A source represents the origin of information about some fact within our genealogical data, like a book, a person, etc.
A source may be linked with several entities (person, family, multimedia object, …) and vice versa.
- oral testimonies from persons in direct contact or phone calls
- letters, emails, photos
- family chronicles and pedigree trees of other genealogists
- periodicals, address books
- birth, marriage, death documents
- official documents of authorities in archives, but also private
- registers of births, deaths, and marriages of the church and the governments
- chronicles of local historians
- data bases in the web or internal of genealogical associations
- genealogical home pages in the web
For ourselves, but also for other genealogists or, may be, our successor:
- to continue the research,
- to clarify inconsistent data in case conflicting data emerged later,
- to allow an assessment of the quality of the data.
The comprehensiveness and elaborateness of our documentation depends on what level of scientific quality we want to achieve.
Some people will use the available properties rather extensively, others may put most of the information just into notes.
Basically each of our sources should be represented by a source record on level 0, except the oral ones. It describes the source generally, e.g. title, author, what is recorded, by whom, where it is (repository), and contains pointers to multimedia objects and to notes.
A source record can be referenced from several other records by a source citation. The citation may be used anywhere in a property tree of any entity type, e.g. birth of a person, marriage place of a family or in a multimedia object record. This source citation may contain information specific for the fact being cited, e.g. a page number, a text extract, the quality of the data (see below), pointers to multimedia objects and to notes.
We can indicate the credibility of an information (QUAY) in the source citation:
- 0 = Unreliable evidence or estimated data
- 1 = Questionable reliability of evidence (interviews, census, oral genealogies, or potential for bias for example, an autobiography)
- 2 = Secondary evidence, data officially recorded sometime after event
- 3 = Direct and primary evidence used, or by dominance of the evidence
Further keywords: Certainty assessment, primary source
An entity - person, family, multimedia link, or note – can be linked with a source via:
- menu 'Edit' → 'Add Source'
- Context Menu on our entity anywhere: → 'Add Source',
This creates the pointer to the source, the source citation. In the selector we select either an existing entity or 'New Instance'. In the latter case the editor shows the empty new source record.
To enter data into the source citation, e.g. a page number, we press the editor button 'Edit Sources', select the source to be edited via the buttons at the right. Now we can edit the source and the source citation as well.
A property, e.g. a marriage, we as well can link with a source (This is called a subordinated source citation.) via:
- context menu of the property → 'Property Marriage' → 'Add Source',
An embedded Source is created in GEDCOM mode via context menu on the entity or the property: → 'Add Property' → 'Source (SOUR)'. (This is allowed as an exception, but not recommended; possibly intended for oral sources.)
An unrelated source we create via context menu anywhere: → 'GEDCOM <file>' → 'Add Source'. We get a hint, that we create an unrelated record. See also 'Unrelated Entities' in GenJ Usage Recommendations.
Sources in the editor
In standard mode we can edit all sources via
In GEDCOM mode an embedded source is directly editable. For a source record we have to follow the link.
Sources in the table
All source records are shown in the Table View via the button 'View Sources'.
useful: The list of references shows all the records that reference this source. We can directly jump to them by double-click.
Proceed to Repository