In general I am not working on individuals, nor even families. Rather I am adding entire record sets, so that the data for individuals and families will be included layer by layer.

The Stellenbosch baptisms are complete to 1732 with all available images now included. The Drakenstein baptisms are all entered, with the images up to 1720 now included.

Warts and all ... : I wrestled long and hard about including information from published material already in my data, but which I had not personally verified in the record and could not buttress with a image and/or transcription. Many of the institutionally published genealogies are known to be littered with errors. Ultimately I decided to include the data in the hope that site visitors would point out the errors, offer corrections and even share transcriptions and images. This has indeed happened, and I am happy to say that many errors have been consequently been corrected - which would not have happened if information from the published genealogies had not been included.


1) In many cases I have added and associated the name in the record to the event. However, I have realised this has caused confusion for some, and so I have decided that over time, as the project is updated and improved, I will no longer associate the name in the same way as before. So in future, names as they appear in the record will be added and so identified, but one primary name will be used in the text for each individual. The purpose is to be true to the record and to show how names can be changed by individuals themselves or by the scribes in the record. In addition, and most importantly, adding all the names as they are written in the records offers an additional way for users to find individuals in the project, if they have just one name in their own data.

2) PN and NN: When these letters appear in a name together as pairs without periods, it is an indication that a name part is unknown. Literally PN = prenom nescio, i.e. first/given name unknown; and NN = nomen nescio, i.e. last name unknown.


When I don't have a record, and therefore no date for an event, I use "before" dates, "circa" dates, and "after" dates; this is for several reasons, not least because they serve as a starting point or guide to future research and because they assist in data analysis.

1) "Before" dates: This is how I enter dates for events I know preceded a second event. For example, if there is a record of a baptism on 22 June 1668, I will enter the date of birth as: before 22 June 1668. Or if one partner in a marriage was remarried as a widow(er) on 22 June 1668, I will enter the date of death of the other partner as: before 22 June 1668.

2) "After" dates: These are used in similar circumstances to "before" dates, excepting that the determining event will have preceded the "after" date.

3) "Circa" dates: I use these dates both when I have information that offers a guide to the date and when it is merely an estimate.

a) In the first instance, for example, when a slave's age specified in a transaction record in 1686 is 21, I enter the birth date as "circa 1665". The guiding information will appear in the footnote.

b) In the second instance, the dates are simply estimates without any evidentiary weight and should never be read as anything else, except perhaps to consider when furthering your research. The footnote will read, "date estimated by compiler, Delia Robertson."

c) If there is a circa date without apparent explanation, please treat as in b, i.e. the dates are simply estimates without any evidentiary weight and should never be read as anything else, except perhaps to consider when furthering your research.

Relationships: If there is no certainty about a relationship, either parent-child or marriage, I enter it as a candidate relationship (mother-candidate, father-candidate, son-candidate, daughter-candidate, wife-candidate or husband-candidate), hoping that as more records are entered, the relationship will be either proved or disproved. If the relationship is proved through further evidence, it will be changed to reflect that. If it is disproved, I will not remove it, but change it to a "disproved" relationship status so that researchers can see that it has been considered, but disproved, and why. Relationships that are not documented but which are pointed to in the records, such as witnesses to baptisms, children named for purported aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.; and, which also fit by process of elimination, are identified as putative relationships.

Events: In similar situations I enter events as "candidate". For example, if I believe, but am not certain a baptism record is that of a particular individual, I will enter it as baptism-candidate, until further evidence either proves or disproves it.

Duplicates: In cases where I believe two individuals may actually be the same person, I link them with a "Duplicate?" tag, hoping that you, dear visitor, will be able to shed further light on the question; or that as records are added this question will be cleared up.

Maps: I use Google maps for the live mapping feature, but unfortunately Google sometimes gets the location wrong. I am able to correct that by adding coordinates, and am in the process of doing that, but it will take a while.


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