User:National Institute sandbox 17HEdit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

 
National Institute for Genealogical StudiesNational Institute for Genealogical Studies.gif

The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Methodology - Part 1: Getting Started, Methodology - Part 2: Organizing and Skillbuilding, Methodology - Part 3: More Strategies, Methodology - Part 4: Effective Searching and Recording, Methodology - Part 5: How To Prove It, and Methodology - Part 6: Professional Preparation and Practice  by Louise St Denis, Brenda Dougall Merriman and Dr. Penelope Christensen. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

Contents

Steps To Success

Step 5: Documentation

Documentation is the provision of adequate evidence; this is usually on paper, but sometimes by other means. There are two parts to this activity:

  1. Description of the source.
  2. Transcription of relevant items, and photocopying/digital images of the particular pages wherever possible.

Recording and Photocopying the Relevant Items

You need to record the particular item of interest. A generation ago this meant only a careful transcript of the relevant entry. In order to verify the research the reader was then expected to track down the source and do his own recording to verify the accuracy of the first transcript.

The advent and widespread availability of digital imaging has revolutionized our standards. We now expect to keep a photocopy or digital image of each relevant written item, making the whole process much simpler for those coming after us, and giving us instant access to the original for that important ‘second look’ at any time.

How often it happens that after finding further information we need to go back and scrutinize that document again for nuances overlooked the first time around. Our human fallibility in writing clearly and transcribing accurately can now be overcome.

Similarly, the camera provided the means to accurately capture a record of a document, an artifact, person or place which earlier had to be drawn or painted. In artistic media, however, it is possible to accentuate or minimize certain attributes of the original, whereas the camera/copier captures people, places, gravestones, writings, etc. as they really are.

Take a copy of each document having important information on an ancestor. Filing these in chronological order in the ancestor’s folder or binder section will illustrate his life story. When making a copy ensure that you include page identifiers on the page in the frame of the finished copy so that you have a complete record.

This means:

  • The heading for the page that includes the place, date and type of record. If the page has no heading then take the trouble to copy the front page of the document as well. Obtain a copy of the title page and copyright page of any book which you use.
  • Any column headings, page or reference numbers.
  • The complete entry, even if it means doing two copies to get it all in.
  • Any other identifiers such as piece numbers at the side of census pages, or handwritten folio numbers next to entries.

Ensuring that you have every possible morsel of information will also enable you to review the material later and pick up clues that perhaps were not apparent at the first reading.

Adjust the size of the copy to leave a small white margin on one side. Use it to note the exact source and page number on the front of each copy, so it will be visible and will copy with the item, thus saving you work. Do this immediately after making it. Experience shows that it is easy to arrive home with many copies, and have to spend hours figuring out which was from which microfilm or book.

One day you will write a book or an article, and if it is for publication, or if it is to be accepted by any other researcher, it should be as accurate as you can make it. It should also be properly documented, that is your sources should be quoted for each fact stated and a copy of each important item should be kept. Some of these copies can be added as interesting illustrations for your narrative.

Recording from someone else’s transcript of an original never substitutes for the real thing. It is merely a finding aid. Always consult the original after finding an item on a transcript.

What Can You Photocopy?

Archivists are rightly concerned about preservation of written sources and thus do not permit photocopying of fragile books and documents. Filming of the original records proceeds and is a boon to the serious researcher as most archives and libraries also have a microform printer. These often require purchasing a pay-card, or work on a system of ‘pay as you leave the library’, and prints are usually inexpensive, particularly when compared with revisiting the source material.

Usually your time on a computer or reader-printer is limited, because of demand. In fact, you may have to put your name on a sign-up sheet to schedule the printouts you want to make. So it is doubly important that while you wind your way through microfilm, you record exactly where you want a copy made. When your scheduled time arrives you may have several films or fiches to insert and wind to (or locate) the right spot. As with regular copy machines, you may have options about paper size and placement of the page or document. Sometimes you can have the lens changed to a larger size to accommodate small print or 16mm film that needs enlarging for legibility.

Do ensure that you follow the copyright laws, usually posted on or near the copy machine in libraries and archives. Laws vary—in Canada an ‘insubstantial part’ (5-10%) of a published work, or small parts of an unpublished document such as a parish register, may be photocopied for personal research. The whole issue is discussed in detail in the National Institute for Genealogical Studies course Genealogy and Copyright Guidelines by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack.

LDS Request for Photocopies

Mention should be made of another economical method for acquiring copies from Family History Library microfilms. Millions of worldwide original records are now available from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. You can order the microfilm and view it at your local FamilySearch Center (there are over 4,000 of them, over 90 in UK). While there you may copy relevant portions of your microfilm.

An even cheaper method exists where you can specify both the film number and the page (this might be by page number, alphabetical or date sequence.) See the FamilySearch Wiki article - Photoduplication Servicesto obtain a Request for Photocopies: Census Records, Books, Microfilm, or Microfiche form and details on how to submit your order.

This method can be used for up to eight entries in any one section of the form for a fee of $2 U.S. each, with a minimum cost of $4 U.S. Up to eight pages will be sent with each request, limited to one every 2 weeks. If there are more pages a note will accompany the material sent to you indicating how many more there are. Your form is returned to you, and any overpayment is given as a credit voucher. For some folk it is cheaper to send a large sum, then use the resulting credit vouchers as they need them.

Instructions for mailing and payment are on the front of the form. Nowadays you only need fill out your name, address and phone number. Patrons anywhere in the world can send directly to the FHL in Salt Lake City, and British patrons find it more efficient this way. VISA and MasterCard are accepted.

As examples of the main original sources:

  • Many Irish and Scottish Civil Registrations can be obtained economically this way (see below).
  • British Census Returns. When you have the piece and folio number from an index you can look up the film number on the Family History Library catalog and get a copy of the specific page without having to order the film in or travel to London! All for $2 each (see below).
  • Parish Registers. This method works when you can specify the film number, and either the page number or the exact date when the item is in date order. It will not work for pre-1812 films unless you have the page number as items can be in a crazy order (see below).
  • English and Welsh Wills from 1858 to 1925 are available by this method. You need to specify the name, date and court of probate, which are obtainable from the indexes (also on microfilm to 1956, and on fiches in several centres). Most wills are 1-3 pages so $2 U.S.(about £1.20) per page is a lot better than £5 per will charged by the regular source! (see below).
  • The FHL has a huge variety of microfilmed land records for North America.

This method of access to the vast holdings of the FHL is particularly appreciated by those who are patrons of small FamilySearch Centers (FSC). The larger Centers have reader-scanners and long runs of index films. For the latter, first get copies of index pages, then use these to decide which films to order using this method, or get from other sources if the originals have not been microfilmed.

It is wonderful for those who cannot get to a FSC at all but who do have access to the FamilySearch website where they can look up film, fiche and book numbers. The Request for Photocopies form is great for accessing FHL material for which the FHLC indicates No circulation to FSCs. However, it obviously does not apply where there is the notation No photocopying.

Census Records, Books, Microfilm or Microfiche Form

The examples given on the form are supplemented here with items from other countries.

How to Fill Out Photocopy Requests for Census for North America

Film #
Year
State or Province
County
Town, etc.
Enum Dist.
Line
Page
Name of Individual
1240503
1900
Kansas
Wilson
Neodesha
171
7
14
MIKESELL, David


When requesting English or Welsh census entries change the headings as follows:
Film #
Year
Country
County
Town
Piece #
Book #
Folio #
Name of Individual
0306856
1841 England
Kent Nettlestead
461 1 9v DURTNALL
0823346
1871 England
Surrey Wandsworth
712 ----- 65 BRICKETT


When requesting Scottish census entries change the headings as follows:
Film #
Year
Country
County
Town
Dist. #
Enum Dist.
Page
Name of Individual
0220209
1891
Scotland
Ayre
Ballantrae
579
1
2
DASHWOOD
0220395
1891
Scotland
Midlothian
Edinburgh St. Giles
685/4
88
4
BRICKETT


How to Fill Out Photocopy Requests for Books
This method is cheaper than getting in the film of a book and faster and cheaper than using the Request to Microfilm a Book form for one that is not in microform.
FHL Call Number
Title
Author
Individual or Family Name
Page Numbers
994.H23w
Women in Australia
Kay Daniels
SMITH
Page 6 and Index
941.13/W1.x22m
1851 Census Index. Parish of Wick, Caithness, Scotland
E. More
THOM
Index for all THOM
941.24/A1.v3a
MIs in Alvah Old Churchyard, Banff, Scotland
Monica G. Anton
MacDOUGALL
Index for all MacDOUGALL and McDOUGALL


Then use these indexes to order the page numbers that refer to your names on a further Request for Photocopies form.

General Microfilm and Microfiche

How to Fill out Photocopy Requests for Civil Registration (Vital Statistics)
Note: When requesting a copy of a certificate (registration) please ensure that you give the certificate film number, NOT the index film number, plus the identifying page, etc. from the index.
Film #
Item #
Name of Individual
Title, parents/ spouse, etc.
Event Type
Date
Place
Parish and volume #
Reg. or
page #
0101161

John BRENNAN
Ireland Civil Registration Birth Thomas BRENNAN /Mary
B
24 Jan 1868
Cork, Cork, Ireland

581
0103269

Mary Elizabeth G. DASHWOOD
Civil Registration Index to Births
B
1865
Scotland

alpha
0330171

Mary Elizabeth G. DASHWOOD
Civil Registration Scotland Birth
B
1865
Fyvie, Aberdeens District
197
89
2051145

Alice Rebecca JONES
Vital Stats BC, Canada
D
2 Jun 1978
Quesnel, British Columbia

1978-09-009749


How to Fill Out Photocopy Requests for Parish Registers
Film #
Item #
Name of Individual
Title, parents/ spouse, etc.
Event
Type
Date
Place

Parish and volume
Reg. or
page #
1067782

Katharin HENDERSON
James HENDERSON/ Janet MILLER
M
24 Aug 1719
OPR Liberton, Midlothian, Scotland
693
Frame 510
1041220

Charles ROGERS
Sarah TONGE
M
4 Mar 1810
St. Maurice, Winchester, Hants, England

By date
Do not try to order copies from handwritten parish registers unless you have a film item number and a clear page specification.

How to Fill Out Photocopy Requests for Probates
Note: The wills are typically more than one page so submit fewer per form.
Film #
Item #
Name of Individual
  Title, parents/ spouse, etc.
Event Type
Date
Place
Parish and volume #
Reg. or page #
0251207

CHEWINGS
Probate index entries

1869
England

All CHEWINGS
0251216

CHEWINGS
Probate index entries

1870
England

All CHEWINGS
0251223

CHEWINGS
Probate index entries

1871
England

All CHEWINGS
1545056

Isaac CHEWINGS
Probate – Will

12 Dec 1871
Taunton, England (Probate Court)

-- (no folio number listed at side in index)
1368216
2
Janet THOM
nee MIDDLETON
Index to Inventories of Personal Estates of Defuncts

1860-1870
Aberdeen Commissariot

alpha
0990455

Andrew THOM
Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories…

1902, 1903, and 1904
Scotland
(Modern wills)


All pages with Andrew THOM
0231220

Christian THOM
Commissariot of Moray Testament Registers 1815-1827

1820s
Moray Commissariot

Index pages for THOM
0231220

Christian THOM
Commissariot of Moray Testament Registers 1815-1827

1822
She is of Leuchars, Fife, Scotland

366 to 369


How to Fill Out Photocopy Requests from Huge Fiche Sets Up to 8 pages will be sent with each request. If there are more a note will accompany the material sent to you indicating how many more there are.

Fiche # Name of Individual Title, parents/ spouse, etc. Date Place Page, etc.
6086831 (1116) DARTNELL England 1881 Census Surname Index 1881 England All pages with DARTNELL


________________________________________________________________

Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online courses Methodology - Part 1: Getting Started, Methodology - Part 2: Organizing and Skillbuilding, Methodology - Part 3: More Strategies, Methodology - Part 4: Effective Searching and Recording, Methodology - Part 5: How To Prove It, and Methodology - Part 6: Professional Preparation and Practice offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about these courses or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at wiki@genealogicalstudies.com

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.

  • This page was last modified on 17 March 2014, at 17:06.
  • This page has been accessed 430 times.