Barbados—Church Records, 1637–1850


Project Instructions



What Do the Records Look Like?

Number of Records per Image

  • The data entry area is set at one record per image. You will normally need to add entry lines to match the actual number of records on the image. To add entry lines:
    1. On the menu bar, click Tools.
    2. Click Records per Image.
    3. Click in the Number of records box, and type the number of records on the image.
    4. Click OK.

How to Index Individuals Whose Names Aren't Fully Recorded

  • If a person is referred to, but the person’s name or surname is not given, index the individual only if the name of at least one parent or spouse is included in the record. Examples:
    • If the document says that "a man servant" was buried or a "maid servant from Giles Delagram" or a "Dutchman" was buried, you would not index any records for these people. Click here for an example.
    • If the record says that "a child of Robert Palm" was buried, you would index a record, with the Child's Given Names and Surname fields marked as blank and the name "Robert Palm" in the father's name fields.
  • If at least part of a name is given for an individual, create a record for the individual, and index the part of the name that is given. Click here for an example.
    • If the record says, "James Brown and Mary," you would index two records, one for James Brown and one for Mary.
    • If the record says, "Mr Smith and Mrs Smith," you would index two records, one for Mr Smith and one for Mrs Smith.
    • If the record says, "Mr & Mrs Smith," you would index two records, one for Mr Smith and one for Mrs Smith.

How to Index Surnames for Women

  • The general rule is that if no surname was recorded for a wife, do not assume a surname from the spouse. Leave the Surname field blank.
  • An exception to this rule is that if the names of a husband and wife were recorded with the word "and" or the symbol "&" between the two given names (for example, "John and Mary Smith"), the surname may be indexed for both the husband and the wife.
  • If both a maiden name and a married name (including any surnames from previous marriages) were recorded for a woman, index all surnames in the Surname field, with the maiden name first.

Order of Indexing

  • Some documents include more than one record type.
  • Index each document by date, from top to bottom and left to right. For example, if a document on an image has, from left to right, first a column for births, then a column for marriages, and finally a column for deaths, all on the same page, you would start at the top left column and index all the births for a listed date, then all the marriages for the same date, and finally all the deaths for the same date. Then you would proceed to the next date and do the same. Click here for and example. Click here for another example.

Unusual Characters

  • The records in this project come from various time periods and may include unusual characters. For example, you may see a character that looks like a "y," followed by a superscript "e." This character is called a thorn. The character combination means "the" and should not be included in any indexing fields. Click here for an example. (See the "Handwriting Helps" section, below, for additional resources in reading old handwriting.)
  • Names in this project may come from many cultures. If a diacritic or accent mark was used in writing a name on the record (such as the marks used in writing ò in Nicolò or à in Nicolàs), be sure to include the accent mark in indexing the name.
  • Be aware that names in the lookup list may not follow normal alphabetic rules.
  • If the name of a person or locality is written with a character not on your keyboard, such as the accented ò in Nicolò, please insert the character by doing the following:
    1. On the menu bar, click Edit.
    2. Click International Letters.
    3. Click on the letter you want to insert.
  • Or

    1. On the menu bar above the data entry area, click the Enter special international characters icon (which is a square with a ñ in it).
    2. Click on the letter you want to insert.

Data Entry Screen

  • The only data entry option for this project is "form entry," which allows you to see the data entry area for just one record at a time. The data entry fields are arranged vertically, one above another in a column.
  • To advance from field to field, press Tab or Enter.
  • If you press Tab or Enter when you are on the last field of the record, the data for the current record is saved, and a blank form appears for you to enter the information for the next record.
  • If you are on the last record of the batch, a dialogue box will appear, asking if you want to add more records to the image. If the image has other records that you have not yet indexed, click in the Number of records box, and type the number of records on the image; then click OK. Otherwise, leave the number at 0 (zero), and click OK.

How to Index Twins

  • If multiple births, such as twins, were recorded on a single line, index each of them as a separate record.

Handwriting Helps

  • Many of these records are handwritten. The handwriting resource on the data entry screen may help you decipher handwriting.
  • To access this resource, click on the Handwriting Help icon (which looks like an inkwell with an orange feather quill) on the toolbar just above the data entry area.
  • Additional handwriting helps (a resource for deciphering challenging handwriting).

Additional Information

Click here to see another example