Finding The Meaning Of Abbreviations In Indexes

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by Amanda Forson, World Vital Records, Inc.

When looking up information in a recently uploaded database, List of the Revolutionary Soldiers of Virginia: Special Report of the Department of Archives and History for 1911, Part 1, a user found possible entries for her relatives along with the following abbreviations:

The abbreviations, H.D. were unknown to her and to me. We found them in the guide to abbreviations located near the front of the book. In most index books, if there are abbreviations listed and they are not explained in footnotes on the page or endnotes at the end of the book of the end of the chapter, look in the introduction to the book or the back if the book is not organized alphabetically and has a surname index at the back.

For List of the Revolutionary Soldiers of Virginia, the explanation of abbreviations started at the end of the introduction, on page fourteen if using the Jump to Page option. Whether looking at the book on WorldVitalRecords.com, another Web site, or an offline book, the same principles apply.

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