The most important part about transcribing is remembering that you’re trying to make sure as much information as possible gets into the searchable fields. Our search engine can’t search images; it can only search words. The more information you get into typed-up words, the more information the search engine can sort through to help people find their families.
With that in mind, most of these points will be apparent.
- Transcribe every part of the name and as much of a date as you can. This is going to be one of the most important things you can do because names and dates are the first way researchers will try to locate someone.
- Transcribe the ages of the deceased individual (if it is written on the stone). Some headstones or grave markers provide only one date: either the birth date or the death date. However, many of these stones will say how old the individual was in years, and possibly even months and days as well. This information is as important as a date. It will help researchers narrow their search in other records besides the headstone.
- Transcribe the epitaph if you can at all read it (and if there is one on the stone).* It is less likely that a descendant will be using the epitaph to search for someone. However, because epitaphs are typically complete phrases, they are sometimes easier to remember than names and dates. Someone searching for a stone they once visited might be able to remember the epitaph and not the name.
- Transcribe any other information you can get off the stone. Any of the stone’s information could be helpful in finding an individual’s grave and in recording it for posterity. If you can read it, please put it in your transcription, even if you aren’t sure what it means.
- Transcribe headstones in their native language. If you would like to provide a translation into your own language, you may do so in the Description field. However, the transcription information should include the headstone information as it appears on the stone. That is the primary goal of the transcription. Anything else is gravy. If you cannot transcribe the stone in its native tongue, skip it.
August is nearly over, so if you’re anywhere near collecting 1,000 GPS-tagged photos, hurry and collect the last few you need to earn your BillionGraves t-shirt. We’ve had a few new winners since the last time I announced the list, so I’ll post it again here with the added names. (If you think you’ve uploaded 1,000 photos from the app, but you haven’t received an email from me asking for your shipping address and shirt size, email me at kristy.stewart @ billiongraves.com and let me know.)
- Anne Ryan
- Alabama, USA
- California, USA
- Idaho, USA
- Louisiana, USA
- Michigan, USA
- New York, USA
- Ohio, USA
- Ontario, Canada
- Pennsylvania, USA
- South Carolina, USA
- Texas, USA
- West Virginia, USA
- Wales, UK
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Canterbury, New Zealand
Thanks to so many of you, yesterday was the second largest uploading day BillionGraves has ever seen (the biggest uploading day coincided with our first cemetery event). We saw photos from all over pour into the database, and we appreciate every one of them.