Clicca qui per l'italiano.
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
- Sometimes a father's given names were listed with no surname in the birth record. Do not infer the father's surname based on the child’s surname. The missing information will automatically be included in the final index.
- Sometimes a child's given names were included with no surname in a birth record. Do not infer the child's surname based on the father's surname. The missing information will automatically be 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 name 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. Click here to see an example.
- 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.
- The following are examples of birth records:
- Read each record carefully to find the information for the fields to be indexed. The order of information may vary from record to record.
- Names may have been written 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 the letter "ò" in Nicolò or "à" in Nicolàs), be sure to include the diacritic or accent mark in indexing the name.
- Be aware that names in the lookup list may not follow normal alphabetic rules. 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.
- If any form of “N.,” “N,” “N. N.,” “Enne,” or “Nessun Nome” was recorded in place of the child's name, press Ctrl+B to mark the Child’s Given Names field as blank.
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:
- In the menu at the top of the screen, 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 to the next image. Click here for an example. To see the next image while continuing to index information for the current image:
- In 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.)
Language for Field Names
- The indexing field names and the field helps in the bottom right corner of the indexing screen are available in Italian and English. To change the language:
- In the menu at the top of the screen, click Tools.
- Click Options.
- Click 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.
Diacritics and Other Characters
- If the name of a person or place was written with a character not on your keyboard, such as the ò in Nicolò, please insert the character by clicking the Enter special international characters icon (a square with an "ñ" in it) and selecting the character you want to insert, or:
- In the menu at the top of the screen, click Edit.
- Click International Letters.
- Click the letter you want to insert.
Corrected or Crossed-Out Information
- When information was crossed out and then replaced, type the new data in the appropriate fields.
- When information was crossed out, was not replaced, and can be read, type the crossed-out information.
- When information was not crossed out but was replaced or was added to, type the most complete version of the record.
- When information was crossed out, was not replaced, and cannot be read, mark the field as unreadable by pressing Ctrl+U.
- When no entry on a record can be read, mark the entire record as unreadable by pressing Ctrl+Shift+U.
- If a record does not include information for a required field (a field that shows "<Required>" in the data entry area) or if the information was given using a description such as "unknown" or "don't know," press Ctrl+B to mark the field as blank. Do not type the word "blank" in the indexing field.
- If a record does not include information for a field that is not required or if the information was given using a description such as "unknown" or "don't know," press Tab to skip the field.
- Do not type periods, commas, parentheses, or semicolons after initials or abbreviations or between multiple levels of localities for any of the fields.
- If a record contains ditto marks or similar signs of repetition, type the information from the previous record or field.
- A lookup list is a list of names, places, or terms that you can use to help decipher the information for a specific field. All fields with a lookup list have a down arrow at the right side of the field when you select the field for data entry.
- Click the down arrow.
- Select Lookup....
- The lookup lists do not include every possible entry. 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 or colored background in a field does not necessarily mean that you made a mistake. It appears because the word you typed is not in the lookup list. This is OK. Double-check what you entered. When you are sure the information is correct, continue with the next entry field.
- Many of these records were handwritten. The handwriting resource on the data entry screen may help you decipher handwriting.
- To access this resource, click the Handwriting Help icon (an inkwell with an orange feather quill).
- Another resource for deciphering challenging Italian handwriting is available here: Italy handwriting.