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Non-traditional Template Examples""

Most family historians will spend a considerable about of time dealing with non-traditional records. This template contains a total of 13 elements, three of which are REQUIRED (these are highlighted in red). The following describes each field and examples of census record entries are provided.

Master Source

  1. Primary Creator: Provide the name of the entity for which the census was created. More than likely, this will be the name of a country or state. This field is REQUIRED.
  2. Dept. or Office: Input the government agency or entity that was responsible for creating this census.
  3. Date: Enter the exact date that the this census entry was created.
  4. Source Description: As per the default example on the template, this record should be listed as "1930 U.S. Census". While the above example is not incorrect (as long as the user is consistent), "Fifteenth Census" is meaningless for many people. In addition, the use of tags (e.g., <i>) should NEVER be used with Simple Citations as formatting is embedded in the RootsMagic template! (Punctuation is also embedded in the template.)
  5. Person(s) of Interest: Census records often list families. In such cases, list the name of the "head of household" followed by the word "Family". As this is the master source record, I will use the correct spelling of the surname, even when an incorrect spelling is listed on the census record.

Source Details

  1. Page Number(s): The only information that should be listed here is the page number. This field is almost never used with this template.
  2. Person: List the name of the specific person that this citation refers to. I usually use the spelling found on the Census Record, even when it has been misspelled.
  3. Location: Enter the city, county, state, and country where this census was taken. (I do not list the country for U.S. census records as the country is implied by the presence of a state name.)
  4. Repository: This is an optional field that I only use if this source was obtained over the Internet of if it's a one-of-a-kind document that is held in a private collection. If this document was obtained from a library, DO NOT list the repository. Traditional citations (e.g., those found in bibliographies never list a repository as it's not needed.).
  5. URL: Although the full URL may be appropriate, I'm now listing only the home page of sites where a document is located (e.g., http://www.ancestry.com) as many of these sites, particularly those requiring subscriptions, the actual URL is not available.
  6. Date File Accessed: This is another optional field that I only use to cite sources that were obtained on the Internet. In all other cases, it should be left blank.
  7. Misc. Ref. Num.: I have now used Simple Citations for more than a year and have rarely used this field.
  8. Personal ID: The information placed in this field should refer to the personal numbering system you use to organize your family history. This information should never be printed on reports or in your citations. It is only used to help you keep track of your documentation.


Certificate of Literacy

Example: Certificate of Literacy

Example Citation:

University of the State of New York (17 October 1929). Certificate of Literacy: Rose La Marca. || Rose A. La Marca. Jamestown, Chautauqua County, New York. Privately held by Jeffry La Marca.



This is a one-of-a-kind source document held by an individual. As a result, the Repository field notes that it is "privately held by [name of the person who has possession of the document]."

Death Certificate

Example: Death Certificate

Example Citation:

Ohio, Bureau of Vital Statistics (6 January 1921). Certificate of Death: Conrad Steigerwalt. || Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio.


This is a one-of-a-kind source document created by an agency.


Example: Gravestone

Example Citation:

Lutheran Cemetery (after 21 January 1857). Gravestone: George Riegle. || McCutchenville, Wyandot County, Ohio. Find A Grave (http://www.findagrave.com: accessed 3 May 2011).



The date of burial (or date that a gravestone was made) is often unknown although the date of death is often available. In such cases, the date is preceded by the word "after" (or "aft").

Passenger List

Example: Passenger List

Example Citation:

United States, Customs Service (27 May 1892). Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York: Concetta Di Francesco. || p. 9. New York, New York County, New York. Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 16 February 2012).



This is a fairly common source. Because this passenger was traveling alone (without any family members), her name is listed under the Master Source and not in Source Details.


Example: Will

Example Citation:

Riegel, Simon (29 June 1831). Will (affidavit): Simon Riegel. || Bethel, Berks County, Pennsylvania. Daughters of the American Revolution (http://www.dar.org).


In order for the names of individuals to appear properly in citations when using RootsMagic, this template requires that the names of individuals (but not entities) to be enclosed in forward slashes (/). This is different than how the names of individuals are entered on the traditional template. The decision was made to do this in order to reduce the amount of typing when entering data.




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