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Karen Hewett
26 March 2007, 12:10 PM
Hi! I am new to genealogy and Reunion, and loving them both. I have been working with Reunion 8 for a few months, and just got the Reunion 9 upgrade. So far I have just been adding data, but now I want to cite my sources, and I'm a little lost. I hope this does not make me sound dense or clueless, but I need help understanding what data belongs in the different Reunion source fields.

Some fields like "title" and "author" are self explanatory, but I am a little confused by others. For instance, a vital record source type has fields for "locality", "register", "media type" and "location of source". Is "locality" the place the event happened, or the place that issued the vital record? Or is that the "location of source"? What if I have an original copy of a record issued from a office out of state? Or perhaps a photocopy of an original (supplied by a relative)? What does "register" refer to? Is "media type" for identifying whether my source is the original document, or a copy?

I have looked in the manual, and it gives great examples for citing publications and letters and the like, but I have not found examples of vital records or what the different fields should contain. I hope someone can help clarify this for me. I appreciate any help to understand this. Thanks so much!

Mary Arthur
26 March 2007, 07:52 PM
Hi! I am new to genealogy and Reunion, and loving them both. I have been working with Reunion 8 for a few months, and just got the Reunion 9 upgrade. So far I have just been adding data, but now I want to cite my sources, and I'm a little lost.


Get Evidence! by Elizabeth Shown Mills (Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Evidence-Citation-Analysis-Family-Historian/dp/0806315431)

It needs study, but it will be worth it in the longrun.

MabryBenson
26 March 2007, 08:37 PM
I prefer to use free form for all sources, writing down the relevant information, and using detail for things such as volume & page. That is much easier than trying to fill in all those items you may or may not have. You don't HAVE TO use those special formats provided. Just be sure to provide sources for everything, even Personal Knowledge, Information from so-and-so.

Dennis J. Cunniff
27 March 2007, 01:28 AM
A vital record source type has fields for "locality", "register", "media type" and "location of source".

Let's use a birth certificate as an example: John Smith, born in Sow's Ear, Pennsylvania, on 12 July 1858.

Birth certificates are usually issued by towns, and then entered into registers (large volumes that are essentially indexes of certificates). The registers would then be collected in a central depository at the county or state level. In the old days, before computers, you would look up the birthdate in the register at the county courthouse, find the person the certificate was issued to, and read out the certificate number. With this information in hand, you could obtain a copy of the original birth certificate with additional information.

So for our example:
Name: John Smith
Locality: Sow's Ear, Elk Co., Pennsylvania
Register: 1858A7 (this is a number assigned by the indexer)
Media type: paper certificate, certified copy (or CD ROM if that's where you got your copy)
Location of source: Ridgeway, Elk Co., Pennsylvania (stored there because it's the county seat) or Castletown, Pennsylvania (stored there because it's the state Office of Vital Records)

The answers would obviously be different if you looked it up, say, in an online database.

But as the other answers say, just because there's a blank doesn't mean you need to fill it in. If you know the register number and the certificate number, it can make the certificate easier to locate again if you (or someone else) needs to do so.

Karen Hewett
27 March 2007, 09:36 AM
Thank you all for your input! You have been very helpful. I wanted to avoid only using the free-form fields, because it's easier to see what data I have entered or missed if I use the individual fields for each source. Your explanations and suggestions are very much appreciated!