How do I cite a 3-page, undated life sketch written by the ancestor in question?

+2 votes
One of my ancestors wrote a 3-page recollection of his life up to that point. It appears to have been photocopied and distributed to some of his descendents. It has been posted on both Ancestry and Family Tree. I don't know when it was written, but the latest event mentioned in the document occurred in 1940.

In citing this as a source, what's the best format to use?
in Policy and Style by Brent Dunn G2G Crew (320 points)
edited by SJ Baty

2 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer

The Evidence Explained website has a similar query, and a couple of options for such a citation, one brief, and one quite extensive:

Old type citation:

       3. Myrtle (Kuhn) Larmore, Writings on the Coon family, photocopy of handwritten manuscript, 1975. Possession of the author.

New type citation with added information in blue:

       4. Myrtle (Kuhn) Larmore, Writings on the Coon Family, photocopy of handwritten unpublished manuscript, 1975, Conrad and Barbara Coon Family Research Files; privately held by Elizabeth Ballard (, [STREET ADDRESS AND CITY FOR PRIVATE USE,] Indiana, 2016. Contains information on the descendants of Conrad and Barbara Coon as written by Larmore when she was 84. Larmore was a granddaughter of George Kuhn, and great-granddaughter of Coonrod and Barbara. She wrote that she and other family members listened to stories from “Mum,” Sarah (Johnson) Kuhn. Sarah (Johnson) Kuhn was the wife of George. Sarah (Johnson) Kuhn died in 1917, when Larmore was 25 years old. Location of original unknown. Photocopy given to Margaret Ellen Wilson, great-grandaughter of George and Sarah (Johnson) Kuhn and mother of Elizabeth Ballard, by Margaret's brother James William Wilson, circa 1984.

by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (510k points)
selected by Kylie Haese
Thank you. If I were to use the shorter version, does it matter that I don't know when it was published?

The document was uploaded to Ancestry and FamilySearch by another relative who is now deceased. For the "in possession of," would I use that relative, or would I use one of those sites?
I think it would be OK to approximate the date as best as you can. For example, if you can estimate your ancestor’s age when it was written, you would have a reasonable estimate for the date. You could also give a range, or period, when it may have been written.
If you don't know the "In possession of", say where you got it - "Posted to by..."

These documents are often very interesting insights into a person's life which will never be found anywhere else.  If it was my ancestor, I would create a free space page and go through the trouble of transcribing it.  Help all of his descendants hear his story that he wanted to tell.
+2 votes
I've seen this accomplished in a few (very unique) ways that has worked out very nicely.

Though there's a few WikiTree Help pages that can provide guidance with this, the following seems to be the closest one regarding your question.

With that stated...

I've seen this same/similar question asked in their own way, but instead of me "reinventing the wheel" (so to speak), I believe that the following answer within another question may have everything you need in accomplishing this.

I hope this was helpful for you and explained okay via text.

Good Luck! :-)

~Brian Kerr
by Living Kerr G2G6 Pilot (312k points)

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