USGenWeb Free Census Project Help, Census Transcribing FAQs

These are some questions that have come up from people helping with this project. If you don't see an answer to your question here, post your question to the GenConnect Census Questions board.

Do I have to enter the line numbers too? With a template, you will need to type in the line number for each person. With CART, the only time you should have to type in the line number is when the enumerator didn't finish a page. When that happens, type in the correct line number for the next page AND change the page number at the top.

What should I do if the pages are numbered in correct order, do I still use A and B? Some censuses do not have A and B pages. If your pages are stamped with numbers and there are no unstamped pages in between, then you will NOT use A and B.

My first page doesn't have a page number, but the 2nd page does, what should I enter for the first page? You have three options: (1.) If you have access to a State/Year Index, check what page the individuals are listed on. (2.) If you are using an SK Publications book, look in the index to see what page it shows. (3.) Use this as a guideline for the numbering pattern:

If your second page is 100, your third page is 101 and your fourth page is 102, then the first page should be 99.


If your second page is 100, your third page is not numbered and your fourth page is 101, then the third page should be 100b and the first page should be 99b.

There are 2 kids who are the same age, should I put "twins" in the remark section? No. You should never assume anything. The children could be cousins, a child and grandchild, etc.

There is more than one last name listed in the household, what do I do about that? Enter the last names exactly as they appear. Again, never assume anything. They could be friends, relatives, boarders, etc.

The woman is listed as a farmer, but her husband doesn't have an occupation listed, what should I do? List the occupation with her. You should try to list all pieces of information exactly as they appear on the census images.

A man is listed as a doctor, but it looks like another occupation was written over that, what do I do? If there is room, enter both. You could enter doctor/lawyer and in the remarks section enter "Lawyer appears to be written over doctor".

Is it okay to use the ditto(") marks? Absolutely not! Your census transcriptions will be searchable, and the search engine will not recognize the ditto(") marks for what they are. No matter what the ditto marks stand for, you should enter the word instead of the marks.

How do I know when I have completed a township? At the top of the page the enumerator writes in the name of the township, followed by the county and state. When the name on that line changes, you are in a new township.

What is the USGenWeb's policy on transcribed Census records? The USGenWeb's official policy is "In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the Internet, data may be freely used by noncommercial entities, as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format for profit or other presentation."

When should I start sending in my transcriptions? If you have a proofreader, get in contact with them to find how many files they want at one time. If you do not have a proofreader, wait until you are completely finished.

I don't see a "Save" option on CART, how do I save? CART saves automatically.

I'm using CART and left a person out. I went back and added them back in, but now my line numbers are off, what should I do? The first thing you need to do is make sure you are on the proper page number for the person you added. Next, change the line number to the line they are supposed to be on. Enter all of their information. Now change the line numbers for each person after them.

With CART, do I have to use the mouse to move the cursor from one field to another? No, you may hit tab to transfer to the next column or enter to transfer to the next row (the same applies to Excel).

There are 2 names on one line, how do I enter that with CART? Enter person #1 on one line as the number you are working on plus an "a" (for example, 8a). Enter person #2 on the next line with a "b" (for example, 8b).

How do I make a backup copy? It is always a good idea to back up your work when you are finished typing for the day. With CART, you can back it up by exporting it as a DBF file, preferably to a removable diskette. With a template, you should use the "File", "Save As" function and save it to a removable diskette. Computer crashes come at the worst possible times, and you would not want to have to re-enter all of your data.

To Create a CenTrans DBF for submission:
1. Open CenTrans and your data.
2. Go to the "Pages Index" in CenTrans.
3. Go to the "CenTrans" tab on the top near the middle.
4. Choose the option "Create Database" and save the file (ending in .dbf).
to a floppy disk or a hard drive following the instructions.
5. Send this file to me at cp@maggie-sz.org or upload to the uploader at http://www.usgwcensus.org/info/comp.htm

How do I mail in my finished census? When you are finished and your transcriptions have been proofread, you will need to read the Completion Instructions.


When transcribing the census, MAKE A BACKUP COPY!

Census Project since 1997

A Gift of the Past for the Future! Started in February, 1997, The USGenWeb Free Census Project is an all-volunteer project to transcribe census records in a standard format in order to make them available to genealogical researchers on the Internet.

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