Talk:World Archives Project: Bedfordshire, England, Workhouse and Poor Law Records

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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

Make sure to watch for when the line number changes. Due to this field being auto-generated when the line number changes you need to manually make that change.

Make sure to check the new example image for Cover page form type.

Common Keying Errors Found by Reviewers

Do not infer gender from first names only. Gender should only be entered if there is a mark in a Gender column or it is confirmed by other words such as his, her, widow, widower.

Exemplified Records - These printed records are given as examples of how to fill the forms in - some keyers are actually keying them. They should be marked as Cover Page.

One Admission Form has a column headed "Where he slept last night". (It's example 8 in the Keying Examples on the Wiki.) A number of keyers are entering it as the person's residence, which it isn't.

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.

Double Pages

Very often the two images are related to one another, and they appear as the right hand page first and the left hand page will be the following one. I have had to return a few of these and remarked in the comments boxes on returning. Is there any way of overcoming this?

A: If the image appears to be the second page of the previous, classify the image as an Indoor Relief Record and enter a Line Number for each "record" you enter data for. Post process we will use the line number to align records across multiple images.
A: Each image should be indexed separately, regardless of what is on the other image in the image set. Have a look through the sample images and the instructions on the wiki page, especially the instructions about line numbers for the Indoor Relief Record form type. --Katerimmer (talk) 01:49, 8 June 2017 (MDT)

I've had a number of unrelated images also, however, often it is impossible to key at least one page with any accuracy as not only is there no name but often no parish details or other that can be relied upon when the images start with the right hand page of a previous entry. Is it possible to reject one page and key the right hand page of a new entry only or do I need to reject the set? Thank you Jan

A: As stated before, each image should be keyed without reference to the other. "Rejecting" an image set only applies when reviewing a set which someone has already keyed, if you decide that it needs to be rekeyed. If you don't feel that you can key a particular image set, just cancel it with "I do not wish to complete the image set at this time". You can't cancel one image only out of a particular image set. --Katerimmer (talk) 16:51, 21 June 2017 (MDT)

I understand the answer is to key each page separately, but when you receive the second page only, and can't view what was on the first page, you can end up missing vital information, such as the person's surname, or the year of record, which seems to only occur on one of the pages. The pages I am given to key do not look like the sample provided. If there was a way for me to copy the page I was asked to key, and paste it here, I think that would explain why I, and the person above, believe that trying to key the second page, without knowledge of what was on the first page, is a real problem. - jimwatkins175

Same problems as Jim, above. Since the page with the Given and Surname are unavailable to us in the same set, it is literally impossible to do anything but mark the names as [blank] in order to submit the set. I'm not rejecting the set. I'm only keying what is available. The previous pages in the set are sometimes from completely different parishes definitely don't correspond to one another. --Mrsribby (talk) 10:25, 16 September 2017 (MDT)

A: If you're talking about "Indoor Relief Records" then you are supposed to mark the names as blank if they don't appear on the image. The "Line Number" field will be used at the processing stage to join the two parts of the index together. --Katerimmer (talk) 02:51, 17 September 2017 (MDT)

If the same person or family appears twice on one page but the date of application for relief is different ( say, 5 May and then lower down the page 29 Jun) should I "key what I see" or ignore the second since the names have been captured already?


A: If you can determine that it is the same individual(s) based on the Keying Standards you would only key them once.
      • Parish Names, Residence Places***

Hello. Is "Where he slept last night" the same as a parish. They are all given in parish names and that's what I've been entering them as, however, since none of the records I've keyed have been arbitrated I don't know how I'm doing.

A: See note above - where they slept last night is not the same as the Parish they came from and the one where they are chargeable. On this particular form the parish for individuals should be left blank.
      • Whoops. Well, I sincerely apologize. Some arbitrator will now have the annoying task of removing all the locations where people slept last night, since I've royally goofed. What about street addresses? Some people actually have a street address example: "45 Greyfriars Lane". I key it in as their residence within the parish. Yes? No?
A: Whoops again! Please see the general Keying Standards - we don't key street addresses in any Project unless specifically asked for (and I can't remember any Project asking for this), just the parish/village/town/county.
      • I'm not using "Michaelmas, or Lady Day etc to infer the date because that's the usually the "period ending______" date on the header. Some of the images have no other dates, and some have no dates at all so I am leaving those blank. Yes?No?
A: The instructions for Event Date say "If no date appears on the record level, the event date may be taken from the header." I would just use the year rather than look up the exact date for Michaelmas or Lady Day though. --Katerimmer (talk) 03:18, 15 September 2017 (MDT)
The Indoor Relief Record Sample Image indicates that the Event Day and the Event Year should be keyed in this situation. The sample image has "Michaelmas 1911" highlighted, and contains the following text: "Occasionally, holidays or other celebrations will appear as part of the event date. Please key these days into the "Event Day" field". So yes, if Michaelmas or Lady Day is recorded, the exact date should not be looked up, but Michaelmas or Lady Day should be keyed as seen in the Event Day field. -- chicodo
      • Can I re-view and correct the sets I've submitted? I want to fix a bunch of pages that I know I did incorrectly now, but thought I had them right, when I sent them in. Probably not. I'm a neurotic keyer.
A: An image set can't be reviewed by the same person who indexed the records. That said, reviewers typically know the project well and can correct errors such as these.
      • I'm coming across "Examination" pages''Italic text where a man or woman has a complaint against someone, as to a monetary settlement or the support due to an illegitimate child within one of the parishes. Usually these take place in Bedford St. Paul, St. Peter and St Mary. I have been harvesting the names of complainants, their children, their husbands/wives and the witnesses, dates of the examination, and parishes of residence. I hope this is correct. If not, what should I be doing with these pages?

Is it possible to put a reminder on the blog for keyers working on this project to read the project instructions carefully before keying? I am trying to review numerous image sets and very few are without errors. One or two keyers are only keying the name on each entry, some are marking cover pages and no data as duplicates, many are selecting the incorrect form type, where 'Indoor' forms are selected they are not keying the line number, many are inferring information that is not shown and the list goes on. I feel as though I am re-keying many of the image sets. I can't see any point in returning them for re-keying as the same keyers will be doing them again with the same errors. As there are still many thousands of image sets to key I feel this is going to be a very long job! Apologies to any keyers that are keying them correctly.


A: The instructions are visible at time of image set download and again in the field help as an indexer tabs through each field. Unfortunately, we are not able to force the review but I will blog about it this week.

Q: Apologies if I'm making all the errors mentioned above! Maybe some of the worst/most obvious could be explained here or in the errors section? and could we have an instruction on the examination pages re question posted above, please? I am keying info from these too, as I have on other similar projects. Thanks. Chrismw

Could we have an instruction on the ExaminationPages, please?

A: Image sample within the Project Instructions has an image sample with Lunatic Examination Book. Please use this image sample for guidance.

Q Thanks for the above, but it does not clarify the issue. These examination pages, which are occurring quite frequently in these records, as they do in the other Poor Law related records we have keyed, refer to the pauper's place of legal settlement. They cover one page usually but often more. The pauper is examined before magistrates about her/his history, and information about date and place of birth, spouse, children, parents, occupation etc. are included. Another keyer has posted a question about these - 4 or 5 posts above this one. Do we key the relevant information for the named pauper? Or do we mark the image 'cover page', please? Thanks.

A: Yes, capture the names and all relative fields for Pauper records.


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 would like to suggest that for any similar future projects, Spouse Age should be added, perhaps to replace Spouse Suffix, as it would be much more useful for researchers. --Katerimmer (talk) 12:59, 7 March 2017 (MST)

And another suggestion - have Line Number automatically increase by 1 for each record keyed. This has been done on previous projects so I know it is possible.--Katerimmer (talk) 04:27, 8 March 2017 (MST)

This has been updated. Sorry for the delay of action.

Just one note of caution - it has been amended but if you have two Images to key - the second Image continues numbering where the first one left off!!

Can I suggest inclusion of Maiden Name in future? Thanks.

Instructions for age say for 7 months, key 7/12. The program is still not accepting it, however. Can that be changed, please? Chrismw

This is not a change we plan to make at this time.

OK. So is 7/12 correct or an error?

7/12 is correct.

Indoor Relief Form - second page which lists the names. On the ordinary Poor Law Record we were told not to list the spouse as a separate record. Some keyers are therefore not doing this on the Indoor Relief Forms, but as every line is numbered to tie in with a Page 1 data, this makes the line numbering wrong. Can we add something to the Project Instructions to say key everyone on a new numbered line on these records.

      • It would be helpful if someone would add "Pavenham" to the list of Parishes in Bedfordshire, and the surname "Douglas" isn't in the Surname dictionary either, which is odd, considering how common it is.-----Mrsribby (talk) 08:58, 6 November 2017 (MST) (Elisabeth)
December 2017 (MST)