Ahhhhh…..snow day! Actually, “icy streets” day, but no matter – an unexpected day to work on genealogy! So I thought to myself, I will open my group sheets that are stored on my computer and change all of the citations that only say “Find-a-grave” to be actual, genealogically happy citations. And thus began my citation headache…

I decided to start with a specific group sheet that had all kinds of information for every name on the sheet – births, deaths, spouses, marriage dates, etc, but my citations tended to be things like: 1) ACPL 976.901 R91sh v. 1. or 2) Accd to William’s birth record or 3) Marriage Bonds book 6. CERTAINLY not complete citations! And what about the marriage dates that had no citations at all? Oy vey!

I decided that I would not work on any other group sheet until I entered proper citations for everything on this group sheet.

I began with burial citations since that was my original intention anyway. Because I took a trip to my county of research a few summers ago, I had many of my own images from cemeteries and such, so I cited those first and then moved on to Find-a-grave listings that I had not created myself. I did a Google search to see how others were citing Find-a-grave sites and could not find anything that didn’t refer to getting information from the image of the tombstone. I have quite a few ancestors who are listed in Find-a-grave, but do not have an image of the stone included. I decided on a citation format that was close to what I was seeing online and that would work well for me including linking the person’s name to the Find-a-grave listing so I could continue to check back for images at a later date with just a single click. There are some wonderful volunteers in Russell County who are posting images of obituaries and wedding announcements that have been delightful surprises and I am very grateful for that! I only wish that the name of the newspaper and date of publication were included, but someday, I’ll be able to make a trip to the area and find those myself and I’m thrilled with the information that they do contain.

Next came hours of re-researching. Quite a bit of information that I had came from a web site that no longer exists, so I was looking for print outs or other sites that the information may have been copied to. (Thank you RootsWeb!) If I didn’t already have a print-out, I made one today with the surnames that I research along with any information given on the source that the information had originally come from.

I then went to my Ancestry account to see if I had entered sources in the notes on there. Sadly, there were not many. When information came from microfilms, I searched the FamilySearch catalog to find the films that I had rented in the past to get the information needed for those records. When information came from books, I found the book on the WorldCat site, copied the Chicago style citation and added page numbers if I knew them and red notes to look them up if I didn’t.

Bottom line – I’ve spent 8 hours adding fresh information and working to update citations for ONE group sheet and my backside is pretty sore because I’ve spent every minute of that kicking myself in the rear for not doing this correctly from the beginning! BUT, I now have a group sheet (yes, only one) that is fully cited and I have LEARNED MY LESSON!