APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2002-09 > 1032279221
From: "Helen Leary" <>
Subject: [APG] Indexing Females
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 12:13:41 -0400
Seems to me that one all-important question wasn't asked-answered in this discussion: " What kind of publication are you indexing?" If it's a compiled family history, both men and women need more than name (most will have the same surname, and chances are good that 8 of the Smiths in a Smith genealogy married Mary Joneses. In these cases, Mary (Jones) Smith isn't very helpful without life-span dates or, perhaps given name of husband -- e.g., Mary (Jones) Smith, Mrs. John Jr.
If you're indexing records abstracts and/or transcriptions, it is more helpful (in my opinion) to have a series of separate indexes: A General Index (personal names and things -- like gold watches, cows named Betsy, etc.), Places (rivers, creeks, bridges), Slave Names (including personal surnames as well as "owner" names), and -- Female Names (including surnames but alphabetized by *given* name). Why? Thing indexes are useful if you're tracking descent of a gold watch from will to will, for example--and they make the book useful for other types of historical research. Place indexes are useful because it is often necessary to assemble a neighborhood, (but finding threading through three colums of "River" names when one is looking for John Rivers is tedious)--and the importance of place is emphasized for novices. Female given names are useful for tracking a woman's several marriages (as in Nathan's example of Molcy's index entries) and because it is often necessary to track a !
man through his sisters and brothers-in-law. (I once traced every identified "Sarah" and in three counties using indexes to their published records to make sure Robert's unmarried sister [not his wife] was the one who joined him in a land sale -- important to my case because one of the three Roberts had, in fact, married a Sarah. I was *extremely* grateful to the one compiler who had included a female-name index.)
|[APG] Indexing Females by "Helen Leary" <>|