Category Archives: Uncategorized

Should “How I Found It” Be a Part of My Citation?

Citations are an integral part of genealogical research and I cite every document that’s discussed in Casefile Clues. Admittedly upon occasion there are statements about the individuals or families being researched that we do not cite. That’s usually to help us stay on our editorial schedule and to keep the last page or two of the newsletter from being overwhelmed by citations.

A recent post to my Rootdig blog mentioned including part of the “how I got it” as a part of my citation. I don’t think that generally speaking the “how I found it” needs to be included in a citation. For most materials the process by which it was obtained is fairly straightforward from the citation.  The item in the blog post could easily be found again by using the citation. That’s not the point.  The question is, “how would I find similar items in this publication?” short of doing a manual search.  What caused me to get there in the first place? Do I need to include a search process when a manual search was not the process?

I’m not exactly certain how to include it, but somewhere I think that needs to be noted.


Using my Camera and Word to Track my Citations


This was a really high-tech approach I took to note taking while I was at the Family History Library last May and June. I was working in some Boston, Mass., records and to keep myself from getting confused, I took pictures of the index entries for the estates I needed. Then those pictures were pasted into Word and I created a table alongside the image and added columns for:

  • FHL roll number
  • copied or not
  • notes

Not overly sophisticated, but it served my purpose and made creating citations easier later. I then took a picture of my notes to save as an image along with the actual images I made of records.

We’re hoping to include some issues of Casefile Clues using the records from Boston.

Waiting to Become My Children’s Guardian


The next issue of Casefile Clues (4-4) will look at a guardianship petition from 1889. We will focus on what the document says and try and strip away assumptions we may make about a document that may not necessarily be true.  This is an excellent case where not making assumptions is advised.

As we’ll see in a later issue–this petition was filed six years after the husband died and for a very specific reason which is alluded to in the petition.

Subscribe now and get in on the discovery.

Save on Casefile Clues Genealogy How-Tos and Get the Blog Update Free

To celebrate the start of our 4th volume of Casefile Clues, we’re offering new subscribers a chance to receive a full volume of issues and receive my weekly blog update for free. The blog update is normally $5 a year but is free if you subscribe to Casefile Clues by 5:30 pm on 26 September.
The blog update is weekly and summarizes postings to my four blogs along with premium content:
  • tombstone of the week
  • citation the week
  • photograph of the week
  • term of the week
The blog update is short and to-the-point. A sample is posted online.
Casefile Clues is more in-depth and focuses on a specific document, brick wall, or research concern in every issue. It is easy-to-read, practical, and based on actual research situations and always summarizes the record being discussed, the pitfalls of that document, and where to go next. Our goal is to get you thinking more about each record you find. Samples can be downloaded here. We cover records from a variety of time periods across the United States.