Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun! What Source Have I Used Most?

This is a response to Randy Seaver's SNGF for Jun 13, 2015. Fun? Oh no, this will not be fun! This one is going to hurt!  In fact, I'm not sure I should write this post at all....maybe, instead of this "fun" assignment,  I'll go wash the dishes....Oh well...lets find out how I'm doing in Source land....

I also use Legacy 8, so to start I also went to Reports>Other Reports>Source Citations and checked "Master Sources and Citation Summary Counts"

And then I waited...and waited.  So, while I'm waiting, let me start the excuses:

The problem is that my Source Citations...well...they are rather like my Locations.....I have duplicates.  Lots of duplicates.  It is all very messy indeed.  Some source citations are only on my Ancestry.com tree. And there are those sources that are only in the Notes of the profile from decades ago when that was the only way to enter the sources in FTM.  

Finally, the PDF is done, 272 pages long...and wow, yes, the sources listed in order of most used would have been handy! Maybe if I had went for Family File Statistics? No, that doesn't seem to have sources at all! Before I started combining duplicates the count=3474

My first look at findagrave.com was 203 citations. Here are a few others, selected as I thought they might have high numbers:
1920 US Census =3762
1910 US Census = 2324
1900 US Census = 1996
1901 Census of Canada =1061
Mass. Town births=844
1940 US Census = 402

I did a bit of combining of duplicate sources, and got the Source count down to 3324. Part of the problem stems from Ancestry.com having parent company naming issues.  They were TGN and Ancestry.com etc at different times, so the sources are different.

I thought it would be interesting to see how many citations I had compared to how many I "should" have based on having people in that location.  So I ran a search for people who should/may be in the US 1940 Census.  65, 297! Wow!

This exercise made me think about how many sources one would expect to have used...3324 seems like alot but....some of those are duplicates, and some are not "real" sources (ie it's a website, or an email where I received the information, and not an actual record). 10, 20 or even more sources per person is certainly not unusual.  Every genealogy book is a separate source, then there is the state census records, and often town census/assessment/tax records.  Plus each state/province in each country usually has its own birth/marriage/death records. Then military records, letters, postcards....not to mention newspapers!

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