Baptism place in South Africa -Dutch Reformed Church registers
My question is directed to those who are very familiar with the variables of NGK baptismal records.
Typically, the handwritten records will have the gemeente, or congregation location (e.g. Cradock, Port Elizabeth-noord) noted at the top of the page, but because many of the record books are hundreds of pages, the location is not indicated on each page.
In the image that I posted below please note the following:
- There is no gemeente or church location indicated at the top of the page.
- Highlighted in red -the village or locale noted on two different individual records from the same page
From my experience in doing many of the these records I had assumed this is the town/village that the family resided, and not the specific location of the church where the baptism was performed. Lately, in reviewing batch records, I have seen others list this as the baptism place, and now I am not so sure my assumption was correct…
So, my question to the community is if this location should be recorded as the baptism place, when there is no other gemeente location noted, or ignored as the family’s place of residence..?
Thanks in advance for your feedback!
Disclaimer: I am Just including the obvious as a non-expert (not to whom you directed the question - sorry).
Field Help: Baptism Place
"Type the locality.
You should expand abbreviations or correct misspellings when you can tell what the abbreviation stands for or what the correction should be to the spelling.
Separate geographical levels of locality, from smallest to largest, with a comma.
The place may be found in the "plek" column on some records.
You may index parishes in this field.
If the locality was not recorded or was written as a variation of the word "unknown," press Ctrl+B to mark this field blank."
Opinion: It appears the 'locality' whether gemeente or not CAN be included. It does not help that 'plek' column heading also may not appear on the page. This particular image that you include for this question has no reference images and no way for a non-expert to identify 'column headings' that may be on previous or initial register pages.
The first Project example image for indexing baptism:
includes indexing this 'locality' (8. Baptism Place: Tarka)
Conclusion: It therefore appears that this 'quality' of place is acceptable according to the Project Instructions and examples. This makes me assume that if further or more exact identification of 'place' was desired - FamilySearch or the record custodian will do so in pre-publication processes. This question does point out the importance of clear Project Instructions being needed - the instructions could have just as easily indicated they wanted gemeente identification/location ONLY. That the Project does not require identification of gemeente does cause more work for the careful researcher (too bad it is not required or if it is I guess pre-publication will fix that).1
Melissa S Himes ✭✭✭✭✭
The project example certainly shows that the place in your batch can be used as baptism place. I would index those locations.0