Creating a Census Image Source Type in Reunion for Mac

The census source type in genealogy software Reunion for Mac includes only a few of the fields genealogy expert Elizabeth Shown Mills recommends in her book, “Evidence Explained:Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace 2nd Edition” and her very handy, laminated Quicksheet for Citing Online Historical Resources. Following her suggested full reference format for census images from online sources helps you and other genealogists find the cited source record in the future. These are the fields recommended for a full reference citation of a census image from an online commercial site:

  • Census ID
  • Jurisdiction
  • Schedule
  • Civil Division
  • Page ID
  • Household ID
  • Person(s) of Interest
  • Item Type or Format
  • Website Title
  • URL
  • Date Accessed
  • Credit Line (source of source)

In this GenealogyTools Member video I show you the process I use to create a new source type and how to change existing event sources to the new source type. Here’s the process:

  1. Identify needed fields
  2. Map Reunion fields
    1. Consider source types you may change
    2. Modify field formatting
    3. Create new fields considering GEDCOM exportability
  3. Create or duplicate source type
  4. Change existing source types to new one

[Since publishing this article and video I created a version of this source type that is GEDCOM safe. If you want to create that source type, create the source type in this video then view the video on the GEDCOM safe census image online source type for Reunion for Mac.]


  1. Meg Hougland says

    This is one of your best videos and much needed to help us improve documentation. Please do more for other types of records.

  2. Karen Grossman says

    So I can not view this without making a donation. I do not want to download, right now I just want to watch. I have just received your CD 1,2 & 3, and haven’t gotten through all of them, but I do appreciated what you have done. I am looking forward to looking at them.
    And I would like an opportunity to view this video.

    • says

      Hi, Karen. Thanks for writing and buying the CDs.

      The thousands of dollars I invest in helping fellow genealogists each year is made possible by people like you, who buy the products I create, patronize the advertisers on my sites, and pay for membership to GenealogyTools. I appreciate the support and always give back more value than I receive. Donor membership to GenealogyTools is one of the ways I give back to the people who demonstrate their appreciation of the value I provide.

      As you know, Donor Members can download the videos on this site. What you may not realize is that they have access to videos that Basic Members and unregistered visitors do not. This is one of the ways I give back to them to show my appreciation. The criterion for choosing which videos I publish exclusively for Donor Members is length; any video over 15 minutes in length is for Donor Members. This is primarily because videos over 15 minutes present more complex topics and require much more time to create. I think that as a result they have more value and I reserve them for Donor Members.

      With the creation of Donor Membership I’ve made it as easy as possible for people to gain access to valuable resources. Rather than having a specific membership price as I did with Premium Membership, Donor Membership is available at a price you choose each year. Please consider the value of the material here and act accordingly. If the videos aren’t valuable to you don’t become a Donor Member. If they are valuable to you please consider that value as the price of your Donor Membership.

      —-Ben >@<

  3. Maureen O'Neill says

    I agree with Karen. Please make it available to the ‘basic’ membership to view without downloading. Thank you.

  4. Jeff Ford says

    Pretty good. One complaint though. The volume. Could you boost the volume some? I had to edit it with QT Player 7 to boost the volume.

    • says

      Hi, Jeff. Thanks for that feedback. I just re-rendered the video with the volume adjusted up. It’s uploading now and should be available in about 30 minutes. Download it again to get the new version. —-Ben >@<

  5. Karen Grossman says

    Thanks for your explaining. A 15 minute, video is much different than one that is a few minutes. I will look at donor membership, and make a decision.

  6. Jeff Ford says

    Could you do the same, or something similar, for another type of vital record? What if the other vital record is at a pay site? I have a marriage record and you can search for it, but to look at it will cost you 5 Euros.

    • says

      Hi, Jeff. I’m planning to give the same coverage to other vital records. Which one are you interested in? —-Ben >@<

  7. Linda Wilky says

    Ben, I just downloaded this video today and it stopped working at about 12:29. (The same thing happened with the video for a book in a multi-volume set. It stopped at about 15 minutes.)

    • Linda Wilky says

      I’m happy to report that I was able to download and watch the whole video today. For some reason my system had only downloaded 38 MB of the 94.8 MB video, so the problem was all on my end, with nothing wrong with the video. Sorry for the trouble!

      I do have a question about the video, however. When working through the adding of fields for the online census source, you already had a field called Enumeration District in your fields list. I don’t have one. I’ve added it now, but what GEDCOM tag should I use, and what label prefix do you suggest? I also did not have a Person of Interest field, except for the one you suggested adding in a later video that had instructions to enter the Person of Interest information in the Detail field. Is this the same Person of Interest field that should be used for the censuses, or should there be another one that uses a different GEDCOM label than DETA? Thank you!

      • Linda Wilky says

        Thank you, Ben! I see that you’ve now answered all my questions above with your new video “GEDCOM Safe Census Image Online Source Type in Reunion for Mac”.

  8. Trevor Stephens says

    Sorry Ben, I just realised where the notes are – I was actually thinking of embedded show notes which is not the case at all.

    You can safely exmoderate me and I will not be offended!

    • Ben says

      Hi, Trevor.

      I’m glad you worked it out.

      I’ll leave your comments in case others have the same question. Here’s the answer for them:

      When I reference “show notes” during a video, I mean the article the video accompanies.

      –Ben >@<

  9. Maureen O'Neill says

    I have a number of items in my possession, especially for my parents and grandparents, such as birth, wedding and marriage certificates. Some are originals and some are copies. Since these were not found ‘online’ do I use the ‘Artifact’ source form or do I use a one of vital statistic forms. I am looking forward to seeing the other forms that you will be developing that will follow ES Mills philosophy.

    Also, I have numerous newspaper items, letters etc in various scrapbooks. It is my understanding that I would use the ‘Artifact’ form. Is this correct? I have a date for most of the items and in the case of the newspaper clippings, the name of the newspaper or at least its State of origin if not the city.

    Does ES MIlls have a ‘quick sheet’ that addresses items that are not found on line? I looked at Amazon and could not find one. I have the three that she has produced (Historical, Databases & Images, Analysis)


  10. Ben says

    Hi, Maureen.

    You are correct about using the artifact citation format unless the source was online.

    At this time there is no “QuickSheet” for off-line sources; however, each source type chapter in Evidence Explained is preceded by a “QuickCheck Model” section that summarizes the formats. Do you have a copy of that book?

    —-Ben >@<

  11. Jeff Ford says


    I have a question about your process here. For example, you have a family, the Joneses. They have a husband, wife and 8 children. You create a Census Image Source Type for Mr. Jones. It becomes source citation #34. If you want to use that source citation for one of his children (child #4), what do you do? Do you duplicate the source (citation) that you used for Mr. Jones, change the person of interest field and then change the number to (perhaps) #35?


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