Transcribe As It Is Written

trautvetter-transcribe-it-rightSometimes genealogists are tempted to “fix” documents when transcribing them. Don’t. Make comments about the accuracy of the document in your notes accompanying the transcription. Do not indicate the document says something that it does not.

Documents can be wrong.

But sometimes they are right when we think they are wrong and if we “correct” them, we won’t know what they originally said.

This draft card should be transcribed as a birth in Hancock, [State of] Tioga. My notation indicates that the reference is to Tioga, Hancock County, Illinois.



2 thoughts on “Transcribe As It Is Written

  1. H.Cullen

    Agree totally, some words commonly used in the past now have a completely different meaning today. You have to read and understand the text in the time it is written. . It would also appear that a lot of transcriber’s work is not checked – many errors are “creeping” in.

  2. Patty Gilbert

    Well, that’s how I would have done it. So, u put ur corrections on another piece of paper or on computer pape stating the correctons the best to ur ability? Is this my understanding?


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