Sunday, April 5, 2015

Side Note on Indexing Belgian Records for FamilySearch Indexing

It had been some time since I had indexed Belgian records and feeling rusty I have been very self-conscious about making mistakes in deciphering the sometimes not so easy to read records but also following the rules particular to this project.

This afternoon I came across a name that I read as "Marie Josephine Waudin Hanot d'Harvengt"
mmm...  Something was off...  Was "Waudin" part of a long last name?
I decided to see if maybe by chance I could find something on Geneanet that would help me figure it out.

I tried "D'Harvengt" and got several results but none that linked in with the father's last name "Bonaert", so I tried "Bonaert" and BINGO!

and there she was! NOT "Waudin" as I read it but "Waudru" and that is a given name  NOT a last name.

As it turned out the birth record I was indexing was that of their son Louis "Henri" Victor Joseph François Ghislain BONAERT, who apparently later might have become the mayor of Foy-Notre-Dame, a little town near Dinant, where his mother passed away in 1889.

I know taking side trips to make sure you have the right spelling is not a requirement. I was just curious and was not disappointed to have made the detour.

This time around I can check my work and see if I am doing ok.  I have found some frustration in the arbitration process as arbitrators can't seem to agree on what to do with names with accents.
Do you put them in or do you write the name as you see it?

Then there is the issue of what to do with the child's surname...
Some arbitrators have you put it in while others take it away...
Rule is: Don't assume the child's surname if it is not written in before or after the child's given name(s).
So, since there is a button for 'Feedback' I clicked it for every time they added the child's surname when it wasn't there at all...  I hope this means the arbitrator's work will be reviewed and my correct entries restored.

Not that it is important to 'be right' but I do want to be as accurate as I can.
It's hard enough reading some of these names... (=

If you are comfortable working with Dutch or French or German records, I invite you to give Indexing a try.  If you are not and prefer English, try it too...  There is plenty of work to go around!
Most important thing is to ENJOY yourself while at the same time render a great service to researchers!