How to Transcribe and Abstract a Document


Hey everybody welcome back to another
episode on Genealogy TV. My name is Connie Knox a lifelong genealogist here
to help you go further faster but factually with your family research.
Today on this Tiny Tip Tuesday, we are talking about the differences between an
abstract and a transcription. I’m also going to show you how to go from an
original to a transcription to an abstract. To look at the differences
between a transcript and an abstract let’s take a look at the definitions. A
transcript is an exact copy of a record word-for-word preserving the original
capitalization punctuation and spelling. An abstract is a condensed version of a
record preserving all of the important details in the original sequence which
is important. So this is a three-step process to go from document to abstract.
So the first thing we’re gonna do is we’re gonna transcribe this document
we’re gonna strike out the details that we don’t need and then we’re gonna
remove those details and condense it into an abstract so this document is a
partial document for the sake of this video I could not show you the whole
document it is several pages long but we’re gonna transcribe an abstract just
the first part of this for the sake of you at home being able to actually see
it you also want a proper source citation with all of your documents as I
have listed here so if we take a look at this document real carefully you can see
that there are indents here there are various marks punctuation we’re going to
preserve all of that in the original transcription so just to read a couple
lines here it says your petitioner is Duncan Rush and wife Margret see there’s
a little equal sign that I think their version of a – William Henley Henry
Henley Jonathan P Winslow and wife Jane ischium thrift and wife Mary Thomas
Henley Rebecca Henley Alexandre Henley and John Henley respectfully represent
to your worship that John Henley departed this life some three years ago
intestate and seized of a tract of land in the county where in so you get the
idea I’m not gonna read the whole thing so you read through the document and you
start typing so when you start typing you want to preserve all those indents
so as we move on to this tree inscription we want a word-for-word
document exactly as we see it line for line so if you’ll notice that first line
where Margaret was wrapped around see Margaret was wrapped around William and
so on down to Jonathan P Winslow so here we have Jonathan P Winslow so you keep
each line preserved exactly as it was in your first transcription of this
document and keep that as a true transcription so you’re going to do the
word-for-word and include all marks special characters and indents so now
for the sake of this video I have removed character returns so that I
could demonstrate this a little bit better so here I’ve got the document
without the returns now normally you would not do this but for the sake of
this video I had to do this so that you could actually see all the type so here
we’ve got the transcription and we’ll pretend for a minute that it it does
have the original character returns like this one does so we want to remove all
the boilerplate language so we’ve got our transcription and now we’re going to
take a look and we’re going to remove all the boilerplate language we’re going
to strike it out this is our first step in the process this particular example
does not have a lot of boilerplate language so let me show you something
here’s a simplified example of extra boilerplate language that you will not
need and I’m gonna just read this real quickly I John Doe of said county of
provinces after said being of weak mind and indisposed in body just of sound and
disposing mind and memory thanks to be given to the calling to mind the
mortality of body do make and ordained knees to contain my last will and
testament for the disposal of such worldly estates wherein it hath pleased
God to bless me with this light in its following manner inform my will is that
my just debts be paid in due time after my decease now all of that language we
don’t need the only thing good about that is his name
so moving on back to our original document here now we’ve struck out
the information that we don’t need we pull that information together in an
abstract now we’ve removed all the marks we’ve removed all of the language we
don’t need and now we have a complete and concise abstract now if you’ll
notice all of the names are capitalized not just the surnames but all of the
names are in full caps so there are going to be times when you run off to
the archives as I did here and trip across something that you go oh that
guy’s in my family I better grab that while I’m here even though it’s not part
of your mission that day at the archives that you managed to find something that
was important to you so you grab it you take some pictures of it and you come
home and let’s face it we’re all on a mission if we are doing our job
correctly we have a research question that we are seeking the answers to so we
try not to get sidetracked too much with details like this this is a perfect
example of where I came across William Clark’s will I know he’s in my family
he’s not high on my priority list right now so what you do when you come home at
minimum is you take some notes and while I have not transcribed this document yet
I did take some notes about where it came from I read through it briefly made
some notes about my first impressions and where it is filed in my digital
archive so here I note this document still needs to be transcribed but at
least it’s filed with my normal nomenclature of filing which is to use
the last name first all caps Clark then William and then I would say will dated
1833 Randolph County North Carolina as the file name so I if you’ll notice also
that in my document I actually put pictures of the image so that I can make
sure that when I’m looking at the picture files later that I can properly
identify what pictures go with which notes and sources for further
information about the information that I was showing in this
video check out the show notes or the comment sections and also look at these
other videos to help supplement this strategy thanks for watching genealogy
TV

One Comment

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *