Our technical staff has made it possible that it will no longer matter if transcriptions are done in ALL CAPS. Headstones transcribed in all caps will be changed to mixed lettering on the site. This is only for the transcription, however. We are also currently using advanced technology to transcribe headstones. This technology will transcribe stones as it sees them. Many stones are in ALL CAPS.
These new tools can't create notes and important extra information about individuals, however. We do ask that notes, and other extra information be created in mixed lettering.
Here are two short examples produced by a popular genealogy program. Which one do you find easier to read?
4. JOSEPH PATRICK KENNEDY, SON OF PATRICK JOSEPH KENNEDY AND MARY AUGUSTA HICKEY, WAS BORN ON 6 SEP 1888 IN BOSTON, MA,2 DIED ON 18 NOV 1969 IN HYANNIS PORT, MA, AT AGE 81, AND WAS BURIED IN HOLYHOOD CEMETERY, BROOKLINE, MA.
GENERAL NOTES: FROM THE TIME HE WAS A SCHOOLBOY HE WAS INTERESTED IN MAKING MONEY. HE HAD AN INTERESTING HOBBY OF TINKERING WITH CLOCKS. JOE WAS A POOR STUDENT, BUT GOOD AT ATHLETICS AND HAD AN ATTRACTIVE PERSONALITY. HE WAS ABLE TO OVERCOME MANY ETHNIC BARRIERS DURING HIS SCHOOL YEARS AT BOSTON LATIN, A PROTESTANT AND PRIMARILY YANKEE SCHOOL. WAS ONE OF THE YOUNGEST BANK PRESIDENTS IN US HISTORY. HE WAS FIERCELY PROUD OF HIS FAMILY. HE WAS QUOTED AS HAVING SAID HIS FAMILY WAS THE FINEST THING IN HIS LIFE. JOE KENNEDY WAS A VERY HARD WORKER, WHICH OFTEN DETERIORATED HIS HEALTH. AT TIMES HE WAS HOSPITALIZED FOR HIS RUN DOWN CONDITION.
4. Joseph Patrick Kennedy, son of Patrick Joseph Kennedy and Mary Augusta Hickey, was born on 6 Sep 1888 in Boston, MA,2 died on 18 Nov 1969 in Hyannis Port, MA, at age 81, and was buried in Holyhood Cemetery, Brookline, MA.
General Notes: From the time he was a schoolboy he was interested in making money. He had an interesting hobby of tinkering with clocks. Joe was a poor student, but good at athletics and had an attractive personality. He was able to overcome many ethnic barriers during his school years at Boston Latin, a protestant and primarily Yankee school. Was one of the youngest Bank Presidents in US history. He was fiercely proud of his family. He was quoted as having said his family was the finest thing in his life. Joe Kennedy was a very hard worker, which often deteriorated his health. At times he was hospitalized for his run-down condition.
I certainly prefer to read the second example. The first one is much more difficult to read – so difficult that I may miss important information.
If you are entering genealogy data, please take pity on the future readers of your text. Please use upper and lower case characters, the same as you learned in grade school. Your fourth-grade teacher probably would have flunked you if you used all upper case in her class. Guess what? I’ll also give you a grade of “F” if I see your genealogy data in all upper case!
Yes, there is a shift key on your computer. In fact, you can probably find two of them. Please use them only when appropriate.
For more information, I can suggest some good reading for you:
Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills (It says “professional,” but don’t let that scare you; it is packed full of tips for us amateurs as well). This book is available at many bookstores as well as at Amazon at http://goo.gl/mnJPnc.
Getting It Right: Data Entry Standards for Genealogists by Judith Schaefer Phelps at http://www.columbinegenealogy.com/pdfs/Getting%20It%20Right.pdf."
For a Transcription Guide, click HERE.