Talk:World Archives Project: Rhode Island, Vital Extracts, Church Records, 1636-1850
Extra Keying Helps
- Here is a list of common abbreviations you may encounter.
Also for Intentions and Publishments (marriages) p = publishment and c= certificate. According to the new instructions the c date is keyed as a Marriage Certificate record.
From United Congregational Church, Little Compton, book: a = admission, b = baptism, ab = admission and baptism (on same date)
In baptism records an "a" before a date means the person was baptized as an adult.
From the first page of the Westminster Congregational Church (Providence) member list: d = death, r = withdrawn or removed (left church), c = Church, s = society (evidently people could join the Church, society or both but I'm not sure). After looking at numerous examples it seems that most or all dates are of church/society membership, even when "d" is listed.
- We will sometimes see an Event City outside Rhode Island. In those cases only key the city, not state and/or country. Cities outside Rhode Island will not be in the dictionary so F7 will be needed.
- The Event City can often be found in the page header, like Westerly in this example:
Usually, only every other page will have this header. For the other pages, that don't list the City in the header, we should not assume the Event City is the same. Then we can only get the Event City from each item and we may often need to leave the Event City blank.
Many items on the pages will list one or more cities which are not the Event City. Those cities whould not be used, even if there is no identified location for the event.
This is a marriage record and the birth and residence locations are not to be keyed.
Common Keying Errors Found by Reviewers
Parents last name should be keyed.
Do not key Jr in given or surname fields. Per keying guidelines: In cases where the name is listed as Rev. John Smith, or John Smith, Jr, and there is not a prefix or suffix field the name should be entered with John in the Given Name field and Smith in the Surname field, without either prefix or suffix.  -- Wiedwoman 21:35, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Do not key any ranks that may appear
Please check that you have keyed the Event City if it appears at the top of the page. Even though the city name may appear only once on the image, if you miss it out of every record on the page, it could have a bad effect on your accuracy stats! --Katerimmer 12:05, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Deacon (abbr. Dea) and Elder are church titles, keyed as prefixes, not part of the given names.
When there are multiple dates on one entry to be keyed, key ONE "Other" type date, with the earliest date, to capture the person and when the person was living. If there is a vital ("non-Other", i.e. Baptism, Death) date, do NOT key an Other date at all.
Questions and Answers
That would be the reverse of how we usually see, and key, them. Do we just follow our usual keying guideline and hope those people will be found in a search?
- A: This was discussed on the message board with agreement on my interpretation. I Reviewed the sets I saw to make the name in parentheses the spouse's surname. This only affected a half-dozen or so image sets and they have probably all been processed now. --Tom Ferrio 13:53, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
Q: I have seen many instances of the following, where no year is given for the birth. In every case the month/day is prior to the month/day of baptism. It seems obvious to me that the birth was in the same year as the baptism and it was just omitted to save typing. I have been keying and reviewing that way (e.g. 1888 for the birth year in this example) but I see most other people are keying the birth year [blank]. Is my assumption ok?
Some people are keying those single dates as Birth and some are keying as Baptism. I claim it's impossible to tell for sure which it is and I'm keying and reviewing to Other.
Does that opinion seem correct?
Q: I am keying deaths from the Rhode Island, Vital Extracts, Church Records, 1636-1850. For location, I have a several records that don't list a city (page 118).
Peleg, of Clarke and Ann,drowned from Governor's Wharf, probably, 1739.
Thomas, lost on passage from Honduras, Nov.16, 1766, aged 42 years, 8 months, 16 days.
Q: Would the "Event City" section be left blank on both of these records because they don't list a city? Or how should they be keyed?
- A: We only key what is provided. If no city is named we leave the field blank. And "city" means city; not a country, state or "at sea". There is some chance that Governor's Wharf is/was a town but I doubt it, from the wording. --Tom Ferrio 12:25, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Q: Regarding keying "Event Location": I've reviewed the instructions again, and want to confirm that for pages without a place-name-page header, the only event locations to be entered are those that include "AT (town)." The towns inserted after the names of brides or grooms (without at) are not to be keyed as the event location, right?
- A: Yes, that's right, because the towns shown after the name of the bride or groom are their places of residence and not necessarily where the wedding took place. --Katerimmer 23:40, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
I would also say that for "birth and baptism records", the baptism happened at the church at the top of the page but that is not necessarily where the birth happened and we should not assume that it happened at the same town as the baptism. --Tom Ferrio 12:06, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Q: I'm keying records from "Christ Church Westerly - Communicants." When I have an entry that lists both the date received into the church AND removed from the church, do I key it as two separate entries, one for received and one for removed? Or just the one entry for received? For example: "BOSE Frances Burling, received May 1845 rem -- 1855" I'm inclined to key this as two separate entries for Frances Vose. Would that be the correct action?
- A: I believe we just key one, the earlier one, as an "Other" date to capture the person and when the person was living. If there is a vital ("non-Other") date don't bother keying an Other date at all. --Tom Ferrio 20:25, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
Q: documenting previous marriage: the snip below is about the marriage of a widow. It would seem logical, and valuable to document the previous marriage with a keyed record, added below as an "Other" since there is no date. What do you think? --Tom Ferrio 13:46, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
- A: I don't think WAP intend us to key extra records like that, sorry, just one for the marriage that the entry is actually about. --Katerimmer 23:40, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
I thought that was likely but this is where I get impatient with WAP sometimes. If Cornelius was one of my ancestors I would really like to find this information in a search. Without keying that extra record finding this would be very unlikely. --Tom Ferrio 12:18, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Q: Under a section called "Rhode Island Friends Records--Marriages," some entries have one town name preceding the date. But then there are entries with different town names following each of the bridal couple names. I've keyed the town name with precedes the date. Is this correct? Or, where there are two different towns listed, should the event location be blank? A: Without seeing the exact text I would urge caution. Most of those I have seen seem to list the towns the parents live in but do not explicitly list the marriage town. "preceeding the date" may be the same as "after a set of parents". --Tom Ferrio 12:18, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Q: Under the Bliss family name, I have two different Elizabeths with entries--a baptism and an other. One father is Capt William Bliss and the other is Elder William Bliss. Given the keying instructions of not including Capt or Elder in the father's name, should I treat this as a single entry of the baptism? Or should I make Elder William the father's name?
- A: There is nothing to say these are the same person so my assumption would be that there are two William Blisses. That would not be a surprise as the same given names often flow through families. I have been treating Elder is a prefix and I have been keying it as such although it is not in the dictionary so it should never be entered as part of the given name. --Suzanneferrio (Tom) 20:29, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
Q1: I've seen (col.) for colored on several records. Is this to be keyed?
- A1: I don't think so. --Suzanneferrio (Tom) 14:15, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
Q2: The instructions say not to include ranks. Please confirm that Capt is not to be keyed as is Mrs or Dr?
- A2: When reading that instruction I wished that "ranks" would be explained more. But I assume it means military ranks so "Capt" is not keyed. "Mrs" is clearly keyed and I have been keying "Dr". The general keying standards (link) do not provide any guidance on what is not considered a prefix or suffix to key (hint, hint). --Suzanneferrio (Tom) 14:15, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
Q3: One entry says: "Barker, Isaiah, June 10, 1820, died Aug 20, 1833" I keyed two records, one birth and one death. Is this correct? Thanks.
- A3: Unless there is clear information, e.g. page header, that the first date is a birth date then we can only assume that it is an "Other" date. (On some pages I have seen it has been the baptism date or the date the person joined the church. The latter in membership listings.) Because there is a Death date for this person, the Other date would not be keyed. --Suzanneferrio (Tom) 14:15, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
Note: Discussion about the following image removed because the answer was simple. The image was left as an example illustrating the next question. --Tom Ferrio 22:05, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Q: Oh help! I have just come across one of these strange double-year dates - Feb 28 1693-4 for the marriage of Joseph Chase to Sarah Shearman - but I do not fully understand your discussion above. What date should I actually key? February 1694? Confused!
- A: I have removed that previous discussion just above because it was just my confusion. I now think it's clear that we key the earlier year when two years are given. So Feb 28 1693 in this example. --Tom Ferrio 22:05, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Q: I am also seeing Quaker-like month numbering in records from a Sabbatarian Church (Newport), which I don't believe is Quaker, more like Seventh Day Adventists. See this clip of three dates:
So should these be keyed Jun 16 1717, Feb 21 1719 and Apr 12 1718 since two of them are in the Quaker date formating? --Suzanneferrio (Tom) 14:57, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
Q: In regards to death records: Is the date the date of birth or the date of the 'event' which would be the day they died? I've seen other records where it could be either one.
For example: BRYER Mary, wife of Joseph, daughter of Daniel and Wait Gould, Newport, Jan 9 1690, aged 37 years.
- A: If the records are labeled as Death records, and since the age is given I would say that yes, it is a death date. When both dates are present typically they will noted with a b and d to identify the dates.
Q: I have a birth records entry which reads GOULD THOMAS, OF THOMAS AND SARAH, MIDDLETOWN, JULY 11, 1728. The next line reads JOHN, OCT. 29, 1736. Am I to assume (and key) that John is also the son of Thomas & Sarah born in Middletown? Or do I only key John's name and birthdate as seen?
- A: We have decided that the parents need to be copied down until the next record where parents are given.
(previous discussion here has been summarized for Keying Helps section above and removed.)
Q: I have a list of names along with dates that follow a "b." At first I thought it meant birth, but it became apparant that there were too many multiple births (quintuplets, etc.). Then I determined that it must mean baptized. There are also "a."s, which I thought meant about, but now I am finding dates that follow "ab.". What do all these mean?
- A: A stands for Admission date, B stands for Baptized date and AB stands for Admission And Baptized on same day. -- Wiedwoman 01:54, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Q: Regarding my question on abbreviations, here is an excerpt from page 35: Using the suggested abbreviations, I think it is highly unlikely that there was a set of Octuplets, followed by a set of sextuplets. These are prevalent on the surrounding pages. All these children of John Wood, including John Jr., are followed by a John, (no parent(s) given. They are all "born" on the same "aged?" day. I suggest that the "b" refers to baptism and the last "John" is the father of the preceding individuals and is being baptized at the same time. I also suggest that the "a" may stand for something along the lines of "admitted into the church", or maybe some other type of of religious commitment. Ideas??
On the left page you have "VITAL RECORD OF RHODE ISLAND", and on the right page is "UNITED CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH-LITTLE COMPTON.".
Here is some more fuel to add to the fire:
I get quite a few "wife of " so and so's. What is that about? And I really don't understand the fourth entry from the bottom in the clip above. This appears to be more evidence that "b." is being used for Baptized in this book. Also, do we key the date as seen when it is 1748-9, etc.?
- A: In regard to your question about entering the year range - the field help states to use the first year given.
- And the fourth entry up is stating that Mary, (the surname would be the surname given at the beginning of this section of names) the daughter of Joseph and Mary was baptized by Mr. Campbell at Tiverton. There are two possibilities -
- 1. The first daughter named Mary passed away and they named the next daughter Mary as well.
- 2. There are two sets of parents named Joseph and Mary.
- A: In regard to your question about entering the year range - the field help states to use the first year given.
- A: I found the same book on ancestry.com (link). Here is the header on the first page of that section:
So "a" is when admitted to the church. "ab" if if the person was baptised and admitted on the same day.
- A: Excellent! Now if we could just get those added to the drop-down list.
- A: "Baptism" is in the list. I have been using "Other" for "admission", "received", "letter" etc. that I am seeing. But I am not entering multiple records for a person if they are only "Other" records (like Mary Valentine's letter date below)
Here I entered one "Other" record for James, to capture that name, and one "Death" record for Mary. I did not bother with an "Other" record for Mary for the letter since it wouldn't help anyone for searching, once we have captured her name in another record. Is that ok?
Q: More abbreviation questions: In the following clip you will find "dr."s, "d."s, and sometimes both together. "d." cannot indicate "died" in this case, as several entries have both "d." and "died" with two different dates. Perhaps you could find a complete listing of abbreviations particular to this book.
- A: I used your link and finally found the answer to the question above, regarding d., dr, and b. in this section. See clip below:
Q: The following excerpt has a lot of information.
It seems perfectly clear to me that I can/should key the mother of William and David as "Mary Harris". This all seems to read like a paragraph. Or is that inferring too much? No, not inferring too much. :)
On the other hand the following excerpt is structured the same but does not include "his wife" and "their children".
So for this one I list the mother of Sarah et al as "Phebe G Peckham". Although it's pretty obvious that she is "Phebe G Lockwood" the data does not explicitly say that. Ok?
Since first writing this question a couple days ago I have seen this structure very often, listing the parents followed by the children. So now I have started keying e.g. the mother of Sarah as "Phebe G Lockwood" rather than "Phebe G Peckham" as I believe the book intends that to be clear. Is this ok or is it inferring too much?
- A: You're correct, Phebe G Lockwood is how the mother should be keyed.Annafechter 12:33, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Q: In working on marriage records, I have encountered many instances where the bride's maiden name (and her parents' last name) is not given. In that case, do we assume that the groom's last name should be used for every one in that grouping, or do we leave the surname fields blank for bride and her parents?
- A: In this situation we would not assume their surnames. The only cases in which we would assume surnames are
- 1. When the child's name is listed in full but the parents names are not
- 2. When the parents' full names are listed but the child's surname is not
Q: Are pages entitled Intentions (to marry, I assume) to be keyed as Marriages or Other? Also, on adjoining pages to Intentions, where the heading does not state the type of event, but it's identical to Intentions, what should the Event type be?
- A: According to the updated project instructions Intentions should be classified as a Marriage Certificate event type. In regard to the pages where an event type isn't noted these would also be classified as Other event type.
Surely the Marriage Certificate event type only applies when it is shown as c for certificate - if it is just a Marriage Intention I don't think it would be keyed as a Marriage Certificate. --Katerimmer 23:42, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Q: When church membership lists several dates which date is used - the oldest or the newest?
- A:You would use the first date listed.
Q: If a person is listed as "his wife" referring to the man listed directly above, is he keyed in as the spouse? In the reverse is she keyed in as a spouse for him?
- A: Yes, you would enter them as each others' spouse.
Q: If a marriage is first listed under the wife's name and then directly below the marriage is listed again for the husband am I correct in that it is only keyed in once?
- A: No, you should key it twice. --Katerimmer 23:29, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Q. As a followup to the above question, when there is one entry which states no marriage, then the next entry shows the person with 'his wife', the spouse is entered on the 2nd entry. I have been also entering going back and entering the spouse on the 1st entry. Is that correct?
Q: On a page opposite what says "birth and death" there is an entry that states "GREENE William, son of Samual and Mehitable, both dec. of Johnston 3,6m, 1787". DOes this mean that William Green died on 3, 6m, 1787 and that Samuel and Mehitable are both deceased?
- A: Exactly, the parents predeceased William. Nothing extra to key. --Tom Ferrio 20:36, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Q: On page 234 of the church records there are several entries that don't have a given name but state son or daughter. Do we leave the given name blank or do we enter "son" or "daughter"?
- A: the keying instructions state to put things like "son" or "daughter of" in the prefix. Given Name would be left blank if no given name is provided. See it here. --Tom Ferrio 13:53, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
Q. Should we also be entering 'widow' in the prefix when that is stated since it gives info that they were married and that their spouse was deceased by that date?
- A: No do not key widow as a prefix. -- Wiedwoman 15:58, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Q. How should the following be keyed, similar to the above question? I am seeing these in Dr. Ezra Style's Record on page 431
BISSELL Job, son (daughter, child) of - This seems to be a child of Job Bissell, so the given should be Blank and enter Job as the father?
- A: Here is the image clip you speak of
As you suggest, this is a death at 6/12 years, prefix "son of", given name Blank, surname Bissell, father's name Job Bissell. --Tom Ferrio 13:53, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
--Per Anna, if shown as "son of" or "dau of" we would drop the 'of' and only key son or daughter. -- Wiedwoman 14:41, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
Q: Another example has 'BULIOD, Lewis, son of' with 2 more records saying 'BULIOD, Lewis, daughter of'. Because of the 'Daughter of' records, it would seem that these type of records should be entered as Blank for Given and 'Lewis' as the Father's Given.
- A: Key dau or son in prefix (drop the of). -- Wiedwoman 15:58, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Q: BENTLEY William, wife (or widow) of - This seems to be a Wife of William Bentley, so given is blank, with Mrs as the Prefix, and William as the spouse?
- A: For your Buliod example I think you see the standards now.
For the Bentley example, we are told to always key what we are given when possible. The words "wife of" are given so that would go in prefix with a blank given name and William Bentley would be the spouse. --Tom Ferrio 13:53, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
Q: The parents are listed as John and Mary Doe. Do we key as John Doe and Mary Doe or John Doe and Mary (surname left blank)?
- A: Earlier posts have said to use the child's name as the wife's surname, unless something else is listed, so it should be entered as Doe.
Q. How are we to key names that mention the 'colored servant of', i.e. Duchess, colored servant of William? Duchess is the Given Name, surname and Date are entered as given in entry, but 'William' is not the parent. Should we key 'colored servant of William' in the 'prefix' field?
A: The phrase "colored servant..." would not be keyed (IMO). Along these lines I have debated with myself when encountering people ("colored servants") who used one name. I end up keying the way it is listed. If "Dutchess" is listed as a surname (in all caps in alphabetical order in the list) I key it in the surname field and leave the given name blank. --Tom Ferrio 12:52, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Q. When keying records for a page that has 'what appears to be marriage records' since every line has a male and female listed with a date, should 2 records be created for each line? Each record listing one as the initial name and the other as the spouse, including the other name as the spouse name on each line?
- A: no there should only be one line keyed. -- Wiedwoman 01:37, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Q. When the 'marriage' or 'intention' records are found with an age, but no birthdate, should a Birth record also be created with the birthplace, if stated, and with a birth year that is calculated by subtracting the age from the entry year?
- A: No. Only marriage records should be recorded. -- Wiedwoman 15:58, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Q. I am seeing some strange records in Dr. Ezra Style's Record for Death records, page 437. Are my entries correct as stated below?
Simmons, Edward, daughter of - after doing more records, I think we should be keying this as Given-Blank, prefix-daughter and Father's given-Edward and Surname-Simmons. Simmons, Edward, son of - same as above so that the Edward is not Given, but the Father's Given, since there are so many records written like this similar records have the following: Symes, William, twins of - Prefix - twins, Father's given - William Treby, John, wife of - Prefix - wife, Spouse's given - John
- A: Yes it looks ok to me. -- Wiedwoman 15:58, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Q. With Dr Ezra Style's records, some of them are showing (Stillborn), so should we be entering a Birth and Death record for the one entry that is shown?
- A: Key stillborn as a prefix on the birth record. No death record should be keyed. -- Wiedwoman 15:58, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Surname vs surmised Maiden name
Q: How would the following death record be indexed: Greene, Mary, widow, daughter of Harvey and Lydia Brown... If the maiden name is supposed to be used instead of the married name, would I change her surname to Brown, and then put the spouse's surname as Greene? I have encountered many of these and just need to be clear. Sometimes there is a deceased spouse listed earlier, but without a clear statement that they were married. If it states: Greene, Mary, widow of Benjamin, daughter of Harvey and Lydia Brown,there is no question about proper indexing, it is just when there isn't all the information in the entry.
- A: key name as Mary Greene with parents Harvey brown and Lydia brown. Readers will understand that Brown is her maiden name. -- Wiedwoman 01:43, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
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