When transcribing a document–even in your software program–consider including a quick citation in brackets at the beginning of the transcription. The brackets will tell readers that the information is not part of the transcription. It will also tell your readers where you obtained the material in case the citation in your database doesn’t get printed out with the transcription. Something like [Coshocton County, Ohio, Will Book C, page 212] is better than nothing.

Speaking from personal experience.



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  1. I have been an amateur genealogy researcher for about 12 years. I've always used Family Tree Maker to track my research. In the beginning I did not know the importance of source citation. Now I have upgraded to FTM 2012 and I am trying to go back and “clean up” my database. If you are familiar with FTM… what is the standard? Can you direct me to something that shows it? There are some records that i didn't cite at all. But then I have some that I simply put “information obtained from xxxxxx” and then put the person I talked to that gave me the info. Of course this is when info was obtained by interview. Can you help by at least directing me where i can find out more?

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