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Master Source - Ancestral File Sample

The Ancestral File, the pioneer of electronic data gathering and publishing, is a great place to begin a survey of one's research.  This lineage-linked database holds about 35 million individuals as of June 2000.  The information has been submitted by researchers all over the world.  Over the years, however, the database has lost credibility, as it has been merged and edited, and is completely undocumented.

The quickest way to ruin your years of hard work, is to import a large GEDCOM from the Ancestral File, into your own database.  If you plan on downloading from this file, PLEASE import it into an empty Legacy database first.  Here you can analyze the information, and use it for clues in beginning your research.  You should probably contact the submitters as well.  The Ancestral File should be used as a starting point for your future research.

If you wish to use some of the information, it must be cited.  Citing this source is better than having an undocumented family.  Below are some examples of how to cite this file from within Legacy.

  • Source Name - include the edition date to separate it from other versions

  • Author - this is the author as shown in a GEDCOM from the Ancestral File.  Evidence! suggests using 'Family History Library' as the author.

  • Publication Facts - this information was copied from a GEDCOM from the Ancestral File.  If you're ever unsure what to type here, just download a small GEDCOM, and use its publication information

  • Comments - anything you want

  • Repository - Family History Library, 35 N West Temple St, Salt Lake City, UT 84150 USA

  • Picture - not needed

Source Detail - Ancestral File Sample

  • Details (cut off above) - John W. Brown, compiler, David Brown-Clara Crosby family group sheet (undocumented); ancestral file numbers RlRR-H5 and RLRQ-44

Send comments or questions to Geoffrey D. Rasmussen

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