Creating and attaching a 1921 Census Source / Image to Family in the tree

I really don’t fiddle with source / citations because they are automatically created by Ancestry where my tree is also held.

But I have a situation where I have visited FindMyPast and purchased some 1921 Census images and the transcript (for the head of the house).

So now I want to attach these images for the 1921 Census to all the families in the tree (in RM8) and push them to Ancestry. I don’t want to do it inside Ancestry because I might have to repeat some of the work?

Either way, I have several of these I want to do and I would appreciate guidance on how to go about it - all the way from creating the entry to attach to everyone concerned. Then to push to Ancestry.


Seen older videos: Entering Census Data in RootsMagic (

For example, is this correct:

And for Repository:

Each to his/her own but to my mind the Repository for the 1921 census for England & Wales is The National Archives. Same for other E &W Censuses. FindMyPast merely has the rights (at present) to have the census on its database. I regularly view other censuses on both Ancestry and FindMyPast as sometimes one has a correct transcription and one an incorrect transcription. I would never know which one I had viewed first and frankly I don’t care. I don’t use these databases as Repositories - I use the place where the original document is held.


Hi Terry

Could you show some bullet points of the fields as you would have them? I appreciate no right / wrong way.

If one were to strctly follow the Elizabeth Shown Mills methodology, one would include both FMP/Anc/FS as well as the National Archives. The former ‘citing’ the latter. Such as:

“FamilySearch ( accessed 16 Feb 2019); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 765”.

However, I also tend to skip the online site and go right to the original holder of the material. The only reason I can think of to use both the online site and the concrete location of records would be to make it easier for those who come after to verify your work. The odds of a person being able to verify a census record on FamilySearch is probably much greater than the odds of them taking a trip to NARA to verify the record. Andrew seems to be doing this double recording in his posted image.


I would like this as simple as possible. Just some screen grabs of what should be in my sources. Citation.

My screen shots are based on how Ancestry does it and in my head the ultimate source is the archives. But my source was fmp. And fmp are the only ones to access it right now.

Simple abc of a worked scenario would great. One that I can push to ancestry.

The purpose of a source/citation is a trail of breadcrumbs to where the information was found. Keep it simple and ignore E Mills type silliness unless you plan to publish in a scholarly journal. Modern genealogy is focused on online sources which in this case would be fmp. URLs are useful in the short term but the web changes dramatically over time and is unstable.

If your master database is what is on Ancestry that is a trustingly risky choice versus the file on your computer. The latter is under your control no matter what ancestry does.

If you cite fmp as the sole source and in a couple of years the fmp/TNA agreement lapses, your source citation will lead you down a blind alley. But if you use the format kfunk and Elizabeth Shown Mills suggest, you will always be able to find the actual document.

One of the main reasons for citing your sources is to allow others to verify that your research has been thorough and your conclusions are accurate and well thought out. I don’t consider that silliness.

Even if you are not planning to publish in a scholarly journal NOW, that doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. And when you’re writing a citation, it’s just as easy to do it correctly as it is to screw it up.

Thanks. But again, I have kept asking for an example rather than discussion. I get all your points you are making and it is useful.

But I would appreciate an actual example. Hasn’t anytime done one?

@ajtruckle - For what it’s worth, here is a screenshot of how I’ve set up my 1921 England census noting that I’m a “source lumper” so I’ve modified the template to have the credit line sit within the citation details.

Not sure if it is “right” – the citation seems to suit my purposes – but I’d be interested to hear the feedback from others. I’m sure there’s lots of ways of achieving the same objective.

One other thing to be mindful of is that I’ve read somewhere (although can’t seem to find it at present), is that copyright prevents these documents from being shared on other platforms (such as Ancestry).

I should also mention that I don’t treeshare or push information anywhere (my tree is kept solely on my hard drive with related backups) so I can’t comment on how this might transpose over to other websites etc.

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If I have downloaded the document, transcript and source/citation information into one pdf file that remains available despite any contractual changes to data access by a particular service.

If you use the reporting features of your genealogy software then you will also need to use a source/citation template. I do not and so do not bother re-recording that information.

Amusingly enough, this isn’t about you. The point of designing/using actual source information is mostly for those that come after us, and hopefully choose to carry on what we started. I would say the odds of finding source information in some type of repository, online or otherwise, is much better in our world, as opposed to a PDF file on our personal drive which future researchers most likely will not have access to.

So what this boils down to is that you can do your sourcing to suit yourself, but don’t preach at other people who have chosen a different, and in my opinion, superior way of doing things.

Hi Jill
Thanks for your visual screen shots. This all helps. :+1:

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If a family history has no source citations it it but, instead, relies on copies of documents stored on a computer that no one else has access to and that no one else can verify, how does it differ from fiction?

This is what I did:

I do use layered citations - even the Strathclyde method, as expanded on in Referencing for Genealogists by Ian Macdonald, allows for them and does help make the citations as helpful as possible.

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I’m still using RM07, because I’m very accustomed to it, and it has good performance on my PC (desktop and laptop).
I made my own Master Source for the 1950 US Census, which includes two repositories:
1 - the permanent holder (US Census Bureau)
2 - where I accessed the record (Ancestry)

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