What to Remember as You Index This Project
- Sometimes a father’s given name is included in the birth record with no surname. 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 is included in the birth record with no surname. Do not infer the child’s surname from that of the father. The missing information will be automatically included in the final index.
- Sometimes in birth records, a child was not claimed by their mother or father; the civil authority would assign the child a given name or surname. Then later a mother or father would come forward and claim the child, usually this was recorded in a marginal note on the record. Later, when the child was claimed, the mother or father’s name was recorded. When this happens, index the surname that the civil authority assigned 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. Years later, the civil authority would record a correction (rettifica) or amendment to the birth name. When indexing, index these corrections as a birth record with the corrected given names or surname in the appropriate fields. Click here to see an example
- Sometimes in birth records, a child was abandoned by their parents. This child was usually left with a note attached giving certain specifics about the child’s birth. This note usually gives a name, date of birth (or how many days old the child was) and the child’s parents. When indexing, for the child’s name, index the name that the civil authority gave the child; do not index the name that was recorded on the note. For indexing the birth date, if the date on the note was an exact date, index this date as the birth date. If the date on the note was not an exact date, index the date of registration as the birth date. If the biological parent’s names were listed on the note and the civil authority recorded the adoptive parents in the record, index the adoptive parent’s names on the record. Click here to see an example
- 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.
- 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 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."
Number of Records per Image
- The data entry area is set at one record per image. You will often 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 the information that continues onto the next image. Click here for an example. To see the information on 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.)
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 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 Information box, and select the preferred option.
- Close the batch, and reopen it for the change to take effect.
- Many of these records are handwritten. The handwriting help on the data entry screen may help you decipher handwriting.
- To access this help, on the toolbar just above the data entry area, 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.