Deutschland, Westfalen, Minden—Volkszählungen 1880–1900

General Indexing Instructions

International Letters:

  • If the name of a person or a locality you are typing is written with an international character such as the Umlaut in Müller, please insert the international letter by doing the following:
    1. On the menu bar, click Edit.
    2. Click International Letters.
    3. Select the letter you want to insert by clicking on it.


    1. Click the International Letters icon on the menu bar above the data entry area and select the letter you want to insert.

Corrected or Crossed-Out Information: 

  • When information is crossed out and then replaced, type the new data into the appropriate fields.
  • When the information is crossed out, not replaced, and can be read, type the crossed-out information.
  • When the information is crossed out, not replaced, and cannot be read, mark the field unreadable by pressing Ctrl+U.
  • When every entry on a record cannot be read, mark the entire record unreadable by pressing Ctrl+Shift+U.


  • If a <Required> field contains a descriptive word such as desconocido (unknown), press Ctrl+B to mark the field as blank.
  • If a field that is not required contains a descriptive word such as desconocido (unknown), press Tab to skip this field.  

Unnecessary Punctuation:

  • Do not type periods, commas, parentheses or semicolons after initials, abbreviations, or between multiple levels of localities for any of the fields.

Ditto Marks:

  • Ditto marks or similar signs of repetition may be found in several fields. If a field contains any of these signs, type the actual information from the above field.

Lookup Lists:

  • A lookup list is a collection of common names, places, races, and other information that may be used to help decipher a specific field. All fields that have a corresponding lookup list will have a down arrow at the right side of the column.
  • Click the down arrow.
  • Select Lookup for the appropriate list for that field to appear.
  • The lookup lists do not include every possibility. If the clerk wrote something that is not in the list, type what was written on the record.

Red Wavy Line:

  • The red wavy line does not mean that you made a mistake. It appears because the word you typed is not in the lookup list. This is okay.

How to use the ruler: 

  • Because of the different record types in this project, the highlights will not work. You may choose to use the ruler to follow the record across the page. If so, please be aware that the ruler is not anchored to the indexing screen and does not automatically move as you move to a new entry. To see the ruler, follow these steps.
    1. On the menu bar, click View.
    2. Select Show Ruler.