Ancestry or vs. FamilySearch or

When citing censuses from or, why do the examples use and FamilySearch (rather than  Does it have to do with the corporate name?  And is it unacceptable to use simply Ancestry (instead of

Submitted byEEon Wed, 11/01/2023 - 18:46

Hello, Allen.

The basic fields of a citation to any publication are these:

Author/Creator, Title of Book or Website in Italics (Place of Publication/URL : date of publication/access), specific item.

The corporation once titled its website as In recent years, the website name was changed to simply Ancestry. The ".com" appears only in the URL, signifying the place of publication on the web.  The corporate name is not italicized because it's not a publication. The title of the website is italicized, because the website is a standalone publication.

Similarly, the corporate structure FamilySearch published material at its website FamilySearch. The URL is

Incidentally, Chapter 2 of Evidence Explained, "Fundamentals of Citation," explains all the longstanding rules that guide us through issues such as this.

Submitted byallenawilsonon Wed, 11/01/2023 - 19:00

So, the following citation is acceptable, as well as using "" as the website?  Or is no longer acceptable in this example?


1950 United States Federal Census, Muskogee County, Oklahoma, population schedule, Muskogee, enumeration district (ED) 51-53, p. 54 (stamped), sheet 4, dwelling 37, Edgar Wilson [household]; image, Ancestry ( accessed 8 June 2022); citing NARA digital publication 187.

Submitted byallenawilsonon Wed, 11/01/2023 - 23:29

I appreciate your response.  I also found a detailed response in another post.  But this brought up another question.  EE always uses "Find A Grave", but the website says "Find a Grave," with a lower case "A."  Thoughts?

Ah, Allen. The Internet is a constantly moving target. Websites change their names, change their style, change their structure, change their URLs, and change their content. As researchers, we cite what we use as of the time we used it. As authors, we check all URLs at the last possible moment before we go to press. Then we live with the fact that before the book or article rolls off the press, some website we've cited will change something, and then readers of our work will think we erred.

In February 2017, when EE's 3d ed. revised went to press, the website's name and logo looked like this:


In February 2020, it looked like this:

On 29 December 2021, it looked like this:

Whenever the next edition of EE comes out, it will use "Find a Grave," assuming there's not another change before then.  (Incidentally, the lower-case a is the one that follows standard capitalization rules.)


Submitted byallenawilsonon Thu, 11/02/2023 - 20:02

Thank you so much for your response and the detailed information.  I'll probably change all my citations to the lower case "a", so I can see them going back to the upper case "A" soon after!  Ha!  Thanks again.  Allen.