US, Virginia—Vital Records, 1715–1901[M395-FDJ] question
I am working on the batch US, Virginia—Vital Records, 1715–1901[M395-FDJ]. This is a birth record index. It gives what I think is the last name of the children born, but the parents names only have the given names. Should I index the surnames for the children as being the parents surnames also? There is nothing covering this matter in the field helps or the project instructions.
You are correct. I would assume the same as you that the surname of the child would be the surname of the parents; however, the Field Help and the General Project Instructions do also comment on this situation:
Field Help - Do not assume a surname from the surnames of others mentioned in the document.
General Instructions - Do not assume the surname of an individual based on the surname of someone else, such as a parent or a spouse, unless directed otherwise in the project instructions.
So although it does not make sense as a Researcher to not include the child surname as the parent surname - these are the instructions.
So we would not put the child's surname as the surname of the parent - when the parent's surname is not listed - these are the strict Project Instructions (as currently constituted).3