Source and citation with single certificates and family register books -- best practice?

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Source and citation with single certificates and family register books -- best practice?

Sebastian Schubert
Hi,

I would like to ask for advice concerning the best practice of dividing
data into source and citation with single certificates and family
register books.

Currently, most of my sources are either birth, death or marriage
certificates. They are either on a single piece of paper or written into
a family register book but usually both written by a civil registry
office so both are official documents.

Currently, I treat every family register book as a source and the single
certificates it includes as a citation. Thus, the citation is the main
piece of evidence. The only drawback is that there is no author for the
complete source (the family register book) but, in general, every
certificate has its own civil registry office. The latter could be
inserted in the "data" section together with the certificate number.

For the single certificates, I have the feeling that one level of
source/citation would be enough. While I put the title and author into
the source, the citation is more or less just a dummy word. Only
sometimes do I use two or more citations to differentiate between
different parts of the certificate. Thus, I would put all relevant
"data" into the source to be valid for all citations. This, however, is
somewhat not consistent with the way I treat family register books above.

Another possibility I thought of for the single certificates was to
gather them in a "virtual" source characterized by the same civil
registry office as author. This has the drawback that in general there
is not a consistent repository for all certificates by one civil
registry office. Some are still in the office, some are in an archive,
some are abroad...

What is your approach? Any advice? I would like to put our findings into
the wiki where a page is already reserved for these kinds of certificates.

Thanks a lot,
Sebastian


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Re: Source and citation with single certificates and family register books -- best practice?

Peter G
From your wording it sounds like you are not in the US, so I"m not really sure how your system works. But here are some examples of how you might look at it, with all names and numbers drawn from thin air.

Birth certificate for Charles Dickens, born 1850.  Issued in London, recorded in the London Civil Registry.  That Civil Registry book was moved to National Archives in 1940.  Citation - DICKENS, Charles (1850 - 1910) - London Civil Reg 1850, Book 2, Pg 34.  Date of citation 1 June 2014.  Source - UK Civil Reg Books, 1750 to 1910.  Author - City Clerks, various cities in England. Repository - British Archives.

Name with dates of birth and death to keep track of which Charles Dickens I'm dealing with. Which place the civil registry book came from, in this case London, which specific London book 1850 and #2 for that year. Date I accessed it, which for older sources that are already in the national archives and are going to stay there isn't a big deal.  For source it's what collection of sorts, in this case it's 1750 for when the books were started by the govt and ending in 1910 which is the latest books that in the archives. Repository for where it is now. If there is a specific collection within the repository, you can fill out the top part of the repository dialog box.

Now, same person, but the collection has been on Ancestry.co.uk for 10 years.  Citation remains the same.  Source changes to Ancestry.co.uk, London Civil Registry Birth records, 1850 to 1900.  Repository changes to Ancestry.co.uk and the upper part of the repository becomes the specific name of the collection on Ancestry.

The source name is different since Ancestry has it's own name for it's specific collection, and that collection covers only 1850 to 1900.  In a few years they'll come out with a different collection of birth certs covering 1750 to 1850, and that would be another different source. 

OK, now for somebody more modern. Sam Vimes, born in London in 1960.  Still in a London Civil Registry Book, 1960 (Jan to Mar) to 1962 since the books have more people per year so they divided the books by months covered rather then #1, #2, etc.  Citation - VIMES, Sam (1960 - ), - London Civil Reg book 1960 (Jan - Mar), pg 23.  Source - Civil Registry Books - London 1911 to present. Repository - London city clerk's office

In this case you have a different source since the books haven't been moved to the national archives.  I put Civil Registry Books at the start of the source name to group them all together.

Does this help?

Peter




From: Sebastian Schubert <[hidden email]>

Hi,

I would like to ask for advice concerning the best practice of dividing
data into source and citation with single certificates and family
register books.

Currently, most of my sources are either birth, death or marriage
certificates. They are either on a single piece of paper or written into
a family register book but usually both written by a civil registry
office so both are official documents.

Currently, I treat every family register book as a source and the single
certificates it includes as a citation. Thus, the citation is the main
piece of evidence. The only drawback is that there is no author for the
complete source (the family register book) but, in general, every
certificate has its own civil registry office. The latter could be
inserted in the "data" section together with the certificate number.

For the single certificates, I have the feeling that one level of
source/citation would be enough. While I put the title and author into
the source, the citation is more or less just a dummy word. Only
sometimes do I use two or more citations to differentiate between
different parts of the certificate. Thus, I would put all relevant
"data" into the source to be valid for all citations. This, however, is
somewhat not consistent with the way I treat family register books above.

Another possibility I thought of for the single certificates was to
gather them in a "virtual" source characterized by the same civil
registry office as author. This has the drawback that in general there
is not a consistent repository for all certificates by one civil
registry office. Some are still in the office, some are in an archive,
some are abroad...

What is your approach? Any advice? I would like to put our findings into
the wiki where a page is already reserved for these kinds of certificates.

Thanks a lot,
Sebastian

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applications. Written by three acclaimed leaders in the field,
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http://p.sf.net/sfu/NeoTech
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Re: Source and citation with single certificates and family register books -- best practice?

enno
In reply to this post by Sebastian Schubert
Hallo Sebastian,

> Currently, most of my sources are either birth, death or marriage
> certificates. They are either on a single piece of paper or written into
> a family register book but usually both written by a civil registry
> office so both are official documents.
>
> Currently, I treat every family register book as a source and the single
> certificates it includes as a citation. Thus, the citation is the main
> piece of evidence. The only drawback is that there is no author for the
> complete source (the family register book) but, in general, every
> certificate has its own civil registry office. The latter could be
> inserted in the "data" section together with the certificate number.
>
> For the single certificates, I have the feeling that one level of
> source/citation would be enough. While I put the title and author into
> the source, the citation is more or less just a dummy word. Only
> sometimes do I use two or more citations to differentiate between
> different parts of the certificate. Thus, I would put all relevant
> "data" into the source to be valid for all citations. This, however, is
> somewhat not consistent with the way I treat family register books above.
>
> Another possibility I thought of for the single certificates was to
> gather them in a "virtual" source characterized by the same civil
> registry office as author. This has the drawback that in general there
> is not a consistent repository for all certificates by one civil
> registry office. Some are still in the office, some are in an archive,
> some are abroad...
In my reorganization process, I try to categorize everything by
registry, using titles like the Dutch equivalent of Amsterdam civil
registry, and something similar for churches, etc. In those cases, I
leave the author field blank, because it is sort of implied by the
source title. This is a compromise, because I would prefer to use a
single title for the source type, civil or church, and group by author,
but that doesn't display nice in Gramps, and it also makes it harder to
upload sources to sites that group sources by title, like most do.

For me these sources are not virtual, because they reflect real books or
drawers or whatever technology was used in the past. Certificates always
have a counterpart inside that source, so in general it works very well
for me. Dates of issue and

In most cases, I don't use the repository in Gramps, because some of the
Amsterdam records are in the Amsterdam archive, others in the provincial
archive in Haarlem, and I access them through a multitude of sites,
including FamilySearch, who have their own copies on film. Tracing
repositories would be a hell of a job because of that, especially if
archives reorganize, as they often do, so for me that's just a waste of
time. I do track where I found the information though, and where needed,
I use citation notes for that.

Example:

The birth of my paternal grandfather was registered in 1879 in
Amsterdam, with record nr. 3033. I use the registry as a source, put
record date and number in the appropriate citation fields, and paste the
formatted citation provided by FamilySearch in the notes:

"Netherlands, Noord-Holland, Civil Registration, 1811-1950," images,
FamilySearch
(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-10895-58610-44?cc=2020117&wc=MCLH-RM9:341646101,342983401 
: accessed 02 Jun 2014), Amsterdam (geboorten) > Geboorten 1879 5 feb-20
apr > image 319 of 416; citing Rijksarchief te Haarlem.

As you can see, FamilySearch uses a much larger virtual source here,
being the civil registration of a whole province, which was never really
centralized that way. I paste it, because it reflects what I saw, but by
storing the actual record date and number seen on film (lower right), I
make sure that I can always find it, no matter whether URLs or
repositories move. Since FamilySearch cites the Rijksarchief in Haarlem
here, I know that I may find the real record there, if I have no way to
access the film.

This is of course just one way of doing it. There are loads of fields in
the formatted citation that could also be stored in source/citation
attributes, but without the right templates, that's too much for me.

regards,

Enno


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