Scotland_-_Sourcing_Help.pdf

Scotland - Sourcing Help

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Scotland Project > Membership Team > Tartan Trail > Sourcing Help

Contents

Sources

A source is the identification of where you found information. It is critically important that you include primary sources for your information, because... as they say, genealogy without sources, is mythology.[1]

Sources are required on WikiTree. It's part of our Honor Code. We've outlined what you'll need to know, specific to Scotland records and sources.

How to Add Sources to a Profile

There are two acceptable ways to show your sources:

*In a List - This is a simple way to provide source for the information on a profile. When in Edit mode, you'll see a section that looks like this:

== Sources ==
<references />

Add your source, using the * (asterisk) to create a list.

* "Scotland Census, 1900", database online. Home Parish, Small Town, Your County, Scotland; pg. 100, family 10, dwelling 15, lines 150-157; June 1, 1900; FreeCen, accessed: today's date

Embed your source as a reference (sometimes called footnotes) - These are what many WikiTreer's mean when they talk about reference citations.

For example: John Doe was born in 1974.

At the end of the statement of fact, you would add a citation using reference tags, like this:

John Doe was born in 1974.<ref>Scotland: Statutory Register of Births; Sutherland, Scotland; Day Month 1975</ref>

You can also use the button on the edit toolbar to automatically create them: cite-source.png

Citation Styles

WikiTree generally follows the Chicago Manual of Style (CMoS) and Evidence Explained, by Elizabeth Shown Mills, however, the important thing is ensuring your sources are cited. The Scotland Project strongly recommends using the WikiTree recommended style or an equivalent.

A good source citation will enable others to judge the accuracy of the information found on the profile, and will let them independently verify the information by finding the source themselves. Such sources will answer the following 5 questions:

  1. Who - who caused the record to be created
  2. What - the title of the record set
  3. When - when the record was created
  4. Wherein - where in the record set the data was found
  5. Whereat - at which repository is the record set found

The syntax of Evidence Explained (or Chicago Manual of Style) allows a researcher to look at the citation and determine a lot of information about the source.

Citation Content

  • For newspapers and magazine articles ensure you include the title of the article, as well as the title of the publication. Naming the publisher is only necessary if the issue might be difficult to locate. If it is a rare book or periodical, you could include where it can be found.
  • For online material and databases, ensure you include the full URL for the page. You can create a link to the page by enclosing it in square brackets: [https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/research/guides/birth-death-and-marriage-records/statutory-registers-of-births-deaths-and-marriages Scotland's Births, Deaths and Marriages]. It will then create a link like this: Scotland's Births, Deaths and Marriages The URL by itself in not sufficient in a source citation. It is also important to include the date on which the information was accessed. This is useful for when a URL changes. When using the external link syntax, descriptive text must be provided.
Note: Some websites, like FamilySearch and Wikipedia include source citations that you can copy-and-paste. WikiTree and the Scotland Project try, as much as possible, to use links to free access websites, rather than paid subscriptions sites like Ancestry.com
  • If the source is a unique item such as a family bible or an heirloom, consider uploading a photo of it (it belongs to you, or a family member, so there's no copyright issue) to a free-space page.
  • Cemetery headstone photos should be uploaded to the individuals profile page. Please use only photos you have taken yourself, or have been given permission by the photographer, to use.
  • Second-hand information, while not considered a primary source, often provides us with important details and clues. It is a good idea to cite who told you certain information, when they said it, and where they said it. If they have a WikiTree profile, include a link to their profile page.
  • First-hand information that you remember about a person's life, should also be cited in a similar manner. Link to your own WikiTree profile, and include a Personal recollection, date citation.

Advanced Sourcing

There are times when we need to use the same source over and over again. WikiTree has one approved way to do this. Here is how to create it so you don't have to cite the whole thing each time:

<ref name="Author's Name">Author's Name, Book Title, date published, [web address copy available here]</ref>

Each time you use the source again, you can just use this: <ref name="Author's Name" />

Done this way, all subsequent references for the same source will point to the same entry at the bottom of the page. Note: the " is a quotation mark, not two apostrophes.

Example Citations Specific to Scotland

The results of these examples can be found under the Sources heading at the bottom of the page. When you copy/paste a citation, You just need to place the citation inside the <ref> </ref> tags. This section is not intended to be a reference on how to write a biography and just provides examples of how to do source citations.

  • FamilySearch - copy/paste citation provided on each record.
Example: Angus MacKay was born in 1793 and christened 31 Mar 1793 in Dornoch, Sutherland.<ref>"Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950", database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X18R-9F9 : 12 February 2020), Angus Mackay, 1793.</ref>[2]
If you need to use the same source more than once on the profile, you can do it this way:
Example: Angus MacKay was born in 1793 and christened 31 Mar 1793 in Dornoch, Sutherland.<ref name="Birth Record">"Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950", database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X18R-9F9 : 12 February 2020), Angus Mackay, 1793.</ref>[3] He was a son of Angus Mackay and Elizabeth Ross<ref name="Birth Record" />[3]
  • FreeCen - Has a citation generator, so you can copy/paste the citation for each record:
Example: Angus Mackay was living in the parish of Reay, in Caithness in 1841.<ref>The National Archives. "HO 107/2, Folio 3, Page , Schedule -: Scottish General Register Office: 1841 Census Returns database." From Free UK Genealogy, FreeCEN. Transcription. https://www.freecen.org.uk/search_records/5902882fe9379091b153a76f (accessed 20 May 2020).</ref>[4]
If you need to use the same source more than once on the profile, you can do it this way:
Example: Angus Mackay was living in the parish of Reay, in Caithness in 1841.<ref name="1841 Census">The National Archives. "HO 107/2, Folio 3, Page , Schedule -: Scottish General Register Office: 1841 Census Returns database." From Free UK Genealogy, FreeCEN. Transcription. https://www.freecen.org.uk/search_records/5902882fe9379091b153a76f (accessed 20 May 2020).</ref>[5] His wife Lucy (spelled Lusy on the record) and four children were also living in the home.<ref name="1841 Census" />[5]
  • Scotland's People Census:
Example: Samuel Kennedy was living in Bonhill, Dunbartonshire with his wife, Marjory, and four children in 1881. He was employed as a factory labourer. Samuel's brother, Adam, and a lodger were also living with the family.<ref>[http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk ''Scotland Census, 1881'']: County: Dunbarton, District: Bonhill, Samuel Kennedy, Reference: 493/ 9/ 7; National Records of Scotland, 3 West Register Street, New Register House, Edinburgh, EH1 3YT. Personal copy in the files of [[Madison-125|Bobbie Hall]].</ref> [6]
  • Scotland's People [Marriage] Database:
Example: John Dove married Isobel Simson on 28 October 1732 in Leuchars.<ref> "Church of Scotland: Old Parish Registers - Banns and Marriages" database, National Records of Scotland, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/: accessed 27 May 2020), John Dove and Isobel Simson, 28 October 1732, Leuchars; citing Parish Number 445, Reference Number: 10 358.</ref> [7]
  • Scotland's People [Baptisms] Database:
Example: Agness Kerr born or baptised on 17 Jan 1796 in Kilmarnock.<ref>"Church of Scotland: Old Parish Registers - Births and baptisms" database, National Records of Scotland, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/: accessed 03 Aug 2021), Agness Kerr, parent: Thomas Kerr, 17 Jan 1796, Dalry; citing Parish Number 587, Reference Number: 20 83.</ref> [8]
  • Book source example, online availability:
Example: He assisted his uncle, the Earl of Morton, when the latter was forced to resign in 1578. <ref> Balfour Paul, James, Sir, ''The Scots Peerage; Founded on Wood’s Edition of Sir Robert Douglas’s Peerage of Scotland; Containing an Historical and Genealogical Account of the Nobility of That Kingdom'' (Edinburgh : D. Douglas, 1904), Vol. 1, p. 195. [https://archive.org/details/scotspeeragefoun01paul/page/195/mode/1up Available on Archive.org]</ref>[9]

Sources

  1. Lorine McGinnis Schulze, "Genealogy without Sources is Mythology," article on Olivetree.
  2. "Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950", database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X18R-9F9 : 12 February 2020), Angus Mackay, 1793.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950", database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X18R-9F9 : 12 February 2020), Angus Mackay, 1793.
  4. The National Archives. "HO 107/2, Folio 3, Page , Schedule -: Scottish General Register Office: 1841 Census Returns database." From Free UK Genealogy, FreeCEN. Transcription. https://www.freecen.org.uk/search_records/5902882fe9379091b153a76f (accessed 20 May 2020).
  5. 5.0 5.1 The National Archives. "HO 107/2, Folio 3, Page , Schedule -: Scottish General Register Office: 1841 Census Returns database." From Free UK Genealogy, FreeCEN. Transcription. https://www.freecen.org.uk/search_records/5902882fe9379091b153a76f (accessed 20 May 2020).
  6. Scotland Census, 1881: County: Dunbarton, District: Bonhill, Samuel Kennedy, Reference: 493/ 9/ 7; National Records of Scotland, 3 West Register Street, New Register House, Edinburgh, EH1 3YT. Personal copy in the files of Bobbie Hall.
  7. "Church of Scotland: Old Parish Registers - Banns and Marriages" database, National Records of Scotland, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/: accessed 27 May 2020), John Dove and Isobel Simson, 28 October 1732, Leuchars; citing Parish Number 445, Reference Number: 10 358.
  8. "Church of Scotland: Old Parish Registers - Births and baptisms" database, National Records of Scotland, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/: accessed 03 Aug 2021), Agness Kerr, parent: Thomas Kerr, 17 Jan 1796, Dalry; citing Parish Number 587, Reference Number: 20 83.
  9. Balfour Paul, James, Sir, The Scots Peerage; Founded on Wood’s Edition of Sir Robert Douglas’s Peerage of Scotland; Containing an Historical and Genealogical Account of the Nobility of That Kingdom (Edinburgh : D. Douglas, 1904), Vol. 1, p. 195. Available on Archive.org




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Comments: 9

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The Freecen citation has a flaw, in that it omits the district and the civil parish, one of which is necessary. Here's an example:

"Scottish General Register Office: 1851 Census Returns database, FreeCEN (https://www.freecen.org.uk/search_records/5902666fe9379091b1c8ee93 : viewed 17 Jan 2023), Robert ROBB in household of James KIRTON, Denmore, Auchnagatt, Aberdeenshire, Scotland; from 1851 "England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images; citing The National Archives /225, Folio 174, Page 11, Schedule 42, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey.

The citation gives only the "House or Street Name" and the county, "Aberdeenshire". To be correct, it should also include "New Deer" before "Aberdeenshire". I've emailed the Freecen people about this, but nothing has happened (they are all volunteers).

Census/County/District/Civil Parish/Ecclesiastical Parish/Piece/Enumeration District/Folio/Page/Schedule/House Number/House or Street Name
1851/Aberdeenshire (ABD)/New Deer/New Deer/Savoch/225/9/174/11/42/-/ Denmore, Auchnagatt
posted by Bruce Laidlaw
edited by Bruce Laidlaw
Using the citation generator on this example, selecting the "WikiTree" format button (which I wouldn't use, but that's a personal choice) I get:

"Scottish General Register Office: 1851 Census Returns database, FreeCEN (https://www.freecen.org.uk/search_records/5902666fe9379091b1c8ee8b : viewed 18 Jan 2023), James KIRTON, Denmore, Auchnagatt, Aberdeenshire, Scotland; from 1851 "England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images; citing The National Archives /225, Folio 174, Page 11, Schedule 42, Archives, Kew, Surrey.

Using the "Evidence Explained" button it gives:

Free UK Genealogy "Scottish General Register Office: 1851 Census Returns database", FreeCEN (https://www.freecen.org.uk/search_records/5902666fe9379091b1c8ee8b : accessed 18 Jan 2023) [data about James KIRTON]; citing Piece: 225 Place: New Deer Enumeration District: 9 Civil Parish: New Deer Ecclesiastical Parish: Savoch Folio: 174 Page: 11 Schedule: 42 Address: Denmore, Auchnagatt.

Are you getting different results? If so, which citation generation button are you selecting?

posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
edited by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
If you're refering to the first example, the "WikiTree" example, I would agree that it is lacking. Instead, I use the Evidence Explained format. The critical information, the Parish number (225), Enumeration District (9) and page number and/or schedule #, would allow for another researcher to locate the record. I personally prefer that the full information provided by the EE citation.
posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
edited by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
Thank you, Bobbie. Yes, I see that the Evidence Explained button is better. I'll use that in future.
posted by Bruce Laidlaw
Thanks for the examples. My problem is with parentheses and access dates. The examples given sometimes show the access date inside the parentheses that also includes the web link, e.g. reference 3, and sometimes just the access date is in parentheses, e.g. reference 5. References 6 and 9 don't have access dates. Could you clarify, or does the location of the access date not matter as long as it's somewhere? Thanks.
posted by Jamie Karagianis MD
Hi Jamie,

Some sites such as FreeCen and FamilySearch provide their own citation format. When they do, feel free to use those pre-formatted citations. Examples 7 & 8 are our suggested formats for ScotlandsPeople, but if you include all the critical finding information, in a logical format, no one is likely to complain. Example 6 was from a photocopy taken of microfilm in my own possession, not an online record, so no "access date." Example 9 is a book, which here is linked to a scanned copy at Archive.org, but could just as easily be a hardcopy in one's own library. Usually, if it's the same printing date, barring the rare reprint, they'd probably be the identical. You could certainly add an access date, but that might be overkill.

Bottom line, IMHO, is that source citation is an art, not a science. Include all critical information so the next person can find the source. If it's available online, link to it on a free site when possible, and supply an access date in cases where the data might change. When not available online, try to provide as much context, or transcription, as is needed to convince your reader that a given piece of data is correct.

If you'd like to delve deeply into source citation and analysis, I suggest you take a look at Elizabeth Shown Mills' Evidence Explained. (Link for educational purposes only, not to sell you.) She also has a blog that's interesting to read if you want to read further.

Cheers, Bobbie

posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
This is exactly what I needed! Perfect, relevant examples that I can totally "copy"...off now to fix ALL the sourcing on the profiles I manage!
posted by Jasmine Holmes
I was having troubles with citations and a very kind user linked this page to me in the G2G forum I found it very very helpful thank you for creating this. I sometimes find some of the help pages a little too technical I really liked how this was laid out and the examples for different record types was very good.

Going to bookmark this page to make it easy to refer back to.

Thanks so much

posted by Suzy Cairns
Happy to know it's helpful! I'm always happiest when I see examples that I can mimic, or well defined explanations. This page was developed to help our hikers on the Tartan Trail. If you have other examples that you would find helpful (specific to Scotland), let us know and we can add to it.
posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
edited by Bobbie (Madison) Hall