Lesson 4: The Value of Source Citations


Documenting the facts you discover in your genealogical journey is essential. Generating quality source citations as part of your research may seem like just so much busywork. Don’t believe that at all; they are invaluable, and you should be including them for every piece of evidence you uncover. Citations not only tell you where the evidence was acquired, but they also help in assessing the strength and quality of that evidence. (And yes, you should go back to each piece of evidence you have acquired and add source citations to your genealogy database wherever possible.)

Personal online family trees are notorious for not including source citations. This makes it challenging to understand and trace someone else’s research, locate evidence that they purport to have found, obtain exact copies, personally examine it, and develop your own theories and conclusions.

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