Talk:World Archives Project: Australia, Newspaper Vital Notices, 1831-2001 (Part 1b)

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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 World Archives 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

If having any problem with spelling, eg. whether a letter is a y or a v, can use The Ryerson Index to check.

Please note that sections are not required on this project. --Katerimmer (talk) 12:58, 14 June 2016 (MDT)

Common Keying Errors Found by Reviewers

Some keyers are missing parents' names and spouse's parents' names by not reading all the way through death notices. --Katerimmer (talk) 12:29, 13 June 2016 (MDT)

There are two newspaper pages on each page of each set. Funerals are usually on the left hand page and births etc on the right. Some keyers are only keying funeral notices and omitting to key births etc on the adjoining page.

On this project, we are supposed to key a separate record for each notice, even if there are multiple notices of the same type for the same person, but some keyers are combining them into one. --Katerimmer (talk) 10:02, 4 December 2016 (MST)

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.

talk:Katerimmer|talk]]) 11:33, 3 June 2016 (MDT)

A: If you came across an image with both an obituary and death notice for the same individual key them each separately.
Q: Thanks, but what I was thinking of was when there are several death notices which appear to be for the same person. --Katerimmer (talk) 12:19, 5 June 2016 (MDT)
A: Each notice should be keyed separately.
Q: Is it acceptable to infer info in the 1st death notice from the second? for example the age at death does not appear in all notices but the death notices are obviously for the same person.--Tkirkpatrick66 (talk) 16:56, 8 June 2016 (MDT)
A: Do not infer information from one notice to another. 12:28, 9 June 2016 (MDT)
Q: The first image set which I downloaded for this project begins with a birth notice of the format "SMITH - BROWN - Jane Smith and John Brown announce the birth of their daughter..." So you cannot assume that the first surname shown is the father's, as you do in the first "Births" keying image sample. If we have to assign a surname to the father from the two shown and there is no indication which is which, perhaps we should assume that the surnames go in the same order as the given names, e.g. in the examples on the keying image sample, I would guess that "Angelucci - Voyage... Eric and Ioana" are Eric Angelucci (father) and Ioana Voyage (mother), and "Barnett - Bennett... Belinda and Patrick" are Belinda Barnett (mother) and Patrick Bennett (father). Similarly, in the "Silver Wedding" keying image sample, you have assumed that the first surname is the man's and the second one the woman's, although the woman's given name is shown first. In fact, a search for their names on ancestry suggests that the first surname shown in this notice is the woman's and the second one the man's.--Katerimmer (talk) 11:33, 3 June 2016 (MDT)
A: General rule of thumb is that the male surname is listed first followed by the female name. In instances where you can determine which surname matches the mother/father key them as determined. When you are not sure use your best judgment.
Q: Also in the first "Births" keying image sample, you tell us to assume that the mother has the same surname as the father, and that if her surname is stated in the notice to be different from his, to key
Q: In the first image in the "Newspaper Page Image Samples" section (AusNewsBMD3 NewsPage 2.JPG), is there a reason why the BMD notices and the In Memoriam notices are highlighted but the Obituaries are not? Shouldn't we key the obituaries? --Katerimmer (talk) 11:33, 3 June 2016 (MDT)
A: Yes, they should be highlighted - the sample has been corrected.
Q: If there are multiple notices which appear to be for the same person (and the same event), should we key each notice separately, or combine them into one record? --Katerimmer ([[User it as her maiden name. This assumes that all parents are married to each other, and that all married women take their husband's surname, although this is most definitely not the case in the time frame covered by this project. Why not just key whatever surname is shown for the woman as her surname, and only start inferring which is her maiden name if more than one surname is actually shown for her? --Katerimmer (talk) 11:33, 3 June 2016 (MDT)
A: I have altered the images with the mother surnames as suggested. Seanbmc (talk) 15:08, 6 June 2016 (MDT)
Q: More surnames! In the "Golden Wedding" image sample for "PATTERSON-KANE - GIBSON", you have marked Patterson as the Surname, Kane as the Spouse Surname, and ignored Gibson completely. I suggest that Patterson-Kane is the Surname and Gibson is the Spouse Surname. --Katerimmer (talk) 11:47, 3 June 2016 (MDT)
A: This will be corrected.
Q: Just wondering why this project has "(Part 3)" in the title as I don't remember a part 1 and a part 2? --Katerimmer (talk) 12:20, 3 June 2016 (MDT)
A: We started with Part 3 as the images had already been enhanced - they will be launched to index out of order. (When we set projects up we title them and associate the images with that title.)
Q: Where the primary person has been married more than once and all previous spouses are mentioned in the notice, are we keying just the final spouse or are we creating similar records to reflect the additional spouse names?
A: Key the final spouse listed.
Q: When the article states "today" or "tomorrow" can the full date be keyed from the publication date as opposed to just the year?
A: Yes - using the correct date depending on whether yesterday, today, tomorrow. (Similar to instant and ultimo.)
Q: What about Legal Notices (Probate) which usually show name and date of death? --Andrew_Gabb.
A: We will not be keying probate notices. Seanbmc (talk) 15:11, 6 June 2016 (MDT)
Q: Do we key nicknames in the given name field for death notices? Patricia Eames
A: Only if the nickname is the only given name shown. If it is along the lines of Mary ("Molly") then the nickname would not be keyed. --Katerimmer (talk) 04:17, 6 June 2016 (MDT)
Q: Deaths of women sometimes include a maiden name eg "HUTCH, Alice Marie (nee DAUNT)". Where or how should this be entered? --Andrew_Gabb.
A: I have been keying this in the Father Surname field but would like confirmation that this is correct. --Katerimmer (talk) 04:17, 6 June 2016 (MDT)
I guess this is the best of bad lot, but unfortunately not always a valid assumption.--Andrew_Gabb
Q: If the primary person is described as "husband of Jenny", should we infer that the Spouse Gender is F and the Spouse Surname is the same as her/his husband's? I suspect not in either case. --Andrew_Gabb.
A: We have discussed this a few times in the past. There are many times when you can infer gender based on names with fair certainty but if you are not comfortable doing that or if you are not sure don't enter anything in the gender field.
You missed my point. If someone is the wife of someone else, we can infer female, but if it says "husband of", can we infer that the spouse is female? I guess coupled with the name, it's a fair inference, but not otherwise.--Andrew_Gabb
Q: What do we do re maiden names of primary person or their spouse? Omit completely? There is only a field for maiden names of mothers.
A: These unfortunately will not be keyed. Seanbmc (talk) 10:30, 7 June 2016 (MDT)
Q: Why is there no Prefix for the Key person?--Tkirkpatrick66 (talk) 16:56, 8 June 2016 (MDT)
A: The project manager decided to not include one. Seanbmc (talk) 12:28, 9 June 2016 (MDT)
Q: Have asked this on the message board with attachment
"2 notices between the Births and Engagements notices titled "Birthday Greetings". Are these ignored due to the fact they are not included in the 7 notice types options or keyed as a birth without the year?
A: If they contain a full birth date, they should be keyed.
Q: What about suffixes, ie senior jr. Should they be appended to the last name. IE fred jones jr Or just forgotten?
A: The general keying standards say: If there is no suffix field provided, the following common suffixes may be keyed into the surname field, following the surname: “Junior” “Jr” “Senior” “Sr” Note: Suffix values entered into surname fields will be separated out into their own fields in post processing. Only key the values shown above. --Katerimmer (talk) 16:10, 24 July 2016 (MDT)
Q: For "In Memoriams", which Vital Date is to be entered: the publication date of the newspaper, or the printed dates of an individual's Death? For example, paper published in 2001, but "In Memoriam" is for a parent that died in 1981
A: The date we are keying is for the "vital event" so you would enter the date of death.
R: Thank you - the instructions imply that the date of the newspaper should be used (perhaps I'm just misreading it)
A: If the date of death is present that is what would be indexed, not the date the Memoriam was published.

Q: Where the name of the spouse is given as just a first name e.g John Smith, primary person, husband of Sarah without a we list her as Sarah Smith or just Sarah Blank?
A: She would be entered as Sarah Smith.
Q: When keying a Funeral notice, and a family notice is followed by a notice from an 'RSL' , and advises to check the family notice for a funeral date, do we add this information from the first notice into the 2nd 'RSL' record?
A: No, we are keying each notice separately. --Katerimmer (talk) 16:03, 2 August 2016 (MDT)
Q: When keying an in Memoriam and a name is listed along with a note, but no dates listed in the notice, do we use the publish date from the newspaper?
A: Memoriams are different than the other types of notices which would generally be published within the same year as the vital event. Since the instructions don't call out how Memoriams are different yes, it would be "correct" to key the publication date. However, this was an oversight on our part and for Memoriams the year publication should not be keyed.Annafechter (talk) 09:51, 3 August 2016 (MDT)
Q: I am keying Part 1b and have noticed that there are a lot of Cover Pages. In the project instructions it says that we shouldn't run across many of these, but I seem to be getting a lot of them. Am I missing something? There are no "birth", "death", "marriage" type heading in many of these pages.
Q: I have also noticed this, specifically pages from the The Sydney Mail, which looks more like a magazine than a newspaper. Perhaps it wasn't pre-reviewed for vital records?
A: These images were previously identified as either BMD Notices or Cover Pages. However, it is possible that some were missed. If you find them please continue to mark as Cover Page. Thank you! --mccallapeterson
Q: Should we be entering in the first name column "Widow, Wife, Mother" when no name is given as we do for Son,Daughter or just make it blank?
A: It would be acceptable to enter "Widow, Wife, Mother" into the given field when no name appears. --mccallapeterson
Q: The project instructions for Death Age say that, if the death age is given as 18 months it should be keyed as 18/12. However, the field will not allow this to be entered, so I have to state the Death age as '1'. Is this correct?
A: You should be able to key it as 18/12 and press F7 to accept it. --Katerimmer (talk) 02:27, 4 November 2016 (MDT)

Thank you. I found that by selecting the 'More' option, I could then type in the 18/12 and have it appear in the field so that I could accept it..

Q: When keying a funeral notice, should the date be keyed as the vital date? It would seem logical that the date fields should contain the date of death, which is rarely listed.
A: The keying image sample shows that the date of the funeral should be keyed as the vital date. --Katerimmer (talk) 01:49, 11 November 2016 (MST)
Q: I came across a funeral notice that read, "The friends of Mr. PATRICK WARD are most respectfully invited to attend the Funeral for his deceased STEPSON, Thomas O'Connor." Should the stepfather be entered into the fields for father?
A: Please leave the father field blank in this instance. --mccallapeterson
Q: A Few questions, clarifications:

1) In some Memorium listings, they sometimes list 2 people in the memorium with dates for each. Thus key in 2 entries, one for each person listed? 2) In obituary listings, I have seen them list the funeral date (thus it seems the obituary is after the funeral - usually by 1-2 days). So 2 entries - one for obituary and one for funeral - or one entry for obituary and no funeral entry? 3) In regards to death and funeral entries that list the nee Surname (Example Jane Adams (nee Smith)), for the surname field should the entry be Adams or Smith? If the entry is for Jane Adams, what if anything should happen with the nee Surname?


1) Yes, one record for each person 2) Just one record, for the obituary. 3) I will leave this one for WAP to answer because when it was asked before, I said I would key the nee surname as Father's Surname but then WAP said it should not be keyed. --Katerimmer (talk) 03:36, 14 December 2016 (MST)

Thank you for the answers, Kate! Since there is no maiden name field, please just key the first surname listed.
Q: In regards to Births that are listed as Stillborns, I gather we do only 1 Birth entry. If 1 entry, should the death age field be blank or 0?
A: Blank. --Katerimmer (talk) 05:19, 18 December 2016 (MST)
Q: In Memoriam notices

1) if it is stated "inserted by his loving wife" do I key his surname in the spouse surname category or leave it blank? 2) and also "inserted by his/her loving parents" should I assume the parents have the same surname or leave it blank?

A: I would leave the surname blank in both cases. --Katerimmer (talk) 06:32, 26 January 2017 (MST)
Q: Regarding Birth Notices, if it says a daughter born to Mrs A. Betts, do we assume the name of the father as Mr Betts? Or Mr A. Betts? Or do we just enter given info as mother's name and leave father blank?
A: Entered as ... Mother: Prefix: Mrs and Surname: Betts Father: Given Name: A Surname: Betts
This Section of the Keying Standards addresses this type of record.
Q: In regards to the above question (Regarding Birth Notices, if it says a daughter born to Mrs A. Betts) and answer, how does one know the initial is for the father and not the mother? Seems very confusing...
Q: I have an entry that has Obituary at the top of the section. But the next paragraph just lists names. Here is the first few lines and no dates listed. It is the ONLY item of interest for the 2 page image (no other births, marriages, deaths, etc - I looked and looked and cannot find anything else for data entry). So enter the names or mark it as image with no data? If names to be entered, how does one handle the Grace Darling's brother entry?


Justice Rayes, Mr Barclay, the brewer, Viscount Canterbury (leaving a peerage to Sir John Manners Sutton), Madame Grisi, Lord Foley, Admiral Deacon, Rear-Admiral Warden, Eugene Fourcade, French journalist; Grace Darling's brother; Mr Burcham, (another 3-4 lines).

A: The names would be keyed and the year from the top of the page used for the date. Grace Darling's brother would not be keyed. Also, please note that if you do come across an image with nothing to key but which is not actually blank, it is a Cover Page, not Image with No Data. --Katerimmer (talk) 01:14, 21 June 2017 (MDT)
R: My bad - yes ment Cover Page. Would be "safe" to say most of the names are titles and last names?? Obviously Eugene Fourcade sounds like a first and last name. The others certainly do appear to be titles and last names. Also seems there is a question above mine that didn't get answered.
A: Yes, most are titles or ranks plus surname, and there is no prefix or rank field for the primary person on this project, so those titles and ranks would not be keyed, but the surnames would. However, in the case of Viscount Canterbury, Canterbury was not his surname, and Viscount Canterbury would be keyed into the Given Name field with Surname marked as blank. As for the question above yours, I think WAP need to answer that one. --Katerimmer (talk) 13:22, 21 June 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.

I suggest that any more similar projects, especially those which include very recent dates like this one does, should ask for "Parent 1" and "Parent 2" instead of "Father" and "Mother", since (1) it is not always clear who is who from the given names, and (2) both parents could be of the same gender. --Katerimmer (talk) 11:37, 3 June 2016 (MDT)

Suggest projects are released earlier in the week so that the inevitable questions that arise in the first couple of days are addressed before the weekend. - Kerrie.

The dropdown menus for Gender and Spouse Gender should work in the same way as the Gender dropdown menu for the Ottawa Journal project, where you can key the letter (M or F) followed by the number 1 to select it, for those of us who are used to keying the selection number, please. Otherwise we end up keying M1 into the field and then having to go back and correct it as it is not accepted. --Katerimmer (talk) 11:38, 27 October 2016 (MDT)
Further to the above suggestion, the other fields on this project should also use a number for selection from the dropdown menu as some of them do not currently. --Katerimmer (talk) 10:28, 30 October 2016 (MDT)
Thanks for fixing the above problem, but I hate to say this - the Death Age field should not have the system of using a number to select from the dropdown menu because we are actually keying the age as a number, so if we don't type it very quickly, we find that we are selecting a different age from the one that we were trying to key. This has come up as a problem on various projects in the past from time to time. --Katerimmer (talk) 17:51, 2 November 2016 (MDT)