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Read the Instructions
- Please read these project instructions carefully before indexing any batches.
- Review this page and the field helps frequently for updates to the instructions.
- Click here for a summary of project updates.
What to Remember as You Index This Project (Updated 17 Nov 2015)
- Sometimes a father's given name was listed with no surname in the birth record. Do not infer the father's surname from the child’s surname. The missing information will be automatically included in the final index.
- Sometimes a child's given name was included with no surname in a birth record. Do not infer the child's surname from the father's surname. The missing information will be automatically included in the final index.
- Sometimes a child was not claimed by his or her mother or father, so the civil authority assigned given names and a surname to the child and listed those names in the birth record. Later, a mother or father came forward and claimed the child. When the parent claimed the child, the mother's or father's name was recorded as a note in the margin of the birth record. When you see these notes added to a birth record, index the surname that the civil authority assigned to the child. Do not index the mother’s or father’s surname as the child's surname. Click here to see an example.
- Sometimes in birth records, a given name or surname was recorded incorrectly by the priest or clerk. Later, the civil authority often corrected or amended the birth name, usually with a notation, or "rettifica," in the margin of the birth record. When you see a rettifica, index the birth record with the corrected given names or surname in the appropriate fields. Click here to see an example.
- When a child was abandoned by his or her parents, a note was usually left with the child, giving details about the child's birth. The note may have included a name, the date of birth (or how many days old the child was), and information about the child's parents.
- When you index these records, index the name that the civil authority gave the child; do not index the name that was recorded on the note.
- When you index the birth date, you should use the date that was included in the note, if the date was an exact date. If the date on the note was not an exact date, index the date of registration as the birth date.
- If the biological parents’ names were listed on the note and the civil authority recorded the names of adoptive parents in the record, index the names of the adoptive parents. Click here to see an example.
Types of Records
- This project includes three types of records:
- How to Index a Birth Record
- How to Index a Marriage Record
- How to Index a Death Record
- The records are handwritten in paragraph format, often on preprinted forms.
- Read through each record carefully to find the information for the fields to be indexed. The order of information may vary from record to record.
- Only records of marriages are to be indexed in this project. If records are of banns or public announcements of marriages, do not index them. Mark those images as No Extractable Data Image.
- Names may have been recorded in more than one location in a record. Type the most complete name in the indexing field.
- 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 in Italian or English. Thus, the name "Nicolàs" will not be found on the lookup list after "Nicolas" but after "Nicolus."
- In indexing a name that has an apostrophe, such as D'Azeglio, do not include a space before or after the apostrophe.
- Do not correct misspelled names or expand abbreviated names. If a name was misspelled or abbreviated, index the name just as it was written on the record.
Number of Records per Image
- The data entry area is set at one record per image. You will usually need to add entry lines in the data entry area to match the actual number of records on each image. To add entry lines:
- 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.
What to Do When Records Span Two Images
- If the first record on an image begins on a previous image, don't index it. The record will be indexed as part of the previous image. Start indexing at the first complete record. Click here for an example.
- If the last record on an image continues to the next image, index the entire record, including what continues onto the next image. Click here for an example. To see the next image:
- On the menu at the top of the screen, click View.
- Click Show Previous or Next Image.
- In the window that appears, click the Next Image button.
- Index the record while viewing both images at the same time. (In this case, ignore the "Do not index from this image" warning.)
- Sometimes a line was written over a consonant, which indicated that the consonant was doubled. Do not index a character with the letter showing a line over it. Index the two consonants instead. Click here to see an example.
Language for Field Names
- The indexing field names and the field helps in the right bottom corner of the indexing screen are available in Italian and English. To change the language:
- In the menu at the top of the indexing screen, click Tools.
- Click Options.
- Click on the Language tab.
- Click in the Language for Field Names box and Language for Field Help and Project Instructions box, and select the preferred option.
- Close the batch and reopen it for the change to take effect.
- Many of these records were handwritten. The handwriting resource on the data entry screen may help you decipher handwriting.
- To use this resource, click on the Handwriting Help icon (which looks like an inkwell with an orange feather quill).
- Another resource for deciphering challenging Italian handwriting is available here: Italy handwriting.