Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Which Citation ?? - a trick

Some colleagues on FaceBook presented a problem they were having with Family Tree Maker and Selecting an Existing Citation. (my understanding of the issue). Believe me, I understand, especially when dealing with Census Records.

You know you have an Existing Citation for the 1920 Census, in Chester County, Pennsylvania. You realized that you miss entering a fact from that record, know that you created the Citation, and want to link to it.

Looking at the screen below, there are a number of 1920 and 1930 Sources. Just by looking at the screen, on the right, there are a number of Citations for the hi-lighted Source. Which one do I select?

For my example: I forgot to enter the Residence Fact for this person. I entered the data, but now I want to "Link to an Existing Citation:. I am in the People Workspace, Person View, and just added the Residence Fact, for this record. You can tell that there are No Citations, nor media files because of the -0's in that first column of three numbers AND with the Source Tab selected on the Right, there is no Citation.

Selecting the Down arrow, to the Right of "New", the Use Existing Source Citation option is selected.

Selecting that option, a new screen is presented. It's much like the first screen in this blog post. I think that trick here, is to NOT use the Default Setting, of All Source Citations, but select the 2nd choice of Source Title. With the All Source Citations, default, choice all of your Sources are in the Right Column and you can't see the Citations at all.

 By selecting the Source Title option, this will put the list of Sources in the Left Panel and the Citations for those Sources in the Right panel.

Looking at the data in the Residence Fact, I am working with a 1920 Census Record for Pennsylvania, Chester County, and the "ED 2-97 - 402 West Minor Street" and the Head of Household, Wilmer Cheyney.

With the 1920 Census Source, for Chester County, the list of Citations are in the Leftt Panel,

Selecting 1920 Chester County on the Left, will bring up all of the Citations for that county. The bottom Citation is for that Fact.

For me, it was easy to spot, but looking at what information was in the Residence Fact, having the Sources in the Left Column and Citations in the Right.

Making that choice, will now put the Citation where it belongs.

Lesson Learned: These Sources are using the Census Template, in FTM2012, by Census Year AND Location. I chose to use that option, instead of the Census Year only, so that the list of Citation by Source was reduced. Yes, there are more Source, but that turned out to work better for me. I had it the other way (Census year) and had pages of Citations. This just worked out easier. The Template feature is very helpful for me.


Copyright © 2012 by H R Worthington


  1. Hi Russ, Thanks for the info. I have a question though. I've never learned how to use FTM sources properly so this might be a no-brainer. If I create a source for a person's birth date - lets say it's Source Title - Nova Scotia, Vital Stats, Births; Repository - http://www...; Citation Detail - Application for Registration of Birth, (Certificate #), (date), Stephen Graham Leighton. In this instance, I'm thinking there is no need for Citation Text.

    Stephen's father's name is listed on the application, so I want to use this as a source on his father's record. So, I click on the icon, choose "Use existing source/citation" and then find it in the list - if I've just used it, it will be highlighted in the list. Do I "link to the citation" or "create a new copy"? I've been thinking that I create a new copy and then add the pertinent info in the Citation Text field (i.e. father's name - William Edward Leighton).

    Is this right, Russ? I'm thinking I need to do a huge overhaul of my sources as I haven't been right and/or consistent over time. Ugh! :)

    1. Pamela,


      Source is a Document, like a book. The FIRST time you open that book, and are GOING to use information from it, Create a NEW Source. I suggest you learn how to use the Template Feature. I have talked about that here.

      Now, a Citation is WHERE in that book did you find information that you have entered into your file as a FACT. You then create or Select that Citation, and link it to that Fact.

      For example, on a Census Record, I might gather 30 Fact. I will select that Citation 30 times.

      Does that help?

      Check the list of Topics on the right, for YYYY (your version of Family Tree Maker) then Sources or SourcesCitations. There will be a series of posts on that topic. If I have missed one, please provide some information.

      My most recent message RE:

      What to put into your Citation? - hint's

      Will help you with What goes into the Citation Details field, and the Citation text field.



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