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Saturday, May 29, 2010

How to Cite a Funeral Card



This afternoon while on Twitter, Sara who runs the Lessons From My Ancestors blog, wanted info on how to properly cite a funeral or memorial card.

Since Sara doesn't (yet) own a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills, I agreed to lookup the proper format and tweet it back to her.  The benefit of doing this is that my Twitter followers as well as Sara's would learn more about source citations - always a good thing!

But before I did the lookup I actually stopped and thought this through.  You see, ever since I completed my course work in genealogical research through the Boston University online program, I just don't run to Evidence Explained and try to look up a specific format.  In fact, I can tell you that there is no format specific to a funeral card.  They key is understanding why type of evidence it is, its origination, and its current repository.  Then, if you read the first two chapters of Evidence Explained, you can then compose a citation format for almost anything, even a bit of ephemera such as a funeral card.

Funeral Card - Artifact

This is the source citation format that I would use if I owned the funeral card or I knew the person who owned it:

[Artifact name], [Repository]; privately held by [Owner], [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] [Artifact location], [Year last owned].  [Description of artifact: origin of artifact, use, provenance, etc.]

Ex: Funeral Card for Elizabeth McCrickert, McCrickert Family Collection; privately owned by Thomas MacEntee, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Chicago, Illinois, United Stated, 2010.  Two-sided, glossy funeral card from Calvary Cemetery in Queens, New York, distributed at the funeral of Elizabeth McCrickert, 26 January 1956, Queens, New York. Inherited from Ethel McCrickert Hannan, daughter of Elizabeth McGinnes McCrickert.

Funeral Card - Digital Image

What if I didn't own the funeral card, but saw an image of it on the Internet such as a blog.  Well first, I'd of course ask permission of the person who posted the item.  Remember people, not everything is free for the taking on the Internets!

Then I would compose a source citation in this manner:

"[Blog post title,]" [Blog name], [Post date],  [image name], digital image, ([URL]: accessed [Access date]).  Used with permission.

or

[Blog owner], "[Blog post title,]" [Blog name], [Post date],  [image name], digital image, ([URL]: accessed [Access date]).  Used with permission.

Ex: "Funeral Cards," Destination: Austin Family, 7 March 2009, Funeral card for Elizabeth McCrickert, digital image, (http://destinationaustinfamily.blogspot.com/2008/03/funeral-cards.html: accessed 29 May 2010).

Ex: Thomas MacEntee, "Funeral Cards," Destination: Austin Family, 7 March 2009, Funeral card for Elizabeth McCrickert, digital image, (http://destinationaustinfamily.blogspot.com/2008/03/funeral-cards.html: accessed 29 May 2010).

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

7 comments:

Jack Robinson@hotmail.com said...

Hi,

Thanks for the info on the funeral card. I say the earlier Tweets too. I looked in "the Chicago Manual of Style," 14th edition and found nothing.

Have fun in what you are doing. I enjoyed reading your blog on this topic.

Jack
Resurrection Mission


http://www.resurrection-mission.com

Sherry - Family Tree Writer said...

I learned a bunch from your post, Thomas! Thank you!

Sherry

Becky Higgins said...

Thanks, Thomas. We can never get enough suggestions about citations. This was very helpful and informative post.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Thomas for the great information. you just gave me an idea.
I might post some funeral Cards and write about my ancestors.
I have the conventional funeral cards plus some I wrote for my mom and dad and Aunt Lola to go with the conventional ones. My supplemental cards gave a synopsis of their lives.

Rocky said...

Thanks Thomas for the great information. you just gave me an idea.
I might post some funeral Cards and write about my ancestors.
I have the conventional funeral cards plus some I wrote for my mom and dad and Aunt Lola to go with the conventional ones. My supplemental cards gave a synopsis of their lives.

Dave Lennon said...

Thomas, this is very useful. Thank you so much for posting. I also appreciate your note about asking for permission. Always a good reminder.

In my case, a family member owns the artifact and I scanned a copy of it. I will reference my digital copy, though I have seen the original. Would citing it in the "artifact" model be more appropriate?

Lori E said...

Thank you Thomas. It definitely is a funeral card that I have and not an obituary.
I have cited the source using your guidelines.