Friday, June 21, 2013

Questions... I have Questions!

I realize that I am publicly displaying by ignorance, but I'm pretty sure other people have encountered these situations, and I'd like to know... How Do You Handle Sources...

1. When a company changes the name of a database, do you add a new source using the new name or just change the name of the existing source?
  • has recently changed the name of the "U.S., Social Security Death Index" to "U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-Current" but can be found at the same URL
  • In July 2012, the FamilySearch "Ohio, County Marriages 1790-1950" database was changed to "Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994" but can be found at the same URL
In both of these cases I don't think there was any change to the database other than the (ongoing) addition of new records. I'm fairly certain that the "Ohio, County Marriages 1790-1950" database contained images when it was first published.
2. How about when a database no longer exists on one site but is available on multiple other sites, such as the Social Security Death Index?
The SSDI is no longer available at RootsWeb, but I have about 900 individuals in my genealogy program with citations to that database. Do I still cite them as a RootsWeb source since that is where I got the data from? Or, do I cite one of the other sites?
3. What about when a website changes hosting services and the URL changes?
Do you simply update the master source with the new URL? Do you reference the "old" URL in comments about the source?
4. Or, similar to #3, if a volunteer provides data to one website then, for whatever reason, moves that data to another site... several times over a period of three years?
Do you create a new master source each time the URL changes? Do you cite the most recent location of the data or the URL at the time you obtained the data? Do you document all of the URL changes?
5. What if you got information from a website a few years ago and that website no longer exists and the data can't be located elsewhere?
Do you still include the URL of the website in your citation? Do you even used the information?
Is there a "standard procedure" for these kinds of cases? All ideas, suggestions, or comments would be greatly appreciated.

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "Questions... I have Questions!," Kinexxions, posted June 21, 2013 ( : accessed [access date])

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

You can call me Crazy

I've been called that as well as many other things in the past! This time, it is well-deserved. And if you've been wondering why there haven't been any posts here on Kinexxions since the first of June, read on...

If you recall, back in December of last year, I began "cleaning up" my Legacy database. By the time I left on my travels at the end of January, some progress had been made but not much was done on it again until I returned to Indiana five weeks ago.

In the process of moving information from notes into events and sourcing it, I came to the disturbing realization that my sources were an absolute mess! There was no consistency in how the citations were entered and none are even close to "the standard" or any standard for that matter. I could come up with several excuses for this sad state of affairs, but what good would that do?

I have so many documents from my several visits in the last two years to Salt Lake City that need to be reviewed, analyzed and entered... but I made the difficult decision to not enter any new data until the "old" source citations were reviewed and standardized. All of them. So, yes, I must be crazy. Especially after I found out how many sources I have entered and how many individuals use those sources. Rather mind-boggling actually.

The other "big" decision made on the first of June was to begin using Legacy's SourceWriter. I understand there may be some issues with transferring sources via GedCom but using that feature would (hopefully) force me into a standardized format. That and I finally purchased the digital version of Evidence Explained. I figured it might help me to understand why a source had to be cited in a certain way ;-)

As might be expected, I had a few questions. I had recently joined the Legacy Virtual User's Group Community (LVUG) on Google+ (G+) so posted a question there. You can find it as well as the responses by clicking on the "Sources" link on the left hand side of the G+ LVUG Community landing page.

Some good ideas and information was offered by JL Beeken, Tessa Keogh, Monique Riley, Marla Larson, Richard Hallford, Melanie Armstrong, and Linda McCauley, all of whom I would like to thank for their ideas, suggestions, and input. It really helped me make a few decisions as to how I wanted to do the sources.

With over 7200 people and more than 700 sources in the database this is a monumental undertaking. But it really needs to be done. The number of individuals using a source varies considerably. Quite a few (probably more than half of the sources) are used by under 10 people while about 35 are used by more than 200. The source used by the most people is the Social Security Death Index with close to 1500 people - and each of those individuals has 2-3 citations for the SSDI (birth, death, and the event). Thank goodness for the source clipboard and Legacy's tagging feature! It would be an impossible task without those features.

On June 1st I started working with the source citations from and FamilySearch databases and have gotten about 2/3 of the way through that list, eliminating about 15 duplicate sources. I've been working on the SSDI source citations for most of two days and am about half-way through with it.

I will be holding off on updating sources for census records until the Legacy team releases version 8 sometime later this year. It seems they may be implementing a feature for "shared" events such as census records that sounds rather intriguing. I sure am looking forward to the new version of Legacy!

Blog posts will be few and far between for the next month or two, as if they haven't been already this year! Most of my time for the next month will be devoted to this project. I will be attending G.R.I.P. the week of July 21st and (very optimistically) hope to have much of it completed by then. And, sometime the end of July or first part of August I'll be moving into my new apartment! And then there is the FGS Conference in August, which I am also looking forward to attending.

I hope that when this project is completed (or as complete as it can be) that I will still have a few faithful readers left. Thanks in advance for sticking around... and wish me luck!

At the end of the day, what's done is done.

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "You can call me Crazy," Kinexxions, posted June 18, 2013 ( : accessed [access date])

Saturday, June 01, 2013

There Were Flowers Along the Way

This post showed some of the beautiful Central Coast along California Highway One. What was missing were photos of the flowers seen along the roadside... all taken on May 1st.

Wildflowers with a bee, just doing what a bee does.

This hillside, covered with creeping phlox and and California Poppy (the state flower of California) was beside a long drive up to someone's home - a home unseen from the road.

The sun was so bright, and the phlox was so bright, it seemed to be glowing.

On the other side of the highway were patches of more California Poppies. I don't think I had ever seen red ones before.

They were so fine and delicate looking.

I don't know what the pale purple flowers are that were growing on the fence row but they went for quite a long ways.

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "There Were Flowers Along the Way," Kinexxions, posted June 1, 2013 ( : accessed [access date])