The ability to customize almost anything is one of The Master Genealogist's (TMG) most powerful features - and one of its most frustrating. The amazing detail in Evidence Explained makes it a treasure for genealogists - but makes it difficult to synthesize principles. Put the two together and you get chaos - or a wonderful way to cite your sources consistently and professionally.

The Tri-Valley TMG User Group is associated with the Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society (L-AGS), and we meet in Pleasanton, California. Information on our meetings - location, date, time, and topic - is always available on the home page of the L-AGS web site. Our three-hour meetings are actually hands-on workshops in which up to fifteen computers are connected to a digital projector allowing customized personal assistance to attendees. In the past, the group has systematically studied Lee Hoffman's Getting the Most out of The Master Genealogist and Terry Reigel's A Primer for The Master Genealogist. In February 2010 we embarked on our most ambitious project to date, a study of Elizabeth Shown Mills' Evidence Explained.

If you would like to participate in the Tri-Valley TMG User Group's adventures as we attempt to create TMG source templates that approximate Evidence Explained's principles, please feel free to comment and share your ideas.

If you would like to download and use our source type templates in your personal database, we would appreciate it if you retain our acronym (TVTMG) in the template name. Societies, if you would like to use these templates in your group activities, please contact the TV-TMG chair at:

Please note that these are our attempts
and they have not been approved by Mills! In other words, please don't blame her incredible book for our mistakes. Unless otherwise stated, all references are to the 2007 edition of Evidence Explained.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Citing a Website "Chapter"

Website as "Chapter" (This template uses Mills, EE, QuickCheck Models , pp. 647 and 657.  QCM 657 equates a website devoted to one item with a book.  If we expand on that analogy, a website, like those county websites sponsored by RootsWeb, are similar to chapters within a book and can be cited in the form seen in QCM 647.)
  • Bibliography (Source List Entry):

Tazewell County researchers. "Compiled Tazewell County Marriage Index." Record Abstracts. Bradford, Lisa Griffith, County Coordinator. Welcome to Tazewell County, Virginia (Virginia USGenWeb). : 2003.
  • Full footnote (First Reference Note):
<[AUTHOR], ><"[CHAPTER TITLE]," ><[RECORD TYPE], ><[SECOND AUTHOR], ><[AUTHOR ROLE], ><[ITAL:][WEBSITE][:ITAL] >(<[URL]>< : accessed [CD3]>)<, [CD1]><, [CD2]><; [CM]>.
Tazewell County researchers, "Compiled Tazewell County Marriage Index," record abstracts, Lisa Griffith Bradford, County Coordinator, Welcome to Tazewell County, Virginia (Virginia USGenWeb) ( : accessed 15 July 2010), Denison Baldwin - Sallie Ward Barns marriage, 16 February 1858<; [CM]>.
  • Short footnote (Subsequent Note):

Tazewell County researchers, "Compiled Tazewell County Marriage Index," Tazewell County, Virginia (VA USGenWeb), Denison Baldwin - Sallie Ward Barns marriage<; [CM]>.

Explanation of variations from Mills:
  1. There's no exact comparison available, but there are some possible questions.  The QCM on p. 647 places the example's book editor after the title of the book.  The example in 12.64, however, places the book editor's name before the title.  I'm not sure which would be preferred, but our template feels a little better to me, as it retains the pattern of creator before the name of the creation.
  2. The URL entered in the template is that of the "chapter," not that of the "book," although it follows the title of the website, not the title of the chapter.  Since not every website makes it easy to find the sections, I think it's a good idea to cite the chapter URL. 
TMG notes:
  1. Note the use of the formatting code, [FCAP:][:FCAP] in the Bibliography.  This capitalizes the initial letter of each word.  That's not really what we want, but it's better than leaving this data in lower case.  If the Bibliography is published, capitalization of the data in this field will need to be edited.
  2. Many websites have corporate authors of some sort..  Entering an author as "Film Study Center, Harvard University" would result in incorrect output in both footnote outputs.  Don't forget TMG's escape character, the backslash.  Enter this as "Film Study Center\, Harvard University" and it will print correctly in all output formats.
New source elements in this template:
  1. Website (in Title)
  2. Short Website (in Short Title)

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