Monday, November 13, 2017

GenDoc Study Group: Chapter 10

Mastering Genealogical Documentation Study Group
Chapter Ten – Numbered, Grouped, and Subgrouped Offline Sources

Marceline Beem

Jones, Thomas W. "Citing Absent, Hidden, Obvious, and Perplexing Dates." In Mastering Genealogical Documentation, 95-112. Arlington, VA: National Genealogical Society, 2017.

This week’s chapter focuses on crafting citations for offline sources.  When the document or artifact cited is part of a group of documents, there are multiple levels to cite. Dr. Jones uses the analogy of nested Russian dolls to illustrate his point. The citation may group the nested levels from largest to smallest or smallest to largest, depending on the context.  My example this week will look at a receipt in a probate record from Putnam County, Florida.  

The receipt is for the purchase of limestone for the tombstone for James Baldwin, ordered from James S. Clark & Co, dated December 11, 1884.  The nested levels are

1. Putnam County, Florida
2. Clerk of Circuit Court
3. Probate Files
4. Probate packet 274, James Baldwin, first filed in 1884
5. Receipt from James S. Clark & Co. for limestone

In my blog post Where was James Baldwin Born?, I cited this source as follows:

Putnam County, Florida, probate file no. 274, James Baldwin (1884), receipt for limestone from James S. Clark & Co., 11 December 1884; “Florida Wills and Probate Records, 1810-1974,” digital images, ( : accessed 23 September 2016); the petition is imaged as p. 839 of Putnam County Probate Packets 236-277.

Today I would revise this to include the second layer - the Clerk of Circuit Court.  Because the Clerk of Circuit Court is responsible for many types of records, I am also revising the citation to indicate that I am viewing the probate files.  With this information, the first part of my citation now would be

Putnam County, Florida, Clerk of Circuit Court, probate files, #274 James Baldwin (1884), receipt for limestone from James. S. Clark & Co, dated December 11, 1884

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