Description of the project. This project is the Annotated Vital Records of Scituate. The first phase, described below, is to transcribe the Vital Records of Scituate Massachusetts to 1850 word for word for the web. There are two volumes, the first for births, the second for marriages and deaths, making a total of about 900 pages. There are numerous advantages of a version of the vital records on the web. Three main ones are:
What to do after Phase 1? Phase 1 includes no annotations, but annotations are what interest me. Here are a few things I'm considering:
Phase 1, the transcription. the transcription phase will take me several months. This first installment (version 1.0, Jan 2002) of the vital records included over 200 pages of text, about 25% of the two volumes, primarily the pages that include families of personal interest. The second installment (version 1.1, Apr 2003) extends that coverage to about 40%. It's going a little slower than I had imagined since I haven't gotten much feedback on the project. I've only gotten two email messages since I put up the last version, over a year ago. In comparison, I get two messages a day on my genealogical reports I've got up.
As source material, I've taken photocopied pages and scanned them into image files. I've also used the the scanned images at http://genweb.net/~blackwell/books.html. These images were then OCRed (Optical Character Recognition) into text files. The error rate of the conversion was very high. In order to reduce the error rate, some of the images had to be edited with Adobe Photoshop to align the text horizontally. Still, the OCR errors were innumerable. I think I could have reduced the errors by (1) scanning the original text for the images rather than scanning photocopies, (2) scanning for the images as a finer setting (smaller pixels), and probably (3) using better software to perform the OCR.
Here is an example of text showing it (1) right after OCRing, and (2) in the final version.
The text right after OCRing:
[page 207] SCITUATE BIRTHS JONICS, Ellen F., ch. Ezekiel Jr. and Betsey, Aug.Ñ, r843. Ellen R. [? m ] [Jd nEZekiel an]d Lucy W., Jan. 7, 1827. [Emma Esther HaydLn d Alonzo and Fanny, July 18, 1816. Ezekiel, s. Samuel l'aine and Pemelia, feh. 28, 17g5. [Capt. iuate \reteran of the Navy of c8r2 Ezakiel, ThChlast nSkCstin the Navy to a Captaincy in the l S Rev. Iarine," C.R.6.] Ezekiel, s. Ezekicl ancl Lucy W., Apr. 31 [sic], 1814. Fanny Woodbury, d. Alonzo and Fanny, Sept. 25, t81 . Francis E., s. Charles, trunk maker, and Charlotte A., Sept. 12, Georere Henry, s Thomas F. and Mabel, Aug. 2, 1828. George \V., s. John and Sally, bp. Nov. 8, r836. C.R.I. muel Paine and Pcmelia, Aug. 4, r804. George Washington, s Sa T b1 5 820 ac and Hannah, No . -cr, c720 Hannab, d Isa Hann h ch. Isaac and Hannah, bp. Itfay 26, c723. c R.2. IIannah d. Ebenezar and Jane of Marshfcld, bp. Dcc. 29, 1728, Hannah J., d Christopher B and f ucy July 26 18r7. Hannal Thr mas, ch. John C. and Sallj, June 28, 83. Harriet Dunbar, cl. Ezekiel Jr. arrd Betsey, bp. May 31, 184I. CR.I. Helen '1' [? m ], JdUIIYann'ab bp. July ;, r717 C B 2
The final version:
JONES, Ellen F., ch. Ezekiel Jr. and Betsey, Aug. , 1843.
Ellen R. [? m.] [Jan. , 1828]. G.R.14.
Emme Thomas, d. Ezekiel and Lucy W., Jan. 7, 1827. [Emma T., G.R.6.]
Esther Hayden, d. Alonzo and Fanny, July 18, 1816.
Ezekiel, s. Samuel Paine and Pemelia, Feb. 28, 1795. [Capt. Ezekiel, "The last Scituate Veteran of the Navy of 1812. Raised from the ranks in the Navy to a Captaincy in the U.S. Rev. Marine," G.R.6.]
Ezekiel, s. Ezekiel and Lucy W., Apr. 31 [sic], 1814.
Fanny Woodbury, d. Alonzo and Fanny, Sept. 25, 1818.
Francis E., s. Charles, trunk maker, and Charlotte A., Sept. 12, 1846.
Georere Henry, s. Thomas F. and Mabel, Aug. 2, 1828.
George W., s. John and Sally, bp. Nov. 8, 1836. C.R.1.
George Washington, s. Samuel Paine and Pemelia, Aug. 4, 1804.
Gustavus, s. John Jr. and Sarah (Tower), Mar. 25, 1820.
Hannah, d. Isaac and Hannah, Nov. 11, 1720.
Hannah, ch. Isaac and Hannah, bp. May 26, 1723. C.R.2.
Hannah, d. Ebenezar and Jane of Marshfield, bp. Dec. 29, 1728. C.R.2.
Hannah J., d. Christopher B. and Lucy, July 26, 1817.
Hannah Thomas, ch. John C. and Sally, June 28, 1833.
Harriet Dunbar, d. Ezekiel Jr. and Betsey, bp. May 31, 1841. C.R.1.
Helen T. [? m. ], July 18, 1818. G.R.6.
© Jan 2002, Apr 2003. All rights reserved
Located at http://aleph0.clarku.edu/~djoyce/gen/scituate/VitalRecords.html