Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tuesday's Tips - Census Records - Instructions?

I just recently discovered a wonderful blog (web site) by Elizabeth Shown Mills.  https://www.evidenceexplained.com/  Quick Lesson 9 was about instructions.  Yes, instructions for enumerators and ESM gave a great example of how an enumerator gave "additional" information on a census record that could benefit us if we carefully read the directions.  In fact, though, the "additional" information was in the enumerator instructions that many of us don't read.

Thank you, ESM.  I would now like to apply your suggestions regarding reading instructions to the current indexing projects, particularly the 1940 census records, on familysearch.  Some indexers (and arbitrators) really want to make corrections to the census record when they index, like spelling a name "correctly" or adding county and state if "same place" or "same house" is listed.  As an arbitrator, I am also trying to help researchers, but unfortunately I feel I must read (and follow) the instructions provided even though sometimes I would also like to make changes. 

This reminder to read instructions is going to be valuable to me in my future research, just as finding out WHY a record was made has helped me analyze the information in a document.  Thank you again.