Ancestry Message

Typically I would handle citing an Ancestry message much like an email or instant message. However, Ancestry recently made some updates to their messaging system and there is no longer a way to create or view subject lines. I am thinking that in order to cite it correctly I would need to make one up. If that's the case, am I correct in thinking that the subject line should now be placed in brackets?


David Smith" to "Joe Jones", e-message communicated via Ancestry e-mail, 29 May 2019, [Jones Family Connection,] Ancestry, Privately held by Smith, London, England. 

Submitted byEEon Tue, 02/18/2020 - 12:28

Eventide, this problem of no titles is addressed at EE 14.31:

14.31 Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Etc.) ... Because postings and tweets are typically untitled, the first few words should be quoted, followed by the date.

Whether we're dealing with a social-media posting, a tweet, or a message, the "first few words" principle is the same. Other passages in EE also address the issue in different contexts. This one, for example, considers instances in which the first few words are so so generic that they would not be useful:

Congressional petitions and similar documents often have no formal title by which to identify them. They usually begin with generic words such as “To the Senate and House of Representatives in Congress
assembled....” Because such preambles are so common, you cannot use those first few words to serve as a label.

The "so common" problem would likely be one you'd face in citing multiple messages from the same party through Ancestry Messaging, if you share just one family in common or receive multiple messages from that person on the same day.