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    Question Forename Variations

    I am currently entering early records for Mirfield and there are many forename variations eg. Anthony, Anthonie, Anthonye.

    I have several times checked the advice on entering forenames and this says "We are encouraging transcribers to enter the name as they are actually written in the register". It gives examples which make it clear that Willm etc should be entered as found.

    The advice to searchers, however, is that: "We have encouraged the standardised of forenames within the database. For example, the register may state Gulielmus or Gul. or Wm. or Willm. but the entry in the database may well have been entered as William, which is what the person was really called. (Latin names were never used in real speech anyway!)".

    These two pieces of advice seem to conflict. I am confused.

    My solution so far has been to enter names exactly as found except where they are obviously abbreviations.

    eg. If the record says Roberte or Roberd then I enter Roberte or Roberd
    If the record says Ro: or Rob't then I enter Robert

    My reasoning is that the different spellings may indicate pronunciation and are of interest to genealogists (though often they are quite clearly merely the whim of the clerk). The different abbreviations indicate laziness or the high cost of paper and are unlikely to be of interest to anyone.

    It occurs to me, however, that I should be using a standard, not doing exactly what I like! What should I be doing?

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    I would hazard a guess that when you're wearing your transcriber's hat, you should follow the transcribers' instructions and not the searchers'!

    For example, FreeBMD operates to the same transcription rules. Thus people have accurately transcribed a registration district as St Geo Han S, St Geo Han Sq, St Geo H S, S George H S, etc etc. But all the variants will be picked up when you search on the standardised name, St George Hanover Square (using the picklist).

    So what I'm getting at is that the transcriber transcribes and someone else designs the database in such a way that seaching on "John" will pick up "John", "Jno" and so on.

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    Always willing to share my ignorance... busyglen's Avatar
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    I have transcribed for FreeCen, and it was `stressed' that everything must be transcribed as seen. So as you mentioned, if something is shown as eg. Laborer, and you `assume' it is Labourer....you should put down exactly what you see, not make any alterations.

    I don't know what the current trend is now, as it has been a while since I did this, but if I couldn't quite read it all, I would put (eg) Ba..on? which could be Barton or similar.
    The checkers would then have another look to see what they think at the next stage.

    So as Bo-Peep and Peter have already said.....put only what you see, as it is, even if you think it's spelt wrong. That is a transcription.

    Hope that helps, good luck and enjoy!

    Glenys

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    Settling in. Dave's Avatar
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    And as Project manager for FreeREG, Chair and project Manager for FreeCEN

    Please transcribe as is,.......

    any conflict will be looked on web pages shortly, ( well in about 2 or 3 weeks)

    I will mention to my partner who does web stuff, (in fact Kirk may see this )

    Dave

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    Thankyou all for your replies. I will transcribe as is and where I have put in full names I will restore the abbreviations. I have only done this where there is a mark indicating abbreviation. In Mirfield this is usually an apostrophe, but is occasionally a colon. I have not corrected any spellings.

    I agree that the instructions for transcribers are clear but when I found that the instructions for researchers say that the transcribers have been told to standardise names I thought I'd better get this cleared up.

    And I do see problems. The census contains many oddities - but they are a nothing to the combinations of ignorance, illegibility and sheer eccentricity in the Parish Records.

    Helen

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    Knowledgeable and helpful suedent's Avatar
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    I once asked my eldest to transcribe some records in the West Devon Record Office as he lives in Plymouth. I had the dates & churches from the Devon Marriage Index, all he had to do was get the details for me. I received an irate phonecall after his visit to the record office - I'm suprised the phone didn't melt. He was extremely unflattering about the penmanship of certain Plymouth vicars!

    I somehow don't think that he'll be carrying on my research for me, though give him his due he has agreed to check some of the Western Morning News archives in the library.

    I haven't dared tell him that sometimes the films of newspaper records can be nearly as hard to read. I'll just brace myself for the phonecall
    Sue Dent, Assistant Projects Officer Polperro FHS

  7. #7

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    Sorry to be a bore folks, but in the Q&A I have just found a question which more or less matches my original query and an answer which more or less confirms my original solution and conflicts with the answers to my question posted query here. If I had seen it first I wouldn't have posted the question. It reads:

    "3.11 Issue: Abbreviations: How do I record an abbreviation? The website seems confused on this matter.
    Response: With abbreviations we normally adopt the usual rule of transcription, i.e. type what so see, with a couple of modifications. Transcribe as it was written. i.e. Robt. or Will or Will or Guilliam. Deviations are a) We do not normally superscript characters, so Saml, where the l is a superscript, would be entered as Samuel b) If there is an abbreviation character used, usually the horizontal bar across part of the name (see the example for Robert on the website) in this case we insert the missing characters directly. (We cannot use the standard approach of Rob[rt]t because the [] are used in the Uncertain Character Format. c) Any non standard abbreviation are entered in full."

    Is this the last word on the matter?

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    I have done Free BMD, CEN and REG, and all, as it really should be, should be transcribed as you see. We all can see things that is or isn't too
    May be add to the notes section if you are unsure?
    Anything you're unsure of, I think all apply to this but not certain, then _ for a single letter or * for more letters.
    Sure Dave will tell me if I'm wrong! LOL.
    Searching too you can use 3 letters and * and that will bring it up if your searches aren't getting you anywhere.
    Good luck with your transcriptions, it is more than worth while. Good on you for doing it
    Jo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jo Simpsons View Post
    Searching too you can use 3 letters and * and that will bring it up if your searches aren't getting you anywhere.
    Jo
    Unfortunately Jo FreeREG has not yet implemented the wild character search capability.

    Doing what you suggest will actually search for those 3 letters and the *. I strongly suspect there would be no results to the search.

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    Oh really Kirk, I didn't know that. I shall have to study more closely in future. Thanks for correcting me.
    Jo

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