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  • Writer's pictureDevon Noel Lee

Create FamilySearch Citations For Off-Site Evidence

As you embark on your journey of uncovering your family history, you may encounter valuable information sources that are not readily available on FamilySearch. In such cases, knowing how to add these sources to your family tree becomes crucial.

FamilySearch, a free platform dedicated to creating comprehensive and accurate family records, allows you to incorporate external sources seamlessly.

In this instructive article, I will guide you through the process of adding outside sources to your FamilySearch family tree using a web browser. (For mobile app users, follow these instructions.)

Adding a Non-FamilySearch Source to Your Ancestor's Profile

The first three steps for adding FamilySearch citations to your ancestor's profile in the family tree are the following:

Step 1: Log into Your FamilySearch Account

To begin, ensure that you are logged into your FamilySearch account. If you don't have an account yet, now is the perfect time to create one as it's a simple and free process.

Step 2: Navigate to the Person Page

Once logged in, navigate to the person page of the individual for whom you have an outside source. You can either use the FamilySearch family tree to find the profile or access your recent person list. Click on the name of the individual to access their profile.

Step 3: Adding a Source

The profile page displays detailed information about the individual, but to add a source, click on the "Source" tab. You may notice that some sources have already been added, but to incorporate a new one, click on "Add Source."

This tutorial is better viewed that read, so check out this video.

Completed the "Add New Source" Form

After clicking "Add Source," you will see a form to complete to add the relevant details about the off-site evidence. There are a few details to know, so let's continue with the next steps.

Step 4: Enter Source Information

A dialog box will appear where you can enter the relevant information about the outside source you wish to add. Start by mentioning the date of the source.

To demonstrate the process, I referred an article in the Cincinnati Commercial Tribune from 1897 in the video. The article reported the election of William Peak as a night patrolman. The date of the article is December 17, 1897.

You can add the complete date or just the year to the date filed. Then continue.

Step 5: Provide a Title

Next, give the source a title that is relevant and memorable.

In this case, I typed "1897, William Peak Elected Night Patrolman" as the title.

  • I prefer to start titles with the date.

  • It's optional whether you want to capitalize all major words in the title or just someone's name.

Step 6: Citation Information

FamilySearch offers two ways to reference a source:

  • Web URL

  • Attach a memory

Steps for attaching a memory are found below.

For now, if you have a web URL for the digital source, include it in this section.

However, if you don't have a URL, you can still proceed with adding the citation information.

Unfortunately, FamilySearch does not provide citation templates. To access citation formats, you can utilize tools like RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker, or Cite-Builder. Ensure to grab a suitable source citation template.

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Step 7: Adding Notes

The "Notes" section is where you can provide a transcription of the source or an explanation of the item. This description adds context and insights for future reference.

If necessary, you can also include analysis or provide reasons why the source applies to your ancestor.

Step 8: Explain the Reason for Attaching the Source

It is crucial to articulate why you are attaching a particular source to an individual. The reason could range from validating an event or relationship to providing evidence for a specific claim.

Do not skip this box, as it helps others understand the significance of the source.

Step 9: Save and Review

Once you have filled in all the required information, click "Save." The source will now appear in the source list, filtered by the date you provided.

You can easily locate it by the title you assigned, such as "1897, William Peak Elected Night Patrolman."

Using a Digital Image for a Source

If you have a digital version of your source, such as a photo, newspaper clipping, or personal history, you have two options. You can

  • upload the item to the memory section,

  • or you can add the memory directly to the source page.

This step allows you to enrich the source with visual content or additional documents related to your ancestor.

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Start Adding FamilySearch Citations for Off-Site Sources Today

By following these step-by-step instructions, you can seamlessly incorporate valuable outside sources into your FamilySearch family tree. Citing sources accurately and comprehensively enhances the integrity of your family history research.

Remember to provide detailed information, attach suitable citation templates, and explain the significance of each source. With these skills, you can organize your source citations effectively, ensuring a robust foundation for your genealogical discoveries.

More FamilySearch Tips and Tricks

More Citation Tips

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