Can we see the entire volume we are indexing, not just +/- 5 pages? Belgium civil records
Hi...my cousin and I are indexing the Belgium Namur civil records. While we can see records that have been microfilmed from Namur and other provinces: https://www.familysearch.org/?owc=SXJK-HZD%3A367681901%3Fcc%3D2138511
we cannot find the online version of the microfilm from the locations/dates/locations we are indexing. They must exist, or we wouldn't be able to digitize them online. How do we find those unindexed, but online volumes?
The main reason is to aid in interpreting the particular civil magistrate's handwriting! While searching for our own family records through unindexed records, we usually were able to find an annual index of all the births, marriages, and deaths for a given year within the same volume. We worry the most about the first letter since getting it wrong would inhibit future researchers :) Being able to refer to all the names in alphabetical order makes the indexing go a lot faster.
Note: we do not and would not trust the end of year or decennial alphabetical indexes for the batch indexing. We would still look at the spelling, to the best of our ability, for the original entry. My work around now is to google what I think is the Belgium surname to make sure it's a reasonable choice. It's helped to sort out some of the spelling. But we do try to analyze the original and of course will use it when the letters obviously differ.
Would there be a way we can contact the person coordinating our particular project?
Melissa S Himes ✭✭✭✭✭
The collection may not even belong to FamilySearch, so there might not be digitized images available on the site. They could be housed in the National Archives of Belgium.
From the FamilySearch Research Wiki:
Most records up to 1915 are at the site of the Rijksarchief in Belgie/ Les Archives de l'Etat en Belgique (The National Archives of Belgium). Only a few can be searched on their search engine. To view or search records you may register for free. The site is available in English and other languages.
When you can't figure out a letter or several letters, the wildcards can be used. The search engines are so good and Soundex is such a great system that a researcher will be able to find the names.
- One character. If you are unable to read 1 letter or number, use a question mark (?) to replace the unreadable letter or number.
- Example: H?ndley.
- Multiple characters. For consecutive unreadable letters or numbers, use an asterisk (*) to replace the unreadable group of letters or numbers.
- Example: Di*son.
You can't contact the people who are coordinating a project or the owners of the records for help. However, you could share your batches on this site and people will be glad to help you try to decipher the handwriting when you are stuck.2
Dellory Matthews ✭✭✭✭
Doing a quick search, I found thousands of films for Namur. And there's a way to filter results. Is this how you were looking? ( Sorry, but the photos posted in reverse order)0
Thank you for looking :) There are records for Namur, and for the cities/villages that we're indexing. However, they are not showing the volumes for the right years. Sauvèniere, Namur, for example, starts with 1901 using the index you found. But, we are indexing volumes from about 1860 to mid 1880's so far. Either something isn't listed in the catalog--perhaps volumes that are waiting indexing? OR they are not entered into the catalog until the indexing is complete? But my cousin and I have found family members by looking at the images of volumes from the province of Hainaut that have not been indexed yet. The original microfilms have obviously been made available for indexing--just not to "scroll" through.
Sometimes just one or two letters are impossible to decipher. If we were paging through the volume, I could find births in the years following the marriage and confirm spelling. Or a marriage record indicates the bride's mother is deceased, often giving the date. If we could only see the death records, we could possibly avoid a major indexing error (which first letter surname might give).
Maybe FamilySearch has a way of viewing the originals were indexing?
Thank you Melissa! Those are great references for the Belgium records. I'll pass on the link to my cousin (who is a native French speaker from Belgium) and see if that will help both with the indexing we're doing and with our own family work (mostly from the province of Hainaut). My French is good--but native speakers have the advantage of being more familiar with common Belgium surnames :) It's wonderful to have discovered this community site!