We begin by extracting from the top portion each page
(Hoja) of your census document, the following information:
Municipio - This will be Ponce, for this
Barrio - District.
Distrito De Enumeracion - Enumeration District
Enumerador - Census taker.
Enumerada...El Dia - Date census taken.
Hoja, A/B - Page number and side (A or B).
Of 29 columns of data on the census document, we will only be extracting
columns 4, 5, 6 & 11. To do more would consume too much time,
take up too much web space, and would be too hard to read (because it would
require too much left/right scrolling).
The information we transcribe from these four columns will be enough for
the reader to identify possible relatives and make it easier for the reader
to find the full information on the original census documents. These columns
yield the following information:
Column 4 - Numerical order in which the families
Column 5 - Family names and given names.
Column 6 - Relationship to the the family head
Column 11 - Age at last birthday.
Displaying, on the monitor, the two documents we will be working with is
a matter of personal choice. We will maneuver the dimensions of each document
so that each occupies half our usable screen area.
The display below on the left shows the template/form (which I will
send you) on top and the census document (from which you will be transcribing)
on the bottom.
The display on the right shows the two documents
vertically side by side.
Experiment with BOTH displays, maybe even
switch positions of the
documents, and decide for yourself which position works best for
The top portion of the census page (Hoja) is often harder to read than the
main body of the page. If necessary, skip the unreadably parts and come back
to them when the info becomes more readable on succeeding pages.
I have already extracted census taker's name from the documents (see "district
list"), but please make an independent confirmation of the name.
When transcribing a name, you start with the individual letters as opposed
to the whole name. You would introduce fewer errors that way. For instance,
you may quickly interpret a name as "MARIA" when, on closer scrutiny, it
might actually read, "MERNA".
Transcribe the data EXACTLY as you see it. That's what transcribing
IS - a TRUE representation of the written document!. If a census
taker misspelled a name, enter it that way. Avoid the urge to correct the
census taker's errors. The exceptions to this rule, as stated elsewhere
in these instructions, are to accommodate Search Engines by replacing lines
with the data they represent and removing the "y" between surnames.
Entering the names might take some cleverness on your part to figure out
the style of the census taker. Take some time to study the handwriting. You
will figure out the handwriting pretty quickly, then it will
be,"Smooth Sailing !".
The character "y" between surnames is dropped to avoid confusing the Search
Engines. For example, "Perez y Toro, Juan",
is written as, "Perez Toro, Juan".
If a number or character is unreadable, replace the unreadable number or
character with a period (.).
If a whole name or number is unreadable, replace that name or number
with one question mark(?).
A baby's age will usually be listed with something like "5/12" or "0/12",
to indicate that he/she was less than one year old on that date. Type it
Sometimes the census taker will use dashes or lines to indicate that a name(s)
on one line is the same as the previous line (similar in meaning to the "ditto"
mark). In this case, the line or dash mark must be replaced by the name(s)
it represents. Search engines do not understand lines, dashes or ditto marks.
When you finish either a file or Barrio (or at what ever point you decide),
go back and double check your transcriptions. You'd be surprised how much
more you can pick up that way. Once you submit your work to us, someone else
will proofread it one last time because two heads are better than one. You
will receive full recognition for your work.
Remember, if you encounter problems or situations you're unsure of, contact
us and we will clarify them for you.
When you have completed transcribing the first 3 or 4 pages (which equals
one file), submit your work to us so we can make a quick review and offer
whatever recommendations and/or comments that might assist you in your work.
After that, we ask that you send 4 or 5 completed files (16-20 pages) at
a time. (This is not a hard and fast rule. We'll play this one "by ear").
While you are working on the next batch of files, we can be busy converting
your first batch into web pages and uploading them onto the Net.
Make sure you keep a copy of all the files you submit as a backup in the
event something happens to our main system and data is lost.
Well, that's all there is to it! All you have to do now is decide to get
If you haven't done so already, if you decide to give it a try, just sign
my Guest Book, which goes directly
to my email in-box or contact me directly at:
Lets have FUN with this !
Other Instructional Pages
< Volunteer Info
< Sources Transcribing Data
Glossary of Terms
> District List >