There’s a popular quote that “Genealogy Without Sources is Mythology”, and it’s true to a degree.
While you may well have the facts correct, others looking at your tree, or whoever you pass your tree on to, don’t know the validity of it without seeing the sources. So yes, they really are important. Besides, do you really think you’ll remember where you got that death date from, or the name of your great great grandpa’s 3rd wife in 5 or 10 years time? So it’s as much for you as anyone else.
But HOW do you cite a source? There’s plenty of great advice on just how to do this.
‘Referencing for Genealogists: Sources and Citation‘, is a new book that is written by Ian Macdonald, Chairman of the Register of Qualified Genealogists organisation, and writes the following …
Reliable genealogical conclusions depend on reliable data. Central to any good investigation is an appreciation of where the data came from, so that other investigators can re-examine it and re-establish the conclusions reached. Genealogy is little more than anecdote when the sources for facts are not cited and where clear references to sources are not given.
‘Referencing for Genealogists’ will enable others to follow in your footsteps because it gives you the means to write clear, unambiguous references that provide solid support to the evidence you offer towards your conclusions. It is packed with examples that the reader can learn from and that also provide a treasure trove of sources invaluable to any genealogist.
A reader who has a copy of the book writes the following review “an excellent resource for amateur and professional genealogists in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, the book builds on the University of Strathclyde’s own referencing style for genealogy (available online for free), so I would suggest consulting that first”.
So while it might seem too hard, with a bit of practice, you’ll be citing everything in no time, and you’ll have a far better family tree for it.
Title: Referencing for Genealogists: Sources and Citation
Author: Ian G. Macdonald
Media: paperback, 144 pages
Item Code: THP049
Link to website