Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Marriage Indexing: Different Type of Records to Index

The batches that you download for the next few weeks are the fourth-record type that was used to record Indiana’s early marriages. They are multi-page style registers that present special problems in getting them digitized and indexed.

Imagine if you will an open book with each line across the pages containing information about one marriage and about 25 or more lines/marriages to a page. Now imagine two narrower fold-over pages inserted in the middle of those two full pages in order to record additional information about each of the marriages – kind of an extension to the pages but bound into the middle of the book. Moving the fold-over pages to either left or right still leaves a portion of the full pages in sight but hides part of the full pages as well

If both fold-over pages are folded to the right, that is one image for the marriages on that page and is one batch. However, it does not contain all the information for those marriages. Move the first of the two fold-over pages to the left and you create a second image and batch but it too does not contain all the information for the marriages on that register page.

When the second fold-over page is folded to the left, a third image and batch is created, again not containing all the information on any of the marriages. It will take the information from all three of these images/batches to have complete information on the marriages recorded on this register page.

Since each ‘page’ is actually three pages and each ‘page’ might contain 25 or so different marriages, that would mean 75 or more records for each batch if we did them as we have been doing all the other records. Not wanting to create batches that large, it was decided that they would be broken into three separate pages/batches for indexing and arbitrating, but reassembled by FamilySearch after that part was finished. That means that none of the batches you will be getting will contain ALL the information on any of the marriages for that ‘page’ from the register. You will have either the fold-over pages both to the right and that will be page one or if the first fold-over page is to the left, you will have page two and if both fold-over pages are to the left, you will have page three.

Because none of the batches contain ALL the information for any of the marriages, many of the fields on the grid will be left empty. It is necessary to pay attention to the FIELD INSTRUCTIONS on the far right as some things will have changed from what you have been doing.

Pay particular attention to which page you have. If you have the third page/batch for instance, you will have the groom’s name on the far left, while everything else will probably be about the bride and her family but you may not even have her name! And of course, there are separate fields for information depending upon rather it is for the bride or the groom. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? These batches are not for the faint of heart but the good news is that there are not very many of them. I’m told we have only about 2000 such batches so that is very few when you consider that we do thousands of batches every month!

Thank you all for taking the time to come to the blog to read these special notes before attempting to get very far into these really different batches. In addition, I can reveal here that the plan is to put each county online as quickly as possible after finishing the indexing and arbitration. Only 263 of these batches will complete our first county! A second one will be done after the next 363 batches and at the end of the approximately 2000 batches, we will have four counties completed.

What a tremendous effort you have all put forth to get us to this point. You will never the number of researchers that will be grateful to you in the future for what you have done!

Thank you,

Shirley Fields

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