Request to change the Short Footnote and Bibliography sentences in the Ancestry Record Template

This request is a follow-on of a recent issue raised in the facebook forum. Currently, downloading a citation from via treeshare results in problematic Short Footnote and Bibliography sentences. These sentences always start with a leading comma because of a mismatch between their template sentence formulas and the fact that ancestry consistently defines the Author field as “” when downloading a citation via treeshare. The short footnote always starts with a comma because the short footnote sentence in the ‘Ancestry Record’ source template begins with “[Author:Surname]”, so the formula never finds the word that follows the rightmost space in the Author field. The Bibliography sentence is looking for [Author:Reverse] and fails for a similar reason. The simplest solution would be to start both the Short Footnote and Bibliography sentences with [Author].

The typical approach of copying a standard template in order to change sentence formulas doesn’t work since treeshare dictates the use of the Ancestry Record template for all citations.

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If there isn’t a given name and surname for the author then add a forward “/” slash before and after the single name. It will then recognize it as a surname. In the Author field it would look like this: /


Thanks Renee. I was not aware that the forward slash could be used in this manner. This will work for my workflow. Should development want to make a change, a more elegant template solution for the current behavior as well as the case that ancestry populates the ‘Author’ field differently in the future would be:

Short Footnote sentence from [Author:Surname]
to <?[Author:Surname]|[Author:Surname]|[Author]>

Bibliography Sentence from [Author:Reverse]
to <?[Author:Surname]|[Author:Reverse]|[Author]>

It’s not a recent issue. You’ve got the same response when this issue was first raised six (6) years ago and it does not address the volume of editing that has to be done after a TreeShare download. Maybe it’s adequate for onesies and twosies but not for bulk. The Source Template still needs to be improved. See

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Thanks for this post Tom. I was hoping to hear from you or Jerry as I knew that this couldn’t be the first time that the issue has been identified. The link to the old forum was excellent reading. I figured that I could bulk update the fields but had not considered that it might be possible to fix the template with sql. Would be ideal if the product team would update the template. In the meantime, this post provides a lot of food for thought. Thanks again!