September 29, 2017

How to Locate Ancestors in Church Records

Sometimes as an experienced researcher, you tend to forget somethings are not natural or known to many.  So today, I was asked how to find a family member that is in an index in an actual church book that is digitized online. I decided to post about it in the blog because I realize that although I've provided a prior post, posts do get lost after so many postings so it helps to speak to it again.

So to help others understand, I am going to use Caguas in my example.  So let's start with my post about Caguas.  Click on the below link and it will take you to my post about Caguas.

Now in my example, we will be looking at the Indexes at the top called...

Baptisms Index 1864 - 1880 (Image 58)

Notice that in all my postings, I am always providing an Image number. This is there to tell you where you are in the film. This means that when you click on the link, you will be on Image Number 58.

Not all Indexes are the same. In the particular book for my example, the names are alphabetized and it covers books 11 through 18.  So the first number appearing is the book number next to the person.

At times, some indexes with a number next to a person name represents the folio or page number. Some names may have a “v” next to it like 17v or an "a' like 17A. The “v” stands for vuelto, which means the back of the page.  The "A", also means back of page and stands for "atras" in Spanish.

So looking at the Index, I am selecting Federico Aponte.  His mother's name is Victoriana. According to the Index, he can be found in Book 11 on page 170-A. 

So next we go back to my Caguas post and look fro Book 11. In my post you should see the following entry under Baptisms.

Book 11 of Baptisms of Mixed and Whites 1864 - 1866 (Image 312)

So when you click on the link, you should find yourself on Image 312. Here is where you do a little math.  Take 312 and add to it 171.  This will give you 483.  So in the upper lefthand order above the image, type in 483 over the 312 and hit enter.  As you can see you wound up on page 166.  This is because at times images are repeated due to clarity issues or there are extra pages in the beginning of a book.

So we know that we need to arrive to page 171.  You can either page forward or add 5 to 483 to make it 488.  I entered in 488.  At the bottom of the page, you should see the entry for Federico's baptism.

Hopefully this tutorial will help you in researching your ancestors.  Feel free to share this post and as always, below are instructions to accessing other posts on this website. Happy Researching!
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