(From the front cover.)
This booklet is full of actual citations which may be used to
document most information sources used in genealogy and
family history. Use any of the 112 "Citable Citations" as a
model. Simply substitute your source information for the data
given in any of these examples. You then have a citation
which accurately reflects your research.
Copyright (C) 1997 by Jay C. Wood
While enrolled in the National Genealogical Society's correspondence course, "American Genealogy," I was struck by the fact
that the sample citations they gave lacked a consistent format. I consulted other "authorities" about citations and found that they
also lacked a consistent format Since the publication of this booklet, one of the leading 'gurus' in the genealogy community has
published a book which is largely about citations, and even there I find a lack of a consistent format.
Therefore, I took my Chicago Manual of Style in hand and used it as a guide for constructing a Citable Citation. I took all the
source examples in the course and added a few more I had found and wrote a Citable Citation for each. I substituted actual
sources for the examples in the course just in cast theirs were not real. When I was done, there were 112 Citable Citations.
There are three sections to Citable Citations. The first is about what a citation is, what it is used for and its construction. The
second section deals with the logic behind the "Citable Citation" format
In the third section are 112 specific examples of actual Citable Citations. One hundred and eleven of these are actual sources of
genealogical information and you can use any of them to locate the original source I used. One is not a citation to an actual
source and I leave it up to the reader to determine which one it is. (Now there is a challenge for you. Hint: only the names have
been changed to protect the guilty.)
One way of describing the Citable Citation format or any other citation format, is to paraphrase each part of the citation.
Author is "Who said it?"
Title is "Where did they say it?"
Publisher or Archive is ""Who says they said it?"
Proof is "How do I know they said it?"
The following 'Rules' are found on page 18 of the booklet.
|Rules for Citable Citations
|Citable Citations Quick Index
A "Quick Index" appears on the back cover of the booklet. "Use this index to quickly find a
sample of the citation type you need to document your source of information." Instead of
using the booklet's page numbers, here the number indicates which of the 112 examples is
for that particular Citable Citation. Click on the link then scroll down to the Citable
- If known,"Author" is always a person, never a committee or an agency. End "Author"
with a comma. (Note: Very few, if any, of your Citable Citations will have an author.)
- End "Title; Subtitle" and "Publisher/Archive" with periods.
- "Publisher" may be a commercial or private publisher or a government agency.
"Archive" may be a depository or an individual holding the original material.
- "Proof" is where Information was found, where it may be located or the current
location of a copy. (Place the "Proof" inside parentheses.)
- If only "Title" is known then "Proof" is required, else "Proof" is optional.
Citable Citations, besides the "Quick Index" on the back cover, has a two page Index at the back of the booklet. Preceding this
is a Bibliography listing all the sources I consulted while writing the booklet. I include it here, not only for the information it
contains, but because there are times when a Bibliography style is needed and this can be used as a sample. Remember that all
Citable Citations use a 'footnote' style and not a 'bibliography' style..The basic difference is that a 'footnote' (or an 'endnote')
refers to a particular place and a 'bibliography' refers to a work as a whole.
Greenwood, Val D. The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy, 2nd ed. Baltimore:
Genealogical Publishing Co., 1990.
Harless, Carol, Mary Harline, Alice Malquist, Bill Minnick, Leland Osburn, and Jan Unter,
Silicon Valley PAF Users Group PAF Documentation Guidelines -- 1995 Edition.
San Jose, California: Silicon Valley PAF Users Group, 1995.
Lackye, Richard S. Cite Your Sources. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of
Murray, Susanne, ed. American Genealogy: A Basic Course. 3rd ed. Arlington, Virginia:
National Genealogical Society, 1991.
Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations. 5th ed.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.
University of Chicago Press. The Chicago Manual of Style. 13th ed. Chicago: University of
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