Last weeks dive into the UK Birth registration of Reginald Charles Deller created a lot of conversation, especially about the correct citation format to use. There was also a missed clue that needs to be called out. I decided to revisit this record and the corresponding citation both to correct some errors on my part and to demonstrate how to create a citation template.
The image to the right shows the certificate in question. If you recall, I chose to use the template for Local Vital Records: Certificate since it was straightforward and seemed to have a place for all the information I needed to collect.
I was wrong.
Caroline Gurney rightly pointed out that “When citing a certificate, the most important pieces of information are the certificate type, the name(s) and … the GRO (General Register Office) index reference required to order that certificate.” Caroline then provided this example of a good citation:
Emma Compton then pointed out that Evidence Explained1 p475 also provides a format for English/Welsh certificates. Emma provided this example:
Both formats are valid and provide information necessary for retrieving the record.
Creating a Template
The current set of templates in Evidentia were created based on the Quickcheck Models in Evidence Explained1. The format we are interested in is referenced on pp 474-475, but does not have a corresponding Quickcheck model, so no template was created for it (yet).
What if I want to create my own? Based on the example above, the first step is to identify what information is static (stays the same) and what information will vary from entry to entry. I have highlighted the information I believe will vary:
I could have included “England”, since the template should work for England or Wales, but I decided I would create a separate template for Wales as a convenience. I could also have include “General Registry Office, Southport”, since sometimes the registration is ordered from a local office, but again determined I would probably use a separate template for that as as well. Providing multiple versions of the template decreases the typing required when filling out the templates.
Having identified the dynamic fields, I now need to give them meaningful field names.
As you can see, in some cases I chose to break a field into multiple sub fields. This is more art than science, so whatever works for you.
Entering the above in the Template Creator and doing the same for the Source listing will allow me to choose this template in the future.
Since the format of some of the above fields is not intuitive, we should provide examples in the Tooltip (place holder) box.
A tool tip (place holder) includes the field name, followed by the ‘|’ character, followed by the example text. The whole block should be surrounded with brackets, and no comma is required between definitions. The Complete entry would look like this:
Note that the field names must match those defined in the listing template exactly.
Here is the new template definition:
This is what I will see if I choose to use that template:
Did We Miss Something
Several people pointed out that the inclusion of the birth TIME in the certificate was significant, in that it usually (almost always? always?) indicates that this birth was a part of multiple births. That means siblings! How best to capture that?
Originally I thought that would be part of an analysis, since we don’t want to draw conclusions early. After more thought I decided I would want to include that as a claim, so that it would show up in the right place in a Research Summary Report. What is the right place? How about documentation for a parents children.
The value of this information in a proof is not as great as the indication that “there is more research to be done”.
Here is the list of claims from the last post, with the new claim appended.
|This source claims that…||Subject/Claim Type|
|Reginald Charles [Deller] was born at 11:50 AM the Seventh of November, 1908 at 6 Rainville Road in Fulham, as reported by the mother E. L. Deller on December 18, 1908||Deller, Reginald Charles/Birth
Deller, Reginald Charles/Residence
Sheppard, Emily Lavinia/Residence
|the father of Reginald Charles [Deller] was John Deller, as reported by the mother E. L. Deller on December 18, 1908||Deller,Reginald Charles/Parent(s)
Sheppard, Emily Lavinia/Spouse
|the mother of Reginald Charles [Deller] was Emily Lavinia (Sheppard) Deller, as reported by the mother E. L. Deller on December 18, 1908||Deller,Reginald Charles/Parent(s)
Sheppard, Emily Lavinia/Child(ren)
|in November of 1908 John Deller worked as a general laborer||Deller, John/Occupation|
|the birth record for Reginald Charles Deller includes a time of birth, possibly indicating that the mother gave birth to multiple children on that date||Sheppard, Emily Lavinia/Child(ren)
I could have included “Unknown/Parent(s)” in the Subject/Claim Type box, but I think in this case the real target is the other certificate (or certificates), and the example above will suffice to flag the evidence that needs to be followed up on in the Research Summary Report.
Hopefully I have corrected the mistakes and omissions from lasts weeks post, as well as provided an example to show how easy it is to create your own citation templates.
If you have created some templates of your own, and believe they are of general interest, please send them to me, and I may include them in the next update of Evidentia.
(Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2015), pp. 474-475.