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I want to redo my existing sources using FTM's source templates. Is there a way to merge what I currently have into the template in order to see what information might be missing?

Probably the biggest group are the censuses. I know that by using the templates I can create one source and have it apply to multiple people (e.g., parents and children, mother-in-law living with child, etc.)

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I did a whole blog series on that. It is worth the time and energy to do just that. Take your time, it WILL take time. BUT, in doing so, I have gone back and looked at the Source closer and picked up a bunch of new information along the way.

At the top of my blog, is a menu by version. Select the version of FTM that you have (FTM2014, as I recall) and you want to look at the Sources Workspace. The blog posts are by workspace.

I haven't done an intentional blog post for 2014 on this, but the same steps are in FTM2012.

Actually, I did a blog post on the 1850 Census. I do that the FreeForm Source and put it into the Template foemat. That may be where to start.


I love your blog. Actually I had checked it before posting my question on genealogywise. I printed out your 1850 Census post. I just now tried it, starting at the categorizing Media paragraph. (I've assumed that since I already have the censuses merged with individuals, this is where I should begin.)

I'll try several (both US federal census, and England) and see how it goes.

Russ, I've redone several of the censuses, successfully I think, but I have a question. For those censuses where there are multiple family members, you indicated in your blog that the Templated Source can be used for each member (i.e., the same source for all). Everything would be accurate except the line number on the census. Do I need to concern myself with that?


Lets clarify something. I hoped that I had been very clear in the Blog.

You asked: "in your blog that the Templated Source can be used for each member" Please Reread that.

NO is the short answer.

A Census RECORD is a Container of Information. The Source uses a Template.

What is linked to the Member of the Family are the CITATIONs that are linked to the Source.

Book is a Source

Pages in the book that you find information on your Family is described in the Citation.

You create ONE Census Record using the Template, say the 1940 US Federal Census, Pennsylvania. That describes the RECORD.

In the Chester County part of the Pennsylvania 1940 Census is how the Citation begins, followed by West Chester, ED 3-10, page 2A, .... is the Citation that describes WHERE in the Source you found information, then you LINK that Citation to the Facts that you saw on the census PAGE.

Yes, as part of the Citation, since you can SEE that actual Census PAGE,  you DO want to record the Line Numbers.

Here is an example.

Here is the Citation Details:

West Chester; enumeration district 15-104; sheet number 1-A; 125 North Walnut Street;  family number 2; Lines 5 - 7; Joseph Worrall Jr household

The Reference Note is:

1940 U.S. census, population schedule, Pennsylvania, Chester County, West Chester; enumeration district 15-104; sheet number 1-A; 125 North Walnut Street;  family number 2; Lines 5 - 7; Joseph Worrall Jr household; NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 3467; digital image, (

What you don't see in the Citation Detail comes from the Template.

You might want to read this blog post

Does that make sense to you?


I think so. The mistake I made was to replace the source for the others in the family group with that of the first individual. As a consequence their Citation Detail and Reference Note were correct EXCEPT for the line number. The change I need to make is to the line reference (Lines x - y) and add the phrase 'ancestor's name' household as you have with Joseph Worrall Jr.

Once again, thanks for your time.



That is what the format is in Evidence Explained. It makes total sense to me, so you don't have to look at someones hand writing to find what you are looking for, the Line Numbers are pretty clear to read and they are normally on both ends of the line.

What I found, going back for those line numbers. when I needed to, was new information or neighbors who were on the same page in the census that gave a clue to something else, or another Fact that I didn't capture the first time.

Good luck


Redoing/reviewing sources is a really good exercise. I too am finding things I didn't see the first time around...mostly due to being a newbie to genealogy. I'm a bit wiser now.


Great to hear.

Good Luck,




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