Any “named” people, places, or things should be indexed. These are referred to as indexed items. Some examples: John Williams, Elijah (no last name), Twelve Mill Creek, Wilmington, Schooner Sally, Yate’s Mill. Indexed items can then be “hash tagged” with any information considered important to that person/item or their role in that situation. Examples: #widow Jones, Henry #negro #boy, Franklin Johnson #deed.
Capitalization. The system can automatically capitalize names and will handle common exceptions like Mc and Mac. To use this shortcut, simply enter all lower case letters. If on the other hand the system sees any capital letter in a name, it will leave the capitalization exactly as you have entered. This can be used in usual cases that dose not fit the typical rules.
First, middle, and last name order. For indexing, the first and middle name are treated as one part while the last name is the other. Any honorifics are handled using tags. You should always enter the name parts in the order they appear. The / character is used to separate first and last names in cases of ambiguity, while the , is used to indicate last followed by first.
INDEXED ITEMS – GENERAL
- Indexed items are named people (e.g. Robert Porter), places (e.g. 4 mile creek), or things (e.g. RMS Titantic). Topics or unnamed objects such as treason or cotton gins may also be indexed as things if they are considered indexable versus simply additional information. are handled using hash tags
- Enter one indexed item per line. If names are tied together such as James and Sally Jones, enter each on a separate line.
- Capitalization is automatic, but if an item contains any uppercase characters then automatic capitalization will not occur for that item and it will be capitalized as specified.
- Spaces are not needed before or after punctuation and will be ignored.
- For unreadable words or parts of words, use a ? for each unreadable letter. Example: br?w?
PEOPLE are any personal names that appear in a document.
- Names without a comma a treated as first last or first middle last.
- For names with more than 3 words (excluding initials), the character , or / must be used to separate first and last.
- Names with a comma are treated as last, first regardless of the number of words in each part.
- Names with a / are treated as first / last regardless of the number of words in each part.
- Words that are legally part of a name, such as junr or iii, should be entered as shown.
- Titles and honorifics, such as dr, esquire, col, etc. should be entered using hashtags, described below.
- Periods are ignored, and will automatically be added if needed to single initials.
|2 word name||firstname lastname||john smith||Smith, John|
|2 word name||lastname, firstname||smith, john||Smith, John|
|3 word name||firstname middlename lastname||john mcknitt alexander||Alexander, John McKnitt|
|3 word name||firstname/lastname1 lastname2||frank/von trapp||Von Trapp, Frank|
|3+ word name||firstname middlename/lastname1 lastname2||ellie may/von trapp||Von Trapp, Ellie May|
|Suffixes when part of name||firstname lastname jr,sr,iii,iv||matthew jones junr||Jones Jr., Matthew|
|Initials are always first name||firstname init init lastname||j r r tolkien||Tolkien, J. R. R.|
|First name only||firstname/||thomas||*, Thomas|
|Multiple first name only||firstname1 firstname2/||ellie may/||*, Ellie May|
|Last name only||/lastname||/johnston||Johnson, *|
|Multiple last name only||/lastname1 lastname2||/von trapp||Von Trapp, *|
PLACES apply to any referenced natural or man-made features, such as creeks, towns, colleges, etc.
- Places are indicated by an @, with one per line. Example: @swift creek.
- Hashtags may be used with places.
THINGS apply to any referenced named objects other than people or places, such as organizations, ships, etc.
- Things are indicated by a %, with one per line. Example: %slave patrol.
- Hashtags may be used with things.
**** The following entries are not themselves indexed, but provide additional information for names and places
DATE are used for document such as court records or ledgers where the date can change on a page.
- Dates are be entered on a single line, and will apply to all subsequent items until another date is specified.
- Dates that refer to events before or after the document, such as a reference to a death date, are handled separately with events hashtags
- Hashtags are not allowed for dates. If additional information is required, use comments.
LOCATION associate items with the location that applies to the document.
- Locations are of the format *date state,county,town, with county and town being optional.
- If location is omitted, NC will be assumed.
- Locations are be entered on a single line, and will apply to all subsequent items until another location is specified.
- Hashtags are not allowed for locations. If additional information is required, use comments.
HASH TAGS provide additional information about an index item without altering the item itself.
- Hash tags are preceeded by a # and can only contain letters and numbers with no spaces. Example: #roadcrew.
- Multiple hash tags may be used on a line, separated by blanks. Example: #slave #boy
- If hash tags appear before and/or after an item they only apply to that item. Example: #sheriff john brown #esquire.
- A line with only hash tags will apply those tags to subsequent items until a line with only a # is found.
john, frank, and edward will be tagged as #jury, while samuel and daniel will not.
- Event hashtags consist of # followed by a date. These are used when a date is associated with an indexed name, not the document itself. Example: sally brown #died #05aug1755.
- If a topic or unnamed object is not directly associated with a indexed name, it can be entered by itself on a line ending with #. For example, if a court decided to put a tax on mules and that was deemed worth of indexing, enter #mules#.
COMMENTS additional information about the document or item.
- Comments are ==.
For tagging, again do not make assumptions and use whatever terms are present in the document. With some exceptions, you should only tag a word that appears in a document, even if you are aware of the situation or context. It is important to know the terms as they are used, so do not attempt to modernize or sanitize them. In actuality, the “N” word does not appear often in records, so cases where it does should be documented. This allows preservation of the original terms for those researching their usage, while the searching software allows searching on a concept which can include multiple tags. An example of an exception would be when a sentence conclusively identifies someone as an enslaver even though that word does not appear. For example, “the slave Jane belonging to Joseph Blake” is a clear indication of that situation and can be tagged as such.
Use a separate # for each word, e.g. for negro girl use #negro #girl and not #negrogirl. The exception is when the phrase is a common thing where you would typically not see individual words. An example is person of color which would be #personofcolor.
Be sure to include additional tags about the situation if mentioned, such as #runaway
Several shortcuts are available to help minimize the amount of typing needed. For some it will be easier to avoid shortcuts since they could lead to mistakes.
Names often repeat within an image, but it is important to record every time a name appears. If a name is identical to the prior index entry, simply enter ” on a line. Example:
Samuel Deal has sworn that John Deal has entered a contract with John Walker wherein John Walker agrees to give John Deal all his possessions.
A full index should read:
To avoid typing john walker twice enter:
An additional option lets you duplicate previous names other than the most recent. To do this, use ” followed by enough characters to uniquely identify the name in question.
Note that neither “john” nor “deal” would not be sufficient, while