Some indexers are having difficulty with dates for United States—Enlisted and Officer Muster Rolls
M3CR-6M6. I started reviewing on this project this afternoon. The first two batches had the correct dates. The next two had incorrect dates according to the project instructions:
- The date at the top of a roster or roll may be used for all entries as the enlistment date if the entries don't contain their own individual enlistment dates.
- When multiple dates are present on the image, please choose the military date based on the following hierarchy:
- Enlistment date
- Muster roll or monthly roster date
- Any other applicable military date
- If there is a transfer record and each name has a day, such as "24th," or month or year, and there is a complete date recorded at the top or bottom of the page, use the complete date for each person on the record.
The problems that I am seeing are:
#1 - as seen in the example above, roll date is used for entire list when it should be the enlistment dates for each individual.
#2- date fields are marked blank when dates can be found on previous reference pages of the roll.
#3- when a date range is given at the top of the roll, the first date which is actually the date of the previous roll, is being used instead of the second date which is the date of the current roll.
I thought that if I posted this some indexers doing these rolls might review the instructions.
Hope my interpretations of the instructions are correct and that this might be helpful to some indexers.
I hope we are all enjoying working on all of these projects. I am!!
Regarding your first question on the bimonthly Muster, I would accept it either way (in the spirit of being faithful to the instructions but using best judgment). But I wish that they would correct that erroneous example.0
John, I wondered about your statement that we can only use the reference images for the year. I checked into it and that is incorrect. We can use the entire date. While the Field Help only mentions the year, the Project Instructions, What to Remember about this project, bullet point 10, states: "The date at the top of a roster or roll may be used for all entries as the enlistment date if the entries don't contain their own individual enlistment dates." It does not specify to only use the year.1
Asking that this be changed would be a great topic for ideas. I agree it is confusing. Still I was told to use the whole date. It was a question I had as well.0
#1) Yes, valid enlistment dates trump all other dates.
#2) We may look back ONLY for the Military Year. From the FH for Military Year. This instruction is absent from the Military Month and Military Day FH.
"The date at the top of a roster or roll may be used for all entries as the military date if the entries don't contain their own individual enlistment dates. If a year is not given, it may have been recorded on a previous image."
We may look back for headings of forms and Military YEAR, but not for Military Month or Military Day.
#3) The reason Indexers use the first of those two dates is to follow Example 2 in the Project Instructions, which (incorrectly) uses the date of the previous bi-monthly muster as the Military Date. The significance of the earlier date is printed in parentheses in the heading of the Example #2 clip below. The actual date of that muster roll (i.e., the" Muster Roll date" of the cited instruction) is 30 Jun 1917 and should be indexed as the Military Date.1
#3- I see why there is the problem. I had read the document notation which as you have pointed out clearly states that the date for the roll is 30th June not April. So then the question is when reviewing do we change it to June or accept either date???
#2- please check this batch: M3CB-HJV This is the second sheet of the Monthly Roster, the first sheet being the previous reference image. The first sheet has the date at the top right corner and so is the date for the monthly roster. The instructions on example 1 state:
Note: For this document, index the date recorded in the top right corner of the header for each name recorded on the roster. Do not index the furlough dates in the body of the roster.
- and in the instructions it says: If a document does not include column headings, the headings can usually be found on an adjacent image.
The field help for day and month state:
The date at the top of a roster or roll may be used for all entries as the military date if the entries don't contain their own individual enlistment dates.
Following these instruction I have used the full date on all of these that I have indexed, which is many.1
Hi Larry. We shouldn't need to work so hard to understand how the Project Managers want the dates on this Project to be indexed. After all, they comprise 3/5 of the fields that are typically available to be indexed. In early versions of this Project, we were explicitly allowed to "look back" to determine all three Military Date components. A few Parts ago, they omitted the instruction to look back for Month and Day and left it in place for the Year and the heading of lists. When asked for clarification, the response was to follow the instructions (and look back only for the Year).
NOTE: Honestly, as a Reviewer, I accept an "accurate" 3-component Military Date or just the "accurate" Year with blanked Month and Day. However, I believe that the latter is a faithful interpretation of the (unexplainable) Field Helps. The former (getting and using all three components) provides "accurate" values, but IMO is not a "correct" interpretation of the FH and so of the Project Instructions. I'm not going to send a batch back for a second Review in those circumstances - my best judgment.
Your batch image says it is the "second page," The date is undoubtedly on the previous page. But I can't see the Reference Images when viewing a Shared Batch to verify this. Fix this issue, please. I don't doubt your determination of the date.
I'm saying that the Field Help (FH) for Military Month and Military Day don't explicitly allow looking back, while the FH for Military Year explicitly allows it. Field Help instructions almost always trump other instructions. Refer also to the previous consultation with FS Support on how to interpret this.
FH for Military Year: "The date at the top of a roster or roll may be used for all entries as the military date if the entries don't contain their own individual enlistment dates. If a year is not given, it may have been recorded on a previous image."
FH for Military Month and Day: "The date at the top of a roster or roll may be used for all entries as the military date if the entries don't contain their own individual enlistment dates."
Why are they working so hard to withhold "permission" to look back from the Month and Day Field Helps? I don't get it, but there it is (or isn't), in black and white (mostly white).1
Hi John Empoliti,
I have read many of your responses to numerous questions, mine and other indexers. They are always excellent and very helpful. I appreciate your help and the time, experience and effort you put into your answers. thanks
As I thought about this last night it occurred to me that it won't make much difference to the researchers, they will be able to find the information they are looking for as long as we get it "close enough".
So the only real Question is what does the agreement between FS and the record owner specify??
Thank you so much for your help and advi1
Hi @annewandering . What if the date is not on the page on the batch? In many projects, we are not supposed to look beyond the batch page unless the project instructions specifically allow it.
My point is that this project specifically allows this exploration beyond the batch image ONLY for two pieces of information that I can find
(1) to find the header of lists of dates to see whether the dates are Enlistment Dates for example, and
(2) in the Field Help for Military Year to find the Military Year. This instruction/permission to "explore" is not found in the FH for Military Month or Day. Why not? Was it a big deal to copy and paste that sentence and slightly edit it?
*** If the project instructions don't disallow some action are we to assume that we may do it? ***
I always check when I have a notion to do something like that, and I did a while ago ( last year sometime - two or three parts ago) and was instructed essentially not to look back for those two date components.
For the past two or three parts of this Roster and Muster Roll, this permission to explore beyond the batch image to find the Military Month and Day has been notably absent from those Field Helps. It used to be there. Is this an accident or intentional?
Would it be so difficult to update the Project Instructions to include this freedom-to-explore guidance on the Field Helps for the Month and Day, or guidance to the contrary? Why not let us know explicitly what the Project Managers and data owners wish? Why do we have to play a guessing game?0
Great. Thanks @annewandering .. I can accept, and actually welcome, a “command decision” to use the whole date. That overrides all Project Instructions, notwithstanding any interpretation. I may post an “idea” to amend the Military Month and Day Field Helps.to clarify that1