Tuesday, March 4, 2014

FTM2014 - What goes where in a Source Template?

I am going to try to explain what information goes where, using the Family Tree Maker Template Feature.

The first item that I had to learn is that a Source and a Citation are two different things. The program, and many others, "Source Citation" as a term. But to understand the Template feature, we need to break them apart.

My understanding of these two terms is that a Source is a container of Information. A book, a record, a picture. The Citation provides more detailed information about the Claim or Assertion that is made within that Source. Family Tree Maker uses the term "Fact" to represent the Claim or Assertion.

This Source claims that something happened on this date at this place and is found on page ### of this Book.

Lets take an 1870 Federal Census Record that was found on Ancestry.com. Where the Source is found and what exactly I am looking at, plays a role in defining the "Source".

Here is a link to the Evidence Explained website, for the QuickCheck Model for Microfilm: Population Schedules, 1850 - 1870.

It has the First (Full) Reference Note in the center of that page. Within Family Tree Maker, there is also a field called Reference Note. The trick, for me, is to get those two "Reference Notes" to have the same information in them.

We are trying to fill in these blanks:

  • Census ID
  • Jurisdiction
  • Schedule
  • Civil Division
  • Page ID
  • Household ID
  • Person(s) of Interest
  • Film ID
For me to understand this, the first four items (in blue) define the Source. The last four items (in red) define the Citation. (Container and where the information came from)

So, what does this look like in Family Tree Maker? 

I selected the Template for the US Population Schedule for 1850-1870, by Census Year and Location. This example has been filled in:




  • Census Year = 1870
  • State = Maryland
  • County = Baltimore County
  • Publication number = M593
  • File roll number = 576
  • Website title = Ancestry.com
  • Database publisher = Ancestry.com Operations, Inc
  • Publisher location = Provo, Utah
  • Database year = 2009
  • URL = http://www.ancestry.com
All of this information came from the Ancestry.com website:

Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 11, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M593_576; Page: 40A; Image: 83; Family History Library Film: 552075.
Source Information:
Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
Original data:
1870 U.S. census, population schedules. NARA microfilm publication M593, 1,761 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.
I picked up the data in blue for the Source fields above. The template tells me what I am looking at and where I got it from much like the First Full Reference Note.

The First Full Reference Note has more information which more clearly defines the claims (Facts) that I got from that Source.

Here is the same information from Ancestry.com, that I need to fill in those other 4 fields. (in red)

Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Baltimore Ward 11, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M593_576; Page: 40A; Image: 83; Family History Library Film: 552075.
Source Information:
Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
Original data:
1870 U.S. census, population schedules. NARA microfilm publication M593, 1,761 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.
That is the information that needs to be entered into the Citation Detail of the Citation screen in Family Tree Maker.

To help me fill in those blanks, I put in the Comments of that Source (Template) screen this information.
[ civil division ]; Page __;  dwelling number _; family number _; Lines _ - _; [ person of interest ] household; accessed
I need to pick up:

  • Civil Division = Baltimore Ward 11
  • Page = 79
  • Household ID = dwelling number 436, family number 546
  • Person of Interest = William Howard
When I handle Census Records, I use the entire household when recording my information based on the Head of Household. To make the Citation a little clearer, I pick up the Line Numbers for the Household, I add the word "household" after the head of household's name (person of interest), and I add the date that I accessed the information.

That is the information in the Citation Detail field.


Since the Head of Household is already in the Citation Detail, I also enter it into the Citation Text field and other notes that I might want to make. BUT, I remove the Check Mark to the right of the Citation Text field and since I usually pick up the Web Address, I also do not include that in the Reference Note.

Here is what the Reference Note looks like.
1870 U.S. census, population schedule, Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore Ward 11; Page 79 and 80;  dwelling number 436; family number 546; Lines 39 and 40, 1 - 6; William Howard household; Image: 83; Family History Libary Film: 552075; accessed 01 Jul 2011; NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 576; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com).
You will notice that this household was on two pages, 79 and 80, lines 39 and 40 on page 79, and lines 1 through 6 on page 90.

Please note that the order of the location is not the same, but the information is the same. The Census ID and the Schedule are not in the same order, but it is there.

The beauty of the Template feature is the consistency of the EndNotes or Reference Notes.

I go through this same process for each type of record that I use in Family Tree Maker. Look at the First Full Reference Note in Evidence Explained. Look at that record (Source) screen and understand what is Source Information and what is Citation (Citation Detail) information. Then create that short cut that I copy and paste from the Source Comment field, to update the Citation Detail field to complete the Family Tree Maker Reference Note.

Lesson Learned: Spend time understanding Evidence Explained, by Elizabeth Shown Mills and the Family Tree Maker Template Feature.

The book, Evidence Explained has been a very worthwhile investment to have on my desk. The Evidence Explained website and Facebook Group page are very worthwhile resources on this topic.
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Copyright © 2014 by H R Worthington

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