World Archives Project: Australia Newspaper Vital Notices, 1851-1997 (Part 1)

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This collection contains newspapers from Australia, 1851-1997, which contain birth, marriage and death information.

Project Overview

View Keying Standards
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Project Instructions This collection contains newspapers from Australia, 1851-1997, which contain birth, marriage and death information.

Key all notices that contain a birth, marriage or death event. This may include births, engagements, marriages, deaths, obituaries, funerals and memorials. You should only be keying vital events from notices that were published specifically to announce the vital event. Do not key any vital information from regular news articles.

Many notices will not include a vital date. These notices should be keyed with the information available.

Where the year is missing, the publication year at the top of the image should be keyed. Where the word "Instant" appears, key the month and year from the publication date where available. Instant refers to this month. Where the word "Ultimo" appears, key the month previous to the publication month where available. Key the publication year as well, however, if the publication month is January, the previous year should also be keyed. Ultimo refers to the previous month.

Gender will need to be inferred for an individual based off whether they are a son or daughter, husband or wife, mother or father of an individual, or by gender specific prefixes. If gender cannot be reasonably inferred, then leave this field blank.

When multiple relationships appear in a notice, only key a record for the primary person. For example, in an obituary where it states, "William Collins was the husband of Charlotte Collins, and the father of Catherine Collins," key "William Collins" into the name fields and "Charlotte Collins" into the spouse name fields. DO NOT create another record with "Catherine Collins" as the primary, "William Collins" in the father name fields and "Charlotte Collins" in the mother name fields.

NOTE: Images with notices were previously classified so that it is unlikely you will come across any Cover page images.

What Names Should I Key? Although many persons are mentioned in a newspaper, you only want to key the names of individuals who appear in "Notices" announcing births, deaths, engagements, funerals, marriages, memoriams and obituaries. The section of the newspaper with these notices should be headed by what type of notice it is followed by the individuals underneath. In each notice, key the primary individual (the person for whom the notice was written) and then if applicable, her/his spouse, parents and spouse parents. Do not key any other person mentioned in a notice.

Often you will find family members submit multiple notices of an event (frequently death notices). If an image has multiple notices of the same event for the same person, index only one notice.

Project Form Types and Field Helps
Newspaper Page
Cover page, Section header, etc.
Image with no data


Newspaper Page

45475 newspaper key 1.JPG

Choose the "Newspaper Page" form type when the image contains notices of vital events.

Newspaper Page Keying Instructions

Notice Type

Key the type of notice using the dictionary.

Options include:

  • Birth
  • Death
  • Engagement
  • Funeral
  • Marriage
  • License
  • Memoriam
  • Obituary

Notices are grouped together in sections on the image, but the notice type should be keyed for each record.

Note: In some cases the notice was placed under the wrong heading. When this happens, key the correct notice type for the record.

Vital Year

Key the year in its numerical form from the vital date. If the year in the date is not given in the notice, the publication year at the top of the image should be keyed.

Where the word "Instant" appears, key the month and year from the publication date where available.

Where the word "Ultimo" appears, key the month previous to the publication month where available. Key the publication year as well, however, if the publication month is January, the previous year should also be keyed.

  • Note - Please use your best judgement when copying down the year from the publication date. For example, if an announcement for a birth that occurred in December appears in the newspaper without a year, and the publication date found in the header is for January of 1925, the birth year should actually be keyed as 1924.


Vital Month

Key the month as an abbreviation from the vital date using the dictionary provided for assistance. If no vital month is present, you may leave this field blank, unless:

Where the word "Instant" or "Inst" appears, key the month and year from the publication date where available.

Where the word "Ultimo" or "Ult" appears, key the month previous to the publication month where available. Key the publication year as well, however, if the publication month is January, the previous year should also be keyed.

Vital Day

Key the day in its numerical form from the vital date. If no vital day is present, you may leave this field blank.

Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space.

For records where the notice type is "Engagement" or "Marriage," key the groom's name into the name fields and the bride's name into the spouse name fields.

On birth and death records if there is no given name, but a surname is present and there is a word or phrase that describes the person in the field, such as "son," "daughter," "stillborn," "child," "unknown" or "not stated," that entire value should be keyed as seen into the given name field.

Example: If "child of Robert Ferrars" appears, key "child of" into the given name field, "Ferrars" into the surname field and "Robert Ferrars" into the father given and surname fields.

If multiple children are listed in a birth record, key each child on a separate record.

Surname

Key the surname as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Infer surnames where applicable. If surname cannot be reasonably inferred, then leave this field blank.

Gender

Key the sex or gender as an abbreviation from the record.

Gender will need to be inferred for an individual based off whether they are a son or daughter, husband or wife, mother or father of an individual, or by gender specific prefixes. If gender cannot be reasonably inferred, then leave this field blank.

Death Age

Key the death age. If present, death age may be found next to the word "Age" or "Aged."

Valid ages include numeric digits between "0" and "120" or certain acceptable fractions for ages displayed in months only. If an age includes years, months, and/or days key only the years. For example, "10 years, 7 months" would be keyed as "10". If an age includes both a year and a fraction, key only the year. For example, "3 3/12" would be keyed as "3". If an age appears only in months, key age as a fraction. For example, "7 Months" would be keyed as "7/12" and "18 Months" would be keyed as "18/12". If an age is expressed in weeks, days, or hours, "0" (zero) should be keyed as the age. For example, "3 weeks" would be keyed as "0" and "8 weeks" would be keyed as "0".

Father Prefix

Key any titles before the given name, such as "Dr," "Mr," or "Mrs," of the father of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Father Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the father of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space.

For engagements and marriages the primary person mentioned in the instruction above is the groom.

If a person's parents' names appear as "Mr & Mrs John Knightly," the father's name should be keyed as "Mr John Knightly" and the mother's name should by keyed as "Mrs Knightly." If the parents' names appear as "Mr & Mrs John Knightly (nee Woodhouse)" then the father's name should be keyed as "Mr John Knightly" and the mother's name should be keyed as "Mrs Knightly (Maiden) Woodhouse."

Father Surname

Key the surname of the father of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

For engagements and marriages the primary person mentioned in the instruction above is the groom.

If a person's parents' names appear as "Mr & Mrs John Knightly," the father's name should be keyed as "Mr John Knightly" and the mother's name should by keyed as "Mrs Knightly." If the parents' names appear as "Mr & Mrs John Knightly (nee Woodhouse)" then the father's name should be keyed as "Mr John Knightly" and the mother's name should be keyed as "Mrs Knightly (Maiden) Woodhouse."

Mother Prefix

Key any titles before the given name, such as "Dr," "Mr," or "Mrs," of the mother of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Mother Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the mother of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space.

For engagements and marriages the primary person mentioned in the instruction above is the groom.

If a person's parents' names appear as "Mr & Mrs John Knightly," the father's name should be keyed as "Mr John Knightly" and the mother's name should by keyed as "Mrs Knightly." If the parents' names appear as "Mr & Mrs John Knightly (nee Woodhouse)" then the father's name should be keyed as "Mr John Knightly" and the mother's name should be keyed as "Mrs Knightly (Maiden) Woodhouse."

Mother Surname

Key the surname of the mother of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

For engagements and marriages the primary person mentioned in the instruction above is the groom.

If a person's parents' names appear as "Mr & Mrs John Knightly," the father's name should be keyed as "Mr John Knightly" and the mother's name should by keyed as "Mrs Knightly." If the parents' names appear as "Mr & Mrs John Knightly (nee Woodhouse)" then the father's name should be keyed as "Mr John Knightly" and the mother's name should be keyed as "Mrs Knightly (Maiden) Woodhouse."

Mother Maiden

Occasionally an alternate surname may be recorded for an individual. This name may be denoted by parentheses, quotation marks, or may be preceded by the abbreviation "for." or the words "nee" or "formerly." Key the alias surname as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Spouse Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space.

For records where the notice type is "Engagement" or "Marriage," key the groom's name into the name fields and the bride's name into the spouse name fields.

Spouse Surname

Key the surname of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

For records where the notice type is "Engagement" or "Marriage," key the groom's name into the name fields and the bride's name into the spouse name fields.

Spouse Gender

Key the sex or gender of the spouse as an abbreviation from the record. Gender will need to be inferred for an individual based off whether they are a son or daughter, husband or wife, mother or father of an individual, or by gender specific prefixes. If gender cannot be reasonably inferred, then leave this field blank.

Spouse Father Prefix

Key any titles before the given name, such as "Dr," "Mr," or "Mrs," of the father of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Spouse Father Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the father of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space.

For engagements and marriages the primary person mentioned in the instruction above is the groom.

If a person's parents' names appear as "Mr & Mrs John Knightly," the father's name should be keyed as "Mr John Knightly" and the mother's name should by keyed as "Mrs Knightly." If the parents' names appear as "Mr & Mrs John Knightly (nee Woodhouse)" then the father's name should be keyed as "Mr John Knightly" and the mother's name should be keyed as "Mrs Knightly (Maiden) Woodhouse."

Spouse Father Surname

Key the surname of the father of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

For engagements and marriages the primary person mentioned in the instruction above is the groom.

If a person's parents' names appear as "Mr & Mrs John Knightly," the father's name should be keyed as "Mr John Knightly" and the mother's name should by keyed as "Mrs Knightly." If the parents' names appear as "Mr & Mrs John Knightly (nee Woodhouse)" then the father's name should be keyed as "Mr John Knightly" and the mother's name should be keyed as "Mrs Knightly (Maiden) Woodhouse."

Spouse Mother Prefix

Key any titles before the given name, such as "Dr," "Mr," or "Mrs," of the mother of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Spouse Mother Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the mother of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space.

For engagements and marriages the primary person mentioned in the instruction above is the groom.

If a person's parents' names appear as "Mr & Mrs John Knightly," the father's name should be keyed as "Mr John Knightly" and the mother's name should by keyed as "Mrs Knightly." If the parents' names appear as "Mr & Mrs John Knightly (nee Woodhouse)" then the father's name should be keyed as "Mr John Knightly" and the mother's name should be keyed as "Mrs Knightly (Maiden) Woodhouse."

Spouse Mother Surname

Key the surname of the mother of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

For engagements and marriages the primary person mentioned in the instruction above is the groom.

If a person's parents' names appear as "Mr & Mrs John Knightly," the father's name should be keyed as "Mr John Knightly" and the mother's name should by keyed as "Mrs Knightly." If the parents' names appear as "Mr & Mrs John Knightly (nee Woodhouse)" then the father's name should be keyed as "Mr John Knightly" and the mother's name should be keyed as "Mrs Knightly (Maiden) Woodhouse."

Spouse Mother Maiden

Occasionally an alternate surname may be recorded for an individual. This name may be denoted by parentheses, quotation marks, or may be preceded by the abbreviation "for." or the words "nee" or "formerly." Key the alias surname as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Newspaper Page Image Samples



Cover page, Section header, etc.



Use the “Cover page, Section header, etc” type for images that don’t contain any data, but might be interesting to look at because they provide some type of context for the image set. For instance, historical notes, affidavits, and so forth.


Image with no data



Use the “Image with no data” type for images that don’t contain any data or any useful context that might be interesting for someone to look at. For instance, an image containing only the blank background or an image with a microfilm target on it.