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Documentation of Record Sources

It is essential for genealogists tracing their ancestry to use primary or original sources and to footnote the sources they use.  Researchers must show exactly from where every statistical fact on a family group sheet came from.  This is necessary if you wish to produce an accurate genealogy of use to future generations.  Number each fact in parenthesis and, at the foot or back of the page, carefully described the source of that fact with its corresponding number. 

If a vital fact or other bit of information was found in an archive or in another type of institution, the family historian must note the name of the institution, the type of record, the reference number, page number, and if on microfilm, the reel number.  If the facts were derived from a letter, a personal interview, a family Bible, a diary, or from some other family records, researchers should describe the material and take note of the name and address of the person owning the records or giving the interview and write down the date. 

Carefully footnote and cite/describe the source of each fact you place in a family history.  Whatever type of record used to supply linkdata, carefully and completely identify and footnote it!  A few footnotes are offered below as examples.

Census return
PANB:  1851 New Brunswick Census:  York County, Douglas Parish:  Microfilm F1593.

Parish record
PANB:  Saint Dunstans Roman Catholic Church, Fredericton, NB:  Microfilm F633.

Contemporary e-mail
V Francis Paul, Kingsclear First Nation, 77 French Village Road, Kingsclear, NB, e-mail to William Paul, 10 Jun 1999.

Contemporary letter
Francis Paul, Kingsclear First Nation, 77 French Village Road, Kingsclear, NB, letter to William Paul, 10 Jun 1999.

Historical letter
PANB:  RS637/29m Records of the Surveyor General:  Kings County:  letter from Moses Perley to Thomas Baillie, 18 Aug 1838.

Interview 22 Aug 2009 with Chief Joseph Knockwood, Fort Folly First Nation, 38 Bernard Trail, Fort Folly, NB.

Land petition
PANB:  RS108 Land petitions:  Andrew Julien, 1809, Gloucester County:  Microfilm F4172.

PANB:  Obituary of Mary Elizabeth Polchies, Daily Gleaner, Fredericton, NB, 10 Dec 1891, p.  3:  Microfilm F2873.

Published book
Hamilton, W.D.  The Julian Tribe (Fredericton, 1984), p.10.

Tombstone epitaph
PANB:  MC2:  Northumberland County:  Red Bank Catholic Cemetery (St.  Thomas)

Retrieved January 7, 2009, from the Fort Folly First Nation Genealogy website:


For additional information on citing sources, consult the following book found at the PANB

Barnes, Donald and Lackey, Richard, 1983.  Write It Right:  A Manual for Writing Family Histories and Genealogies (Ocala, Florida)