Yesterday we thought we would be ambitious and release four new projects, British Postal Service Appointment Books, Tax & Rent Records Perth, Scotland, Valuation Registers Perth, Scotland and Perth, Scotland, Survey of Inhabitants, 1766, 1773. These collections, as indicated by their titles, are all UK collections.
I love keying (who doesn’t?), and if I can gain an insight into the lives of the names I am keying it just makes it all the more interesting. As I was getting ready to test the Postal Service Appointments I’ll admit that I didn’t think it would be that engaging of a project but in between the lists of appointments are the free form documents that are little gems into the lives of the postal workers. I ran into a series of letters detailing retirement plans and I couldn’t help but be drawn into Mr. Curran’s life and wonder why they were talking about his retirement years in advance…not that I’m nosey or anything. The Postal Appointments is a simple project to key – if you would like to read more about how to key this project visit the help article by clicking here.
Next I tested the Tax and Rent records which proved to be a more difficult project to key. The handwriting in the images I downloaded was definitely challenging, which is one of the reasons why this project is classified as Advanced – although the handwriting can be difficult it is good way of honing your skills! If you’re up to the challenge in addition to reading the help article I also suggest reviewing the Conquering the Challenge of Reading Handwritten Documents webinar.
The third project I tackled was the Valuation Registers, which like the Tax and Rent records also lists the names of proprietors and their tenants. Unlike the Tax and Rent records the Valuation Registers are all typed and incredibly easy to read, which also means that there are quite a few more names on a page. My favorite thing about this project, other than sailing through it, was reading all of the titles of the proprietors, such as “His Grace John, Duke of Athole”. Is that how they addressed each other, was this just how they wrote their names…? Although this project is pretty straightforward along with reading te Field Helps you may find it helpful to review the help article.
And the last project I tested of this group was the Perth, Scotland, Survey of Inhabitants. We are keying the names of the individuals listed on each document, whether they are free form or columnaroth of which are generally handwritten. It was a funny challenge at first to figure out what the names were – which probably sounds strange – but when the occupations were listed after the surnames I did have to think. Consider how many surnames came to be, based on the occupation of the person, so I ran across Tailors, Bakers, Dyers, etc, all of which could have been their last names but in these cases they were the occupations. This is another relatively easy project to key, but as always, it is a good idea to read the help article and review all of the Field Helps.
If you have questions that the articles don’t address please send them in to our support team, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the International Records – English Language message board to chat with others who are also keying these projects.
My challenge for everyone this week is to key a few image sets from at least one of these projects. Happy keying!