Archiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2012-03 > 1333125334

From: "Michael Hait" <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] Source Citation for Land Record
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2012 12:35:34 -0400
References: <><>
In-Reply-To: <>

Katherine & Eileen,

This is a good analysis of the record with the information that you have.
However, the exercise emphasizes the importance of knowing what record you
are looking at, who created it, etc.

Digital images are image copies and can be treated as the original. For this
reason, I cite the original first, then add the digital elements of the
citation after the original record.

Let's consider the questions that Katherine raised, as to the original

Who created it: the colonial Maryland Land Office

What is this, specifically (not generally): a Patented Certificate of
Survey, Prince George's County -- as opposed to an Unpatented Certificate of
Survey for lands reserved for the Proprietor's use that were leased rather
than patented. The county name is vital, because the surveys are separated
and organized into different series by county.

What is this, uniquely: Patented Certificate no. 1996, "Slate Ridge," for
William Elder (1739) -- The certificate number is the key piece of
information to note, as it is the unique identifier. The name of the land is
important, as it is the patented name, which is maintained in Maryland down
through the present day, barring any later resurveys or patents. The name of
the person to whom this land is patented may be important, but it is also
important to note to oneself (i.e. not in the citation) that you should be
sure that the land was actually patented to William Elder. Some warrants and
surveys for land not yet patented were assigned to others.

Where is it: Here you would note the location of the digital images you
viewed. This is philosophically no different, in my opinion, than if you
were citing a microfilmed image copy. The format is slightly different.
Despite the fact that the website you are looking at does not note it, this
is actually a digital publication of the Maryland State Archives. See

So here is how I would cite the images you are looking at:

Maryland Land Office, Patented Certificate of Survey, Prince George's
County, Certificate no. 1996, "Slate Ridge," for William Elder (1739);
digital images, Maryland State Archives, /Plats [italics]/
( : accessed 29 March 2012); citing MSA S1203-2093.

This last reference to the MSA number is the unique identifier used by the
Maryland State Archives, if you were looking at the original certificate.

Michael Hait, CG(sm)
"Planting the Seeds" Blog:

CG and Certified Genealogist are service marks of the Board for
Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board certificants
after periodic competency evaluation, and the board name is registered in
the US Patent & Trademark Office.
-----Original Message-----
From: Katherine Rudolph
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2012 12:00 PM
Subject: Re: [TGF] Source Citation for Land Record

I know you're going to get some definitive instruction from others, but I
wanted to tackle your question as a learning exercise for myself to see if
I'm figuring out the logic of citations.

So, considering that the first purpose of a citation is lay a trail for
someone else to find the item, what are the key crumbs I need to leave in
that trail?

1. Who created this?
Prince George's County, Maryland, Circuit Court
2. What is this, generally?
The "Prince George's County Land Survey, Subdivision, and Condominium Plats"
within the website Digital Image Reference System for
Land Survey, Subdivision, and Condominium Plats; more specifically, an item
in the collection listed as "Certificates, Patented, PG, S1203, 1679-1967"
3. What is this, uniquely?
The item of interest consists of three digital images of a plat for William
Elder, filed on 26 Aug 1739.
When I found the actual item, I traced back and reviewed the different
routes someone could take to locate the record. The description, date, and
certificate number each led to the item. The Patented Certificate number is
also used as the Plat number. The MSA accession number (also labeled as
"Image" or "Citation" on other screens) showed up after I located the
record--it wasn't a searchable term, as far as I can tell, but it is a form
of identification.
"Slate Ridge, William Elder, 123 acres," 26 Aug 1739, Patented Certificate
1996, MSA S1203-2093
4. Where is it?
Maryland State Archives, online database of searchable images

Digital Image Reference System for Land Survey, Subdivision, and Condominium

5. Where did I get it?
( : accessed 29 March 2012)

So here's my stab at the citation (the <> enclose what would italicized):

Prince George's County, Maryland, Circuit Court, "Prince George's County
Circuit Court Land Survey, Subdivision, and Condominium Plats," entry for
William Elder, Plat no. 1996, 26 Aug 1739; Maryland State Archives; digital
images, <Digital Image Reference System for Land Survey, Subdivision, and
Condominium Plats> ( : accessed 29 March
2012), images MSA 1203-2093, pages 1-3.


Message: 3
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 20:19:30 -0400
From: "Eileen Souza" <>
Subject: [TGF] Source Citation for Land Record
To: <>
Message-ID: <003201cd0e0a$c717a5d0$5546f170$>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Dear Listers,

I am trying to construct the source citation for digital images of a
Maryland patented survey that I am transcribing and I want to get it right,
not yet being an "artist" on source citations. :)

Here is the URL where I got the images, followed by my attempt at a

"Prince George's County Circuit Court Land Survey, Subdivision, and
Condominium Plats," digital images,
( : accessed 29 March 2012), Slate Ridge
pages 1, 2 & 3, Patented Certificate 1996; citing Certificates, Patented,
PG, 1679-1967, Series MSA S1203-2093; Maryland State Archives.
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