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This project contains civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths in the Cook Islands. The records are from the period 1846–1989.
Records in this project were typically handwritten or typed on printed registers.
Registers were usually printed with both Maori and English titles and column headings.
The number of images per batch varies depending on the record type.
Images often show more than one record.
What to Index
Index births, notices of intended marriage, marriages, and deaths.
The following are examples of documents that should be indexed:
What Not to Index
Do not index documents that do not show a birth, notice of intended marriage, marriage, or death record.
How to Index Documents in This Project
Click the image below to see how it should be indexed.
What to Remember about This Project
Naming conventions in the Cook Islands differ from other English speaking areas. During the period when these documents were created, it was common for a child to be given a surname that differed from other family members, including parents and siblings. Sometimes the given name or surname of a parent was used as the child's surname; at other times the surname may have come from a tribal name, a place-name, or some other source. Do not assume the surname of a person from the surname of anyone else mentioned on the document.
Names were generally written with the given names first, followed by surnames. If you cannot determine if a name is a given name or a surname, index it in the Given Names field. Because of the unique naming conventions, do not try to determine the parts of a name (for example, given names versus a surname) by comparing the names with the names of others mentioned on the document.
If an "a" appears between different parts of a name, do not index it.
Maiden names were often recorded for mothers. The maiden name can usually be identified by the word "née." A maiden name should be indexed in the Mother's Surname field, with the maiden name typed before the married surname.
A woman may not have taken her husband's surname when they married. Sometimes the wife would use the husband's given name as a married surname.
Be sure to read the column headings carefully to help you identify the information to index.
The event year or column headings may have been written on a previous page. If the image being indexed is missing this information, be sure to check the previous image to see if it was recorded there. See the "Viewing an Adjacent Image" section below for more information.
Be sure not to confuse the place of registration with the place of the actual event, such as the birthplace.
If a child was recorded as "stillborn," do not index this term as a name. If no name for the child was recorded, mark the field blank or press Tab, as instructed in the field help, and index the remainder of the record.
Number of Records per Image
To add a record in the data entry area, click the New Record button.
To add multiple records at once, use the Add record(s) icon on the toolbar.
Many of these records were handwritten. The handwriting resource on the data entry screen may help you decipher the handwriting. To access this resource, click the Handwriting Examples icon (a pen) on the toolbar.
The best help for deciphering difficult handwriting is the document itself. Before indexing an image, study the document carefully to determine the unique writing style of the recorder. Compare questionable letters with letters in other words and recognizable names on the document.
The ruler may help you follow a record across an image.
If you use the ruler, please be aware that it does not automatically move as you move to a new entry.
To use the ruler:
In the menu bar, click Data Entry.
Click Show Ruler.
Viewing an Adjacent Image
To see an adjacent image while continuing to index information for the current image:
Click the Split Screen icon in the vertical toolbar in the top corner of the image window. In the thumbnail images at the bottom of the screen on the left, the current image has a colored outline (usually blue). In the split screen on the right is another series of thumbnail images; the image showing in the screen on the right is also outlined in color (usually red).
Below the screen on the right, click the thumbnail to the right of the image you are currently indexing.
Index the record while viewing both images at the same time.
To exit split screen mode, click the Exit Split Screen icon in the vertical toolbar in the top corner of the screen on the left.
For additional resources or more instructions about what to do in various situations you may encounter in this project, click the following links: