Evidence Explained!

Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills

I bought myself a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills shortly after Christmas. I had wanted a copy for a long time, but finally made the leap and purchased it with my genealogy funds. I haven’t been able to dig in as much as I’d like, but I’ve been able to use it to source a blog post¬†and to help with my genealogy file cleanup. I’ve been using my own method for recording census citations in my FTM2012 file since I began the new file, now I’m going back and adding structure to those citations.

Before cleaning it up:

Citation Detail:

Post Office: Caldwell, Essex, New Jersey
Roll: M653_690
Page: 89
Image: 8
FHL Film: 803690
Dwelling: 60
Family: 60
Line: 22

Citation Text:

John Doremus, 31
Sarah Doremus, 26
Josephine Doremus, 5
Adaline Doremus, 3
Mariann Bush, 22
George H Vanness, 5/12

After cleaning it up:

Citation Detail:

roll 690. Essex County, New Jersey, population schedule, Caldwell township, p. 8 (penned), dwelling 60, family 60, John Doremus

Citation Text:

line 22, John Doremus, 31, male, blank, tailor, blank, blank, New York, blank, blank, blank, blank
line 23, Sarah Doremus, 26, female, blank, blank, blank, blank, New Jersey, blank, blank, over age 20 who can’t read or write, blank
line 24, Josephine Doremus, 5, female, blank, blank, blank, blank, New Jersey, blank, attended school, blank, blank
line 25, Adaline Doremus, 3, female, blank, blank, blank, blank, New Jersey, blank, blank, blank, blank
line 26, MariAnn Bush, 22, female, blank, seamstress, blank, blank, New Jersey, blank, blank, blank, blank
line 27, George H Vanness, 5/12, male, blank, blank, blank, blank, New Jersey, blank, blank, blank, blank

Using the cleaned up citation detail makes my reference note turn into this:

1860 U.S. census, population schedule, NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 690. Essex County, New Jersey, population schedule, Caldwell township, p. 8 (penned), dwelling 60, family 60, John Doremus; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com).

So that’s the new standard for me. The detail will be a little more report printing friendly, and the text has all the information I might need later without having to open the image again.

Disclaimer: I’m not an expert at citations. This could be a completely horrible way to document the census records. I just wanted something that would look better on reports. I also have no affiliation with the above book or websites. I don’t know Elizabeth Shown Mills or anybody at Ancestry. Nobody profits from this website, not even me. I am completely aware I’m almost done adding everyone back into a clean family file, only to change the way I record census citations. Don’t blame me, I am a cheapskate who hadn’t purchased this book until a few weeks ago.

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