06 May 2010

Cite Your Sources Easily

I admit when I first started researching my family history I wasn't good at citing my sources. I was more interested in getting names and dates on my family tree. After a few times of wondering, "where did I get that information from?" I started doing a better job. I also switched to Roots Magic genealogy software and wanted to do a good job with sourcing. Then, I figured out I was invariably forgetting to get one piece of information from the source. Usually, the page number! So, I developed a source summary sheet to help me record the information. I use this mostly when I go to libraries. I have used it with google books and the books on ancestry.com too. I usually write the library name at the top of the sheet. I even use it to record sources I have looked at and didn't find anything in. In that case, I usually put an O with a line through it in the page # column. It has been helpful when I go back to the library, I know what I have looked at. I keep the filled in sheets in a file folder alphabetically by repository name. A completed sheet is below. Do you have an easy way to keep track of your sources? Share it in the comment section.


  1. I have always been good about adding source to my genealogy software (most genealogists would not be impressed with my format) so that I can find them again. If I check a source and do not find anything sometimes I remember to add that to my notes. I often find myself rechecking a source later because I don't have a sheet like this. Great tip!

  2. Like you, I rarely sourced properly, and often used a similiar chart like you. Now, I just enter everything in the software program. Very nice lesson and I like all your Willards. Also, I heard that the Pres. is speaking at the Kalamazoo H.S. for the 2010 graduates!

  3. Apple, I like the idea of adding a checked source to your notes. I have had to recheck a source a time or too, also. Thanks for following my blog.

    Barbara, Thanks for the comment. Yes, the President will be in Kalamazoo. The area is all a buzz about it. I am happy for the graduates. Michigan needs some good news. I am not sure I will want to visit Kalamazoo on that day, though.