Genealogy Tips

Tuesday’s Tips – Templates

I started a series Thursday’s Tips last Thursday where I share information about the various resources I use to research my family tree.  This series on Tuesday is to share my other tips that help me in my research.

When I went in to hospital, my sister brought up to my other sister’s house the paperwork my dad and Aunty Margaret had that she had been keeping since their deaths in 2009, so I could go through them and decide what to keep.

Amongst this paperwork was my mum and dad’s marriage certificate.

My first job after scanning the certificate was to transcribe it into Microsoft Word.  To aid in transcribing certificates, I have set up a number of Templates.  This is a list of them from File Explorer. You’ll notice I have a couple as Excel spreadsheets.  I find it easier to use Excel for US censuses, as there are so many columns that it’s easier to set them up in Excel.

My templates

Since mum and dad were married in 1952 in Victoria, Australia, I decided to have a look at my template Marriage certificate, Victoria 1943.  This matches the format of mum and dad’s marriage certificate, so I used this template to set up my transcription:

Mum and dad's marriage certificate transcription
My transcription of my mum and dad’s marriage certificate

Another certificate I received was dad’s birth certificate.  The closest Template I had was Birth certificate Victoria 1917.   This is my transcription of dad’s birth certificate.

Dad's birth certificate transcript
My transcription of dad’s birth certificate

When I set up templates, although it takes longer, I try to keep my transcription as close as I can to the original document.  I find it easier this way to transcribe the documents, as the fields to be filled in are in the same order as they are on the document.  Also, by typing the column headers the same way as they are on the document, I get a better understanding of the information on the document.