find a conflicting piece of data, I will know whether what I had was from a county register (for example) or from someone's web site. It gets tedius entering in source after source, but it is well worth it considering the number of facts in my database still without sources.

09-11-2009, 10:49 PM
I haven't been very diligent about recording sourses.Thank you for reminding us how important it is & why.