04 April 2011

11 for 11 Sources-Motivation Monday

I wrote 11 goals for 2011 at the beginning of the year and then talked about how it motivated me with my research.  One of my goals, number 3, has been the focus of my genealogy time lately. 

Goal #3 'Make a concentrated effort to source every fact as I add it to my software program.' has received a lot of my time the last two weeks.  I decided to take this goal a step further and looked at all my sources to make sure they were in good order.

I use Roots Magic for my genealogy software program.  I have been watching the wonderful webinars that Roots Magic has offered.  One of the webinars was on "Sources, Citations and Documentations with Roots Magic".  One of the things mentioned was when sources are imported from another program they may need to be converted, individually to fit Roots Magic templates.  Earlier in my research, I used PAF as my program.  This got me thinking about my sources from the data I imported from PAF. 

I decided to run a report to see how many facts I did not have sourced.  To do this in Roots Magic, follow these steps:
  1. Click on the printer icon.
  2. Select "Lists", then "Fact List"
  3. Click on "Create Report"
  4. From drop down menu under "Create a list of:", select "Facts without Sources"
  5. Choose People to include "Everyone", or you can select individuals, groups, etc. 
  6. Generate report
I had seven pages of facts without sources, gasp!!  I knew I had a few that weren't sourced, but seven pages!  I decided before I went any further in my research I would source every one of the facts.  When I first started my research, I use to print or photocopy a hard copy of all my record finds.  So, I dug out my surname folders and started sourcing.  I was noticing a pattern of the records that weren't sourced.  I bet 75% of them were from the same family line, the same source, and the same week around February 14, 2007.  Coincidence?  I don't think so.  I choose to believe that for some reason that source did not import when I created my Roots Magic tree.  I spent about five days sourcing my facts and was able to source all but ten facts.  I went back to PAF to see if they were sourced there and eight of them were.  Those eight were from the source, "German Burials 1500-1900" at the pilot family search website.  I went to see if I could find the records at familysearch and wasn't able to find that database.  I sourced the eight with the original source information hoping I would find the records again, eventually.

What happened to the other two facts?  I couldn't find a source, so I deleted the information.  I know this may be extreme but I wanted to have a fully sourced tree.  I did write a note about the unsourced information and added that fact to my to do list in Roots Magic.

I am so glad I spent the time to get my sources in order.  Plus, it is a good lesson for me.  Now, I make sure I fully source each piece of information as I add it to my database.  I only wish I had realized the importance of this when I first started out.


  1. I believe I joined you in those webinars, and what a blessing they have been. Not sure about doing a list like you, because I already know I'm missing a lot, plus, with 40,000 names, I might just faint when I see the list! So, on that note, I admire you for getting it done correctly.

  2. Barbara, I really enjoy the webinars, too Wow! 40,000 names, I don't think I will ever have that many.

  3. You will, remember I got a earlier start.