My Tangent – Preparing A Document/Indenture For Transcription and Genealogy Research

13 March 2011


As you are well aware I have just finished the transcription of an Indenture from the Grenada Registers of Records of 31 pages in the search and research of the genealogy and ancestry of my ggg-grandfather James Smith. I have posted four of the seven parts of that specific work and transcription. The next three parts are to follow.

The work, that is, the transcribing, at times, can be extremely tedious… and elicit the thought “why the hell am I spending all this time on this document that may not have anything to do with my ancestors?” Then again, it MAY just provide the one iota of a clue or hint that could lead to more information and facts about my relatives, especially ggg-grandfather James.

But this is only a part of the process and procedure. I thought I would fill you in to what I actually do to prep an old document, these Indentures that I have been transcribing.

There is a very good collection of the Grenada Registers of Records at the Family History Library available from Salt Lake City, Utah. The collection, titled “Land and Property” is made up of 33 16mm microfilms. The collection includes Indexes and Records spanning a time frame from 1764 through 1931.

My goal in my immediate project is to find and work with those records that may be related to the surname Smith. And as I am searching for any detail of my late ggg-grandfather James Smith who passed away in 1842, I have restricted myself to those records during a time frame from about 1773 through 1842. That is about 69 years of Smith-related documents. Not a small task.

Once I find a Smith-related Indenture, I download images of the pages of that document and save the images as jpg files. (Case in point, the last Indenture I worked on had 31 pages, therefore 31 images.) The capturing process takes place at a local Family History Center where I have the appropriate FHL microfilm on loan.

My next task is to work with each individual image. The first inserted image is an example of what the downloaded image may look like immediately after I first acquire the copy.

I next, using a photo touch up software, (I use FotoFinish), I will crop the image to eliminate the unnecessary parts of the copy. Once satisfied with the cropped image I will next work on the exposure of the image. This process helps me to reduce the extraneous “dirt” and “crud”, as well as the “bleed-through” from the back and other pages. Once I have a relatively good looking exposure-fixed and cropped image I will then use the “Auto Correct” function in my MS Office 2010 Picture Manager software.

The next image is a sample of one that I worked on. It is the “after” image to the above “before” one.

And at this point, I am now ready to start working on the transcribing of the actual document. Oh and by the way, I do NOT delete my original copy. I keep it just in case that I may need it to cross-reference it should I not be able to work with the complete image of my adjusted image.

Oh and by the way, the top image is a plate image, available in public domain, of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.




Taneya on March 22, 2011 at 10:28 PM said...

You are so much better than I! What a process! But, a well-deserving one. :-)

Jim Smith on March 22, 2011 at 11:38 PM said...

Thank you for the compliment.

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