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Indexing the convent record names of Catholic nuns and fathers
Answer (Resolution)

Indexing Catholic Nuns



Ordinarily, the names of nuns are recorded on a document with the names given by the Catholic order first, and then the legal civil name. This example was taken from a death certificate. The name would be indexed this way:

Given Name:  Mary Gosberta or Clara
Surname:  Crefeld (Her father’s name is Ludwig Crefeld.)
Titles and Terms:  Sister


Census Records


When lists of Catholic nuns are found on a census document, they will likely show only the names given by the Catholic order and have no legal civil name or surname. If you are unsure about how to index the names, keep each name together as a unit, and type it in the Given Name field. If the word "Sister" precedes the name, type the name in the Given Name field, and type Sister in the Titles and Terms field, as in the example shown above.


If there are no family numbers on the census page, mark the family number field <Blank> by pressing Control+B.


If there is information written in the Relation column, such as "Mother Superior," on the census page, type it into the Relationship field. If there is nothing written in that column, do not create or assume a relationship. Instead, mark the relationship field <Blank> by pressing Control+B.


Indexing Catholic Fathers


Catholic priests may be called by either their given name or surname.  To index their names, use the basic indexing guidelines for indexing Titles and Terms and what to do if you can't determine whether a name is a given name or surname.


If there is a Titles and Terms field, index Father there; do not index "Father" in a Name field.  If it is clear what the priest's given name and surname are, separate them into the related Given Name and Surname fields. If only one name is given, and it's not clear whether it's the given name or surname, index it in the Given Name field. 


For example, "Father Harold Martin" would be indexed as:

Given Name:  Harold

Surname:  Martin

Titles and Terms:  Father

"Father Martin" would be indexed as:

Given Name:  Martin

Surname:  <Blank>

Titles and Terms:  Father


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