Transcription Tuesday 2017: Join the Cornwall Parish Registers team!
For our first-ever Transcription Tuesday event, WDYTYA? Magazine production editor Sarah Orme will be indexing the Cornwall Parish Registers collection on FamilySearch. Here, she explains why you should join her team on 17 January
- Register for Transcription Tuesday 2017 here
- Click here to read blog posts about the five other projects
Parish registers are crucial to family history research – where would we be if we didn’t have access to our ancestors' baptisms, marriages and burials?
While investigating my family tree, I’ve felt immense gratitude towards the genealogists who have painstakingly indexed and transcribed parish records over the years.
I’m looking forward to giving something back on Transcription Tuesday and I hope you’ll join me. Whether you can spare half an hour or longer, any time you can give will help to build this valuable resource.
My interest in this project is personal: many of my ancestors were Cornish, so I’m hoping to find distant relatives in the parish records.
This project includes a variety of parish record forms. The Cornwall parish records of births, marriages and deaths span from 1538 to 1900.
Before you get to work, it’s worth taking the time to read all the pages in the ‘Additional information’ section. These provide detailed information on the correct way to fill in all of the fields when indexing. There’s a lot to take in, so make sure you allow plenty of time to do this.
On the initial project page, there are also some useful annotated images to help you identify each section of the record if you’re not familiar with the documents.
If you haven’t indexed before, you will need to download FamilySearch’s program, Indexing. You may also need to download Java if you don’t already have it on your computer. These are both large files which may take some time to download.
Begin by clicking on ‘Join the indexing community’ on the project homepage, then click ‘Download Indexing’ or ‘Download Java’. Once the file has downloaded, open your ‘Downloads’ folder and double-click on the file to start installation.
Follow the steps on the installation wizard to install Indexing on your computer.
Once you’ve done that, open Indexing and log in using your FamilySearch login details. It will then offer you the chance to do a ‘test drive’ and practise filling out a form. I’d recommend doing this if it’s your first go at transcribing.
You don’t need to worry too much if you make a mistake – all batches are transcribed twice and checked by an arbitrator if there are any differences in the results.
Click ‘Download batch’ to get started. Once a record has been downloaded, start to fill it in using the form at the bottom of the screen.
As you click on each field, information about the data you need to fill in will appear in a panel on the right-hand side. Once you’ve completed a batch, there’s a chance to review any potentially problematic entries before you submit it.
It may be tricky to decipher the handwritten documents at first, but it doesn’t take long to get into the swing of things and the program offers a lot of helpful guidance as you work through each batch – which is great for someone new to transcription!