Thursday, November 10, 2011

Speaking of Citations

Artwork from Office

As genealogists and family historians, we have unlimited types of sources that we use and need to cite. We've all heard the phrase, "cite your sources" but sometimes it's easier said than done.  Let's face it, putting those citations together can be work. How about starting a citation "style sheet"? I did a few months ago and am now finding it to be extremely helpful, and a real time saver. Especially when I go to add citations to the documents uncovered during research.

Use your favorite word processing software. Each time you find yourself writing up a citation, put it as an example under a heading for that type of citation.

Here's a couple of examples from my "citation style sheet".

State Census –

Source List Entry:

Iowa. Mahaska County. 1854 State Census. Digital Images. : April 2010.

Full Reference Note:

1854 Iowa State Census, Mahaska County, Iowa, Adams Township, no page number, line 7. William Ballenger; digital image, ( : accessed April 2010), citing _____

Subsequent Reference Note:

1854 Iowa State census, Mahaska Co, Iowa, Adams Township, no page, line 7, William Ballenger.

Document obtained from County Recorder

Full Reference Note:

Boulder County, Colorado, R:186, William H. and Lucinda Ballinger to George C. Corning, Warranty Deed, 30 Oct 1872; Boulder County Recorder, Boulder.

(see page 488 EE)

The next time I need to cite one of the many documents obtained from a county recorder's office, for example, I can do a cut and paste and then change the information to what I am citing. Occassionally I even reference Evidence Explained in case I need to go back and check something out.

My style sheet is nothing fancy and is a work in progress. It's also proving to be a time saver as I collect more and more examples related to the research that I am doing. I hope you give it a try.

To cite this post:

Michelle Goodrum, “Speaking of Citations.” Michelle Goodrum, The Turning of Generations, 10 November 2011 ( : access date DD Month YYYY), para. XX.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum


  1. What a great idea Michelle! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Michelle, I am enjoying your posts with citations included. Very helpful. Thank you. Jennifer