TMG-L ArchivesArchiver > TMG > 2009-10 > 1256157295
From: Lee Hoffman <>
Subject: Re: [TMG] Adding Sources in TMG
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 16:34:55 -0400
>I have a question regarding sources in TMG. Should you make a
>general source such as "jackson county marriage certificate" and
>then enter details under the citation details for the event OR do
>you make a seperate source for each marriage certificate you have.
>I have copies of 15 different marriage certificates for 1 county. I
>also have multiple images of census sheets for 1 county.
>Unfortunately, I have done it both ways over the years and I want to
>"standardize" my sources and improve the way my data looks as I also
>begin to use Second Site and put my data out on a web site.
As has been noted, this is a "standard" question and the short answer
is 'yes,' whatever you want to do. However, you should be somewhat
consistent. For discussion purposes, we discuss it as 'lumping' and
'splitting'. Some users prefer to 'split' their Sources (e.g.,
create a unique Source for each and every document (and some for each
piece of data in a document)) while other users create a Source for
multiple documents of the same type, from the same place of origin,
and/or other distinguishing characteristics. An example of this is
the census. Generally-speaking, the design of the standard US Census
Source Type (based on Mills) in TMG is for a user who 'splits' their
Sources. However, this often means that the user will have very many
census Sources. Another user prefers to have fewer Sources and
revises the TMG standard census Source Type such that it allows many
census citations to use the same Source. For example, I tend to
lump my census Sources at the county level which reduces the number
of census Sources somewhat but is not far removed from the standard citation.
Specifically in response to your question, again the decision is
ultimately up to your preferences. There would be no problem with
making a Source for all of the same (say) "birth certificates issued
by the same agency" and have another Source(s) for the same type
document with a different origin(s). Again, the admonition is to be
consistent. One factor that should be considered is how many of the
same kind of document you have. If you have one issued in Ohio,
another in Denver, and a whole lot in Texas, I would probably try to
'lump' the Sources on the state level which may or may not be
worthwhile. On the other hand, if a quarter of the documents are in
Ohio, a quarter in Denver and half in Texas then lumping may be worthwhile.
As for being consistent, that means that you should try to keep
citations for one kind of document to read much like other document
of the same kind. A lot of the decision is made by the number of
documents that you have and how they might be grouped.
While you do need to be consistent, I do not think that you need to
be "picky" about it. Some users use unique Sources for close
relatives and then they 'lump' the rest. This is not a bad
compromise. But you need to be careful about 'splitting,' 'lumping,
'splitting,' 'lumping,' etc. -- especially if the lumping is
different each time for the same kind of document.
For my own use, I tend to use a mixture of 'splitting' and
'lumping'. The 'lumping' is generally only used for certain type
documents (census, birth/marriage/death/will/deed registers) and the
rest are split. However, I also have some odd documents that are the
only ones of their kind from "unusual" places and these tend to be
'split'. "One of these days" (probably the second Tuesday of next
week <g>), I will review my Sources and change more of my Sources to
be 'split' rather than 'lumped'. But, I will probably always have
some 'lumped' Sources.
Hope this helps -
TMG Tips: <http://www.tmgtips.com>
My website: <http://www.tmgtips.com/lhoffman>
A user of the best genealogy program, The Master Genealogist (TMG)