Sunday, April 13, 2014

SNGF: Source/Citation Stats

This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge posted by Randy Seaver on his Geneamusings blog is as follows:

1)  Have you done a good job of citing your sources in your genealogy management program or online family tree?  How are you doing?  How many source citations do you have, and how many people are in your tree?  What is the sources to persons ratio?

2)  Which master source (e.g., 1900 U.S. census, Find A Grave, specific book, etc.) do you have the most citations for?  How many?  How did you figure this out?

3)  Tell us in your own blog post, in comments to this post, or on Facebook or Google+ in a post.  Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your post on this blog post.

When I read this challenge yesterday, I drew a blank. I could not figure out how to obtain the requested information from my FTM2014 databases. Russ Worthington kindly provided some insight into where some of this information is contained in Family TreeMaker.

So....using my SWICEGOOD FTM2014 file, which contains primarily just my maternal line, in the "Plan" area I see the following statistics:
     Number of People: 14,968
     Number of Marriages: 4,962
     File size: 29,344 KB
     Generations: 13
     Surnames: 2536
     Facts: 50,227
     Places: 4,779
     Sources: 580     Templates used: 0
     Citations: 4,368
     Media: 29

The 580 Sources are actually "master sources"; there are multiple unique source references within each of these source groups. I see that I have a LOT of work to do to clean these up. I've been using genealogy software since the 1980s and just keep transferring my old files to newer software over the years, keeping all of my old sources and citations. Much of my real source information is in the "Notes" sections of each person's entry, not in the "Facts" entries.

As an example of how totally un-standardized my sources are, these are the "Sources" for the 1880 US Census:
     1880 Census > includes 16 different "citations" that link to 41 different "facts"
     1880 Census listing > includes 6 different "citations" that link to 29 different "facts"
     1880 Soundex > includes 2 different "citations" linked to 6 different "facts"
     1880 United State Federal Census > includes 1 "citation" linked to 10 "facts"

For the master source "", I apparently have 50 different citations! They appear to be linked to 196 different facts. I'm guessing this is the source with the most citations, but I would have to work through each source to figure that out.

Needless to say, the sources and citations in my FTM2014 Swicegood file need a lot of work. In my own defense, there were no templates or suggested formats when I started creating my sources, so I just created my own with as much information as I had at hand. It's obviously time to either (a) work through all of these sources and citations and standardize them, or (b) start over with a new FTM file and carefully source/cite EVERY fact in a standardized fashion.


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