[APG Public List] 1840 Census - Citation Question

hhsh at earthlink.net hhsh at earthlink.net
Sun Oct 4 13:26:10 MDT 2009

> I take into account that my client or descendants are not going to understand the use of the term 
*folio* so I use *page* instead. One of the biggest lessons here is not to take the citation that is 
assigned by Ancestry or Heritage Quest, &c at face value. It is up to you to cite the correct page number. 
That page number would be the same no matter what the source of the record is (Ancestry, Footnote, HQ 
or NARA microfilm). I disagree with Harold. The point of a citation is to be able to trace the record and I 
believe that being as exact as possible in citations is important. We know that if an index in a book says
 that a surname is on page 13 and we don't find it there to look at the pages before and after page 13 
because it has been misindexed. Stating that the Waggoner entry is on page 218, IMO, is the same 
as an incorrect index entry. In the end, when someone attempts to verify the information, he/she is 
hunting the entry down as they will not find it on page 218, line 13.

Far be it from me to advocate imprecision! But in this case it's not all that 
clear how to be precise -- i.e., how best to communicate the location, given 
the kind of numbering used on these census forms. Add to the folks who don't 
understand "folio" those who think the stamped number refers to the spread-out 
facing pair of bound pages, rather than to the individual sheet, front and 
back. (Told the number "217," I will turn to the page that has "217" stamped on 
it, and I'll probably look to the page facing that one before I turn 217 over.) 
No matter how we choose to cite, a lot of folks will look first in the wrong 
place; fortunately they'll still be only one page away. I'll follow EE, which 
allows Arne's choice "page 217 (back)" if you want to avoid the Latin.

Rondina and I are as one on the issue of correcting erroneous page numbers 
introduced by compilers or online providers. I'm inclined to note the erroneous 
number given (just as I note erroneous dates given for city directories) just 
so it's all out there. If EE deals with this issue I can't find it. What do 
y'all think?


Harold Henderson
Research and Writing from Northwest Indiana
hhsh at earthlink.net
home office 219/324-2620

More information about the APGPublicList mailing list