Project Specific Help

After reviewing the feedback from the past few weeks we have seen questions about how to handle unique differences in specific projects, as well as how to best use the keying tool itself.  We have recently added two new articles that cover both topics to our Online Help.

Project-specific tips for the World Archives Project

New Features in the World Archives Project keying tool

We hope that these articles are helpful.  If you have other questions we haven’t answered, you can contact us through the “Provide Feedback” link in the keying tool or using the contact form in the Online Help section. 

In addition to these new articles, you may also find our project pages helpful.  When you have opened an image set in the keying tool, under the Help menu you will find an option to “View More About This Project.”  Clicking on this option will bring you to the project page related to the image set you are keying.  You will find a link for “Project-specific sample images and field help” which includes Sample forms for each of the form type options and additional field help information.  You’ll also find a link to the online tutorial that will walk you through the World Archives Project. (Please note that the video is large and may take a few minutes to load.)

Again, we appreciate your participation and feedback!

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Reader Comments

I just completed the transcription of 10 cards on the southern california naturalization project. The following may not be considered the type of comment you are seeking, but I couldn’t find the appropriate place to send this information.

I don’t believe I was offered the proper choice type for any of the cards. None of the cards contained naturalization admission dates. The dates provided were declaration dates or change dates. Some of the cards contained more than one number. Some of the cards contained more than one name.

I second what Louise has said. I canceled the download because the image bore no resemblance to the available types of input.

None of the forms were set up right for the card images I was given.

I was working on the California naturalizations cards and I sure hope I entered one data item correctly. The thing I am confused over is the date of “petition”, the example in the video pointed to that term yet the help files used “admission.” Often, usually with the name change records, there were two such dates – to pick from – the date of petition OR the date of admissions.
The petition would be an earlier date – there would also the admissions/acceptance date that was anywhere from a few weeks to several yrs later in time. I ended up deciding to use the latter when it was available on the form and there were the 2 dates to choose from. Mainly as it seem to notate some change that was relevant to the card being presented, and at least with the name changes there was an earlier form with the earlier date. Yet I felt it would be nice to have both dates – for the cross-checking on names & dates. I hope I guessed right, there wasn’t anything in the help files as to which date was to be used when there was both dates. I always used the petition date when that was all that was available. Still I am unsure if my guess was right.
Also as others have said in their posts the images presented did not easily match up to the choices given in formats … I think I figured that part of it out.
A few more examples on variations of forms may help others in knowing which form to select – I am sure as with the census and draft cards that different forms were used in the same time frame – it may be a challenge initially to know what key parts one should look for.
All in all this is interesting to help out with the indexing. Thanks!

Why are just two choices given to “Download Image Set?” I need more than two states for choices, not just Alabama and southern California. I am searching 6 ancestors from Scandinavia and all 6 settled in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Thank you,
Glenda Magsam

I decided to opt out of the World Archives Project.
Your newest program is really very limited; I’ve been working on ancestry projects for over 10 years, and I cannot search Minnesota and Wisconsin with this program.
Hopefully there will be more and better options for searches in the future.
Glenda Magsam

I have been marking the admittance fields “blank” for the index cards that do not specifically mention an admittance date.

I have done quite a few of the cards on the Southern California Naturalization Project and have noticed that most of them do not contain an admission date or date of birth. The database that we are compiling with these index cards would have been much more useful with the declaration date, petition date or both… as well.

Comment for Glenda: I’m pretty sure that the areas that you are interested in working on will become available sometime in the future.

I was one of those subscribers who complained loudly about all the transcription errors in the past! Forgive me, all volunteers – it isn’t easy. I find myself wanting to hit a “skip” button, rather than trying to make sense of a name or date that is legible, but undecipherable (by me). By using the “illegible” or “blank” buttons I feel I am not correctly communicating what specific problem I might be having? I agree with Glenda Magsam that it would encourage me to continue volunteering if I could mix it up a bit – generic data from CA and the AL census are wearing a bit thin!

Another comment on the census pages – often times it would help to compare the script to see how the enumerator wrote their letters – if it’s on the pg I am viewing I can compare – I can see a “known” word and say, Aha! that’s got to be a F,T,or whatever it is. Like knowing /breaking a code. I am frustrated that I can’t go back and forth in the pages to find an example. (I do this in the census already published) It’s only with the single image that is problematic … I know that not all letters will be presented in upper and lower case in the whole census, yet it’s the only way I know of to get a clue. Am I missing something in the way the viewer/program operates? Can we open another page without working on it?

I’m assuming the census keying tool is the same as the naturalization. Just below the “2.Set Form Type” tab is a picture of a blank page. By clicking on it I get a drop down box and can open other images in my download. These images are in a different window as to not mess with the image I’m currently inputting.

When I go to My Dashboard, I see a long list of projects available for keying. So why are we limited to 2? They’re getting BORING!!! I really hope an admin from Ancestry will comment or respond to this.

Comment for Glenda Magsam

This is NOT a search engine. It is a data entry project!!!!!!

I have started to key in the southern california Indexes, but have decided to cancell them as Im fairly sure I have been doing it wrong. Trouble is none of the form types resemble the information on the cards,I started to put them as generic cards, but as there is no number I ended up just putting the names, which seems doesnt seem right. I wish some one could confirm that we are doing it correctly.

I am also working on the CA Naturalization project. The other part of the puzzle, is that I have run across several cards that admittance was denied, and gives specific reasons. This is valuable information to a researcher, and there is no where to put it. I have modified several that I did, whether right or wrong, and in the Month I put “Denied” and in the Day I put “Admission” and just put the year their admission was denied.
Like the other ladies, it would be most helpful if the template we are using actually matched the cards that we are transcribing. It seems that valuable information is being lost.

I agree that the CA Naturalization project form types do not match the cards we are given. Many of the cards have two dates on them, but only one date field is given on the (generic card) template. I have just been using the petition date, but I think I will stop working on these and stick to the census, because I’m not sure I’m doing it correctly.

Hello! I just started to do the entry and while I found the CA Naturalization cards confusing, I went over and over the card types and decided that the name change card was the right one for all my cards even if there wasn’t two names on the card. It just fit the best. I also had a card that had a denial on it and ultimately they were admitted, but I put the actual admitted date and figured that when someone searched they would be able to see the actual card and then they would get the knowledge that the person had originally been denied. I always look at the original when I’m searching because there is a lot of info that is not keyed in. This is just an index for searching, not for the entire info.

When working on the So CA naturalization project, I think it would be a lot simpler to have a ONE card that offers a place for all of the information to be entered? Then what is listed as we look at the data online is ALL of the available information on the card. As a researcher I would want that?

Not really sure why Ancestry wouldn’t be thinking that way already?
Besides, it would lesson the confusion as to what to enter or not?

Aren’t we a “detailed” community anyway? I expect and look(hope)for that kind of detail.

I agree with Alice Parcel it would be a big help to be able to compare the known to the unknown.

I also tried to work with the Southern California census and was confused about what form to choose. I ended up choosing generic most of the time.

It is very easy work, if we could choose the right card. It would also seem to me that we should be capturing more of the data that is on the cards.

I finally gave up on doing the Southern California project and am doing the New England Naturalization indexes. There is only one form type to choose from so all I have to do is fill out the blocks.