I have consulted your book and this site many times, but I am still confused regarding census citations.
In your 1911 England census article you state (paraphrasing):
…Name of census, county, civil parish, and enumeration district are all that is necessary for a citation... The rest of the details, (registration district ..., registration district number ..., sub-registration district ..., street address ...) are details that would appear in the research notes where we extract all the details of the census.
Basic Rule for Creating a Layered Citation for Imaged Records
Details that belong in one layer of the citation should not be mixed into the other. Each layer of the citation deals with a different entity. When we’re citing an imaged record at a site such as Ancestry, we have three layers.
- Layer 1: We cite the image of the original document. We cite what we see. We don’t cite details that we can’t see for ourselves, to ensure that they are accurate.
- Layer 2: We cite the website and its database.
- Layer 3: We cite the basic details that our provider gives us for its source.
Each layer is separated by a semicolon.
In your 1841 British Census article, a lot of thought goes into using the descriptive locations (such as Borough, Municipal Ward, and Civil Parish) in the first layer of the citation.
This agrees with your statement against stating the Registration district information. I realize that a lot of this has to do with which derivative source is used.
For purposes of my questions, please humor me and assume that I somehow have access to the original records and don’t need to use online images. This will help my understanding of not only citations for census records, but citations for other records as well. So, please disregard Layer 2 for this discussion. Please note that I am an extreme “lumper” when it comes to sources. I like to include as much information in the citation as possible, but want your thoughts on what you really think is unnecessary. My source for the 1871 census, for example, would probably be:
Census of England and Wales, 1871, The National Archives of the UK, Yew, Surrey, England.
These are the various elements I could include in the citation to this source:
[Head of Household Name]
The National Archives of the UK, Yew, Surrey, England
[reference series no.]
For my First Reference Note, I might do something like this:
Census of England and Wales, 1871, Lancashire, Liverpool Registration District, St. Martin Sub-registration District, Enumeration District 7, 18 Court Collingwood Street, Micl Burke household; The National Archives of the UK, reference series RG 10, piece 3756, folio 18, page 29, schedule no. 182.
I know the first layer should be what you see in the record, but I also want there to be a logical order. Folio and page numbers can be viewed in the record. Should these be Layer 1? They seem better off in Layer 2. My intuition says that maybe everything should string together, from largest location to smallest, like this:
Lancashire, Liverpool Registration District, St. Martin Sub-registration District, Enumeration District 7; The National Archives of the UK, reference series RG 10, piece 3756, folio 18, page 29, schedule no. 182, 18 Court Collingwood Street, Micl Burke household.
What about descriptive identifiers such as Borough (Liverpool), Civil Parish (Liverpool) and Municipal Ward (Scotland). Where would I place these? Should these follow county? And then move district, sub-district, and ED to Layer 2?
So my most basic questions to you are: 1) Which of the above possible elements would you use, 2) in which order, and 3) why?
Again, assume no derivative source, just an original. Thank you! -Neil