- There are far too many books out there, and all seem to be in disagreement;
- There are FOUR types of citation styles (MLA, APA, CMS and CSE); and they disagree as well!
I have looked at examples in all the formats and find them mind-boggling for the most part.
I managed to find a straight-forward way in one format for U.S. Census records, and decided to adapt it for Canadian and UK Census records with a little tweaking. Another citation format is just as simple for newspaper obituaries, funeral notices, wedding announcements and the like; but when it comes to citing old family letters and photographs, I use a third format — because one style does NOT do it all! And when I say “does NOT do it all,” I mean, simply.
Why is that? Genealogy and Family History is difficult enough wandering around cemeteries for dead people as it is, without having to worry about what format to use to make citations.
I think I spend more time trying to figure out how to make citations understandable so I can write them; and when I read them 20-30 years from now, I can explain what on Earth they were meant to mean to my children or grandchildren (or whomever takes over my sorry excuse for notes.).
My only question: Is it wrong to take the easiest formats in whatever styles that work well for me? [Translation: in the best/easy way that my foggy, grey-matter will remember to apply consistently over Time?].
CASE IN POINT: I was e-mailing with a lost cousin yesterday — our last contact was over ten years ago!
[“YIPPEE!” I thought, “my blogs are working! He found me!”]
Then he mentioned that he found my family tree on Ancestry!
[Oh … I forgot THAT.]
He told me that he was now residing in Ottawa, (Ontario), having completed his military service honourably, and hoped to compare research notes sometime soon. I mentioned that I might bother him to locate a relative gravestone — provided I can ever remember the name of the dang cemetery!
But just you wait, typically me: I WILL remember! I have the gift of memory recall, you know, like a flash-drive … in a flash, it’s there (and then gone.).
At 1am Mountain Time/ 3am Eastern, probably three and one-half weeks from now, I will sit up in bed, shout out the cemetery name, followed by the burial date, row and plot numbers, then rattle off everyone in attendance at the funeral!
In so doing this, I will startle MiLady from a sound sleep, and with no immediate recollection of who needed this trivial information, drop back to sleep myself — and by morning, have no memory of the incident at all … until my wife tells me that I scared her half onto Death!
But many of you do not understand how very disturbing this is for me. In another eight days I’ll be 50 years old, and everyone has been telling me (since I was 40) that turning 50 is terrible! And I am not certain if I should believe them, 40 wasn’t so bad.
Physically I am in better health than I was ten years ago; it’s just this random memory loss that sucks! I keep forgetting things, the little things that mean a lot —
- like taking out the trash on trash day morning (I am usually a day too soon or two days too late);
- when asked to buy a loaf of bread, I come home with a jug of milk;
- when asked to buy a container of sour cream, I come home with cottage cheese (regrettably, I have done this one more than twice);
- vividly recalling a conversation — verbatim — earlier in the day (but forgetting WHOM I had had the conversation with!);
- asking my wife for her assistance, and when she shows up to help a moment later, forgetting what I wanted her for!
- realizing I have been calling my wife, “MiLady” for almost twelve years, because I cant remember her name (but that’s okay, I think she has forgotten mine too … because she keeps referring to me as a member of Irish royalty)
Please, Somebody, tell me it gets better!