Project Instructions (Updated on 2/9/2015)
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.
Indexing a Two-Page Marriage Certificate
- Marriage records in this collection are often in book format, with two pages on each image. The page on the left shows the back of the certificate shown on the right of the previous image, and the certificate on the right continues to the left side of the next image. The back of the certificate often shows only the signatures of the bride and groom and, sometimes, witnesses.
- If the back of a certificate shows additional information for any of the indexing fields, such as the names of the parents of the bride and groom, the information should be indexed as part of the record for the certificate they pertain to, which is on the previous image.
- To view the next image while continuing to index information for the current image:
- Click View.
- Click Show Previous or Next Image.
- At the top of the window that opens, click Next Image.
- Ignore the “Do Not Index from This Window” warning, and index the information that pertains to the current marriage record.
What to Remember as You Index Marriage Records
- Index only the marriage record on the right side of the image. Do not create a record for the signatures on the left side of the image; the signatures are from the previous marriage record. Click here for an example.
- Marriage records include many kinds of documents:
- Normally you would index each of these documents, except for registers and indexes, as a single, standalone record by entering data in as many fields as possible and leaving the remainder of the fields blank.
- Registers have multiple records to be indexed. You will need to add entry lines in the data entry area for each record that appears on the image.
- The data entry area is set at one record per image. If an image has more than one record, you will need to add enough entry lines in the data entry area to match the number of records on the image. To add entry lines:
- In 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.
- Index a marriage index only if it includes information regarding marriages in addition to names, such as dates or places. If an index includes only names, volume number, page number, or year with no day or month, mark the image as a No Extractable Data Image.
- Some marriage records, such as handwritten paragraphs, may begin on one image and end on the next image.
- 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.
- If the last record on an image continues to the next image, index the entire record, including what continues to the next image.
- Marriage bonds are marriage records and should be indexed. Do NOT mark an image with a marriage bond as a No Extractable Data Image.
How to Index Combinations of Documents
- Images may display marriage documents in a number of other ways. Occasionally, images have more than one record type on a single image, and all records relate to the same marriage. In this case, combine the information from all the records on the image into one record in the data entry area, using the most complete version of the data. Click here to see an example.
- Occasionally, documents on multiple images all relate to the same marriage. In this case, index each image normally as a separate, individual record, even if the images appear to be similar. Do not mark the images as duplicates. Click here to see an example.
- Overlays, which normally are small handwritten notes, are attached to some records.
- Carefully read each overlay. If it contains data pertaining to a marriage, such as the ages of the groom and bride or the names of parents, add a record to the image, and index the overlay as a separate record. If the overlay does not contain any data pertaining to a marriage, do not index it.
- Overlays often cover other marriage records. 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.
- If the document behind the overlay seems to be unique and is not shown on another image in the batch, index as much of the document behind the overlay as you can see.
Highlights and the Ruler
- Because of the many forms in this project, highlights are not available. You may use the ruler instead to follow a record across an image.
- If you use the ruler, please be aware that it is not anchored to the indexing screen and does not automatically move as you move to a new entry. To use the ruler:
- In the menu bar, click View.
- Click Show Ruler.
- To move the ruler or adjust its width:
- To move the ruler, position the mouse pointer over the ruler bar. When the pointer turns into a four-pointed arrow, click and hold the left mouse button while you move your mouse to drag the ruler to a new location on the screen.
- To adjust the width of the ruler, position the mouse pointer at the top or bottom edge of the ruler bar. When the pointer turns into a two-pointed arrow, click and hold the left mouse button, and then move your mouse up or down to change the width of the ruler.
- Many of these records are 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).