The standard genealogical citation manual today is
Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian
by Elizabeth Shown Mills (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997).
It's a book that should be in the library of every genealogist or family
historian. It should also be used for that purpose. Even if you decide to use
the book by Professor Lackey, or another stylebook,
includes an excellent section on genealogical analysis.
If you want to be published in a genealogical journal, you will probably be
required to use
The decision is up to each journal, but I know of none that requires the use
of Lackey, which was the previous standard. And if you want to be published in
the editor of that journal is one Elizabeth Shown Mills. You have one guess
as to what is required there in citations.(:
Since the advent of version 4 in 1999, users of The Master Genealogist have had
the option of using source templates based on this book to create citations.
The only problem with this is a minor one. Ms. Mills does not neccesary agree
Wholly Genes' interpretation of the source templates in her book. I think I
might understand at least part of the reason why she
holds that opinion. There are cases where the TMG templates do not agree with
the examples Ms. Mills provides in her book. Thankfully, this can be easily
corrected. TMG gives a person the option of using Custom sources, in which you
can create and modify your source templates.
What follows is
or at least, how I have changed
of the templates provided in TMG dealing with Mills-based sources. If you
agree with my interpretation, go ahead and copy them. That's why I'm putting
them here. Several of these changes are minor stylistic changes made to
confirm with the examples as set forth in
You need to have your source category set to Custom-Evidence.
The problem with the TMG template is that it includes the element [REPOSITORY
ADDRESS] in the full and short footnotes. The Repository for the United States
federal census, at least the microfilm copies of it, if not the originals, is
the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. The
template has the element of [REPOSITORY ADDRESS] in the place where the Post
Office address should appear. In previous censuses the Post Office address,
since it determined the mailing address, was included on the census sheet. It
was also where the local census records were most often kept. Those using this
for non-USA censuses would experience the same problems. The solution is to
replace [REPOSITORY ADDRESS] in the full and short footnotes with [LOCATION].
Also, include the word "household" in the full footnote, after [HOUSEHOLD].
For another way of doing it, click
There is only a minor change that I made in this template, and that in the
short footnote. An even more minor change in the full footnote. The
bibliographic entry remains the same. Here is what I think it should look like:
The change in the full footnote is the inclusion of "no." in front of the file
number. Ms. Mills includes it in the full citation, in the example she gives
[p. 78], but it is by no means required. I simply like seeing it in my cites.
The short footnote should include the element [NUMBER] which is not included in
the TMG defaults. The [SHORT TITLE] simply includes the name of the state
with the record type,
: New Jersey death certificate. Under the default the file number would be
added to the short title. Why? Wouldn't it save time (a few seconds) to
simply include the element [NUMBER] to the template?
Electronic File--Listserve Message:
This one is difficult, if you want to recreate the example given by Ms. Mills.
Thankfully, the example given by Ms. Mills is not the usual message posted to a
mail list, which is what this is. The source template works, with one small
addition. The e-mail address of the author is included in this citation, but
it does not appear in the template. Add it. It belongs to the SECOND LOCATION
element group. The only other e-mail address included in the citation is that
of the mail list, which is included in the LISTSERVE field.
My templates for this source are:
[AUTHOR], [SUBJECT] in "[TITLE]", [AUTHOR E-MAIL], listserve message to
[LISTSERVE], [ORIGINAL DATE]
<. Printout dated [PRINTOUT DATE]>
<. Hereinafter cited as [SHORT TITLE]>
[AUTHOR], [SUBJECT] in "[SHORT TITLE]," listserve message, [ORIGINAL DATE]
[AUTHOR]. [SUBJECT], "[TITLE]." Listserve message from [AUTHOR E-MAIL] to
<. [ORIGINAL DATE]>
Letter (Annotated Citation):
The problem with this is in the Short Footnote.
, on page 87, gives the following example for the
Letter, Maude (King) Hawkins to Elizabeth Shown Mills, 16 April 1972.
The problem is that TMG renders that as Letter, Hawkins to Elizabeth Shown
Mills, 16 April 1972.
There might well be more than one HAWKINS, yet according to TMG you would not
necessary know which one. The solution is to create a new source element,
[SECOND NAME], and enter the name of the author into this field as Given Name,
Surname. Place the element in the Short Footnote, replacing [AUTHOR]. This is
the only place where this element will appear, so the Short Footnote reads:
[LETTER], [SECOND NAME] to [RECIPIENT], [DATE].
I created [SECOND NAME] in the SERIES Elemental Group. It doesn't make any
difference in what group a source is created, as long as no two source elements
from the same group is in any one template. At first glance it might seem that
the easiest method of fixing this short footnote problem would be to enter the
Author's name Given Name, Surname in the Author source element. This would
show the long and short footnote correctly, but you would have an incorrect
bibliographic entry. I think it best to do it this way.
This is the sum total of my Mills-based custom sources. Of all the other 100
or so source categories provided for
, I either agree with the Wholly Genes interpretation of the source or I have
never used it. There's also the possibility that I never wanted to attempt to
"interpret" that source. There's also one or two which I haven't included here
because I'm not sure I can justify their existence. In other words, I'm
doubting my "interpretation" of the sources. I've included a few custom source
templates in my
database which are based on
At times I find his sources a lot easier to understand.