Talk:World Archives Project: Dorset, England, Quarter Session Order Books, 1625-1951

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Feel free to add to or edit information in this discussion tab as necessary. Please take time to become familiar with the General Keying Standards and be sure to read all instructions on the main project page. (Please note that in case of a discrepancy, project level instructions always trump general keying standards.)

Extra Keying Helps


Latin documents may be written in courthand, which is a wildly different style. There are samples here:

I have a sample here with a draft transcript.

This style has a number of unfortunate ambiguities:

  • i, m, n, and u are written as a series of identical strokes. The i is NOT dotted.
  • lk and w look identical
  • U , v and V are identical
  • I and J are identical.
  • C, G, E, and O, and Q are SIMILAR, but not the same.
  • B and D are similar.

It should also be noted that these documents are not true Latin, but "Latlish". As you will see phrases such as Junr, Senr, Esqr, laborer, yeoman, Single Woman, spinster, and so fourth.

Given names have been latinized. So William becomes Williamus, George becomes Georgius, Richard becomes Richardus, and on. Grammar matters to how given Names are written, Elizabetha may be written as Elizabetham, Thomas as Thomam, and so on. Key as Written.

Ux= Uxor = Wife of.

An Overline above a phrase is one form of abbreviation.

Common Keying Errors Found by Reviewers

Questions and Answers

If you have a keying question that is not answered on the project page or in any of the information above, click “EDIT” and ask it here. (If you click on Rich Editor you won't have to worry about formatting your entry.) Then click “WATCH” at the top right on this page and you will be notified via email when an update has been made.

Q: Only had a look at one of these image sets so far. Only locations I could see there referred to

1 the residence of the named individual (as in David Thomas of Cerne Abbas Bricklayer). Should I key Cerne Abbas as a location?


2 a reference to the appearance of the named individual at the last sessions at e.g. Bridport. Should I key that as location?


A: The Location is where the court took place. Typically this in in the margin. The Date is when the court session took place. If that cannot be determined, use the first date you encounter on the record.

I apologize for the delay, but I have just received Official confirmation on these. --Paulmd199 21:25, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Q: Does "first date you encounter" mean the earliest date seen that is associated with the session, or the just the first date you happen to see?--Collier Smith 05:28, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Q: If more than one date can be seen to be associated with a session, such as a beginning and an adjournment, for example, or a trial and an adjournment, which one should be keyed?--Collier Smith 05:28, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Q: Large numbers of these images are for criminal trials, where the only locations appearing are the location of the trial. (e.g. those that are currently appearing for Review.) But many also are for civil orders (e.g. those that are currently appearing for Keying.) Surely it can't be that we should key the location where the court was held for these? e.g. we might have a session in Sherborne ordering the payment of the gaol baker's bill for Dorchester, or the confirming of a Highway Rate for Hinton Saint Mary. In these cases, didn't we ought to be keying "Dorchester" and "Hinton Saint Mary"?

A: We are keying the Event Location - what the event is has been debated for a few different projects. Key the Location you discern best fits with the event in the record. For court hearings the event would be the location of the hearing, etc.

Q: If an alias is shown, should we key it as a new record or omit it?

A: I key aliases as a new record (what harm is done?), but would like to hear from an authority on this. --Collier Smith 06:07, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

A: The general keying standards say that if there is no alias field, aliases should not be keyed. --Katerimmer 07:56, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Q: I have found several female "prosecutors" and therefore conclude that "prosecutor" in the 1800s meant the person making the complaint--and so I key them; I do not key the LAWYERS (who are court officials). Is this correct? --Collier Smith 06:07, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

A: Yes, this is correct. --Katerimmer 07:56, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Q: On one sheet I have a man listed twice consecutively, one noted as "No 1 for a Nusance" and the other as "No 2 for a Nusance". Should I list his name twice?

A: You may eliminate some duplicates. However you will probably want to limit the scope of that to within a few lines. As it becomes tedious to review and makes the keying error prone. If in doubt just key the name again. It will do no harm. --Paulmd199 21:25, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Q: The first page of this set is a list of jurors. I marked this one as Order Books No Names as I think the jurors are court officials.I would like to know if this is correct before I submit the file.

 Appreciate your answers. Thanks.

A: According to recent update by Anna Fechter, jurors are to be excluded. --Paulmd199 23:28, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Q. On one page there are twelve names in two columns with the word "Sworn" in between the two columns. Would I be correct in assuming that these are jurors?

A:Yes, these are jurors and should not be keyed. --Katerimmer 14:35, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

Q. Should I key in the name of victims and witnesses?

A: Yes, these should be keyed. --Katerimmer 14:35, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

Q: Can anyone explain why the keying rules for this project differ so much from those for the West Yorkshire Q.S. Order Books project? Here we key witnesses, there we don't. Here we exclude all court officials (including, I presume, lawyers) while there we include them. There we key aliases, here we don't. Since such inconsistency is confusing for those of us who key both projects, why can't WAP decide on a single set of consistent rules for nearly identical situations? --Collier Smith 18:50, 6 January 2014 (UTC)