Read the Instructions
- Please read these project instructions carefully before indexing any batches.
- Review this page and the field helps frequently for updates to these instructions.
- Click here for a summary of project updates.
Notice of Updates and Clarifications
- The instructions for this project have been updated and clarified, as follows:
- All names should be indexed, even given names that do not include an event date, a spouse’s name, or a surname.
- Dates other than birth, marriage, or death dates should be recorded in the field to which they are most similar; for example, an engagement or anniversary date would be recorded in the Marriage Year field. In all cases, index the actual birth, marriage, or death date, if one is available, rather than the date of a similar event.
- If a person was listed with more than one spouse, create a second record for the principal person, and index the second spouse’s name in the spouse’s name fields. Follow all other normal rules that pertain to indexing the record.
- Years listed with only two digits should be indexed as four digits, with the prefix 19 (for example, 1953 instead of 53).
- You can generally assume that the first person listed on an index card was married to the second person listed on the card. Click here for an example. Index them as such, unless evidence on the card indicates that they were not married to each other.
- Please review the instructions below on "Indexing Records and Names" and "How to Index Dates," and see the project updates page.
Variety of Documents
- This collection includes a variety of documents, which may make it difficult for you to know what information to index and how to index it.
- Click here for a description of many of the kinds of situations you may see in this project and examples of how to index these records.
Indexing Records and Names
- You will see many types of documents in this project. If a document contains the name of a person, then index the document.
- Index all names on the image, except as follows:
- If the image shows part of a page that is fully displayed on another image in the same batch, then don’t index the names from the part of the page that appears fully on the other image. Click here for an example.
- If a record shows a person and the person’s spouse, the first-listed person should be indexed as the principal person in the record, and the spouse’s name should be indexed in the spouse’s name fields. However, if only the spouse was listed with a death date, then the spouse for whom a death date was recorded would be indexed as the principal person.
- If a death date was given for both the husband and the wife, a record should be created for each of them:
- One record with the husband listed as the principal person and his death year in the Death Year field, with his wife’s name in the spouse’s name fields.
- One record with the wife listed as the principal person and her death year in the Death Year field, with her husband’s name in the spouse’s name fields.
- If a death date was given for just the husband or wife, or if neither one has a death date, only one record would be created.
- Any image containing data that does not include the name of at least one person should be marked as a No Extractable Data Image.
- If a person was listed with more than one spouse, create a second record for the principal person, and index the second spouse’s name in the spouse’s name fields. Follow all other normal rules that pertain to the record.
- You can generally assume that the first person listed on an index card was married to the second person listed on the card. Click here for an example. Index them as such, unless evidence on the card indicates that they were not husband and wife.
What to Remember as You Index Death Records
- Periodically, part of a death register will be shown on one image and part on another image.
- If the image is of the right side of the register, it will typically not contain the names of the deceased persons. If the image does not contain any names, then index it as a No Extractable Data Image in the Image Type field. Sometimes, but not always, this image may contain information that needs to be included with the records indexed from the image of the left side of the register.
- If the image is of the left side of the register, index each record, using data from both images, if necessary. Click here to see an example of the left side of a register. To view the next image while continuing to see and index information for the current image:
- On the menu bar at the top of the screen, click View.
- Click Show Previous or Next Image.
- In the window that appears, click Next Image.
- Index any pertinent information from the next image, ignoring the warning "Do not index from this window."
Order of Indexing
- When names are listed in rows on a document, index each record in the row before proceeding to the next row.
- When names are listed in columns on a document, index each record in the first column; then index each record in the next column to the right, and so on across the document.
- If an image shows index cards displayed in columns and rows, index all the records in the first column of cards; then index all the records in the second column of cards, and so on across the image. Click here to see an example.
- For an image of a pedigree chart, index the record of the latest descendant first and the spouse, if one was recorded. Then index the records displayed for the next generation (the first person's parents), working from the top of the chart to the bottom. Then index the records for the previous generation, working again from the top of the chart to the bottom, and so on across the page. Click here for an example.
Records per Image
- The data entry area is set at one record per image. If an image contains multiple names, you will likely need to create additional records to index the names of each additional person.
- To add records in the data entry area:
- On the menu bar, click Tools.
- Click Records per Image.
- Click in the Number of records box, and type the number of records on the image.
- Click OK.
- To help identify the number of records on an image:
- Click the Image Navigation tab in the bottom right corner of the screen.
- Click and drag the dark gray box with your mouse to view different areas of the image.
How to Index Dates
- If a record includes a burial date and no death date, index the burial year in the Death Year field.
- If neither the death date nor the burial date was recorded, index the year when the death was published or recorded.
- If the year was written as an estimate, index the year only. Do not index words such as "around" or "about."
- If a record contains a span of years, index only the latest year.
- If a record gives two possible years, index only the latest year.
- If a year was not labeled as a birth, marriage, or death year, index the year in the Death Year field.
- The dates of anniversaries, engagements, and marriages should all be indexed in the marriage date field. If more than one such date was given, index the date according to this order of preference: (1) marriage, (2) anniversary, (3) engagement.
- When only two digits were written for the event year, then index the year as a four-digit number, with 19 as the first two digits. For example, if the event year was recorded as "53," you would index the year as 1953.
Corrected or Crossed-Out Information
- When information was crossed out and then replaced, type the new data in the appropriate fields.
- When the information was crossed out, was not replaced, and can be read, type the crossed-out information.
- If information was not crossed out but was replaced or was added to, type the most complete version of the record.
- When the information was crossed out, was not replaced, and cannot be read, mark the field as unreadable by pressing Ctrl+U.
- When every entry on a record cannot be read, mark the entire record as unreadable by pressing Ctrl+Shift+U.
Blank and No Extractable Data Images
- Do not index blank forms.
- If an image is blank or all forms on the image are blank, mark the entire image as blank.
- If an image contains only information that does not need to be indexed, mark it as a No Extractable Data Image.
- Click on the Header Data tab.
- Click in the Image Type field.
- Select Blank Image or No Extractable Data Image.
- Press Enter or Tab.
- Click Yes on the warning message.
- Finish indexing the rest of the images in the batch.