Talk:World Archives Project: Tennessee, Early Land Registers

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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

I have transribed part of a record (I think I am 99% accurate - if you disagree post your corrections) to help with reading the handwriting. The names we would key are in orange text.

Common Keying Errors Found by Reviewers

Keying only the name of the land owner and not keying all of the names found within the land record of adjacent or former land owners.


Names that should have been keyed and were not:
Stephen Wallis
A S Rogers
(Blank) Cunningham
(Blank) McCorrey
Hetty Lowell
Isham Rogers

I would include an asterisk with an attached note referencing the information you wish to inform the reader.

For those of you new to keying or keying documents before the 1900's, watch out for the long or double "s" within words/names which were written as what looks like a backwards "f" or "fs" or "p" (I've attached a few examples). "Jepe" or "Jefe" is often mistakenly keyed for "Jesse".


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: Does the instruction " Don't key the signatures at the end", includes the signatures of the witnesses as well?

A: Yes, this includes all of the signatures at the bottom of the individual record.

Q: Question about TNLandKeyRecordKeySample1.jpg. Why is "Entry No. 20014" used as the warrant/grant number when a "Certificate Warrant No. 1166" is clearly identified as the warrant number on the very next line? "Entry No. 20014" is not identified as a grant or a warrant. After reading many of this type of register, it appears that these "entry" numbers may be requests at survey offices rather than warrant or grant numbers. Although the instructions say grant or warrant number, what information is needed; the first entry with "No." or the actual grant or warrant number?

A: When you can identify the Grant or Warrant number that should be keyed. If you cannot identify a Grant or Warrant number leave the field empty.Annafechter 18:58, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Q: On West Tennessee plat surveys there does not appear to be a grant or survey number identified. Only a page number in the upper outside corner is visible. Should we use the page number as the grant number in order to differentiate between two surveys on the same image? If I leave the grant number empty, then there is no way tell where one survey record ends and the next begins. Also, I have the same question posted above. I have been keying the names of witnesses (who are often relatives or neighbors) and the surveyor's name. Should either or both of these NOT be keyed????

A: If there isn't a Grant no given on the record leave this field empty.

Q: Regarding same surveys referred to above, I've noticed that there is writing overtop of the original text at a 90 degree angle to the original text, and which includes dates and names. This text, however,is very difficult to read with the exception of the dates. I have not keyed this information along with the original survey record, since it is not clear to me what this respresents,and because the writing is difficult in most cases to read. Please provide guidance on this.

A: If you can read the names they should be entered.

Q: When starting to key the 1st page of my image set, it is clearly a continuation of another land grant from the page before. How do I key this section? Do I ignore it? If not, what information do I include for the grant number?

A: Key what information is available. If a grant number isn't present leave that field empty.

Q: I have an image which specifies that the land surveyed was in two counties, Rutherford + Bedford. Should I double the number of records, entering everything once for each county? Put both counties in the county field? Use only the first county mentioned? Something else?

A: If two counties are given enter them both in the County field separated with a comma.

Q: I have a number image that have names listed several times but with different Warrant and Grant numbers.  Do I still follow the instructions of not repeating names, even if each repeat has different information?

A: If you can be certain that they are the same individuals only key their name only once.Annafechter 18:58, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Q: Is there a preference when keying numbers if the document has both warrant and grant numbers written clearly?

A: If you see both a grant and warrant number key the first one mentioned on the record. Annafechter 18:58, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Q. I have come across an image that appears to be a court document involving guardianship of children. It is not a land record. No land warrants or grants are mentioned. It is not an index, or cover page, or title page. Should I key the names in the image, or designate it an image with no data?

A: This should be categorized as a Cover page - there is data but not data we are capturing.

Q I have a question re: "Number of Entry"

The record set I current have is from a large book. The heading at the top of the page has the printed word BOOK, then the handwritten notation H & I II Dist. The headings on the page are Locator's Name, Page, Acres, Location, No. of Entry, Date of Entry. There are about 40 names on each side of the page.

My question is the heading "No. of Entry". These are 4 digit numbers which are not in any particular order. Would these be keyed as the Grant Number?

A: No, it should not be keyed as the Grant or Warrant #.

Q: The image has two grant numbers and two dates for a single name. No other information is duplicated or corrected; there are no strike-throughs. The later (not latter) information is written in a different hand and located at the very top portion of the record.

A: In this situation key the grant number and date that you first encounter on the record.

Q: Many have section over to the right hand side that says the survey was taken out by (name) and another date. If the name is not in the original record, do we record it also with the other date.

A: Based on my understanding of what you have described these names wouldn't be keyed. Annafechter 04:34, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Q: In another project, we were told, "Do not key rank". Is that true in this project? We are not to key ranks such as Colonel or Private?

A: Unless it is stated NOT to key rank as a Prefix it can be keyed in that field. The general rule of thumb regarding Prefixes is that if you would address the individual with that title it would be keyed.

Q: When records describe physical boundaries as "waters of Onealls creek," "waters of Bartons creek," are we to key in these surnames?

A: No. However if it states that the boundaries are from John Onealls property or the tree on the edge of Jack Smith's land these names should be keyed. The difference being that one is referring to the individual and the other is not.

Q: I don't remember how to do a screen shot and the page i have doesn't match any of the examples of Land Records. It's not a "Cover, Section Header, etc." page, or Title Board. It may be an Index page but doesn't match that example either.

A: If you cannot determine what form type the record is and there are names that could be keyed classify it as a Land Record.
Follow these instructions on how to take a screen shot, (this also includes how to attach an image on the message boards.) And these instructions on how to add an image to the wiki,

Q: I can't find direction (and I'm new) as to how to index and list all names in the document when the situation is summed up as something like this: "you are hereby survey for JOHN KENNEDY...a pre-exemption of (specific plot of land)...In the office of SAMUEL BARTON...Claim No 626 (and date). JOHN C HAMILTON is entitled to the benefit of the warrant..." The date and warrant number are clear. But which of these people are actually indexed with that number? Am I entering 2 or 3 different records with the same warrant number and date just the person's given and surname changed? Is the "in the office of (person's name)" individual indexed as well?

A: In your example you would enter each of the individuals whose land is mentioned on a separate line with the same date and warrant number. Annafechter 19:40, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Q: should we ignore the signature name also listed in left column 'Owners Names' ?

If we are NOT to key the signature name at the bottom of the record, then also are we NOT keying that same name as listed at the top of left hand column labeled "Owners Names", example: 'Isaiah Watkins assignee of John Waddle and John Macmillon' where Isaiah Watkins is the signature name at the bottom of the record (therefore we ignore Isaiah Watkins, but key John Waddle and John Macmillon?) Or are we not to key any names from the 'Owners Names' column if not mentioned in the description text? Please advise.

A: We don't want to capture the signatures - we do want the names in the land registers to be indexed.


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.