Australia, Victoria—Wills and Probate Records, 1865–1925 [Part D]
Hi all - apologies for once again posting something that is not actually a question but...
The Australia, Victoria—Wills and Probate Records, 1865–1925 project is back (yay), with much more intelligible instructions (double yay). This is such a great project for family historians because the documents (once located due to our indexing and perused by the researcher) provide all manner of information: occupation, residence, family members, sometimes a list of possessions. It's really wonderful information
Last time the project stalled in a whirlpool of never-ending corrections until it was withdrawn and I can see a risk that it will happen again.
I think the instructions are clear, but I have seen errors already - eg this batch [M32M-G69]
When indexing, the starting message includes the following instruction:
Some documents may continue across multiple images. Index the information on the first page of a probate record or will, using additional information from the following images. When all available fields have been indexed, the other images should be marked in Step 1: Images as No, No Extractable Data.
When reviewing, the starting message includes this:
Please ensure ALL relevant information from subsequent related images is indexed with the first image for each new person. Check that subsequent images are marked No, No Extractable Data and each entry is for a new person. Check to verify that the residence of the “late John Smith” has not been indexed in the Will or Probate Place field.
[the italics is my emphasis]
So the intention is to have one indexed entry for each new person (not each new document or cover sheet). The information in that entry will come from all the images in the batch that relate to that person, all collected and entered in just one entry (and all the other pages are marked NED)
Let's hope we manage to get this project done and published quickly, because it is of great value.
All the best
We are happy that these records are available for indexing. The Best thing is to ensure that you read the Project instructions carefully and if you are still unsure - ask the question here in community. There are no dumb questions - only unasked ones.0
Thanks for alerting us to these, Julia, and the pitfalls of indexing them. Are these the same records as the digitised ones on the Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV) website, which are already available online, or is there some difference?0
I was unaware of that site and all its good stuff. At least the one record I just checked is on the PROV website, https://prov.vic.gov.au/explore-collection/explore-topic/family-history
It seems a bit curious that these Will and Probate records are now being indexed if they are already available online in digitised format. I wonder if a moderator could explain this. @KLaRees Thanks.1
Indexing these records make them more easily searchable by name and dates and places than if they are just digitized. When they are not indexed they are harder to search as you have to sometimes go through each image until you find what you are looking for. I hope this helps?0
Thanks @KLaRees . I'm not sure of the difference between "digitised" and "indexed", but the records on the PROV site (https://prov.vic.gov.au/explore-collection/explore-topic/wills-and-probates) are searchable by name, date, etc. I have been able to locate a number of my ancestors on it. Just wondering if we are doubling-up by indexing the Wills'/Probates here?2
I'm not sure of the difference between "digitised" and "indexed",
Digitised is when the images are available in a digital format. The underlying reason is to preserve the records in this format in the event that there is deterioration in the underlying records, but as a result of the digitisation often the records become available online, so people can access them easily, often on their home computers.
Indexed is when the images are looked at either by a person, or a computer, and details from the image such as names etc are transcribed by a person, or otherwise extracted. Often indexed data is then posted online, so that a name can easily be searched for.
I agree with the underlying point made by PatrickCox6 that it seems pointless for FamilySearch to be indexing this set of records if in fact they have already been indexed on the Public Records of Victoria website, assuming they are exactly the same records. Perhaps FamilySearch could investigate what indexes are currently available.3
Hi @KLaRees, there has been no further FS response as yet to the query about whether we are doubling up by indexing these records. They do appear to have been indexed and are searchable on the PROV website. Could this be followed up? Thanks.0
I don't think there is going to be an answer for "doubling up by indexing these records". They are two different web-sites, and at least one different organization. This could be a partner project through Ancestry, FMP, or one of the others. We index many documents that can already be found on other websites - like birth certificates in the US which are searchable on state archives sites, or war records which belong to our National Archives and can be found on various sites.1
I guess you are right. If these records end up on FS, hopefully more people will find them than if they are just on the PROV website. And reindexing can help to make records findable (this project is differently indexed from PROV)
On a happy note, the records I have been reviewing recently have all been great. So after a bumpy start perhaps we have all have read and understood the instructions.