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08 May 2015

Can Daniel Turn Into Saul?


  1. There's no substitute for transcribers who live or grew up in the area where the documents are from.

  2. Daniel and David - is the letter an N or a V? what about the last two or three letters iel or id?

  3. When indexing some documents from the Philippines recently, I came to appreciate the importance of familiarity with names of the area. When indexing names from my own heritage I "identify" the names based as much on my "knowledge" of what a name looks like as much as looking at the individual letters. I'm sure most have seen that internet post about how we can "read" sentences made up of words containing only the correct first and last letters and the interior of the word containing "nonsense" letters. Our brains make assumptions all the time.
    I recently stumbled across another trick to help decipher hard to read words. Use your snipping tool to capture an image of the name or word. Paste it into a Word document. From there you can use the resizing handles to compress or stretch the image. I recently used this technique to discover a name that looked like Edward (and had been indexed as such) was actually Ademard, the correct name of my ancestor.