Trying Out Cite Builder – The Citation Generator for Genealogists

One of my favorite RootsTech activities is checking out new-to-me companies and products on the market for genealogists. If you’ve read my blog for a while, you already know that the source templates in my genealogy software (RootsMagic 7, as I haven’t really delved deeply into RootsMagic 8) makes me want to pull out my hair and toss the computer out the window.

I’ve pretty much kept to the old-fashioned bibliographic format for citing my sources and placing them either in my Notes or, in the cases of images, embedding the source citation directly into the name given to an image.

RootsTech 2022 introduced me to Cite-Builder, which generates source citations for genealogical work.

Cite-Builder is an Australian company and is completely new to me. Given my love-hate-hate-hate relationship with source citation templates, I am always interested in trying out new citation generators.

I’ve already forgotten what I paid for the premium version of Cite-Builder, but the regular one-year subscription is only about US$15.00. I think the conference special was around US$12.00, which is a very small financial investment.

The premium version is a must because the choice of citation format (Harvard, Strathclyde, Evidence Explained) is a premium option.

I’ve been busy with other projects and haven’t had much time to experiment. With some free time now, it is time to jump in.

Since I’ve been busy working with Swedish records on ArkivDigital, I’ll use some examples from those records.

The first example is the burial record for Anna Stina Berggren, who was buried on or shortly after her husband was buried on 2 June 1800. Her burial entry only says “wife” and she died of an epileptic seizure.

My first attempt with Cite-Builder was using the Website template, since ArkivDigital is an online site and I wasn’t sure how detailed data boxes would be.

Of course, I didn’t notice the sentence in light blue font at the top that said not to use this template for big websites.

However, this is the citation created:

ArkivDigital, ArkivDigital, Image – Burial (https://www.arkivdigital.net : 25 April 2022), Genarp-M-CI-4-1792-1838-Image-2200-Page-445.v104370a.b2200.s445.
I tried entering the same details into RootsMagic 7’s Master Source List, which produced:

RM7 – ArkivDigital, “Genarp, Sweden Deaths & Burials,” genarp, sweden death & burial register 1792-1838, Genarp, Sweden Church Register, ArkivDigital (https://www.arkivdigital.net: [AccessType] [AccessDate]), [ItemOfInterest]; citing Genarp, Sweden Lutheran Church.

Next, I tried out Cite Builder’s Parish Register template and several formats appeared. I went with “Parish Reg Image: Other Digitized Online.”

After entering the data,

the citation could be generated either in Evidence Explained or Strathclyde format.

EE format: Genarp (Genarp, Malmöhus, Sweden), “Deaths and Burials, 1792-1838”, v104370a.b2200.s445; digital images, ArkivDigital (https://www.arkivdigital.net : accessed 25 Apr 2022).

I definitely found Cite-Builder to be much easier to figure out than RootsMagic 7. If you look above at the RM7 citation, notice that capital letters were omitted and I haven’t a clue why there is no access date – aside from the fact that there was no box in which to enter a date!

I’ve heard that RootsMagic 8 source citation templates are more unwieldy to use than RM7, which definitely doesn’t make me want to switch over to the latest version of RootsMagic.

What else does Cite Builder offer in templates?

Civil Births, Marriages & Deaths, Parish Registers (Church Records), Censuses and Musters, Wills, Probate & Administration, Monumental Inscriptions (Gravestones), Newspaper, Books, Journals & Magazines, Shipping, Website, Land Records, Criminal Records, Military Records, Personal Communication, Data CDs/DVDs, Archives and Special Collections and DNA

Manage Personal Templates provides the means to import and export files. Manage Favourites does the same and Rules Search is the HELP area.

Those are a lot of choices!

I have slowly come to realize that I will probably never embrace those hated source citation templates in genealogy software programs.  Perhaps I’d change my mind if the companies hired someone who was capable of clearly explaining, step by step, how to use them, but I’m not holding my breath waiting. We all know how poorly written most user manuals are!

In the meantime, I’m happy citing my sources in my notes.

Will I use Cite Builder to generate those citations? YES, because it’s simple to use, creates citations in two or more formats, including Evidence Explained, and, most importantly of all, I don’t have to deal with figuring out how to name, and name again and then link Master Source Files and such in the software program to people and events.

Do I care that my source citation won’t linked to the person or family or event? Not really, since all I have to do is open my notes and read to figure out from where the facts or details came.

I’d highly recommend giving Cite Builder a try. It is a yearly subscription, but at less than US$15.00, it’s less than the cost of a couple of takeout coffees. That’s a bargain!

 

 

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