Talk:World Archives Project: U.S., Newspaper Extractions from the Northeast, 1790-1930

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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

Just as an FYI I noticed on the samples that we are keying ranks on this project. -- Wiedwoman 22:09, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Inst = current month, Ult = previous month.--Katerimmer 18:17, 26 February 2013 (UTC)


Anna said that it is ok to assume the parents and spouse surnames on this project when they are not showing.

Anna said that is is ok to key a Church if that is the only location.


We are to key the partial images. All the ones I've seen so far are marriage records that are missing the bride and grooms last names. Some are only showing a partial first name. If showing a partial name use the ?? for missing characters. Please do not return these sets as cancelled with problems, as I will return them to the keying queue to be keyed. -- Wiedwoman 06:18, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Common Keying Errors Found by Reviewers

Location should be keyed 'as seen', which means that states are not keyed in long form, if they are abbreviated in the document

Mother or wife maiden names should be keyed whenever present.

Do not carry over information from the previous page. Treat each page as if it were a new page. This includes publication dates.

The date at the end of a record in parenthesis is the publication date not the event date.

"In the 59th year " means the person was 58 years old, "in the 17th year" means the person was 16 years old and so on and so forth.. See Anna's comment on the project instructions,

The blank page between pages should be keyed as 'Image with No Data', not 'Cover Page' if there is no writing on the page.

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: I am working on death records and I have had several where a female has died and she is noted as 'relict of the late...........'. The Oxford English Dictionary shows the meaning of 'relict' as an archaic term for 'woman left behind'.  I am taking this to mean widow and I am keying the name into spouses given name.  I apologise to the reviewer if this is incorrect.

A: You are correct to key this as the spouse. -- Wiedwoman 15:31, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Q: Decedent is listed as Mrs. Thomas Jones. Should it be keyed as seen, or enter 'blank' for given name, and enter Thomas Jones as spouse?

A: I would key as seen and not key spouse unless it is noted that he is spouse. --Wiedwoman 16:50, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Q: Is it safe to assume that the date listed directly above the record is the publication date? I am keying marriage records where there is a date of Tuesday, June 5, 1866 on a line by itself, then there is a record below, with an event date of Tuesday, June 6. 

A: Yes the date above is the publication date. -- Wiedwoman 15:31, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Q: I have a marriage record that either combined two marriages on accident, or one man married two women on the same day. ==> 2 records? Skip 2nd woman?

Q: When keying in a child's age of 20 months would I present the age as 1 8/12?

A: It would be keyed as 1. We only key fractions up to 11/12 and then key full years only. -- Wiedwoman 15:02, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Q. When keying death records and there's no actual date of death, do I assume the year of death to be the same as the year of publication?

A: I would leave it blank. -- Wiedwoman 15:02, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Q. I'm keying a death event which says "Penniman, Frances, m. Dr. Isaac H. Appleton". Is Dr. Isaac H. Appleton the father or the spouse or has he passed away too?

A: Dr Appleton would be the spouse. It should be keyed as:
Given: Frances Penniman
Surname: Appleton
Spouse Given: Isaac H
Spouse Surname: Appleton

A:  "m." is an abbreviation for "married" --Amanda Payne - Professional Family Trees 17:14, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

Q: It was very difficult to locate this avenue to ask for specific data entry help, I would think an easier way could be found. Keying marriage records and got to a record set where 1st record is a continuation of the previous page and is missing the publication date heading (all subsequent records appear under a centered publication date heading) I can ascertain the date of the actual wedding but without seeing the previous page it is impossible to know the publication date. Also many of the records indicate the marriage occurred in "this city". I have no idea what that city it is. I have until 3/16 to enter these records but can not without instruction on how to do this properly. I would hate enter partial information when it would seem that everything needed to catalog this entry is available just not in this record set.

A: You would not key the publication date if it is not shown on that page. Also you would leave blank the city as we do not know where "this city" is. -- Wiedwoman 21:36, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Q: What is the difference between CC and MC as related to Publication Dates?

A: These are the publication newspapers. -- Wiedwoman 21:36, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Q:  What does the abbreviation "ult." mean in the context of these records? I looked it up on rootsweb ( and it said: The abbreviation “ult.” stands for the Latin “ultimo,” or last — a date last month, during the preceding month. The abbreviation “ult” is often found in pre-1900 correspondence and in other early sources. Should record the previous month for the event in regards to the publication date? I also ran across the abbreviation "inst." which is also listed in the table on this site as short for "instant" or this month - within the same month. Thanks, Mike --Hardcoal 23:52, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

A: Yes, ult means the previous month and inst means the current month. --Katerimmer 07:53, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Q:  What does the abbreviation "res. of sister" mean in a death record? For example, I have one that reads "Fri 30th res. of son in law Harry M. morris, Ann R. Edwards wid H Richard G Richards, USN 81y of city." I'm not exactly sure who died. I think it is -- at the residence of Harry M. Morris, Ann R. Edwards died and she is the widow of H. Richard G. Richards. Yes? Or did both Harry M. Morris and Ann Edwards die? I'm leaning toward the former, but just wanted to check. Erika

A: Yes, res is short for residence, so it means that Ann R Edwards died at the residence of Harry M Morris, and Ann is the widow of H Richard G Richards. --Katerimmer 19:07, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! sorry for gratuitous bolding. --Erika

Q: What is "primary person"? I am doing marriages and some times the first person listed is male and others it is female. There are no suffixes or prefixes for the second spouse, so what is the suggested correct way to enter the Mrs, Jrs etc.?

A: The primary person is the first person named in the marriage entry and so you would not key the prefixes and suffixes for their spouse, but as I understand it, there will be a matching entry on another page where the spouse is the primary person, so their prefixes and suffixes will be keyed in that entry. --Katerimmer 19:11, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Q: How far does reasonable calculation of the event date go? For instance, if the publication date is "June 2, 1804" and the event occurred on "Sunday," a quick search for an 1804 calendar will inform you that June 2 was a Saturday and the preceding Sunday was May 27, 1804. So, should this inference be made or not?

A: I'm sure that WAP don't intend for us to have to search for old calendars, so no, the date would not be inferred in this situation. --Katerimmer 11:02, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Q: If a contributor has done it anyway, should the event date be blanked out in review?

A: The blanks do not matter whether they are entered or not. 
A:  Per Kate's answer, I would delete estimates or guesses in review.

Q: In marriage records, I'm looking at "Nathaniel Swift Jr." Should I infer that his father was Nathaniel Swift? I assume not because my own family is home to several instances of inherited names skipping generations and still being numbered but I thought I should still check to be sure.

A: No, you shouldn't infer this. --Katerimmer 11:02, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Q: I am starting my first page and on the event field for "marriage", "death", or "burial" you need to F7 them as they show up red and are not accepted. I am on the vital records form and thought I read the instructions correctly. Is there another solution?

A: (from Anna) The wrong dictionary has been uploaded, the problem should be fixed soon. In the meantime you will have to f7 them. --Paulmd199 05:58, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Q: If a listing is continued on the next page and does not have the publication date carried over do I use the Publication date from the previous page or leave it blank?

A: You would leave it blank. --Katerimmer 11:02, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Q: I have two questions. I am working on a page and I am sure the date was entered wrong when the transcription was done ie: Tuesday July 24 is in 1849 NOT 1840 as is written. The next page, which is sequential, lists the date as 1849. Should I enter as written or correct?

A: Key as seen even if you think it is wrong. --Katerimmer 22:57, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Q: There are some entries that have the notation "4-11-9" which I thought might be DOB until I came across "43-2-12". Now I am wondering if it is age: Y-M-D. Any ideas?

A: If it's in a death record, the age is often written this way. For example, 43 years, 2 months, 12 days old. Old tombstones often have this, too.

Q: So if an age (1 yr) is not given for a death record and we see 1-1-4, would we assume the age is 1 and key as such?

A: Yes the age would be 1. 1-1-4 is 1 year 1 month and 4 days old. -- Wiedwoman 17:53, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Q: I am recording death records with a publication date of August 21, 1851. The whole record reads... At sea Aug 18, Bark Japonica, Edward Spalding 61y. Do I record " At sea", " Bark Japonica", or " Bark Japonica, At sea" for the event location? I looked up Bark Japonica and it is the name of a ship.

A: I have gotten some places of deaths occurring on ships or at sea, too. I've been leaving the field blank as it's not really a geographical location. However, I'm not sure this is correct or not. Hopefully, we'll get an official answer.
A: You should key "At Sea" since that is in the drop down menu for location

Q: I have a death record that reads ... Aug. 1, Bark Jane Williams, Samuel Hitchcock. Do I record Bark Jane as given name, Williams as the surname and the leave Samuel Hitchcock off the record since I don't know if he is a spouse, parent etc.?

A: I believe the Bark Jane Williams is really the ship Barque Jane Williams. Sometimes you'll see a name of a brig, also. So he died at sea on the barque.

Q: I am working on death records. The "DIED" column is blank for entries on the page. But the "AGE" is there, and publication date. Do I calculate the "event year"? Or do nothing.

A: If the Died column is blank for these entries you would leave the event year blank. --Katerimmer 07:54, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Q: If the page for viewing is blank because it is the back of page, and one can view the next page with about one column of data, such as their names. So the blank is on the left, and on the right you can see about 2-3 inches of the next page with one column of names. I believe this is considered a "cover page, section header"?

A: yes it sounds like a cover page. -- Wiedwoman 03:04, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Q: Three questions - 1. If the person died aboard a ship but "at sea" is nowhere in the record, should the ship's name be keyed as the place of death? 2. If there is a record that says, say, "Smith, Mary, see David Johnson", should we ignore it? 3. If a record published, say, 17 Nov 1810 says that somebody died last Sunday, should we key "Nov 1810" as the date of death, or should we leave it blank? --Flowerchild10791 15:33, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

A1: I think either way is ok. -- Wiedwoman 22:00, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
A2: I can answer number 2 - yes, we ignore it. --Katerimmer 15:44, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
A3: Yes you could key as Nov 1810. -- Wiedwoman 22:00, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Q: So in this case if we have John Jones died 21 Nov (CC 5 Dec 1817) we would key a death date of 21 Nov 1817 or just 21 Nov?

A: In this case you would key death date of Nov 21 1817 -- Wiedwoman 16:16, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Q: I have a death record for "Johnson, Antoinette & Infant Son" . Do I make a separate line for ______ Johnson to record the son's death or do I just key the mother?

A: I would key as prefix: Infant son of given: Antoinette surname: Johnson I'm not sure if you would also add her name in the mother fields or not. -- Wiedwoman 22:28, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Q: I have a record that reads - Stevens_______, four children of John Stevens of Canaan, N.Y.,a dau. aged 14, and three sons aged 11,9 and 7 were burned to death mon. [Stockbridge, Mass May 20](June 7, 1794) Do I make a line for all four of the children? Also I have not had a record yet that has square brackets and parentheses. I have been putting the dates in the parentheses down as publishing dates. Is Stockbridge, Mass where the event took place or is it more publishing info? If they are both publishing info which date do you use?

Q: How should I key the following marriage entry? "Eldest Daughter of King of Great Brittan, m. His Serene Highness, Prince of Wirtemberg, in England, May 17 (CC. June 28, 1797)"

A: Bride would be blank. Brides father, prefix: King of Great Brittan. Groom would be (I Think) prefix: His Serene Highness, Price of Wirtemberg given and surname would be blank. -- Wiedwoman 18:53, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

Q: I have the same event appearing in subsequent editions of the publication with the same information. I think I only key in the first instance. Is this correct?

Event Location Entry:

Q: So for deaths, often an entry will state that the person was "of Place, XX". I know we are not to make too many assumptions, but it may be helpful in cases of death to include this location for researchers. If there's not a father, mother, spouse, or age given, it could help to narrow down a large search pool. I have not been including them up til now, should I from here on out? [The event locations I've been including in cases of death are either directly stated or at the beginning of the entry: Boston, 8th inst, John Doe] ~lrs

A: I would not show death place unless it is at the beginning of the sentence or shows 'at' the ending of the sentence. Just because it shows 'of place, xx' does not mean that they died there. =-- Wiedwoman 17:48, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

Q. On some of the newspaper extractions I have found the city and state (ex. Charleston, SC) for the event location, but when I try to enter both the city and state, it highlights as not a suggested entry. I tried to enter it as just SC and it's still inncorrect. What is the proper way to enter that or should I just F7? Thanks! --Amanda Payne - Professional Family Trees 17:11, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

A: Key location as seen, F7 when necessary. -- Wiedwoman 17:59, 18 April 2013 (UTC) 
Thank you very much Wiedwoman! --Amanda Payne - Professional Family Trees 16:09, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Event Type

Q: I have been keying in death records on the set I'm doing now. If the vital record ends with "Greenwood Cemetery", should I assume the event type is "Burial"? This record does not start with "In xxx". It starts with the date, which I assume is the event date. There is a publication date above the record.

A: No I would key the event type as "death". I would look for funeral probably for burial event. -- Wiedwoman 16:53, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Event Year

Q: I have death records with the (C.C.July 10,1816). Looking at the guidelines the C.C. date is publication date. I am tempted to use the publication year as Event Year. Is this okay?

A: I wouldn't key as event year unless you are sure that is the year. -- Wiedwoman 21:55, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Q: Samples on Project description point out event year as same as publication year. Has this changed? I had looked at this myself because u had the same question.

A: There are different types of death notices. Some show the year date at the top and some do not. -- Wiedwoman 16:15, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Q: I have a handwritten set right now with dates at the end of each entry. I am pretty sure the date is publication (the date is often followed by the abbreviation "gaz." or "news-let"), not event date, but am not positive.

A: It would be helpful if you could post a screen shot to the discussion forum. If this is similar to another recent example posted there, these are event dates, not publication dates. --Mitchhollander 01:34, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Here you go. There are two examples here, one with a single date, and one with a date range, which certainly points to publication dates. It also appears to be the word "issue" before the date. Thanks for your help!


A: The first two items do look more like publication dates than event dates. The third item is different - I'm leaning towards event date on that one. --Mitchhollander 00:13, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Q: When unsure, which entry would take precedent? Should the default be Publication or Event?

A: The project instructions don't specify a default, so use your best judgement - or post a screenshot on the message board and ask for other opinions. --Mitchhollander 02:51, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Last names of spouses

Q: I am working on death records which list the spouses last name with an initial only. Such as: Alley, Jane w/o of Richard A. Do you want me to record this as Richard A (surname left blank) or to expand it, and record it as Richard Alley?

A: Yes I would key the name as Richard A Alley. -- Wiedwoman 18:12, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Event Location

Q: On death records a number of the location say the street address, such as 182 Church St. or 15 Vandam St. Should I key in the street address or leave blank.

A: Do not key the street address. Only key city, county, state. -- Wiedwoman 06:29, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Q: If a location is given as "New York City" should I KAS, or just enter "New York"?

A: Key the location as seen without words Co or County (if they are included). Key New York City and f7 to accept. -- Wiedwoman 15:05, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

 Found a record which has a Hospital name as the inferred location of a death.  Emailed Anna Fechter and got her ruling that the Hospital name would be keyed as a location.

Confusion on some surnames

Q: On death records, first line of first page of set to key appears to have two names. Here's the entry: 17th inst DON EUSEBIO DE LA CUESTA and DON FELIPE COBAS. Next line is publication date I assume for the next entries: Jan.29 , 1820. So I believe that there are two deaths: Don Eusebio and Don Felipe Cobas. So do key in two records, one for Don Eusebio and one for Don Felipe Cobas with event day of 17?

Q: Here are two examples from my current image set of Deaths. I'm confused as to the surnames of the deceased in both of these cases:

Catherine Morris Ogden w. James Parker. Is Catherine's surname Parker? (Usually I've found the surnames match, but I've suddenly had several like this).

A: I would key as:
Given: Catherine Morris Odgen
Surname: Parker

Q: Adelaide Hamilton, daughter of David M and Jane K Earl. 2 questions: Is Hamilton the surname of the daughter father? Should Earl be used as the mother's surname? (I'm guessing its the maiden name).

A: These are very confusing and I would like some others to comment on this. You can't tell if the daughter has been married before or if it is a middle name (maybe from the mothers maiden name) I would key as:
Given: Adelaide Hamilton
Surname: Earl
Father given: David M
Surname: Earl
Mother given: Jane K
Surname: Earl
A: Yes, this fits with how Anna said to key them on the message board. --Katerimmer 22:57, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Q: The current set I am working on has dates by section. They seems to be publication dates, not event dates. There is a column for dates, after locations, but there are no entries in the column. I am keying the dates as publication. Should that be the default with an unknown type of date?

A: The section dates are the publication dates. Where there is a column for 'Died', you will see a death date for some of the individuals on the page. The others should have the event date left blank.

Q: Should you assume the daughter's surname is the same as her father's?  For example, Peter R. Terhune married to Mary Ann, daughter of William H. Van Dolsen.   I have been leaving the daughter's and mother's surname blank since its not listed.  Is that incorrect?

A: You can 'assume' the daughter's surname is the same as the parent, as you would for any children. If mother is listed without any other name, I would key the family surname as her last name also.

Q: I need help with the following death notice entries: (Please do NOT answer me with what you think you would do. I want a definitive answer)

1. Yesterday Cornelia Townsend, 3d dau of late Isaac B. Strong in 12yr. 79 Bedford

Do I enter her surname as Strong and her age as 11?
A: Given: Cornelia Townsend, Surname: Strong, age is 11 -- Wiedwoman 21:41, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

2. Reading, 27th ult. Mrs Catharine Spayd dau of late Gov. Heister, widow of late John Spayd, 61y.

Do I enter her surname as Heister as that is the surname of her father?
A: Given: Catharine, Surname: Spayd -- Wiedwoman 21:41, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

3. Saturday November 30th in 24th yr. Mrs Hannah N.Murdock w.Uriel A and dau of William Fearing of Wareham, Mass.

Do I enter her surname as Fearing as that is the surname of her father and her age as 23?
A: Given: Hannah N, Surname: Murdock, age 23 -- Wiedwoman 21:41, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Q: I am keying some death records and have come across the following entry and need guidance on how to enter the surname properly. Day, Mrs Theresa J (Eastman) d. May 4, 1908 (T.May 5) Do I list her name as Prefix: Mrs /Surname: Day / Given: Theresa J / Father Surname: Eastman

Alias appearing in record

Q: Have marriage record where area normally containing Surname reads "Sickquoinneyouhee, alias John Walker Chief of the Cherokee Nation of Indians" How is this properly keyed?

A: I would Key this as: Sickquoinneyouhee in the Given Name Field and not key John Walker at all, as it states this is an alias. 

Death Record

Q: The image set I am working on has date of death as 15 nov 1915 which is followed by (T Nov 16) in brackets. This is on every record. Do I need to key this date anywhere?

A: Yes. T Nov 16 is the pub date. It should be keyed as Nov 16 1915 -- Wiedwoman 16:38, 4 June 2013 (UTC)


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.