Re: Sources and linking media

A source is a historical record – the source of some information. As you say, it needs to be clearly and unambiguously identified.


A citation is a link from a fact/assertion to a source. It may have additional information associated with it (‘where within source’, ‘assessment’ etc.)


How much information goes into the source record versus citation depends on whether you’re a lumper or a splitter., as described at


As a newcomer to FH you may find useful.


V7 has source templates which can be used to structure how sources are identified and also references to sources/citations in footnotes, bibliographies etc.  There are two sets provided (the Essential collection based on work at Strathclyde University) and the Advance collection (based on Elizabeth Shown Mills work). You can also define your own templates.


Of course, some people have ways of working that diverge from the above.




From: <> On Behalf Of Paul Sillitoe
Sent: 27 February 2021 12:51
Subject: Re: [family-historian] Sources and linking media


As a newcomer to FH  but not to referencing primary sources, I'm not able to see how the distinction is being drawn between sources and citations in FH.


To my mind, the source is the evidential record upon which interpretations are made. References to such records need to be as granular and unambiguous as is necessary for readers to be able to find the same source.


In the context of family history sources such as are being discussed here, it would seem that the reference to source level needs to go down to at least the page, or individual item record if possible. That is the source. Hopefully, it is a physical record or a digital image. If it is a transcription or other non-original abstract or copy, that needs to be clearly stated.


The citation, then, is the form of words in which the reference to the source is written, using a standard syntax or style. Published papers will normally specify such a style APA, Chicago, etc. Perhaps such a standard specified in FH, but this thread seems to indicate either that it is not specified, or is not widely known. 


Best to all


Paul Sillitoe


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