Finding citation details for records on Ancestry.

There are a number of elements that need to be included in citations of the records we find about our ancestors. Unfortunately, sometimes finding these on Ancestry can be tricky.

For example, if you are trying to cite an 1860 US census record we need to know several things. The following elements should be easy to find:

Slightly more difficult are

These two elements can be found on the “Details” page for the record.

That leaves us with the NARA series number and the Roll number.

The first of these, the NARA series number, we have included in a Help tip above the fields you have to fill in.

So, for the 1860 census, it’s M653.

And that just leaves the Roll Number. If you look carefully at the “Details” page on Ancestry, you will find something that is not obvious, so most people overlook it. There is a link to the source information

If you click on the word “Source” you will be given additional information that can be used to craft your citation. And it is here that we find the Roll number.

In this case it is M653_66.

You might be wondering about the section that says “Source Citation”. That is something that Ancestry has put together, which does not comply with any of the usual styles (e.g. Evidence Explained, Chicago, Strathclyde and so on), and often does not contain all the necessary elements to craft a citation.

When the record on Ancestry has an associated image, there is an additional way to find this information. If you view the image you will see some icons on the right hand side of the screen. One of them is an arrow pointing to a vertical bar.

If you click on this a window opens, showing the same source information.

I hope this helps you!