The National Institute for Genealogical Studies

LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies - LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION

Virtual Meetings for End of October

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies has a couple of virtual meetings scheduled for Friday and Saturday, as well as a Student Presentation. Hope you will join us, if applicable to your studies and/or research. Details are outlined below.

You can enhance your learning experience by joining a virtual meeting regarding your studies and asking questions. Even if you don’t have questions, you are welcome to just listen, lurk and learn! We don’t mind in the least.

Remember, these Virtual Meetings are NOT mandatory. They are a fun and interactive way to ask questions about the courses and/or research at a relevant session.

***IMPORTANT*** New Adobe Connect information and instructions are available on our website. If you are experiencing any issues when attending a virtual meeting, please obtain the INSTRUCTIONS document in PDF format near the top right of our Virtual Learning Room page on our website.

Go to www.genealogicalstudies.com
In top menu bar, select Information.
In the dropdown menu, select Virtual Learning Room.
Click on Instructions near the top right (you may have to scroll over to the right).

The PDF document has Adobe Connect information, Troubleshooting steps, and Adobe Connect Technical Support contacts.  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~         
***CHECK SCHEDULED TIME IN YOUR TIME ZONE***
Go to www.genealogicalstudies.com
In top menu bar, select Information.
In the dropdown menu, select Virtual Learning Room.
Click the virtual meeting name in list (a new window will open).
Click on Check Time to see the time in your local time zone. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~           
Methodology courses with Brenda Wheeler  
This session is for the convenience of our students in Australasia; however, all students are welcome.
Friday, October 22nd at 6:30 PM Eastern   
LOCATION: https://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/methodology/   

Professional Development courses with Gena Philibert-Ortega   
Saturday, October 23rd at 1 PM Eastern   
LOCATION: https://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/professional/   

Lecturing Skills – Student Presentation with host Kathy Holland 
Student Presenter: Kathleen Provan, Topic: Alberta Homestead Records  
Description: The Alberta homestead records (1870-1930) are valuable for researching your Alberta ancestors. This presentation includes the process for applying, locating the records, and what information can be learned from these documents. 
Sunday, October 24th at 1 PM Eastern
LOCATION: https://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/lecturing/       
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TO JOIN A VIRTUAL MEETING, simply click on the URL, or enter the URL provided in your browser. Alternatively, you can download the Adobe Connect Desktop App (see instructions above) to attend the virtual meetings. When joining a session, a USERNAME or PASSWORD is NOT REQUIRED. Please type in your first name & surname initial, along with your geographical location; then click Enter as a Guest.    
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LISTEN ON THE GO
Want to listen to the virtual meeting, but will not be at your computer? No problem! You can download the FREE Adobe Connect Mobile App from the Apple App Store (for iPod/iPhone/iPad), or from the Google Play Store (for Android).   
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See the calendar of future Virtual Meetings sessions at www.genealogicalstudies.com; in the top menu, choose INFORMATION, and then VIRTUAL LEARNING ROOM in the drop-down menu.             

If you have any questions regarding the Virtual Meetings and/or the schedule, please send an email to degroot@genealogicalstudies.com.                       

Sue de Groot, PLCGS                 
National Institute for Genealogical Studies  
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To SUBSCRIBE to email updates for The National Institute for Genealogical Studies, send email to admin@genealogicalstudies.com.   
—————————————————-
Visit our website for a complete list of online courses offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Check our Course Calendar here
Follow us on Social Media: BlogFacebookTwitter, Pinterest
*Note: Please be aware our social media accounts are monitored regularly, but NOT 24/7. If you have any questions, please contact the office directly.

Contact information:
1 (800) 580-0165
Email: admin@GenealogicalStudies.com 
Website: www.GenealogicalStudies.com
Blog: blog.GenealogicalStudies.com

LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION since 1997

Transcription Tuesday – Practice!

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies online courses provide genealogical education on a wide variety of topics for those beginning to research their family history, as well as professional genealogists, and everyone in between. It is worth repeating: all family history researchers, no matter what their level of expertise, should strive to acquire this core skill. We will use it over and over!

As we work to develop our Transcribing Skills, we soon realize there is a learning curve involved. Most of us are familiar with common handwriting styles. We can transcribe modern handwriting with relative ease, except for those who never did develop good penmanship. Before email and texting, we sent handwritten letters – yes, by snail mail! In that time period, we all read cursive and not many people sent typed correspondence – it was all handwritten.

When we began to gather family home sources, we could easily read the handwriting; but as our genealogy research reached further back in time, we had to adjust to various older scripts in documents and correspondence. These can soon become a challenge. It takes effort to decode handwriting – sometimes word by word, and sometimes letter by letter. 

Our biggest advantage is PRACTICE. The more we read old handwriting; the more we will become familiar with the letters and grammar used in that time period. The more we transcribe entries from a church register or civil registrations for a specific district; the easier it will become. Repetition helps us to memorize the variations in the letters. But how can we gain this experience? 

There are several courses with The Institute where transcription skills are taught and reenforced by assignments. Three highly recommended courses are listed below. Because most of the records we access are handwritten, it is imperative that we develop excellent transcription skills. Transcribing requires patience, perseverance and precision. 

Remember our Transcription Definition:
A transcription is a true word-for-word rendering of a document with the original punctuation and spelling (i.e., an exact copy of the original, line by line, sentence by sentence, word by word, and letter by letter). All notes and marks on any page are copied as faithfully as possible in the presented formatting. It includes all spellings, capitalizations and punctuations as it was written. No corrections are made to spelling or capitalization. It includes the whole record—front and back, with all its headings, insertions, endorsements, notations, etc.

Transcription Websites

How can we practice? First, we need to familiarize ourselves with reading old handwriting. 
Transcribing Historic Documents
 (National Institute) – FamilySearch 

The following websites are extremely helpful and provide examples and tutorials.
Colonial American Handwriting – Indian Converts Collection
Script Tutorial – BYU 
Palaeography: reading old handwriting 1500-1800 – TNA 
Palaeography of Scottish Documents – Scottish Handwriting  

Transcription Practice

Want to dig deeper? Look for transcription projects, especially in the location of your research, or dealing with the handwriting used in that time period. Reviewing familiar records will make it easier to recognize place names and possibly surnames, as well as words relevant to your research. Here are a few projects that may be of interest.

To get your feet wet, the Nova Scotia Archives needs transcribers for the NS Deaths 1970 Registrations. The handwriting should be easy to read and some are typed. The Causes of Death may challenge you. Hint: Google it!

For older handwriting, sign in to the Nova Scotia Archives Transcribe page. The current transcription project: Feature Collection: Easson family 1734-1894. 

Another wonderful website to explore is the Smithsonian Digital Volunteers:  Transcription Center. Check out their current projects. Be sure to read the section on General Instructions for Transcription.

Happy Transcribing!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
As researchers, we have found that there are many skills we need to employ in order to achieve success in our future research projects. Transcription Tuesday will share guidelines and practical suggestions to help our readers to develop the skills for making effective transcriptions, abstracts, and extractions.
Transcription Tuesday previous blog post:
Finding George
Transcription Tuesday Index
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
These three core courses demonstrate Transcription principles. They are offered monthly, beginning on the first Monday of every month: Register today!
Methodology-Part 2: Organizing and Skill-Building (Basic Level)
Skills: Transcribing, Abstracting & Extracting (Basic Level)
Palaeography: Reading & Understanding Historical Documents (Advanced)—————————————————-
Visit our website for a complete list of online courses offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Check our Course Calendar here
Follow us on Social Media: BlogFacebookTwitter, Pinterest
*Note: Please be aware our social media accounts are monitored regularly, but NOT 24/7. If you have any questions, please contact the office directly.

Contact information:
1 (800) 580-0165
Email: admin@GenealogicalStudies.com 
Website: www.GenealogicalStudies.com
Blog: blog.GenealogicalStudies.com

LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION since 1997

Alberta Homestead Records – Student Presentation

We have a Student Presentation scheduled for Sunday, October 24th. Please join us to show your fellow student support!

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies course, Lecturing Skills Including Preparation, teaches the skills needed to present genealogical-related lectures. It is a “hands on” course where the student presents a lecture via our Virtual Learning Room. We invite you to participate and hear your fellow student. This is a 30-minute lecture, followed by a 10-minute Question & Answer period, and a short poll to provide the student with feedback on their skills.

This is an excellent learning experience for all involved–the student presenter and the audience! We all can learn new and interesting tidbits, even from topics that are not in our area of research.     
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

“Alberta Homestead Records” presented by Kathleen Provan
Sunday, October 24th at 1 PM Eastern
Presentation Description: The Alberta homestead records (1870-1930) are valuable for researching your Alberta ancestors. This presentation includes the process for applying, locating the records, and what information can be learned from these documents.

Presenter: Kathleen Provan is an enthusiastic genealogist with over 20 years of experience. She has a BA in History and her genealogy focus is on Canadian Records.

MEETING LOCATION: https://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/lecturing/
(Note: “Enter as a Guest”)   
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~             
We would like to thank Kathy Holland for hosting these student presentations.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                                     
***CHECK SCHEDULED TIME IN YOUR TIME ZONE***
Go to https://www.genealogicalstudies.com/.
In the top menu bar, select Information.
In the dropdown menu, select Virtual Learning Room.
Click on the virtual meeting name in the list. (A new window will open.)
Click on Check Time to see the time in your local time zone.       
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
***IMPORTANT*** Adobe Connect information and instructions are available on our website. If you are experiencing any issues when attending a virtual meeting, please obtain the INSTRUCTIONS document in PDF format near the top right of our Virtual Learning Room page on our website.

Go to www.genealogicalstudies.com.
In top menu bar, select Information.
In the dropdown menu, select Virtual Learning Room.
Click on Instructions near the top right (you may have to scroll over to the right).

The PDF document has Adobe Connect information, Troubleshooting steps, and Adobe Connect Technical Support contacts.             
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~           
TO JOIN A VIRTUAL MEETING, simply click on the URL or enter the URL provided in your browser. Alternatively, you can download the Adobe Connect Desktop App (see instructions above) to attend the virtual meetings. When joining a session, a USERNAME or PASSWORD is NOT REQUIRED. Please type in your first name & surname initial, along with your geographical location; then click Enter as a Guest.  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~             
LISTEN ON THE GO
Want to listen to the virtual meeting, but will not be at your computer? No problem! You can download the FREE Adobe Connect Mobile App from the Apple App Store (for iPod/iPhone/iPad) or from the Google Play Store (for Android).     
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~           
See the calendar for future Virtual Meetings sessions here.

If you have not attended a Virtual Meeting before, read the Instructions. If this URL does not open, please go to www.genealogicalstudies.com, click on Information in the top menu bar, and then Virtual Learning Room in the drop-down menu. The link to the Instructions (in PDF format) will be at the top right of the page (you may need to scroll over to the right side of the page).             

If you have any questions regarding the Virtual Meetings and/or the schedule, please send an email to degroot@genealogicalstudies.com.                     

Sue de Groot, PLCGS                 
National Institute for Genealogical Studies                     
—————————————————-             
The National Institute for Genealogical Studies – leaders in genealogy education since 1997. For more information on the over 230 courses that we offer to our students, visit http://www.genealogicalstudies.com

To subscribe to our email list and receive updates, send an email to admin@genealogicalstudies.com.
—————————————————-
Visit our website for a complete list of online courses offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Check our Course Calendar here.
Follow us on Social Media: BlogFacebookTwitter, Pinterest.
*Note: Please be aware our social media accounts are monitored regularly, but NOT 24/7. If you have any questions, please contact the office directly.

Contact information:
1 (800) 580-0165
Email: admin@GenealogicalStudies.com
Website: www.GenealogicalStudies.com
Blog: blog.GenealogicalStudies.com

LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION 

Lecturing Skills Student Presentations

We have a couple of Student Presentations coming up. We hope you can join us to show your fellow student support.

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies course, Lecturing Skills Including Preparation, teaches the skills needed to present genealogical-related lectures. It is a “hands on” course where the student presents a lecture via our Virtual Learning Room. We invite you to participate and hear your fellow student. This is a 30-minute lecture, followed by a 10-minute Question & Answer period, and a short poll to provide the student with feedback on their skills. Please come and support your fellow students!

This is an excellent learning experience for all involved–the student presenter and the audience! We all can learn new and interesting tidbits, even from topics that are not in our area of research.     
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
***IMPORTANT*** Adobe Connect information and instructions are available on our website. If you are experiencing any issues when attending a virtual meeting, please obtain the INSTRUCTIONS document in PDF format near the top right of our Virtual Learning Room page on our website.

Go to www.genealogicalstudies.com.
In top menu bar, select Information.
In the dropdown menu, select Virtual Learning Room.
Click on Instructions near the top right (you may have to scroll over to the right).

The PDF document has Adobe Connect information, Troubleshooting steps, and Adobe Connect Technical Support contacts.             
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~            
***CHECK SCHEDULED TIME IN YOUR TIME ZONE***
Go to https://www.genealogicalstudies.com/.
In the top menu bar, select Information.
In the dropdown menu, select Virtual Learning Room.
Click on the virtual meeting name in the list. (A new window will open.)
Click on Check Time to see the time in your local time zone.       
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
“Alberta Homestead Records” presented by Kathleen Provan
Sunday, October 24th at 1 PM Eastern
Presentation Description: The Alberta homestead records (1870-1930) are valuable for researching your Alberta ancestors. This presentation includes the process for applying, locating the records, and what information can be learned from these documents.

Presenter: Kathleen Provan is an enthusiastic genealogist with over 20 years of experience. She has a BA in History and her genealogy focus is on Canadian Records.

MEETING LOCATION: https://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/lecturing/
(Note: “Enter as a Guest”)   
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
“Location Research – A Necessary Step!” presented by Michele Hoogewind
Wednesday, November 17th at 6:30 PM Eastern
Presentation Description: Researching the locations that your ancestors lived in can help you clearly and quickly identify what records exist, where to locate them, and put that information into historical context. Join me to learn how …

Presenter: Michele Hoogewind has been researching her family for the past 5 years.  Her area of interest is utilizing software and tools to organize family data.

MEETING LOCATION: https://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/lecturing/
(Note: “Enter as a Guest”)   
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~             
We would like to thank Kathy Holland for hosting these student presentations.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                                     
TO JOIN A VIRTUAL MEETING, simply click on the URL or enter the URL provided in your browser. Alternatively, you can download the Adobe Connect Desktop App (see instructions above) to attend the virtual meetings. When joining a session, a USERNAME or PASSWORD is NOT REQUIRED. Please type in your first name & surname initial, along with your geographical location; then click Enter as a Guest.  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~             
LISTEN ON THE GO
Want to listen to the virtual meeting, but will not be at your computer? No problem! You can download the FREE Adobe Connect Mobile App from the Apple App Store (for iPod/iPhone/iPad) or from the Google Play Store (for Android).     
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~           
See the calendar for future Virtual Meetings sessions here.

If you have not attended a Virtual Meeting before, read the Instructions. If this URL does not open, please go to www.genealogicalstudies.com, click on Information in the top menu bar, and then Virtual Learning Room in the drop-down menu. The link to the Instructions (in PDF format) will be at the top right of the page (you may need to scroll over to the right side of the page).             

If you have any questions regarding the Virtual Meetings and/or the schedule, please send an email to degroot@genealogicalstudies.com.                     

Sue de Groot, PLCGS                 
National Institute for Genealogical Studies                     
—————————————————-             
The National Institute for Genealogical Studies – leaders in genealogy education since 1997. For more information on the over 230 courses that we offer to our students, visit http://www.genealogicalstudies.com

To subscribe to our email list and receive updates, send an email to admin@genealogicalstudies.com.
—————————————————-
Visit our website for a complete list of online courses offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Check our Course Calendar here.
Follow us on Social Media: BlogFacebookTwitter, Pinterest.
*Note: Please be aware our social media accounts are monitored regularly, but NOT 24/7. If you have any questions, please contact the office directly.

Contact information:
1 (800) 580-0165
Email: admin@GenealogicalStudies.com
Website: www.GenealogicalStudies.com
Blog: blog.GenealogicalStudies.com

LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION 

Transcription Tip: Finding George

Our students at The National Institute for Genealogical Studies are encouraged to access original documents whenever possible. These are usually either fully handwritten, or have handwritten entries on forms. It is advised to transcribe all of documents we gather for our research projects. 

As we continue to explore developing our Transcribing Skills, we will discover the value of spending the time necessary to transcribe our original documents, especially those that are hard to decipher. All family history researchers, no matter what their level of expertise, should strive to acquire these core research skills. See below for links to our courses designed to equip our students with this vital ability. 

When we search original records, we will encounter many different styles of handwriting, even when they are using the same script of a certain time period. Just as today, we all have our own handwriting styles. We tend to always make certain letters in the same way, but for other letters it may vary, even depending on the word we are writing, or where the letter is positioned in that word. In the same way that other people become accustom to reading our handwriting, we begin to recognize the handwriting styles of those clerks and census enumerators in the documents we are accessing. Specific characteristics show up on the same page or for the entries for a district, like in civil registrations or church records. We can easily tell when the entries are made by a different person. 

Today’s Transcription Tip is the use of Transcription Cheat Sheets. As you find letter variations written in documents, cut and paste them to a document. Create an Alphabet Checklist and use it to “break the code” and transcribe the words, even those with unfamiliar letters. Here is an example on FamilySearch that you can print out for future reference. If you are looking for help with transcribing documents from a different language, check out FamilySearch resources here. They also have lists of common words used in documents. You will begin to recognize these as you become more familiar with the records. 

Finding George

When searching census records, civil registrations or church registers, you will be looking for specific names and surnames. In the same way, you can make a Name Cheat Sheet with all of the variations you have discovered. 

Be sure to check for spelling variations and take note of misspellings of the names and surnames. Entries may have been written phonetically, or just as it “sounded” when spoken with a heavy accent to someone who spoke a totally different language. Keep a typed list of variations, but a cheat sheet with the images may prove to be useful when transcribing. Look for signatures as well.

Fully transcribe all of your documents. The more familiar you become with the letters, the easier it will be to decipher the words. Then the next time you pull it out, it will be written out clearly for quick reference or further analysis. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  
As researchers, we have found that there are many skills we need to employ in order to achieve success in our future research projects. Transcription Tuesday shares guidelines and practical suggestions to help our readers to develop the skills for making effective transcriptions, abstracts, and extractions.

Transcription Tuesday previous blog post
Transcription Tuesday Index
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
These three core courses demonstrate Transcription principles. They are offered monthly, beginning on the first Monday of every month: Register today!
Methodology-Part 2: Organizing and Skill-Building (Basic Level)
Skills: Transcribing, Abstracting & Extracting (Basic Level)
Palaeography: Reading & Understanding Historical Documents (Advanced)

—————————————————-
Visit our website for a complete list of online courses offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Check our Course Calendar here
Follow us on Social Media: BlogFacebookTwitter, Pinterest
*Note: Please be aware our social media accounts are monitored regularly, but NOT 24/7. If you have any questions, please contact the office directly.

Contact information:
1 (800) 580-0165
Email: admin@GenealogicalStudies.com 
Website: www.GenealogicalStudies.com
Blog: blog.GenealogicalStudies.com

LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION since 1997

Transcription Tip: Line Numbering

As The National Institute for Genealogical Studies students begin the October rotation of courses, we continue to explore the foundational research practise of developing Transcribing Skills. See below for links to our courses designed to equip our students with this vital ability. All family history researchers, no matter what their level of expertise, should strive to acquire these core research skills. 

When preparing to make a transcription, it is good practice to make a digital scan of the original document and then put the physical document away. This keeps your original safe with as little handling as possible. Once you have the copy, you can make a print out and mark on it as you wish. Viewing the digital image on your computer allows you to enlarge difficult-to-read sections.

Today’s Transcription Tip is the use of Line Numbering. On your printed working copy (never the original!), number the lines on the page. This will keep you on track as you start transcribing. It is so easy to lose your place and skip to the line before or after the line you are working on, especially in a document with repetitive wording. If the lines are written unevenly, you may also want to draw lines between each numbered line to keep them separated to work on each individually. 

Remember our Transcription Definition:
A transcription is a true word-for-word rendering of a document with the original punctuation and spelling (i.e., an exact copy of the original, line by line, sentence by sentence, word by word, and letter by letter). All notes and marks on any page are copied as faithfully as possible in the presented formatting. It includes all spellings, capitalizations and punctuations as it was written. No corrections are made to spelling or capitalization. It includes the whole record—front and back, with all its headings, insertions, endorsements, notations, etc.

Transcribe each line word for word – EXACTLY as it is appears on your document. Keep all of the words together on their own line. Line 7 on your transcription should only have what is written on line 7 of your document. This makes it so much easier to go back later to work on the difficult-to-read letters of words on that line. Be sure to keep all of the original spelling, capitalization and punctuation. 

When all of the words on a line have been fully transcribed, mark it as completed on your working copy. When you step away and come back to the project, you will easily see where you still have work to do. 

When encountering a difficult letter, refer to similar letters elsewhere in the document. On your working copy, you can make notes. Example: deb[t?] [Note: fourth letter looks the same as “t” in title on line 5] or [Is this “y” or “g”? See “apply” on line 9] These notes are for your own reference on your working copy, noting areas yet to be resolved. They would not be included in your final transcription. 

Be patient! Transcriptions are NOT quick projects. They are thorough, well-honed, exact copies, especially for documents with difficult handwriting. Initially, this may seem to be unnecessarily time-consuming; however, the transcription will provide a clear and easy-to-read copy for future reference. It will save so much time when reviewing this document for your research project. Time will not be spent trying to figure out that word again, because you didn’t record your previous findings or conclusions. Quickly skimming an original document is never acceptable. Important details are overlooked and your concluding interpretation may be completely incorrect. Take the time to create accurate Transcriptions.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   
As researchers, we have found that there are many skills we need to employ in order to achieve success in our future research projects. Transcription Tuesday shares guidelines and practical suggestions to help our readers to develop the skills for making effective transcriptions, abstracts, and extractions.
Transcription Tuesday previous blog post
Transcription Tuesday Index
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
These three core courses demonstrate Transcription principles. They are offered monthly, beginning on the first Monday of every month: Register today!
Methodology-Part 2: Organizing and Skill-Building (Basic Level)
Skills: Transcribing, Abstracting & Extracting (Basic Level)
Palaeography: Reading & Understanding Historical Documents (Advanced)

—————————————————-
Visit our website for a complete list of online courses offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Check our Course Calendar here
Follow us on Social Media: BlogFacebookTwitter, Pinterest
*Note: Please be aware our social media accounts are monitored regularly, but NOT 24/7. If you have any questions, please contact the office directly.

Contact information:
1 (800) 580-0165
Email: admin@GenealogicalStudies.com 
Website: www.GenealogicalStudies.com
Blog: blog.GenealogicalStudies.com

LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION since 1997

Transcription Tuesday: Handwriting

One of the very first basic skills to develop as a Transcriber is learning to read various handwriting scripts. Start with modern day cursive handwriting. If you cannot master every day current handwriting styles, you will really struggle with older scripts. Practice reading whenever you can. Read handwriting from different people. Everyone develops their own style. Learn to write in cursive yourself. It is a skill that will help you as you are trying to decipher handwritten documents. Soon you will be tackling more difficult handwriting on older documents.

These are a few quick examples. The top one is an address from 1891. The first word “Davenport” is not too difficult. Knowing it was an address, helps us to figure out that the second word is “Road.” For this word, the “a” is clear and the “d” will become familiar with its upward curl. The “Ro” is more difficult. The word directly below it is “Richard” and has the same “R” at the beginning. The other two names beside it are both “Wm” – the abbreviation for William. They can look different, depending on who is writing it. These names are from Ontario Birth Registrations in 1880. 

The third example is a record from the Drouin Collection in 1791. The handwriting can be quite challenging, especially if the record is in French or Latin! Deciphering the text is compounded when having to translate from an unfamiliar language. If you are researching records in a language you do not understand, the Family Search Genealogical Word Lists will be very helpful to you.

Another useful website is the Brigham Young University (BYU) Tutorial – Making Sense of Old Handwriting. You should bookmark it and explore the resources as you begin to develop your Transcription Skills. We will explore more aspects of reading old handwriting in next week’s Transcription Tuesday.
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Remember: Transcribing takes practice and patience. 
Check back next week for more skill-building tips.
Previous Transcription Tuesday blog posts:
Census Names
Transcription Definition
Transcription Tuesday Index
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~           
These three core courses demonstrate Transcription principles. They are offered monthly, beginning on the first Monday of every month: Register today!
Methodology-Part 2: Organizing and Skill-Building (Basic Level)
Skills: Transcribing, Abstracting & Extracting (Basic Level)
Palaeography: Reading & Understanding Historical Documents (Advanced)
—————————————————-
Visit our website for a complete list of online courses offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Check our Course Calendar here
Follow us on Social Media: BlogFacebookTwitter, Pinterest
*Note: Please be aware our social media accounts are monitored regularly, but NOT 24/7. If you have any questions, please contact the office directly.

Contact information:
1 (800) 580-0165
Email: admin@GenealogicalStudies.com 
Website: www.GenealogicalStudies.com
Blog: blog.GenealogicalStudies.com

LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION since 1997

Reading and Understanding Articles for Genetic Genealogy

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies is pleased to announce the launch of our newest online course. 

DNA: Reading & Understanding Articles for Genetic Genealogy  

Course Description: Pursing genetic genealogy requires genealogists to keep abreast of the latest discoveries and tools in the field of DNA. DNA is an everchanging field with new tools and discoveries being made rapidly. While taking courses and attending lectures are a must for genetic genealogists, it is just a part of what is necessary to continue your education. In addition, the reading of information presented online, in popular magazines and in peer-reviewed journals, should be a part of your education plan. This course will present ways to better understand what you read about genetic genealogy and provide examples of various writings on the subject.

OUR NEWEST ADVANCED DNA COURSE

This advanced course demonstrates how to analyze DNA articles with ways to better understand what you read about genetic genealogy. Educational & Scientific Based DNA Articles are absolutely imperative as part of your continuing DNA educational plan. However, this course will examine how to study these articles versus merely passively reading them, and includes Tips to Reading for Retention to fully understand the information being presented. 

Types of articles for you to study include: Blogs, Genealogy Articles, Scientific Articles, Articles from both Popular and Professional Genealogy Magazines, Peer-Reviewed Journals, Register Style DNA Articles, and more. Course material will suggest where you can find such articles, as well as provide supplemental Readings. 

DNA Resources 

Students will learn to create a General Analysis Guide, along with their own DNA Lexicon and Genetic Genealogy Glossary. Working with the DNA Article Analysis Worksheet will reenforce the material covered. There are also suggestions for creating a DNA Reading Group to collaboratively study new genetic genealogy concepts.

This course is scheduled to begin on the first Monday of every month. It is sure to be one of those skill-building courses with multiple applications, and definitely a course to be added to your DNA Research Tool Box. Register today!

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BASIC DNA COURSES
DNA: Introduction to Genetic Genealogy 

DNA: Autosomal DNA – Testing for Everyone 
DNA: Tracing Maternal & Paternal Lines 

ADVANCED DNA COURSES
DNA: Special Circumstances-Adoptees & Unknown Parentage 

DNA: Methodology and Analysis
DNA: Reading & Understanding Articles for Genetic Genealogy 
DNA: (last course not scheduled yet)

DNA PACKAGES 
The National Institute for Genealogical Studies’ Research Packages offer bundles of similarly themed courses at a discount. Our current DNA Research Packages include courses relevant to understanding DNA and how it can be used in genealogical research. 
DNA: Understanding Testing and Research Strategies (4 course package) 
DNA and Relevant Topics (8 course package) 

DNA CERTIFICATE
DNA & Genetic Genealogy Certificate (12 courses)

MORE DNA RELATED COURSES
Forensic Genealogy 
Genealogy Ethical Guidelines & Standards 
Genetics & Medical Family History
Organizing a One-Name Study 
Organizing a One-Place Study 
Research: U.S. Records Using Ancestry including DNA Strategies
Research: U.S. 20th Century Records, Including Adoption Record
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Visit our website for a complete list of online courses offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Check our Course Calendar here
Follow us on Social Media: BlogFacebookTwitter, Pinterest
*Note: Please be aware our social media accounts are monitored regularly, but NOT 24/7. If you have any questions, please contact the office directly.

Contact information:
1 (800) 580-0165
Email: admin@GenealogicalStudies.com 
Website: www.GenealogicalStudies.com
Blog: blog.GenealogicalStudies.com

LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION  

Transcription Tuesday: Census Names

Whether you are just beginning your family history journey, you are a professional genealogist, or somewhere in between, learning the importance of Transcribing every document we discover in our research will greatly influence your success. Census records are one of those documents not to be skimmed through too quickly.  

One of the first things we look for in a census record is the names. We want to find that family group listing everyone in the household. Sometimes this is easy. We search in our favourite database and there they are – just where we expected them to be. But what if they aren’t? 

Maybe the census was taken before the birth of some of the children we expected to see. Some family members who were on the previous census are absent because they have died. Sadly, some children were born and died in the years between the last census and the next. Perhaps an older child has left the family home to seek employment opportunities, or they were married and have started their own family, either nearby in the same community or elsewhere. 

A common reason for those elusive missing entries is not knowing how to find them. The biggest tip is to search for the most unique name in the family. Pricilla is going to be easier to find than Mary or Ann. Once found, check to see if her family members match your list of her siblings and parents. However, with unique names comes some creative spelling variations, so watch for those and try searching for a phonetic spelling.

A more challenging reason is that they were indexed incorrectly, due to the indexer being unable to decipher the correct name. Sometimes the handwriting is difficult to read, or the digital image is blurred, or too dark or too light. That’s when Transcriptions are truly useful. Looking at the original Image helps us to correctly interpret what was written.

Here is a recent example on Ancestry where the indexer’s interpretation of the name was completely incorrect. This name was entered into the 1921 Census of Canada database as “Farah Lestage” for the Head of Household. This meant that his wife was listed as Lucinda Lestage. They were an older couple, so all of their children had already left home. This made them difficult to find. Luckily, they resided in a small community with only 12 pages. Because it was known to be the correct location, they were discovered by reviewing each household until found on page 4.

The first clue was that “Farah” was listed as male, but if the indexer was unfamiliar with male names common to a location, you can see how the interpretation looks reasonable. However, this is Jacob and not Farah. Searching for Jacob Seaboyer never found his entry. Once it was confirmed that this was indeed my “Jacob Seaboyer,” a correction was submitted to update the record. 

Click the “Add or update information” link. A pop-up will allow you to enter the alternate information and the reason for your request for changes. Once reviewed, the record will then display the alternate name below, so other researchers can also find it. Tip: the person who submitted the correction may also be researching your family, so always note who had submitted additional information. (Note: the user name for this example has been blocked for privacy.)

Citation: 1921 Census of Canada, Province: Nova Scotia; District: 61 – Lunenburg; Enumeration Sub-District: 41 – Blandford par Chester Municipality; Page: 4; Family:39; Line:13; Head of Household: Jacob Seaboyer; wife: Lucinda. Ancestry.com [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2013. [accessed : 19 Sep 2021] 

By looking at the original image of the document, the name was deciphered correctly and then, it could be transcribed accurately with the proper surname. Learning to recognize problem letters is a key element in building your Transcription Skills. We will explore this aspect in next week’s Transcription Tuesday.

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Remember: Transcribing takes practice and patience. Check back next week for more skill-building tips.

Previous Transcription Tuesday blog posts:
Transcription Definition
Transcription Tuesday Index
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These three core courses demonstrate Transcription principles. They are offered monthly, beginning on the first Monday of every month: Register today!
Methodology-Part 2: Organizing and Skill-Building (Basic Level)
Skills: Transcribing, Abstracting & Extracting (Basic Level)
Palaeography: Reading & Understanding Historical Documents (Advanced)

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Visit our website for a complete list of online courses offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Check our Course Calendar here
Follow us on Social Media: BlogFacebookTwitter, Pinterest
*Note: Please be aware our social media accounts are monitored regularly, but NOT 24/7. If you have any questions, please contact the office directly.

Contact information:
1 (800) 580-0165
Email: admin@GenealogicalStudies.com 
Website: www.GenealogicalStudies.com
Blog: blog.GenealogicalStudies.com

LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION since 1997

Transcription Tuesday: Transcription Definition

As part of the online skill-building education at The National Institute for Genealogical Studies, new students, as well as professional genealogists, learn the importance of Transcribing every document they discover in their family research. Although it may take extra effort to make a transcription, the benefits will soon be apparent. How often have you left a document written in an older script for a few days, and when you returned to your research, you found that you needed to decipher the handwriting again?

The first step is to make a copy of the original document and put it away. This is especially true for those of fragile materials. By using this copy to make a transcription, the text of a document can be worked on, while avoiding the wear and tear of the original document. Never write on an original; copies of documents can be marked with notes, highlighters, and notations for further examination and research, preserving the original document. First, let’s look at a definition.

What is a Transcription?
A transcription is a true, word-for-word rendering of a document with the original punctuation and spelling (i.e., an exact copy of the original, line by line, sentence by sentence, word by word, and letter by letter). All notes and marks on any page are copied as faithfully as possible in the presented formatting. It includes all spellings, capitalizations and punctuations as it was written. No corrections are made to spelling or capitalization. It includes the whole record—front and back, with all its headings, insertions, endorsements, notations, etc.

By transcribing everything on a document, we don’t miss those important clues. We can have a tendency to skim over long blocks of text, or those oh-so-familiar boilerplate sections. By doing so, you could miss that slightly different instruction, or that note tucked in the middle of the text. 

Transcribing forces us to record every single word (and symbol!) and explore why it was included, or used in that fashion. Transcriptions take obscure handwriting and reveal the contents in “plain English,” making it much easier to read and to tease out the finer details needing to be clarified. It can be a challenge, don’t give up!

Sometimes, handwriting really does need letter-by-letter deciphering. Many letters can look the same; some letters may even be illegible. Some letters just need time. If they have you stuck, walk away and come back with fresh eyes – an hour later, or the next day. It is amazing how you can see it so clearly the next time. When having difficulty with a particular word, count how many letters there are. Use blanks (like in hangman) and try to figure out the word that could fit in the context of that sentence. Sometimes, it is like solving a coded message.

Don’t change any spelling, even when it varies on the same page. There was no “A” for correct spelling – they often wrote phonetically. Try speaking it out loud (and with a strong accent!). Don’t expand abbreviations, especially for names. Edd could be Edward or Edmund. Keep the original capitalizations (or lack of), and keep the punctuation exactly the same. Often personal letters are written as one long sentence!

These are just a few tips to start. You can develop your Transcription Skills – it just takes practice and patience. See the list of our core Transcription courses below.
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Check back next week for more skill-building tips.
Previous Transcription Tuesday blog post:
Transcription Tuesday
Transcription Tuesday Index
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These three core courses demonstrate Transcription principles. They are offered monthly, beginning on the first Monday of every month: Register today!
Methodology-Part 2: Organizing and Skill-Building (Basic Level)
Skills: Transcribing, Abstracting & Extracting (Basic Level)
Palaeography: Reading & Understanding Historical Documents (Advanced)
—————————————————-
Visit our website for a complete list of online courses offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Check our Course Calendar here.
Follow us on Social Media: BlogFacebookTwitter, Pinterest.
*Note: Please be aware our social media accounts are monitored regularly, but NOT 24/7. If you have any questions, please contact the office directly.

Contact information:
1 (800) 580-0165
Email: admin@GenealogicalStudies.com
Website: www.GenealogicalStudies.com
Blog: blog.GenealogicalStudies.com

LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION since 1997

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