I had no intention of producing these – regarding the Phillimore lists as being just a matter of typing into a spreadsheet. As usual, it is rather more complicated than that. And, as with the census volunteers, you are all experts at finding new questions to ask! That is not a complaint.
So here are a few helpful (I hope) pointers.
1. Where the bride or groom has a title specified e.g. Mr/Mrs/Sir/Rev etc. then enter this in brackets after the forename so Rev. John Smith would be entered with the forename as "John (Rev)" and "Smith" as the surname. If no forename is entered, e.g. Mrs Smith, then enter (Mrs) Smith. This makes searching the database easier.
2. Comments such as "Gent" go in the "occupation" column as the "condition" column is for marital condition e.g. widower etc. Sojourner goes in the Abode column. Single letter notations are often used. W is for widow or widower and goes in the condition columns. Y is for Yeoman and H is for Husbandman. These go in the occupation columns.
3. Married by Licence - this information goes in the "Banns" column. If the entry mentions that the marriage was by Banns then "Banns" would go in this column.
4. Register comments. A comment on a separate line that says that there are no marriage entries for years 1630-1635. The records go into the database and are viewed separately so an empty record with this comment will not get seen. The counter example is "The following are from the Bodmin Transcripts. They do not appear to have been entered either at Morvah or Madron:". This is useful information but needs to be entered against each record to which it applies.
5. The main columns have a limitation on the number of characters which each cell can contain, in order to keep the search time within reasonable limits. However, the Register Notes and Transcriber Notes columns (which aren't searched) are almost limitless in the amount of space available. So all long statements should go into one of those.
6. Please don’t use unusual symbols such as square brackets and askerisks. Ordinary brackets are OK. You can use question marks. If you can read only part of a name, then try McCxxxxxxk.
When I get a spreadsheet, I give it a quick look over and then forward it to one of the two people with authority to upload. They will give it a much more detailed appraisal and correct anything that needs correction before uploading it. The less they have to do the better.
If you have any suggestions for advice that might help – please send them in.