Abbreviated Spanish given names
Please give us the share batch number so we can look at the project to help you. This is the numbers in parentheses at the end of the number.1
If it is another letter you would just add it to the end of the abbreviated name. So William is normally abbreviated like Wm and would be indexed "Wm". When handwritten the m is much smaller and located at the top right of the W. Just write the letters in the order you see them. You can also use the "international characters" if you have letters with accents.
Also, if you are having a hard time knowing what the small letter is at the end, you can always put a "?" where it would go in the name. So if I were to see Wm and couldn't read the m... I would index it like "W?" If it is more than 1 letter in a name that you cannot make out, you would use "*" for those groups of letters within the name. If you just can't read the name, index it <unreadable> by pressing control+u.1
I also have a question about the abbreviated names. I understand about typing what we see - example Wm. But in the example Wm - why wouldn't W*m be entered?
We understand it is an abbreviation but to be clear there aren't typed any letters between - so shouldn't we use asterisk?0
We can't assume that it is William. That's silly, but it's true. Most of the field directions state not to expand abbreviations. The * is used to show there are more letters but we couldn't make them out. The * isn't needed unless there are letters there. I know when I am doing my own searching I use "?" and "*" if I am looking for a name where I can't make out some of the letters. When I do this it will pull up names that are similar to what I am looking for.
It was pointed out to me that family search engine uses "Soundex". I'll link what was linked to me https://www.familysearch.org/en/wiki/Soundex. I will assume this program is the reason behind this.2
I agree - we can't assume Wm = William - but that isn't what I am saying.
What I am saying is that - IF it is an abbreviation - usually fairly obvious - then it is abbreviating missing letters (ones that I could but am not even attempting to decipher - though I usually want to jump there). Some are even easier to interpret as 'first letter(s)' ^ (superscript) 'last letter(s)' -
for example: Tho^s ~=Thomas (or variant thereof) -> Tho*s
So since an abbreviation implies missing letters - and IF we have the first and last letter(s) - then shouldn't we enter
[first letter(s)]*[last letter(s)]
(yes a little interpretation is going on but it probably would make searching easier - which is the point of indexing?)
Yes I understand abbreviation may include intermediate letters (in which case I would index them - as in Tho*s - but under current instructions Thos).
I don't have a problem with entering Wm or Thos (usually interpreted correctly as William and Thomas or some variant thereof) but I am just pointing out an alternative approach (Idea) to indexing abbreviations. But there is functionally no difference from me as an Indexer (or a Reviewer) not being able to interpret letters that are on the record from letters that are implied (abbreviated) but not actually inscribed there. So I don't quite get why there is a difference between * used to denote undecipherable - and * which could be used to denote abbreviated. They would mean the same thing when searching? The part that matters is whether the Search results are returned - and that could depend upon how the record was indexed.
As far as indexing using Soundex - I don't know whether FamilySearch uses Soundex for purposes of the Search index on all collections (maybe they do for some). Soundex in my experience was used to index US Census records. Even then an index was a finding aid for locating the record image. These days I think there are 'more useful' search/indexing algorithms for assisting in locating record images - so I don't know what FamilySearch uses.
BUT yes the Project Instructions indicate use of '*' and ? (so I guess I will stop thinking and follow the instructions - and unfortunately leave it to the researcher to decide - if they find the record).0
In a nutshell - Type what you see. Don't correct misspellings, or expand abbreviations on given and surnames. The use of wildcards is only for letters that cannot be deciphered, not for letters that are missing.
This instruction is in the field helps which are accessed when you click on the purple question mark that appears when you click on a field:
Type the given names as they were written. Do not correct misspellings or expand abbreviations.2
Although an additional character - '*' would not technically be an expansion.0
The rule is: Type names as they were written. Do not correct misspellings or expand abbreviations unless directed otherwise in the project instructions.
Typing the names as they were written is crystal clear; Don't add additional characters.
Indexers and reviewers need to follow the established guidelines.3
Yes the rule is clear (as I initially mentioned) - but the answer to the question I asked (related to the thread topic) still is not.
As mentioned an '*' character is only a placeholder for more than one character. An abbreviation for a name - is 'usually' a common occurrence (it's meaning was common to those literate at the time in which it was recorded - at least the scribe knew - otherwise it probably wouldn't be abbreviated?) - and usually includes the removal of more than one letter (I believe usually consecutive - I don't know too many 1 letter removal abbreviations for names).
So essentially I am asking why the rule does not allow replacement of abbreviation letters with '*' - because it neither changes the letters I do see - it's not a spelling correction - nor changes the 'meaning' of the abbreviation by expansion (it's not adding assumed letters - in fact it explicitly is not assuming any of the missing letters)? The part that might be 'assumed' - and perhaps the reason for the rule - is the correct sequential location of the abbreviation letters (for many common names this may be obvious but for some it might not be). Rules for rules sake - when the functionality wouldn't be changed is the whole point of my question. To me there is no functional difference between:
W(indecipherable)m -> W*m
W^m (abbreviated) -> W*m
And the search results (unless variants are being 'taken care of elsewhere' (which yes it appears they are ... in some manner) may make searching for a 'Wm record' more difficult to find (the whole point of indexing).0
genthusiast, I think you are being a bit overzealous in your interpretation and should just follow the rules as they are written and Melissa has stated and let it be.0
slotbuddy, thanks for your opinion ...0
Wm is a standard abbreviation. We index names as they are written unless specifically told otherwise. There might be other names that a creative recorder might have shortened to Wm.1