Hereinafter unsure

I have a need to use hereinafter cited as in order to define much-shortened forms of certain source references. Most of the examples I have seen have been for the citation of legal cases, where the legal mode of reference is quite different from our genealogical style. However, in my case, it's to shorten the overall volume of citations, which is already overbearing. An elided form of the wording, as is normal for short-form citations, wouldn't reduce the volume to the level that I want.

My question concerns the punctuation for the inclusion of this phrase. The examples I have seen put it in a separate citation layer, but what if the first layer of the citation ends with something like "..., p.10;" or "..., entry for ...;"? Is there a potential ambiguity as to whether the new reference is to the containing source or the specific part therein?


Submitted byEEon Thu, 06/02/2016 - 21:23

Tony, I followed you all the way down to the last sentence, but I lost you at your "the containing source" passage. Can you give an example--a full citation and your proposed shortened form--so we have something concrete to work with?


Submitted byACProctoron Fri, 06/03/2016 - 06:11

If I'd written

Elizabeth Shown Mills, ed., Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2001); hereinafter cited as ProGen.

then everything is fine (I hope), but if I'd put

Elizabeth Shown Mills, ed., Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2001), p.355; hereinafter cited as ProGen.

then is there an ambiguity as to whether "ProGen" refers to the containing the source (i.e. the whole book), or the specific page, section, or whatever, that happened to be used on the first reference note?


Submitted byEEon Sat, 06/04/2016 - 12:49

In reply to by ACProctor

Tony, your placement of the "hereinafter" phrase is the standard placement. To my knowledge, there's never been notable concern or confusion over that placement. You'll find that usage in EE3 at 13.41.

But, for the particular book you are citing, EE would recommend just using the main title Professional Genealogy as the shortened title. Yes, the book is informally known as ProGen, but our readers are better served if our shortened titles are self-explanatory.  This, of course, is one of the reasons EE also suggests not reducing a shortened title to just an acronym.

Submitted byACProctoron Sat, 06/04/2016 - 13:10

Thanks for the response but I suspect that you've missed my point. Also, the ProGen example was merely selected because of the common usage of that acronym, not because I was citing it (at least not in my current work -- we've discussed that section before).

Let's suppose that I am intent on using a much-shortened form. Also, that the first reference note for the particular source happens to contain some "where in" clause -- it's not particularly important what form that takes (page, section, entry, whatever). I was simply worried that there might be confusion over whether the acronym would clearly relate to the main source or to that specific part of it.

More to the point, are there precents for where someone might use hereinafter for a part of a source, such as a specific chapter, and if so then how would you avoid any ambiguity (i.e. chapter versus book)? A citation preamble would obviously solve the issue but I have never seen such a mechanism recommended in CMOS.


Submitted byEEon Sat, 06/04/2016 - 21:01

Sorry, I missed your point, Tony. I definitely didn't see it in the example you supplied. As a generalization for want of a specific case, EE's reaction would be this:  If the situation is so complex that a reader might misunderstand your intent or be uncertain as to what your acronym refers to, why take that approach?  Clarity, EE argues, takes precedent over "saving some keystrokes."

Submitted byACProctoron Sun, 06/05/2016 - 02:56

I'm not really trying to save keystrokes since I could simply cut-and-paste all references to the same source. However, the volume of citations tends to put people off in narrative reports, and may even appear elitist in some way.

My interpretation of your reply is that there is no precedent for someone using hereinafter to refer to a specific chapter rather than to the whole book. Would that be correct?

Apologies for the confusion. I tried to word my question very carefully but it seems I am destined to always see the issues from a different perspective.  ;-)



Submitted byCrankyTodayon Sun, 06/05/2016 - 08:19

As a casual reader -- certainly not an expert -- the placement of "hereinafter" after a semi-colon, clearly suggests to me that the hereinafter clause refers to the entire book, not the chapter or page. I think the example given in EE 13.41 supports my belief.

Submitted byEEon Sun, 06/05/2016 - 08:21

Tony, without analyzing a specific situation, here at EE we would not want to say never this-or-that. But, we recall no situation in which we have seen a need to use "hereinafter cited as" to refer to just part of a book.

Your bigger issue intrigues us: the concept that citations "put people off in narrative reports."  Citations are typically used when research is conducted. Legitimacy and accuracy of conclusions depend upon them. A research report is worth no more and no less than (a) the quality of the sources used; and (b) the quality of the analysis that turns each source's information into evidence for whatever conclusions we present in that report.

Obviously, no report should pad its citations to generate a false confidence. That would be intellectually dishonest. On the other hand, deliberately reducing the "volume" of citations lest we "put people off" or "appear elitist" would undermine the work we have put into the research project and devalue us as reliable researchers.

There are, of course, situations in which we do write narratives with minimal or no citations. That's done regularly in popular magazines, newspapers, and novels.  But those narratives are not research reports.

Bottom line: If diners want a fine meal without heartburn, they seek a good chef who prepares the meal properly. If diners want something that doesn't seem "elitist," they go to MacDonalds.


Submitted byACProctoron Sun, 06/05/2016 - 09:29

Sigh! I did say 'narrative report' because this is not a 'research report', and these can also appear online (missing from your list). Your comment also implies that narrative reports are only for popular media and that citations are not really necessary in them.

This is something I would strongly disagree with. My intention is as much to share such work with  family and friends as it is to inform the unanticipated reader who may have found it via a search operation -- there's nothing worse than an interesting read with no pointers as to where the information came from. I am not producing this for any paying client, and a formalised research report would be inappriate on the Web. The Web is how most people will find real researched family history: using Internet searches, and I do not mean in some dumb database. Hence, it must be sound and intellectually honest, as you say. Not that there aren't learned journals with such articles, but the readership would be quite different, if not the presentation style.

I would also stress that reducing the volume of citatation verbiage is not the same as either reducing the number of citations or reducing the detail within them.

In other words (many apologies for ranting here), trying to encourage all genealogists to be thorough and methodical is never going to work (as is demonstrably so now) if all we ever see of it is some online tree with citations for more-often-than-not the wrong details (i.e. with no proof arguments). This is also a fault with the online genealogy products which I feel are rubbishy low-brow approaches to genealogy. There are products that encourage researchers to write narrative, as opposed to storing discrete data in a tree or database, but they are currently as separate again.

We have previously discussed this issue, and I acknoeldge that I've probably failed again to get the idea across. I have to say that the notion of any research being cherry-picked for entry into a software product's database (almost word-for-word from a QuickLesson 20), or the ProGen page cited above suggesting that software+narrative can only mean template-generated-robot-speak, make it almost impossible for me to get traction with a more modern viewpoint. Documenting things as they are now must be tempered with an acknowledgement that it may not always be like that.

I am not trying to be hostile, here, but I do admit to being frustrated with the industry's predefined views on software. There is huge scope for research published online, and this is within the reach of the majority of researchers. It does not have to be of academic quality, but it certainly should be above mere trees, and it absolutely should embrace all those great things that EE encourages us to do.




You raise interesting points, Tony. Certainly, in presenting family history to those who have only casual interest, readability is an important factor. For that matter, it's just as important in research reports.

What I'm struggling with now is understanding the delineation between a "research report" and a "narrative report." If we are using narrative to create a "readable account" of all that we have discovered about a person, an incident, or a family, why call it a report? That word connotes a technical paper from the get-go, rather than the "readability" of a narrative.  If your piece of writing needs a label, wouldn't "narrative account" be a less intimidating label for those who think a research reports and all their trappings are too "elitist"?

Submitted byACProctoron Sun, 06/05/2016 - 14:17

Because it involves research...

In, I started distinguishing 'narrative essay' from 'narrative report', and rather more recently noted that ProGen also used the term 'narrative report' (p.354).

Whatever label we use, can I convince you that the same faithful treatment of sources, and evidence obtained from them, should apply to online narrative if it is to have any value at all beyond simply being "a good read"?

You can probablhy understand why RootsTech 2016 appealed to me so much, and why I had to write about it ( I am looking forward to seeing FamilySearch embrace "integrated narrative", by which I mean narrative that makes reference to persons in our trees, and our places or events when software decides to treat them a more than just words in the text.

Talking to one of their developers made me feel slightly more optimistic about the future, and less pessimistic about my drum being broken.



Yes, you can try to convince me, Tony. I'm always open to considering new views and not adverse to adopting them when solid and persuasive arguments can be built for doing so. However, as the author of that ProGen chapter to which you refer, I'll have to point out what you will have already noted: ProGen's discussion of that type of "report" does not encourage its use. When historical research was in a more-primitive stage, narrative summaries were common. But, because of its shortcomings, this format is one we rarely see today under the label "report"—at least not here in the U.S. It is, at its core, a narrative account, rather than a "report."

To quote ProGen's entire discussion of "narrative reports," pp. 354–55:

"Writing classes teach the impossibility of presenting a well-crafted story that contains all detail known about the subject. A writer must be selective. Thus, drafting a research report as a personal or family narrative means that thoroughness and accuracy suffer. Even if the account is footnoted (and most works cast in this mold are far from adequately referenced), it is difficult to read such a report and decide the exact source of each specific detail. It is often impossible to determine the extent to which the verbiage of the narrative reflects the opinion or interpretation of the researcher versus the actual detail in the original and its precise wording.

Eventually, most ongoing projects progress to the point that a narrative may be appropriate. A client may want a number of reports summarized into an "interesting story" to give his family for Christmas. Or we decide to turn our own work into an inspiring saga to enthrall our own family. Wonderful! But we don't (or shouldn't) present our original research reports in such a fashion."

The articles ("narratives") that you post at your blog are well done. You demonstrate an effective balance of documentation and readability for informal historical narratives. It's one I struggle to achieve in my own work—which has included no small number of both research reports, formal narratives for scholarly works, and less-formal narrative accounts (similar to your blog articles) for popular magazines, even a historical novel. But as one trained in history and thoroughly grounded in the more-precise research standards imposed within genealogy, I would not apply the "report" label to narrative accounts, even when they meet the highest standards of the narrative genres.

Incidentally, you started out answering my own question by saying that you consider narrative accounts to be a "report" because they involve research.  By that definition, would we not have to label my Forgotten People: Cane River's Creoles of Color (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2013) a report rather than the book or historical monograph it actually is? It's certainly based on research—four decades of research.  But, wouldn't it be more logical—and more helpful to others—to call it by the specific term that most precisely describes what it actually is?


This thread has bounced around for a while, to the extent that I'm not sure which issues have been addressesed and which have been deflected.

Can I finish with a reminder about an email from you, dated 26 Oct 2015, in reply to a question about the terminology for different types of authored works. Your suggestion was that there are too many diferentiations in common use, and recommended that I "...come up with some definitions of your own".

I did this in Our Days of Future Passed — Part II, and I introduced the term 'narrative report' for cases where it wasn't just an historical account and where it included a report of the research work too. I was excited to later see that ProGen used the same term, and apparently in the same way.

Is this where we still disagree?


Yes, Tony, that's where we disagree. If we develop what we feel is a new and distinctive form of writing, it is appropriate to develop definitions so that we and others understand the characteristics of that writing form. But, if we choose a term that is already in use (as this one was, with a very negative connotation because of its blithe violations of fundamental research standards) and we attempt to redefine it, then we create confusion for ourselves and others.

As a parallel drawn from the genealogical field in which you are now working, consider the issues that arose during 1979–1998 after the attorney and prominent genealogist Noel Stevenson produced the first book on genealogical evidence,* in which he took the existing legal term "preponderance of the evidence" and radically redefined its standards for use as a standard of proof for genealogists. That created twenty years of confusion and dissension between the legal field and genealogists working for and with the legal system. When preparing documents for court or providing expert witness testimony, a genealogist who used POE in the genealogical sense (a very stringent sense, as defined by Stevenson) would be at odds with the legal definition of POE that had existed far longer (a standard much more easily met). The genealogical field eliminated that problem by creating its own term for its stringent standard of proof.

*Noel Stevenson, Genealogical Evidence: A Guide to the Standard of Proof Relating to Pedigrees, Ancestry, Heirship, and Family History (Laguna Hills, California: Aegean Park Press, 1979).

Submitted byrworthingtonon Sun, 06/05/2016 - 15:17


I am really trying to understand the issue you have raised and the discussion that has followed. I will say up front, that I am sorry if I am missing your point(s). I always learn from you.

I am going to use an Ancestry Member Tree as my example. If you want a link to mine, I'll be happy to send it to you.

I think that a Person's profile, Tab called Lifestory is the Narritive for that Person. My "current thinking" (you might call them a conclusion) are in that Lifestory.

The Facts tab, for that profile, is the Informatoin that was pulled from the Sources that are listed to the right of the Facts list. The Lifestory is pulled from my Evaluation of the Facts listed in this Tab.

Each Source, on that tab, has the appropriate Citation (as close to EE as I can get with my genealogy database management program). Many of the Sources has an Image linked to it and by Selecting the Source, you will see the Information Items what I recorded from that that Source.

My Fact WILL include conflicting information, differences in the information that each source provides, I have evaluated each Fact Type / Information item that answers a genealogy questoin. My Current Thinking are those specific items that are in the Lifestory. My Fact notes provide how I resolved those conflicts.

Now, based on this, is there a way for you to put your question(s) into context for this researcher?

Thank you,


Submitted byACProctoron Sun, 06/05/2016 - 17:26

In reply to by rworthington

Thanks for the compliment Russ.

I have to say two things here:

1) "...Narrative for that Person" -- there's no such thing. I have never written a bit of narrative about a single person. They usually involve many people, from different families, and not always related to me either, They also reference several different places, and events, and sources.

In the case of a narrative report, where you're putting the pieces together rather than just giving an historical account or biography, then it would be almost impossible to make a case without touching on other lives.

2) A tree is not an organising structure, as though it were some rack of coathangers in a wardrobe. It is merely a visualisation of data that is connected in ways that relate to real-life. This includes biological lineage but it would also include the general relationship of people to people, people to places, and all to events, etc.

There could be many different visualisations of the same data. The "integrated narrative" that I mentioned would reference those persons, places, and events, but that is entirely different from trying to hang your narrative off of one person in a tree. The first part of my Days of Future Passed explains this with diagrams because it's easier than with words.

As a final comment, I have seriously considered becoming a "genea journo". The idea of picking a subject (not necessarily a person; possibly a place, or an event) and researching it to produce a narrative report shares a lot in common with the journalistic reporting of current events. I often find myself poking around in the darker corners of some research path to learn more about the background events, or the industries, or the places, and I incorporate this information to help paint a richer picture.



Tony, your second paragraph makes another important distinction—though, from my stance, it argues against the application of the word report in the manner you propose. You say:

"In the case of a narrative report, where you're putting the pieces together rather than just giving an historical account or biography, then it would be almost impossible to make a case without touching on other lives."

I see multiple types of work-products being combined here into one merged entity. They have a common core, but separate identities

The common core: Every type of historical writing—or even biographical writing—requires us to "put the pieces together." We have to do the research, we have to correlate the evidence, and we have to assemble that evidence and our conclusions into a cohesive written narrative.

The separate identities: Within that common framework, there are also distinctly different work products. What you seem to be describing here would be a case study. But that, too, is a different end-product than a research report or a narrative account. A teaching journal that publishes a case study does not bill it as a "report." It's a case study. A good case study should have a number of underlying research reports, but the case-study format is still different from research reports. And the manner in which a case study is constructed is different from narrative history.



While ProGen doesn't encourage the use of narrative reports, it does describe them as "...which reports a block of research as an 'interesting account' of a person or family...", which is pretty close to my own usage of the term. (p.354)

As I just responded on Myrt's FB page, when using the Internet as a publishing medium -- which we must embrace as it will be where people will search most often -- then a published work of research would be worthless without its citations, and yet by its very nature it has to be readable to a much wider audience. This is why I elect to write up the research in a narrative form.

It's more than a 'case study' because the presentational style acknowledges the wider range of an online audience (as compared with academic journals) and so attempts to serve more uses. Several of my family members, including my father, read these posts, but they would never read an academic journal. I have also been contacted by members of my far-extended family who have found them through searches, as well as other genealogists who were performing simple name+place searches for their own work.

In effect, I am saying that the Internet demands a different style from journals, books, and even popular magazines. And I hope my articles will be there indefinitely to be found by more people using Internet searches.


Tony, ProGen's discussion of that type of so-called "report" explicitly makes the point that it fails to meet essential requirements for a research report. The discussion is not there as an encouragement to create "interesting accounts" and call them "reports." Doing that would be a disservice to the field and mislead many new practitioners who have not yet learned the difference.

ProGen does favorably covers "interesting accounts of a person or family." It does so at length: a whole chapter on writing family history by Christine Rose.

There are many ways to write family history--all of them worthy so long as they are honest. Your blog posts are superb examples of how to present complex situations and research challenges in a very engaging fashion and, as you know, I've referred my own readers to your blog on a number of occasions. The issue, then, is not whether your presentation style is appropriate. It is. But describing your accounts as a "report" would, by standards and definitions of the field in which you are writing, be a misnomer that would confuse others who are already struggling to understand the difference between a research report and the print-outs they get from their family-history software.

We must disagree here Elizabeth. It has to be interesting for the Internet, but without the sources and proofs then it would be a waste. The world isn't all printed, and the Internet isn't just a place for trashy pulp fiction.


Ah, Tony, we don't disagree. Not at all. EE is all about evidence analysis, which is impossible without source identification. That said, as you say, if I posted my latest research report online, with all 303 reference notes, only hard-core researchers who share that particular subject interest are likely to read it. Short of that, we do make compromises to present the most essential evidence while keeping the account readable. Your blog does. EE's blog does. Even EE's QuickLessons do. As researchers, we would likely not choose the trashy pulp fiction medium to present the results of our research. (Of course, I did choose the historical fiction approach for one of my research projects—a four-generation saga for readers who just "want the story" and are turned off by boring citations—but, of course, that version of the story did not appear until I had published the research in print, with documentation.)

Submitted byrworthingtonon Sun, 06/05/2016 - 18:59


I'll stay out of this conversation, as it is way over my head.

My only comment is that perhaps that you might take a look at an Ancestry Member Tree to really see what is in the LifeStory for a person. Of course, it includes other people, dates and places.

Thank you,



Submitted byACProctoron Mon, 06/06/2016 - 05:15

In reply to by rworthington

If I've pitched it that high then I've failed, Russ. Give me a whiteboard and a pen and I could make a much better job -- I'm a picture person rather than a wordy person  ;-)

I have seen Ancestry Member Tree, but the narrative parts (such as they are) are not integrated in the way I mean. My last narrative report was a rather long three-parter beginning at: A Copyright Casualty — Part I . This references many events, and people, and places, and goes off into some of these "corners" to explore the history (see the bit about Charles Dickens and your Civil War, or the bit about John Stringfellow in A Story of Three Brothers).

A major difference is that these documents are not hung off some tree in my model; they are top-level narrative documents, with similar mark-up to generic word-processor products, and arbitrary names and phrases in them can be linked to relevant persons, places, events, ... things... elsewhere in my data.

This means that those narrative documents can be published separately, if I wanted, even though they are part of my core data. For instance, a goal was to be able to export copies of STEMMA documents in HTML for my blog equivalents -- I'm not quite there yet, but the result would be that those names and phrases could be clicked-on (in the blog) and used to navigate to other relevant blog posts, or back into my core data (say, to view the family tree of some individual). Leaving the definitve copies in a Word document, or on a blog, isn't nearly as rich.


Tony it is a while since I read your 3 part blog post so apologies if my memory has failed me.

The impression I got from that and what you have just said is that you are trying to create a way for the software to link every item in each document you write to each relevant connection within a structure which may include both what you have on a computer and anywhere in what is now known as the cloud. So if, for example, we knew that Jo Bloggs was working as an Ag Lab because we had found him on the 1881 census any link to him, his occupation, others in the household or anyone he worked with could connect to that census or even an article about the place where he worked could connect and each item could connect with the others. 

This would create a much more interactive and fuller picture than we get now where you may get individuals connected to an event or photograph but not to a community as a whole. 

By creating a network it is easier to relate individuals to their place in the community and include the influences of race, religion, disabilty, social standing (class) or sex on their lives.

Much of what we know about family we personally knew will never be confirmed by documents, but it is important to document, as it is often our starting point. Narratives help us pull this together, in a way that official documents alone, never will. We need to use these to encourage the younger generations to explore their history. If each of us started with what we knew about our family and wrote it as a narrative, as a starting point, we would be amazed at how much we could write. Using your approach will enrich what we leave for future generations. We all get caught up with finding more documents, to take our research further back, rather than creating fuller pictures of what we already know. Given, the visual age that we live in, we do need the software to work how we want it, rather than we work to what the software will allows us to do.


Sorry, Hilary, I missed this response while the site was down.

You've summarised it very well. The data can still include all the structured detail such as lineage, timelines, geography, etc., but the narrative articles are sort of a "substrate" that brings stuff together. That nework is entirely navigable and makes full use of interactive devices and the Internet -- you cannot do this with printed media.

I've tried to push the concept to include working data, in addition to conclusion data. In other words, for "research in progress", including analysis from which conclusions have yet to be made.

The Internet is the future, not the book or journal, but it has been ignored and left to "techies". As a techie myself, one who has tried hard to change horses, I can honestly say that I believe they've made a complete "dog's dinner" of it.


I know how hard it is to get things to change particularly if it radically changes the way things are done.

By sharing everything we have gathered, rather than just what we can consider as "proven", we will have an advantage.

I have found things have sometimes fallen into place when you collaborate, as they say "you don't know what you don't know", someone else may hold the key to answering your research question. 

None of us has unique ancestors. The current tech just does not "cut the mustard".


Submitted byEEon Mon, 06/06/2016 - 11:36

In reply to by rworthington

Russ, I totally understand what you mean about writing individual narratives. I've done my share of them. However, invoking Ancestry's "LifeStory" gibberish for individual people—created by the company's algorithms for mining member-contributed trees in which shoddy and absurd claims are treated as "fact" and ranked by Ancestry according to how often they are repeated by individuals who just copy each other's nonsense—risks starting a conversation that will send me off on a tirade. :)