* Which Source Template to Use.

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David Potter
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Which Source Template to Use.

Post by David Potter » 19 Feb 2021 20:23

Hi All
I have found a small family via a UK Military Pension Document. It reports the Marriage date & place, children births and place and one death.

What would be the most appropriate Source Template to use to support the facts above. The Source exists on Ancestry and has the Source description as UK, British Army World War I Pension Records 1914-1920. I can't find any suitable Source Templates in either Essentials or Advanced.

Thank you.

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AdrianBruce
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Re: Which Source Template to Use.

Post by AdrianBruce » 19 Feb 2021 22:17

As you will see from my details, I'm strictly v6 so far, so can't help with the templates...

But for anyone who is cognisant of v7, but not cognisant of military stuff, I will throw in that Ancestry's UK, British Army World War I Pension Records 1914-1920 are Army / Military records; they are service records / papers; and the one thing that they are not is Pension Records. They're identical to the "Burnt Records", it's just that they were found at the Pensions Office, rather than in the remains of the Arnside St Warehouse in WW2.

The Strathclyde Referencing Guide PDF has a section on Non-Standard Records: some guidelines and includes this example:
War Office (Great Britain). Record of Service Paper. CAPPER, Frederick. 10 June 1918. Machine Gun Guards. Service number: 6936. WO364; Piece: 611. National Archives (Great Britain), Kew, England. Collection: British Army WW1 Pension Records 1914-1920. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 17 May 2014.
[In this case, information on the original repository was provided (collection code and piece number [WO363; Piece: 611], name and place of archive), so these were added to the reference.]
This is for that collection - how you use this in v7, I have no idea...

Over to v7 experts I hope!
Adrian

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David Potter
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Re: Which Source Template to Use.

Post by David Potter » 19 Feb 2021 22:42

Thank you Adrian for your contribution. I always value your input on things FH. I agree entirely with your views. I'd like to think a suitable Source Template should exist albeit perhaps currently outside of FH. It just needs to be discovered. I can't imagine Military Source type Templates have not been thought of.

As you say hopefully an FH7 expert can help to resolve.

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Re: Which Source Template to Use.

Post by Mark1834 » 19 Feb 2021 23:54

I’m not a V7 expert, and I don’t use templated sources but I’ll stick in my two pennies’ worth anyway ;). I would record that source as a generic source, but it is only a very secondary source. Use it to locate the more definitive records, such as BMD Indexes and Certificates. If your inclination is towards templated sources, the BMD sources are well catered for.
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David Potter
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Re: Which Source Template to Use.

Post by David Potter » 20 Feb 2021 10:04

Thank you Mark yes I can see that could be an option. Break it down so as to speak.

Thank you.

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Re: Which Source Template to Use.

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 20 Feb 2021 10:15

I'd use a template for a miscellaneous archived document, which is what you're dealing with (or rather an image of a miscellaneous archived document) -- which collection are you using?

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Re: Which Source Template to Use.

Post by David Potter » 20 Feb 2021 10:21

Thanks Helen. I'm using the Essentials collection.

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Re: Which Source Template to Use.

Post by sleepingwolf » 20 Feb 2021 10:30

I have a similar problem with poor law records. The Essentials collection does not really cater for the procedural type records like military records, court records and poor law records that are created for the administration of national and local organisations. You have the option to create a custom source for this type of record but it is probably only worth doing if you expect to use this source type a great deal in the future. The Advanced collection has a template for "Official Agencies: National Archives (U.K.) (National Government Records/Databases Online)" which might be useful to you but otherwise I would second the advice to treat this as a one off generic source.

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Re: Which Source Template to Use.

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 20 Feb 2021 11:18

It's worth remembering what the purpose of a Source Template is.

A Source Template is intended to allow you to enter source-identifying information that will let you and/or others find that same source again. It is not intended to summarise the content of the source.

So, to identify a UK birth certificate (for example) you need to know (some or all of) which country issued it , whose birth it was, when and where the birth took place, possibly an identifying reference, and where you or anybody else could obtain a copy given the information you've used to identify the source. A birth certificate contains more information than that, but you don't need to specify that to identify the certificate.

So what do you need to identify the type of document in question here? It's one of a plethora of document types for which the originals are typically held in National or Local or Business Archives, but which may also be imaged by one of the big online providers such as Ancestry. You need: a unique descriptive title which will hold almost all of the identifying material, like:
War Office (Great Britain). Record of Service Paper. CAPPER, Frederick. 10 June 1918. Machine Gun Guards. Service number: 6936. WO364; Piece: 611.
and to identify the repository and when it was accessed
British Army WW1 Pension Records 1914-1920. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 17 May 2014..
There isn't an author in any meaningful sense. There is an identifying date but that makes more sense included in the descriptive title.

You could go to the trouble of creating a new template specifically for a particular class of document but (1) you'd need to be sure you understood the structure of the identifying information that applied to every document in the class and (2) you'd potentially end up with a lot of very specific templates each of which was used a handful of times. If you're working extensively with a particular class of documents, it might be worth it, but otherwise a generic template will do the job, such as the Miscellaneous Unpublished Document/Artifact template in the Essentials Collection or the Official Agencies: National Archives (U.K.) (National Government Records/Databases Online) in the Advanced collection.

I do have a question mark about how to include 'the source of the source' (in Adrian's example: " National Archives (Great Britain), Kew, England") in the Essentials template (the Advance template includes it explicitly). I would probably create a custom version of the Essentials template to include it.

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Re: Which Source Template to Use.

Post by AdrianBruce » 20 Feb 2021 12:19

Thanks Helen - food for thought there.

I think that looking at the Strathclyde PDF Referencing guide - which may or may not match up to the Essentials collection - and at Ian G MacDonald's Referencing for Genealogists - Sources and Citations, what strikes me is the way in which a whole host of documents are analysed so that they end up in just a few types of templates / patterns / whatever. I don't dispute such analysis, in fact I rather admire it, but it does scare me!

If you were to look at my "skeleton" source records that I copy and adjust when creating a source record in v6, you will find that indeed I have, in your words, "a lot of very specific templates each of which was used a [comparative] handful of times" (equating "template" with my skeleton source records). For instance, I have a skeleton source record each for Service Papers, Medal Rolls, and Muster Book & Pay Lists. And, of course, my skeleton source records for other employers are different again.

I can see how I could abstract these to get closer to what I imagine the Essentials Miscellaneous Unpublished Document/Artifact template looks like - but it does worry me that my "unique descriptive title" would therefore wander, if unprompted by a precise template / skeleton, into lots of inconsistent phrases such as "Service Papers", "Pension Records", "Attestation Records", "Discharge Papers", all of which I currently describe as "Service Records" because it's fixed in the template / skeleton.

Certainly, if I only have 2 or 3 source records of that type, a little variety won't matter, but by the time I get to half a dozen and more, I start to value consistency.

The other valuable aspect of a more precise template / skeleton is that it reminds me, for that sort of document, what I need to capture - such as the Quarter Dates for the Muster Book & Pay Lists.

So I think that you're absolutely right to suggest the Essentials Miscellaneous Unpublished Document/Artifact template - thereafter, I think each of us (if, if if, we are using source templates) needs to think at what point it makes sense to create our own custom version of that template to ensure consistency in descriptions, etc, and to be prompted about what to capture. Each of us needs to think because some of us will be more wary of creating customised templates than others...
Adrian

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Re: Which Source Template to Use.

Post by Mark1834 » 20 Feb 2021 12:29

The concept of using a template for a miscellaneous record feels like an oxymoron to me. If you can live with the disadvantages of templates (more complex to query and manipulate via plugins and incompatible with other apps), they do at least enable you to store repeated examples of the same source in a consistent way. I’m not convinced forcing an ad-hoc source into a template adds value compared with a well-structured generic source, but that’s for the individual user to judge.

Additional comment after reading Adrian’s well-argued post - I think it also depends on what you are trying to achieve. Why are you storing that information? If it is to build up a highly detailed account of somebody’s military career, a bit more structure probably makes sense. If your aims are more modest, say just confirming family details or as a pointer to further research, simpler may be better.
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Re: Which Source Template to Use.

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 20 Feb 2021 12:50

AdrianBruce wrote:
20 Feb 2021 12:19
So I think that you're absolutely right to suggest the Essentials Miscellaneous Unpublished Document/Artifact template - thereafter, I think each of us (if, if if, we are using source templates) needs to think at what point it makes sense to create our own custom version of that template to ensure consistency in descriptions, etc, and to be prompted about what to capture. Each of us needs to think because some of us will be more wary of creating customised templates than others...
Perfectly true -- I only have a few military sources, so a template for each type isn't worth it for me. Likewise, education records (which all vary widely in how they're identified). However, I have an awful lot of Land Tax documents, so in V6 I created a source template (using the Add Source from Template plugin) for those.
Mark1834 wrote:
20 Feb 2021 12:29
The concept of using a template for a miscellaneous record feels like an oxymoron to me.
But it's not a template for the source, it's a template for finding/identifying the source -- as such the structure needed can be as simple as: What does the archive it came from call it; and which archive is that anyway?

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Re: Which Source Template to Use.

Post by AdrianBruce » 20 Feb 2021 12:53

Mark1834 wrote:
20 Feb 2021 12:29
... Why are you storing that information? If it is to build up a highly detailed account of somebody’s military career, a bit more structure probably makes sense. If your aims are more modest, say just confirming family details or as a pointer to further research, simpler may be better.
I think that's a good point. Anyone following my posts here and in other forums will realise that I value telling the stories of someone's military involvement. Not least because I can't imagine what such service would have been like. But would I put equal research and documentation effort into all other aspects of someone's life, such as membership of clubs and societies? I tend to doubt it - mentioned in notes, yes, but...
Adrian

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Re: Which Source Template to Use.

Post by LornaCraig » 20 Feb 2021 13:27

Mark1834 wrote:
20 Feb 2021 12:29
The concept of using a template for a miscellaneous record feels like an oxymoron to me......... I’m not convinced forcing an ad-hoc source into a template adds value compared with a well-structured generic source, but that’s for the individual user to judge
I don't use templated sources so the question doesn't arise for me, but my initial response is to agree with Mark. Trying to fit miscellaneous documents into a standard template seems like a contradiction. If you have a number of pegs to fit into standard holes you can put square pegs in square holes, triangular pegs in triagular holes etc. But if you have some unusual pegs (hexagonal, star shaped, crescent shaped) for which you don't have appropriate holes all you can do is drop them in a hole which is big enough in all dimensions to hold them. As a template that hole doesn't do anything - it's just a big bin for the left-overs.

Having said that, I suppose you could argue that using generic sources for these left-overs is no different, because you'd be putting all your left-overs in a big generic bin!
ColeValleyGirl wrote:
20 Feb 2021 12:50
But it's not a template for the source, it's a template for finding/identifying the source -- as such the structure needed can be as simple as: What does the archive it came from call it; and which archive is that anyway?
I think I see what you mean, but if the structure is a simple as “What does the archive it came from call it; and which archive is that anyway?” it hardly seems to need a template. So perhaps it comes down to a question of whether you can live with a mix of generic and templated sources. If you want all your sources to be templated either you have to create a lot of one-off templates or you have to put a lot of sources in a 'miscellaneous' template.
Lorna

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Re: Which Source Template to Use.

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 20 Feb 2021 13:52

LornaCraig wrote:
20 Feb 2021 13:27
ColeValleyGirl wrote:
20 Feb 2021 12:50
But it's not a template for the source, it's a template for finding/identifying the source -- as such the structure needed can be as simple as: What does the archive it came from call it; and which archive is that anyway?
I think I see what you mean, but if the structure is a simple as “What does the archive it came from call it; and which archive is that anyway?” it hardly seems to need a template. So perhaps it comes down to a question of whether you can live with a mix of generic and templated sources. If you want all your sources to be templated either you have to create a lot of one-off templates or you have to put a lot of sources in a 'miscellaneous' template.
I think a mix of generic and templated sources would be the worst of all possible worlds... It would be very difficult to get them to appear consistently in reports and queries.

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Re: Which Source Template to Use.

Post by Mark1834 » 20 Feb 2021 14:09

I think a mix of generic and templated sources would be the worst of all possible worlds... It would be very difficult to get them to appear consistently in reports and queries.
Up to a point. Mixing generic and templated for the same source type would be a nightmare (which is why I think templates are of limited use to the upgrader), but if you go down the template route, I don’t see any problem at all in keeping ad-hoc sources generic.
Mark Draper

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Re: Which Source Template to Use.

Post by David Potter » 21 Feb 2021 17:34

Hi All, sorry for the the late response.
Wow I underestimated what a complex question this could turn out to be. Your responses are most welcome and indeed all valid. I guess I need to decide how I want this to work/look going forward. This particular family are somewhat distant in terms of research interest ( a great great uncle who served and died in WW1, but equally I am unlikely to invest in obtaining Birth/Marriage Certificates, ETC. So this Source which I would say is a reasonably reliable Source gave Births and Marriage Dates, even the Father of the Bride. So it made sense to me to make good use of it as a 'Summary' albeit Miscellaneous in nature Source record. I guess using Lorna's analogy is a good one what shape peg is it?

I think a Generic Source record appears to be the best Fit, that way I decide how the Title and Content is structured.

Thank you all for your comments and contributions.

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