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.
What to Remember as You Index This Project (Updated 17 Nov 2015)
- Sometimes a father's given names were written with no surname in a birth, marriage, or death record. Do not infer the father's surname from the surname of the child. The missing information will be automatically included in the final index.
- Sometimes a child's given names were written with no surname in a birth, marriage, or death record. Do not infer the child's surname from the surname of the father. The missing information will be automatically included in the final index.
- This project includes three types of records: birth, marriage, and death records. For the most part, records were handwritten in paragraph format.
- Read each document carefully to find the information for the fields to be indexed. The order of information may vary from record to record.
- Many records show multiple dates, including death, birth, and marriage dates and registration dates. Pay close attention, in particular, not to confuse the registration dates and the other event dates.
- 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. Index the name and surname that the civil authority assigned to the child.
- 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, such as a possible name, the date of birth, or information about the parents.
- Index the name that the civil authority gave the child; do not index a name that was recorded on the note.
- If a birth date was included in the note, index it; if no birth date was given, index the date of registration as the birth date.
- If a belated acknowledgement of an abandoned child by his or her biological parents was included with a birth record (for example, in a notation of a marriage that took place after the birth of the child), index the names of the biological parents.
- If the names of biological and adoptive parents were both given in a record, index the names of the adoptive parents rather than the names of the biological parents. Do not index the names of foster parents that may have been included in the record.
- 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.
- Do not index the names of other people who may have been mentioned in the document, such as relatives, a midwife, and so on.
- If there are discrepancies between the names and surnames written by the clerk and the signatures of the registrants (such as the parents of the child), index the version of the name that occurs most often. If each variant was written just once or if the variants were written the same number of times, index the version given by the clerk.
- When indexing the marriage record type, index only the records of actual marriages. Do not index records of banns (or public announcements of marriages), indexes, or attachments. If an image shows only these sorts of documents, mark the image as a No Extractable Data Image.
- Names may have been written in more than one place in a document. Type the most complete name in the indexing field.
- If a diacritic or accent mark was used in writing a name in a document (such as the marks used in writing "ò" in Nicolò or "à" in Nicolàs), be sure to include the diacritic or accent mark in indexing the name.
- Do not expand abbreviations or correct misspellings of names. Index the long "i" (written as "j") as "j" and not as "i."
- If an alias, nickname, or variant surname was given, index the variant after the surname, following the word O (the word "or" in Italian). For example, if "Rosselli, detto il Rosso" was written for the surname, you would index Rosselli O il Rosso.
- In indexing a name that has an apostrophe, such as "D'Azeglio," do not include a space before or after the apostrophe.
- 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.
- If any form of "N.," "N," "N. N.," "Enne," or "Nessun Nome" was recorded in place of a child's name, press Ctrl+B to mark the Child's Given Names field as blank.
- If multiple spouses were listed for an individual, index only the present or current spouse. When no indication was given of which was the current one, index the first one listed.
- 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.
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 information on the next image while continuing to index information for the current image:
- In the menu bar, click View.
- Click Show Previous or Next Image.
- In the window that appears, click Next Image.
- Index the record while viewing both images at the same time. (In this case, ignore the "Do not index from this image" warning.)
- Some images show a full page of records together with a partial page that has been cropped vertically. Do not try to index any records from the partial page. Index only the records on the full page. The records on the partial page will be indexed with the next image.
Language for Field Names, Field Helps, and Project Instructions
- The indexing field names, the project instructions, 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 bar, 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.
Number of Records per Image
- You may need to add records in the data entry area to index all the records on an 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.
- If you press Tab or Enter after you complete the last record on an image, a message will appear asking if you want to add one or more records to the image. If you have already indexed all the records on the image, do the following:
- Ensure that 0 (zero) is in the Number of records box.
- Click OK.
- Overlays are normally small handwritten or typed notes that cover part of another document.
- If an overlay has information about a death record, index the information in the corresponding fields. If not, do not index information from the overlay.
- If the document behind the overlay is a duplicate of a document that is fully shown on another image in the same batch, do not index the information. It will be indexed when the other image is indexed.
- If the document behind the overlay is not shown on another image in the same batch, index as much as you can see.
- Many of these records were handwritten. The handwriting resource on the data entry screen may help you decipher the handwriting. To access this resource, click the Handwriting Help icon (an inkwell with an orange feather quill).
- The best help for deciphering difficult handwriting is the document itself. Before indexing an image, study the document carefully to determine the unique writing style of the recorder. Compare questionable letters with letters in other recognizable names on the document.
- Another recource for deciphering challenging Italian handwriting is available here.