Terry's TMG Tips

Census Source Types Using the Split CD

This page updated 1 Sep 2008

Version Note: Applies to Versions 8 & 9

I formerly used a split CD method for several types of sources in order to be able to "lump" several sources into a single Source in TMG. But I have since converted of them to a "splitter" format, primarily to enable improvements in the websites I am now creating with Second Site. While I no longer particularly recommend the use of split CDs I am offering the following example for readers who would like to explore this method.

I developed three custom Source Types which I used in citing US Census records. To see how these Source Types are used within the context of an overall plan for managing census data, see my article on Managing Census Information.

This article describes the method I previously used which makes use of split CDs to reduce the total number of Sources defined in TMG while producing notes in the desired format. For information on the methods I currently use, see my article on Census Source Types without the split CD.

Overview

Elizabeth Shown Mills has authored two books that are widely used by genealogical researchers as guides in formatting source notes. Her long-standing work Evidence! is the basis for the "Mills" source types supplied with TMG. Her newer work, Evidence Explained, provides somewhat different guidance, and provides more specific recommendations for online sources, including online census images. I don't use TMG's standard Census Source Type because I find confusing and generally unsatisfactory. While I find elements of Ms. Mills' guidance useful, I disagree with some of the details of her advice, so my approach has some similarities with her examples but differs in many details.

In my view the format recommended in her earlier work, which placed the name of the head of household first, is easier for readers to understand, and therefore I retain that format rather than the one suggested in the newer book.

I regard the National Archives microfilm "original" as my source, even if I actually view an image of that online. Thus my citation focuses on the original, as suggested in Evidence!, rather than the vendor who simply provides me with a copy and who would get more recognition under the suggestions in the newer guide (but I do note that I saw an image, e.g. "image viewed on Ancestry.com").

Finally, I think including the dwelling and family numbers but not the name of the head of household in the short footnote is exactly backwards. That seems to me to make the reader work much too hard to understand the notes, so I include the name of the head of household in the short footnote.

I don't put any of the household details in the Bibliography Template because I use the Bibliography format only for my "minimalist" website and don't want much detail there. If I were actually creating a conventional bibliography I'd probably add the household details to that template.

These examples were designed for the US census, but in the few cases where I've dealt with state censuses or those of other countries I've found they can be adapted with little difficulty.

The Split CD Method

This article describes a method I previously used, which depends on the use of "split CDs" to produce "properly" constructed notes with fewer different Sources being defined. This method requires only one source be defined for each roll of microfilm (or county, if smaller), and uses the split CD method to record the details for each household and produce footnotes that are similar to the examples in Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence! The primary benefit of this method is that fewer Sources are defined and thus appear in the Master Source List.

There are a number of disadvantages to the split CD method:

It is primarily because of my use of Second Site to create more detailed websites that I've changed from the split CD method to Source Types that do not use that method. I have retained this article for those who find the benefits of the split CD method outweigh the disadvantages for their method of work.

I found that when I converted from the split CD method the number of census Sources in my Project increased from 512 to 957. The actual savings in number of Sources you would experience by using the split CD method will depend on the degree in which the people in your Project are concentrated in a few areas rather than being widely disbursed.

The Three Source Types

I use three different Source Types to accommodate the various formats used by US Census throughout the years:

The Style Notes and Technical Notes sections apply to all three Source Types. The sections for the 1790-1840 census and for Slave Schedules address only what is different about those Source Types.

Source Type for 1850 - 1930 Population Schedules:

Full Footnote: [CD1] household, [TITLE], [COUNTY], [STATE], population schedule<, [CD2]><, Enumeration District (ED) [CD3]>, sheet [CD4], dwelling [CD5], family [CD6], National Archives micropublication [FILM NUMBER]<, [COMMENTS]><, [CD7]>
Short Footnote: [CD1] household, [TITLE], [COUNTY], [STATE], population schedule<, [CD2]><, Enumeration District (ED) [CD3]>, sheet [CD4], dwelling [CD5], family [CD6],<, [CD7]>
Bibliography: [STATE]. [COUNTY]. [TITLE], population schedule. Micropublication [FILM NUMBER]. Washington: National Archives.
Reminder:
CD1 = name of HoH
CD2 = town or township
CD3 = ED number (space if not used)
CD4 = sheet number(s)
CD5 = dwelling number
CD6 = family number
CD7 = notes (optional)

Style Notes

There are some differences between the notes produced by this template and the example in Elisabeth Mills' Evidence!. The principal one is that I repeat the household name in the short footnote. I believe this makes the notes easier to follow, especially if you have a lot of census cites in your report. I've added the sheet number to the short footnote. Both of these are required if citations are to be correct in cases were citations to more than one household appear in the same report. I've eliminated the listing of the Supervisor's District, as I've never found it to be useful in finding a census listing.

I have included the Comments element, where I record when and where I saw the census. This is based on comments by Ms Mills that some copies of the census may be more clear than others, so recording the date and location of the copy viewed is a good idea. Now that "enhanced" copies of the census images are available online and on CDs, this seems like an especially good idea.

Many census sheets have both a hand written "sheet" number and a rubber stamped page number and letter. Since there seems to be no consensus on which to use, I have stolen a suggestion from someone (perhaps Ms Mills?) and show both.

Technical Notes

Use of the 1850-1930 Source Type:

In the Source Definition Screen, enter the following in the fields provided:
Field
Comments
Example
Title: Enter the census name and year 1880 U.S. Census

County:

Enter the county Clark Co.
State: Enter the state Washington
Film Number: Enter film and roll numbers T9-637
Comments:
(Supplemental tab)
Enter location and date viewed, and any other general notes that apply to the whole roll of film viewed on Ancestry.com Jul 2001

When the source is cited, enter the household details, as well as any notes, in the Citation Detail. Each part is separated by a pair of vertical lines, or "pipes." The order of the elements in the CD is:

The CD might be as follows:

John Smith||La Center||19||10/234C||156||178||shows age 26

or, if there were no "town", then:

John Smith|| ||19||10/234C||156||178||shows age 26

(note the space to indicate the empty "town" segment)

or, if there were no "notes", then:

John Smith||La Center||19||10/234C||156||178

or, for 1850-1870 where there is no ED, then:

John Smith||La Center|| ||24||156||178

The resulting full footnote from the first CD above would be:

John Smith household, 1880 U.S. Census, Clark Co., Washington, population schedule, La Center, Enumeration District (ED) 19, sheet 10/234C, dwelling 156, family 178, National Archive micropublication T9-637, viewed on Ancestry.com Jul 2001, shows age 26.
There are two features that help in making complex entries in the Citation Detail:

Source Type for 1790 - 1840 Schedules:

Full Footnote: [CD1] household, [TITLE], [COUNTY], [STATE]<, page [CD2]><, line [CD3]>, National Archives micropublication [FILM NUMBER]<, [COMMENTS]><, [CD4]>
Short Footnote: [CD1] household, [TITLE], [COUNTY], [STATE]<, page [CD2]><, [CD4]>
Bibliography: [STATE]. [COUNTY]. [TITLE]. Micropublication [FILM NUMBER]. Washington: National Archives.
Reminder: CD1 = name of HoH
CD2 = page number (optional, enter space if not used)
CD3 = line number (optional, enter space if not used)
CD4 = notes (optional)

Use of the 1790-1840 Source Type:

In the Source Definition Screen, enter the following in the fields provided:
Field Comments Example
Title: Enter the census name and year 1840 U.S. Census
County: Enter the county Dickson Co.
State: Enter the state Tennessee
Film Number: Enter film and roll numbers M704-520
Comments:
(Supplemental tab)
Enter location and date viewed, and any other general notes that apply to the whole roll of film viewed on Ancestry.com Jul 2001

When the source is cited, enter the household details, as well as any notes, in the Citation Detail. Each part is separated by a pair of vertical lines, or "pipes." The order of the elements in the CD is:

The CD might be as follows:

John Smith||19||10||shows one male age 40 to 49

or, if you choose to omit the page and line numbers:

John Smith|| || ||shows one male age 40 to 49

Source Type for 1850 - 1860 Slave Schedules:

Full Footnote: [CD1], owner, [TITLE], [COUNTY], [STATE], slave schedule<, [CD2]><, sheet [CD3]><, lines [CD4]>, National Archives micropublication [FILM NUMBER]<, [COMMENTS]><, [CD5]>
Short Footnote: [CD1] household, [TITLE], [COUNTY], [STATE], slave schedule<, [CD2]><, sheet [CD3]><, lines [CD4]><, [CD5]>
Bibliography: [STATE]. [COUNTY]. [TITLE], slave schedule. Micropublication [FILM NUMBER]. Washington: National Archives.
Reminder: CD1 = name of owner
CD2 = town or township
CD3 = sheet number (optional, space if not used)
CD4 = line numbers (optional, space if not used)
CD5 = notes (optional)

There is no example in Evidence! for the Slave schedule so I have created my own model adapting the example for the Population schedule.

Use of the 1850-1860 Slave Source Type:

In the Source Definition Screen, enter the following in the fields provided:
Field Comments Example
Title: Enter the census name and year 1860 U.S. Census
County: Enter the county Christian Co.
State: Enter the state Kentucky
Film Number: Enter film and roll numbers M653-362
Comments:
(Supplemental tab)
Enter location and date viewed, and any other general notes that apply to the whole roll of film viewed on Ancestry.com Jul 2001

When the source is cited, enter the details, as well as any notes, in the Citation Detail. Each part is separated by a pair of vertical lines, or "pipes." The order of the elements in the CD is:

The CD might be as follows:

John Smith||19/231||29 left - 12 right||shows 8 males and 6 females


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