How to Cite Material on this Web Site

What is a citation and do I need one?

A citation is simply an indication of the source of material that is not your own and from which you have derived information, analyses, or opinions for use in your own work. You need to use citations even in your unpublished work, such as a family database, for three essential reasons:

There are numerous resources on the web and in print that provide detailed explanations of citation styles, many of which are inconsistent with each other. A well-written citation must give full credit to the source and provide a clear path for the reader to find the original information.  Citing web pages is a bit more problematic. For one thing, the web site may change or the information on a specific web page may change. Citing a web page is a bit like trying to pin the tail on a donkey that is running away from you.

For citing material from the web you should always give at a minimum the link to the web site and the date on which you accessed it. Any changes made to the web page after you accessed it are not your fault or responsibility.

Citing material on this web site (http://easternshoreheritage.com) should adhere to the following guidelines.

Abbott, Lilly (ca 1790 - ). Genealogical Navi-Bauble Database. Eastern Shore Heritage. 1 January 2009. <http://easternshoreheritage.com>. See especially the information given for her children in the source notes.

  • If you need to indicate that the source you were using was itself cited in the Navi-Bauble, for example, Turman's Marriage Records (and you didn't actually go look up the information in Turman's book yourself), you could do it this way:

Turman, Nora Miller. Marriage Records of Accomack County, Virginia 1776-1854, Recorded in Bonds, Licenses and Ministers' Returns. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 1994; p. 72. Cited in the entry "Abbott, Lilly (ca 1790 - )" in the Genealogical Navi-Bauble Database. Eastern Shore Heritage. 1 January 2009. <http://easternshoreheritage.com>.

It is important to cite both Turman and the Navi-Bauble. If you cite only the latter, Turman gets no credit; if you cite only Turman, the Navi-Bauble gets no credit for its use of Turman. Further, if you mention only Turman, and the information from her book was miscopied in the Navi-Bauble, Turman would be blamed for errors she did not commit.

As a general rule, when in doubt, be very specific and inclusive in your citations.

© Copyright 2009-2014 by Gail M. Walczyk