St. Clair County, Illinois GenWeb Project
Citing Webpages and E-mails

Standards for the Use of Technology in Research, Sharing Information, and Publishing are available courtesy of the National Genealogical Society.

Crediting the source of the information provided to others

  • Allows the receiver to properly document the source of that information
  • Follow-up with more research in the original source, or obtain a photocopy of the original for his/her file
  • Gives credibility to the Look-up
  • Acknowledge properly those who put the original work together in the first place


Look-up citations: St. Clair GenWeb Project Look-up volunteers should provide the source of the information used for the Look-up. To make this easy, create a word processing document with the source informaiton, and simply cut and paste this into each inquiry answered.

Items that should be included: Title of the book, article, or webpage with URL, author or editor, place of publication, publisher and year, page number.

Information you receive in an e-mail may be cited as follows, even though somewhat lengthy:

Footnote Style Example--
Title of the book, article, or website with URL, author or editor, place of publication, publisher and year, page number (if applicable), plus: Sender's contact information [Sender's Name], [Sender's City, State (or) E-address for private use], to [Your Name], e-mail, [Date on e-mail].


As so often is the case, person B shares information obtained from person A. In this case, the e-mail from person B should also include a reference to person's A's source, presuming that source was provided! While seemingly complex, we've all experienced the trials and tribulations of tracking down the actual person that owns the original Bible record, or document in question. Asking for, and including references in your citation will help track that source in the future.

Add the following to your e-mail citation: Filename, privately held by [person A's name], [(e-address of person A if shared), street address for private use], [person A's city, state].


LISTSERVE messages may be cited in this way:
Add the following information to any publication information cited in the listserve message: Listserve message from [sender's e-mail address] to [mail list name], followed by the date. For example: Listserve message from genealogist@name of ISP.net to ILSTCLAI-L@rootsweb.com, 18 Nov 1998.


Webpages that provide data are challenging to cite properly, but we are encouraged to try our best. The Website owner/creator may not be readily identified, the Webpage title may not be evident, and databases on Websites need special mention. In general, Websites may be cited this way:

Author of article if able to be determined, article title in quotes from webpage itself, Website creator if it can be determined, Webpage title in italics taken from title bar at the top of the page, [then] (URL in parentheses : date viewed ).

Example: Prof. W. C. Walton, "Brief History of St. Clair County, Illinois Chapter IV: Settlers of the Early Period," article, St. Clair County Illinois GenWeb Project (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ilstclai/chap4.htm : 1 January 2000 ).


And now for my source: Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997), p. 80, 82.

Elizabeth Shown Mills, QuickSheet: Citing Online Historical Resources (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2005).

Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyperspace, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2007), p. 113, 183.


The above information was prepared by Diane Walsh of the St. Clair County Genealogical Society, upon request of the Illinois St. Clair County GenWeb Project coordinator (2000). Revised April 2008.


Back to the St. Clair Co. GenWeb Project Page to E-mail comments or problems with this webpage.