Creating community group for each indexing project
Is there any individual from FamilySearch coordinating a particular record project? Could a sub-group be created for each Project--so we could confer with each other?
I started indexing seriously a few months ago when the Belgium Namur Civil Records project became available. I've now completed over 1000 records and am starting to review records. I'm not a native French speaker (although my grandparents were from Belgium ), but although I'm not fluent--I'm strong enough to be confident for indexing. I've done my best to extrapolate from general answers on the community board to the unique issues of these records. It would be so nice, however, to immediately link with others--perhaps with a coordinator to clarify, so we would all be on the same page. With no feedback from reviewers or a coordinator, it would at least help us get some idea if we're on the right track :)
My suggestion would be that the link to a Belgium-Namur Project Community Group would be available as soon as that project is selected. Or, perhaps, even a Belgium (French speaking) Community Group, since records of other provinces will undoubtedly be added.
As I've indexed, certain specific questions have arisen--that the general indexing community really can't answer. For example: (ps, I've come to my own conclusion on these, drawing from general remarks, but have not been able to interact with anyone specifically dealing with the same issues ;)
- An indexer (possibly native Belge) used Assess % Morville punctuation, whereas the record just showed the two villages ( without any punctuation. Commas could be used, but I think the record is showing the birth was between two cities, not one being a smaller subdivision of another. Is there a uniform way of demonstrating that? I didn't edit the punctuation, but wondered if there should be any at all.
- Twice, I've had a batch of marriage records with marginal notations indicating the birth record of the groom. In one case, the groom's birth had apparently never been recorded b/c the father was blind at the time of his birth. Now (1830ish) the groom is showing up with 7 witnesses and a tribunal is held to validate that he was born legitimately to both his parents 23 years earlier. In this case I created a new birth record as well. These French records are amazingly complete. Names, dates and places of birth, occupation, and age of not only the bride and groom, but of each of their parents are included. After the first paragraph, an itemized listing also appears of death dates and placess of parents who have passed on. I have not made separate birth/death records for them because I"m assuming their deaths have been officially recorded somewhere else. But have they been? ... or is this the official record? It would be nice to confer with someone who really understands the history of the Belgium civil records to understand the procedures of that era. By the way, in this case, 2 full pages were taken to describe the witnesses of the tribunal, their conclusions in a statement from the magistrate, and even an official letter to the king of Belgium.
- I know that many of these civil record volumes are digitally available online--even though they are not yet indexed. I'm thinking that some of the native Belgium indexers have found out how to access these through the Belgium archives, or even, possibly through family search. We're currently indexing the Province of Namur--but in researching my own family in the Province of Hainaut, we are using those non-indexed digital versions. At the end of each year--and often each decade, the magistrate (from about 1795 on) has made an index to all the births, marriages, and deaths of that year or decade. It's tremendously helpful to find those when trying to sort through possible spellings. The indexed are alphabetized and often made by the same person, creating a Rosetta Stone for their penscratch :) Having a community group would enable us to share access we've discovered (and why I've asked if it's possible to see more than just a few pages before or ahead of the images we're indexing :)
- The volumes we're indexing from typically show the province (and depending on the year, also the country) -- but the 4 images a few hundred pages in don't repeat the name of the province until they happen to cover the beginning of the year or section. Following directions, I've only input the name of the village unless the province is specifically named.
- Another marginal notation that occurs on marriage records is that of the marriage of the parents of the bride/groom when the bride or groom shows up for the marriage. That seems to change his/her birth from illegitimate to legitimate and would change his/her surname from his/her mother's to his/her father's. But is this the only place that marriage is being recorded? In this case I've assumed it is recorded elsewhere. But do others agree?
- Potentially creating a list of common surnames as they're input from specific volumes of specific communities. Could this be an IT type issue? Occasionally handwriting is impossible to discern (by anyone) when only seeing that single name. But after comparing with other names from that volume (and often witnesses seem to be "borrowed" for other marriages or births, etc the same day) there's hope. The hardest are the mother's surname for a birth (she's almost never signing the declaration) or as the mother of a bride/groom
Thank you! And thank you for all the work so many thousands of volunteers are doing :)