Ponce Coat of Arms


Transcribing The Data

Ponce Coat of Arms

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 project.
  • Barrio - District.
  • Distrito De Enumeracion - Enumeration District Number.
  • 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 were counted.
  • Column 5 - Family names and given names.
  • Column 6 - Relationship to the the family head (Jefe).
  • 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.

horizontal screen view              Vertical screen view

Experiment with BOTH displays, maybe even switch positions of the  
documents, and decide for yourself which position works best for YOU!

Do's & Don'ts

  • 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 that way.

  • 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.

Final Steps

  • 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 started!

  • 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:

Peter Feliciano

Lets have FUN with this !

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