fact that should not be linked.
* On the right side of the screen you will find boxes with specifics about the
document (which are completely editable).
says "View Source Online." When you download from Ancestry, the program should automatically makes a link for you in this spot. "Should" being the key word here.
I started by going through to find all of the source titles that did not have media or a specific website attached (in FTM, you can figure this out by looking for the little scroll next to the source). No scroll means no image, so I wanted to check to make sure I really needed the items listed with no scroll. In the image above, you will notice there is no scroll next to the highlighted source and the arrow pointing down shows that there are no source citations, which means that there is no one attached to this source. This meant that I absolutely didn't need this source! I clicked the source one more time to make sure it was highlighted correctly and then hit the delete button on my keyboard. It asked if I really wanted the source gone, I confirmed, and voila - it ceased to exist. One down, now on to the next one! I discovered that most of the sources without the scroll had nothing attached, so getting rid of those was pretty easy and quick. (Note: To delete a source from the left column on the screen, you have to hit the delete button on the keyboard. The delete on the screen found in the top right section will only delete source citations).
Next, I moved on to Family Trees. When I started doing my genealogy, I used other people's trees to help me build mine. I added trees and documents as they popped up on the leaves, thrilled with anything I found! As I got farther into my research, I learned more and discovered that, although other people's trees are great places to jump off and may have some great information, they are NOT documentation. Because of this, I do not use them as sources. I deleted every source link for every tree that was listed as a source citation and got rid off all evidence that any other trees had been used. This made it MUCH easier to see if I had REAL sources to prove what I had in my tree, which was wonderful!
Once those steps were complete, I started going through each source, one by one. I decided to just take the bull by the horns and began at the top with the Censuses. I realized pretty early on that I was quickly becoming overwhelmed and would never finish because of frustration, so I decided to stop midstream and went to the bottom to work my way up. MUCH better decision! The censuses provide a TON of information (which is awesome!), but that meant that I was spending a lot of time on each one, and I felt like I was losing a relay to an undersized slug! With so much to do, this was NOT the time to get discouraged!
2. Sources and Source citations can be linked to specific facts and not just to a person in general. Media items can do this as well, but I felt like linking media items to more than just the person seemed to be slowing my program down, so I decided to leave the fact linking to sources (which works great!). I also made the decision to link EVERYTHING that was relevant to each source and am happy with this choice so far. For instance, death certificates list a person's death date and place, birth date and place, parent names and sometimes their birth places, the burial date and place, cause of death, and the witness's name and residence (which can sometimes be a relative). When reviewing a source, If I didn't have the information found within it already listed for the person, I switched to the person view, added the information, and then went back to the source view to link it. I even linked the "Also Known As" for many people if the document called the person by anything other than a full name or two initials before the last name. If the information found in a source didn't match the fact I had, I either added an alternate fact that I could link it to or, if I knew that what the source stated was a mistake, just didn't link the source to that fact. You can see below a list of multiple people attached to a city directory page, which tends to be another source that can give a wealth of information.
3. There were some sources with a scroll next to them that had no online link (the arrow pointing to the right in the picture below is where the link should have been). This source was for "Public Tree Stories." It had one source citation that was attached to two facts (Stephen Hipp Sr.'s name and birth), but I could not figure out a way to get to the story to see what it said, so I clicked the picture of the chain right above Stephen Hipp Sr's name, removed the links, got rid of the source and moved on. I figured if it was that difficult to find, I didn't need it and it needed to go. It was very liberating!
4. I discovered that it is not uncommon to find multiple family members listed on one page of a city directory, and sometimes I had a source citation for each person (meaning multiple copies of a single directory page). Other times, I had only one source citation because I hadn't come across the hints for the other family members yet. Here is my thought on this - I don't need every single person to have their own source citation when every one of the citations is documenting the exact same thing! One copy is plenty - especially when I can link as many facts as I want to each source citation. So, if I had more than one copy of the exact source citation (you can figure this out by clicking to see the source online and then clicking to see the original copy), I used the source citation with the summary page of the oldest direct descendant (IF that was one of the source citations I had to choose from), and deleted the others. I then attached each relevant fact to the SINGLE source citation that I had kept. I do not care that the online summary page does not show every person's name at the top. The original copy is the only thing I care about and pay any attention to.
Since I am the QUEEN of making a short story long, I am going to stop for now. I will try to talk about how I handled The Sons of the American Revolution Applications and US Censuses as sources in separate installments along with anything else that comes to mind. So, Happy Source Cleaning! (Don't forget that drink - you will need it for this one!)! BUT, you will feel SOOOOOOOO great knowing exactly what you have! Getting this part organized will allow you to have a much better grasp of where you have already searched so that you don't spend time researching the same things over and over and over again! It will also help you know where you REALLY have holes in your documentation where you still need to find evidence to prove what you have in your tree.