Talk:World Archives Project: Belfast, Northern Ireland, The Belfast Newsletter (Birth, Marriage and Death Notices), 1738-1925 (Part 3)

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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

1. Inst = current month, Ult = previous month.

2. As you review these records please pay attention to the instruction regarding how titles should be keyed found here.

3. Fetherston H is an abbreviation for Fetherstonhaugh and should be keyed as seen in the Surname field.

4. Jane Smith, daughter of John Brown, should be keyed as Given Name: Jane Smith, Surname: Brown, unless there is information to show that Smith is her surname (e.g. "wife of William Smith" etc.) --Katerimmer (talk) 02:59, 18 January 2016 (MST)

Common Keying Errors Found by Reviewers

Some keyers are keying age as 0 on birth records but it should be left blank. --Katerimmer (talk) 02:17, 20 January 2016 (MST)

Some keyers are keying the phrase "child of" in the prefix field when the birth announcement says "son" or "daughter", in which case they should actually be keying "son" or "daughter" as the prefix. Also they are keying the father's given name or initials in the primary person's given name field when it should be left blank if the child's name is not given. --Katerimmer (talk) 04:30, 20 January 2016 (MST)

Some keyers are keying the suffix Esq in the Father Surname field but it is not one of the suffixes which we are allowed to key in this field. The Esq suffix should be ignored in the father's name. The only suffixes which can be keyed in with a surname are Senior, Sr, Junior and Jr. --Katerimmer (talk) 05:36, 24 January 2016 (MST)

Some keyers are keying Mr, Dr, Lieut, Colonel, etc., in the Father's Given Name field. Just key the Given name and Middle Name in the Given Name field.

Some keyers are interpreting a death notice such as "At 48, High Street..." to mean that the age at death was 48, but in this form of wording it would be the house number and so is not to be keyed. Also, some keyers are keying the burial place as the Event Place for deaths, but should be keying the place where the person died instead. --Katerimmer (talk) 17:30, 23 March 2016 (MDT)

Relict means 'a widow.

Twin and Triplet should not be keyed in the Prefix field. --Katerimmer (talk) 06:09, 13 April 2016 (MDT)

Form Type is often being left as Newspaper Page when there are no records to key, but it should be changed to Cover Page, Section Header, etc in this situation. --Katerimmer (talk) 02:43, 2 December 2016 (MST)

Some keyers are keying Son, Daughter, etc in the Given Name field but it should be keyed in the Prefix field on this project. --Katerimmer (talk) 01:30, 5 December 2016 (MST)

For birth records, if the wife of the father is mentioned, please key the Father's Surname in the Mother Surname field. Refer to the sample images on the main project page; it says "when mother is mentioned but her name is not present, key the Fathers Surname into the Mother Surname field".

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: If someone is described as Elizabeth, daughter of John Smith, do we key her surname as Smith (as in some other projects)?

A: Yes, we can infer the child's surname from their parents.

Q:Do we leave month blank if date shows for example 26 inst and date at top of newspaper is 6 Mar, or should we assume that the month is Feb.

A: The way I understand the instruction "DO NOT key the Event Month from the publication date at the top of the image" is that it is saying not to key the publication month if no event date is shown. A date such as "the 26th inst" is an event date, so we would be ok to use inst or ult to work out the month name from the publication date. If it says 26th inst but the publication date is 6 Mar, this would seem to be an error, but we generally don't correct errors in the image unless we are instructed to, so this should be keyed as 26 Mar.

Q: If a marriage or death record says eg Andrew Park son of John Park of Belfast, should we assume Andrew Park's residence is Belfast and enter that in residence field for main person. Also if it says someone is of Hollybrook Lodge - do we enter Hollybrook or full thing into residence field. As a supplementary if a street address is given do we assume this is Belfast and enter Belfast in residence or event field depending on what it refers to.

A: I have been keying the parent's residence as the primary person's residence in that type of situation, based on the marriage notice in Keying Image Sample 1 where the spouse's father's residence is labelled as Spouse Residence. I realise that there is no Spouse Residence field on this project but it seems to imply that you can use the parent's residence as their child's residence. I would not key Hollybrook Lodge as a residence place because it looks like the name of a house rather than a town or village. If there is only a street address we do not assume it is Belfast, just leave it blank.
Q: Should we be keying the child's residence as the parent's residence in all situations where there is no residence specified for the child? To use the above example, I see many records where it may say "Andrew Park son of the late John Park of Belfast. Can we assume that a child's residence remains the same as the parent's even after the parent has deceased? I a little concerned that in the absence of specific projest instructions that we may be inferring information that is not on the records.

A: Do not infer residence if the parent is deceased or otherwise not stated in the notice.

Q. I am unsure of instructions re entering details for a birth where it says a baby is the son of eg George Sloan - I know I enter son of in Prefix field - do I then enter George in primary person first name field and Sloan in primary person surname field and also add George and Sloan in father's field,

A: Prefix = Son, Primary Person Given Name [Blank], Primary Person Surname Sloan, Father Given Name George, Father Surname Sloan. This is as shown for the Birth notice in Keying Image Sample 1.

A: The entire value should be keyed as seen into the Given Name field. Leave the surname field blank. See General Keying standards for additional guidance.

Q: But surely the project instructions for this project override the General Keying Standards? If you look through the keying image samples, you will see that they say to key the surname as the Primary Surname on birth records? For example, BIRTHS Dec 22 at Belturbet, the Lady of the Rev Wm Hearn, of two sons. Hearn is highlighted and labelled as Primary Surname, Father Surname and Mother Surname. And the annotations also say to key "Son" into prefix name field. Also, if you read through the project instructions themselves, you will see that it says many times to key "son", "daughter", etc as PREFIXES. So if you want us to stop doing this and key them as given names, you would need to rewrite all the instructions and make sure everybody knows the project instructions have changed in the middle of the project, e.g. by blog post, message board posts, etc. and also tell reviewers what to do if they are reviewing records keyed following the original project instructions. I imagine this change would make the processing stage more complicated than otherwise. --Katerimmer (talk) 05:08, 12 January 2018 (MST)

Q. If someone is said to be in their 70th year - that actually means they are now 69 - so do I enter 69 in event age field or 70.

A: General Keying Standards say the following: If the record states that the individual is "in their 24th year" how should that be keyed? In this situation the age would be entered as 23 since they have not yet had their 24th birthday.

Q. I have found an entry that says to the Countess of Harewood a son. Do I just ignore that one as I have no surname for son or mother or father - or do I enter them all as Harewood.

A: Unfortunately, yes, you would need to skip over this entry as there is not a name given.

Q. I have checked keying standards and can't find out how to cope with this - if an entry says eg Red Hill near Belfast - when it is very likely Red Hill is the name of a house rather than a place - do I enter, Red Hill, Belfast or do I enter Belfast as the place or just leave it blank. I have found a few that have near somewhere as place. I also have one that says Tollymore, Fourtowns, Down - now I know Tollymore definitely is a house so do I forget my knowledge and put all three words in place field.

A: Do the best you can with the knowledge you have. As a rule we do not key "near" in the location fields. In your first example I would key Red Hill as the location. For the second example key it as seen with Tollymore, Fourtowns, Down in the location field.

Q. The paper is from Monday, July 14, 1851 and it shows in death "died suddenly Tuesday evening last" - do I calculate and enter for date "8" or leave it blank?

A: We do not have instructions for this project stating that dates can be "calculated" from the date of the paper.

Q. If a birth notice indicates that a child lived long enough to be baptised but died shortly after should it be recorded as a death notice as well?

A: I don't think so, because there is nothing marked on keying image sample 1 to indicate this although it applies to the second entry on that sample. The instructions do say "Note: In some cases the notice was placed under the wrong heading. When this happens, key the correct notice type for the record." But in this type of case it was not placed under the wrong heading.

Q. If a birth notice states "Mrs. Lethan of three daughters" (without names), do I key 3 separate records for each daughter?

A: Yes, this is shown on keying image sample 1.

Q. In a marriage record I have the spouse named as "Margaret Wilson, youngest daughter of the late George Henderson". In these circumstances should the name be considered to be Margaret Wilson Henderson, or just Margaret Wilson?

A: Margaret Wilson Henderson.

Q. My very first image, and there is a blur all along one edge of the page, and that happens to be in the column that lists all the records I need to key. I can make out a word here and there, but not sure what to enter. I even tried adjusting contrast and brightness, but it's still illegible. What should I key in here?

A: If you can make out some of the letters in a word but not all of them, you can replace the illegible part with ?? - for instance, if you can see that the surname starts with the letter B but can't read the rest, you would key B?? in the surname field. If you can't make out any of the letters for a particular field, press CTRL and I to mark it as illegible. If you can't read any of the keyable information in an entry, you can press CTRL + SHIFT + I to mark the whole record as illegible. If you would rather let someone else have a go at it, then close the image set and then on your keying tool dashboard, highlight the image set and click the "Cancel" button. You can choose either "I do not wish to finish the image set at this time", which will send it back to be downloaded by another keyer, or "The image set has problems that prevent completion" and then you can fill in the box and put in a message about it being too blurry to read. This will send the image set to a small team who deal with problem image sets.

Q. The instructions for keying Event Year say that if the year in the date is not given in the notice, the publication year at the top of the image should be keyed. But what if for instance, the publication date is in January 1859 and the event date is in December? Shouldn't we key the previous year (i.e. 1858) in this situation? --Katerimmer (talk) 05:32, 10 January 2016 (MST)

A: In this instance it is reasonable to key the previous year. Seanbmc (talk) 10:29, 11 January 2016 (MST)

Q: As far as I know, counties on Ireland, are always referred to as County Kerry, County Tralee. How should they be keyed? Should County be omitted?

A: The current general keying standards state: If the record says Jackson County should I enter County? Yes, unless it is a County field it should be entered as seen on the record.

There is nothing to the contrary in the project instructions so we should follow the general standards and key the word county if it is on the image. (By the way, there is no such county as County Tralee.) --Katerimmer (talk) 09:07, 11 January 2016 (MST)

Q: If in a birth notice where no given name is stated, do we still key the child's surname as the fathers surname? --Jfmjfm7 (talk) 11:10, 17 January 2016 (MST)

A: Yes, or the mother's surname if the father's surname is not stated. --Katerimmer (talk) 02:12, 18 January 2016 (MST)

Q: The instructions state that we should include Son, Daughter, Stillborn etc. in the Prefix field if the given name of the child is not included. If both Stillborn and Son are both included, do I list both or just Son?

A: Key both. Thanks! Seanbmc (talk) 12:45, 5 February 2016 (MST)

Q: Birth Notice: Above it is says that if a child's name is not stated but it says son of eg George Sloan, we would put "son" in prefix, "blank" in given name and "Sloan" in surname field. However, the keying standards state:


On birth and death records "son", "daughter", "stillborn", "child", "unknown", or "not stated" may appear. Key these as prefixes if no name is given for the child. If "child of Robert Ferrars" appears, key "child of" as a prefix then key the father name as Robert Ferrars.

AM I wrong in assuming that we put "child of" in prefix field, "Robert" in the given name field and "Ferrars" in the Surname field? This is contrary to what is stated above.

Please Clarify. Thanks!

A: There is no discrepancy as the keying standards are saying that Robert should be keyed in the father's given name field, not the main person's given name field. --Katerimmer (talk) 16:25, 2 April 2016 (MDT)

Q: On a death notice, it is stated that an individual was "lost at sea, off the coast of Scotland". What, if anything, should be entered as event place? at sea? Scotland? or left blank?

A: At sea. --Katerimmer (talk) 03:05, 20 April 2016 (MDT)

Q: On marriages sample (BelfastNewsletter_NewspaperPage_Key_1.JPG) both Residence Place and Spouse Residence marked, however there is only one key field - should both places be keyed with comma or just primary person residence?

A: Just the primary person's residence. --Katerimmer (talk) 10:00, 24 April 2016 (MDT)

Q: I have a notice to Creditors about a deceased Anna Gore's estate, the article states her death date etc. Do I key this as a Death Notice or ignore it? Thanks

A: It should be ignored as it is not in the BMD notices. --Katerimmer (talk) 01:09, 14 May 2016 (MDT)

Q:Under the heading of Death Notice, there are a couple notices identifying date etc of person's remains being removed for interment. I'm assuming not to list these because they do not fall under the any of the Event Types?

A: As far as I know, these should be keyed as Deaths. --Katerimmer (talk) 09:37, 1 December 2016 (MST)
Q: Can you please confirm that these images have not been pre-selected as containing BMD notices (although in previous parts of this project, we did only get the images with BMD notices), and that we should expect the vast majority of them to be Cover Pages? I feel that we should have been warned about this. I am used to scanning over the page very quickly to pick out where the BMD's are, but it takes quite a long time to look through a page carefully enough to be certain that there are actually no such notices. --Katerimmer (talk) 09:37, 1 December 2016 (MST)
A: You are correct. Unlike Parts 1 and 2 of this project, the images have not been pre-selected to include only spreads with BMD's. Sorry for the inconvenience! Gigivs (talk) 11:24, 1 December 2016 (MST)

Q: In directions, it says to use location if given in name of hospital. Should we use the location for marriage if it is in the name of the church, i. e., Knock Methodist Church?

A: This is reasonable. Thank you! Gigivs (talk) 10:19, 8 December 2016 (MST)

Q: If the first page of the set has BMD notices on the extreme right side of the image that are readable and the second page has the identical BMD Notices on the extreme left (hope that makes sense), do we key both pages? The BMD part is identical, but not the screenshot of the pages.

A: Generally, identical BMD notices should be keyed if they appear on different images which are not duplicate images, but from what you are saying, it sounds as though the first image has the BMD notices on a thin strip of a second page which is attached to the main page in the image, and I don't think we are supposed to key those. --Katerimmer (talk) 01:28, 13 December 2016 (MST)

(Thank you for the answer. I thought I saw it somewhere, but couldn't find it. Now as I'm looking through the older questions on the Message Board under World Archives, I find that question and answer in that section!)

Q: For death records, what should be keyed when only a person's former residence is included; For example - "at Belfast, John Doe formerly of Dublin", or "at Belfast, John Doe, late of Dublin"? Should Belfast be keyed as the Event Place and Dublin be keyed as the Residence Place, or does this wording only indicate where the person used to reside and may no longer reside, so the Residence Place should be left blank? I guess this would also apply for marriage records as well.

A: If the only residence place stated is their former residence then I would key that as the Residence Place, especially since wording such as "his late residence" was often used to mean "the place where he was living until he died". --Katerimmer (talk) 13:03, 13 December 2016 (MST)

Q: What should be keyed in the parents fields if only the mother is listed as Mrs. and the father's name, for example birth records containing "to Mrs. John Smith, a daughter". Should we key anything in the Mother Given field? Should anything be keyed for the father?

A: This is addressed in the Keying Standards. You should enter John Smith as the father and Mrs Smith as the mother.
Thank you for the clarification. I wasn't sure from the Keying Standards that we should key the father's name if he was not specifically listed in the record. There is an example showing how to key "Mr & Mrs Christopher Anderson", but not one specifically showing how to key "Mrs Christopher Anderson". Also, the project does not have a prefix field for the mother, so which field should "Mrs" be keyed in?
Since there isn't a prefix field you would just enter the mother's surname.

Q: If more than one residence location is listed for a person, for example "John Smith, of Bath and London", should both locations be keyed in the Residence Place field or just the first one?

A: Just the first one. --Katerimmer (talk) 16:42, 8 January 2017 (MST)

Q: Most of the pages have no entries to key and the only pages where I have found entries are the front page, listed in the left hand column. In the interests of speeding up scanning other pages, has anyone else found entries anywhere else or is the front page the only candidate for entries?

A: I haven't and I've only been looking for front pages.

A: I have found a section titled Obituaries in 1904 and 1906 papers between pages 6 and 8.

Q: I have a death announcement where the person is described as Margaret (born Wallace) widow of the late Archibald Gracie. I have keyed Margaret Wallace Gracie leaving the father blank - but I could equally key her as Margaret Gracie and have the father as blank Wallace. I'd appreciate an answer please.

A: If you are saying that you keyed her given name as Margaret Wallace, then this is incorrect in this case because Wallace is her maiden name, not her middle name. I would key her surname as Wallace since her married name is going to appear in the spouse's surname field anyway - but not sure whether WAP's official answer would agree. --Katerimmer (talk) 09:01, 20 February 2017 (MST)

Thanks Kate, that's done. Q: I have another one for you though. Birth announcement this time. Mr & Mrs H. H. Cowley (nee Helen Noble). My instincts tell me to key as father - H. H. Cowley and mother Helen Noble. Any comments?

A:That is correct.

Q: I have an memoriam in which says - In loving memory of "Jennie" beloved wife of... etc. This looks to me to be a nick name but there isn't another given name to use as the husband only gives his military rank and surname. Do I key her nick name with the "", without them or leave the given name blank?

A: Key Jennie without the quotes. --Katerimmer (talk) 16:17, 2 March 2017 (MST)

Q: This is a birth announcement that has me stumped, transcribed here as it is written. THORP - 12mo.18, (I'm pretty sure this is a typo and should be 13, see question below)at Bessbrook, the wife of John Thorp, of a son. Does this mean the birth was a year ago on the 18th or is it the 12th month (the newspaper is dated Dec 17)? It's been a few days since I posted this query and I'd really appreciate some guidance on this please. Very disappointed not to have any kind of help with this query and the set is now due for return. If you are the second keyer to get this and want to know how I dealt with it - I left out the date and keyed the rest as usual. C'est la vie!

A: Enter the age as seen, 12mo. 18

Q: But the 12mo.18 is not supposed to be an age, but some form of the date of birth! It would make no sense for a birth record to have an "Event Age" as everybody is age 0 when they are born! Could you rethink the above answer, please? --Katerimmer (talk) 05:08, 12 January 2018 (MST)

Q: This is another date query but it relates to the one above in that they are both using the same format this is however a lot clearer and may help another keyer in future. Death announcement this time, again transcribed here as written. GREEN - 10th mo., 31st. The newspaper is dated Nov 1st so far easier to work out. Do you want me to key Oct 31st in the date field or is there another way of dealing with this?

A: It should be keyed as Month - Oct, Day - 31 --Katerimmer (talk) 13:20, 31 March 2017 (MDT)

Q: Two queries in the same set. 1st I have a marriage where the bride's father is just given as the Earl of Eldon, general keying standards seem to suggest keying Earl of Eldon in the given name field! 2nd a death notice for a child, as written -("wee Charlie")son of Charles & Lizzie Boyd. Should I key Charles for the child or is that inferring information?

A: Yes, Earl of Eldon should be keyed into the given name field. For the second one, I would key Charlie as his given name. --Katerimmer (talk) 02:48, 12 April 2017 (MDT)

Q: Sorry to ask yet another question. I have an English county written as Glo'stershire. Do I key as seen or expand as I would M'Fee etc.?

A: It (Glo'stershire) should be keyed as seen. If you look carefully at M'Fee you will see that the character after M is not an apostrophe but an inverted one which was used as it resembled a superscript c, so when we key it as McFee we are not expanding it but keying as close as we can get to what was typeset. --Katerimmer (talk) 11:31, 13 April 2017 (MDT)

Q: I have an announcement of the calling of banns under the column of BMD's. It gives all the family detail etc. more than most in fact as it names the mothers of both parties, and a date on which the banns are to be called. Should I key this into the marriages or another section header or ignore it?

A: I wouldn't key it, unless WAP say to. --Katerimmer (talk) 12:29, 24 April 2017 (MDT)


If you have a suggestion or would like to make an addition to the project page, click “EDIT” and post your suggestion 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.