RSL-FORMATTING SUBMISSIONS


  1. How Do I Format My Entries?
  2. What Is A Nametag?   Why Do I Need One?
  3. Can I Change My Nametag?
  4. What If I Forgot My Nametag?
  5. Do I Need To Include My Postal Address?
  6. What If My Surname Has More Than One Spelling?
  7. How Are Surnames With Prefixes Alphabetized?
  8. I'm German/Swedish/Norwegian...what about my vowels?
  9. What If I'm Not Sure About The Dates?   How Do I Enter Them?
  10. Where Do You Get The Location Abbreviations From?
  11. Why Can't I Abbreviate SaintLouis (for example)?
  12. My Migration Line Is Too Long, What Should I Do?
  13. Why Are Submissions Without Dates and Location Rejected?









 

HOW DO I FORMAT MY ENTRIES?

The form at http://rsl.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/rsledit.cgi will guide you through the process.


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WHAT IS A NAMETAG?  WHY DO I NEED ONE?

A nametag is assigned to each surname entry to connect it to the submitter. It enables researchers to find the submitter of a particular family in which they are interested.

Nametags consist of eight or fewer lower case alpha or numeric characters. The first character MUST be an alpha character. The nametag cannot have any periods/full stops, commas, brackets, hyphens.

When you make your first submission you may suggest your own nametag, and alternatives in case your first choice is already in use. If your choice/s are already being used by someone else, or you didn't specify a nametag, RootsWeb will assign one to you.


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CAN I CHANGE MY NAMETAG?

No, once a nametag has been assigned to you it cannot be changed.


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WHAT IF I FORGOT MY NAMETAG?

There are multiple ways you can find your nametag. Most people will use the RSL-edit pages (form) at http://rsl.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/rsledit.cgi to find their nametag. Another option would be to use Password Central. You could also do a search in the RSL for a surname that you know you have submitted...then look for your entry, which will have your nametag at the end.


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DO IN NEED TO INCLUDE MY POSTAL ADDRESS?

You don't have to, but does offer an alternative way to reach you. Sometimes email addresses become invalid, and if you forget to inform RSL of your new address then others won't be able to reach you any other way. Also, the RSL is sometimes printed and shelved (libraries for example), so it's possible your surnames will be seen by someone without access to e-mail. There are also people who read the USENET groups who can't send e-mail.


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WHAT IF MY SURNAME HAS MORE THAN ONE SPELLING?

The RSL-edit form at http://rsl.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/rsledit.cgi has a place for you to enter alternate spellings.


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HOW ARE SURNAMES WITH PREFIXES ALPHABETIZED?

If your last name is van der Cook, it will be alphabetized with surnames beginning with V. If you think it should be alphabetized under Cook, you could submit Cook as an alternative spelling and that would direct people back to van der Cook.

The way you would submit an entry like that would be the same as if the surname had two spellings. There is an example of how to do this in the question just above this one - please scroll up to read it.


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I'M GERMAN/SWEDISH/NORWEGIAN...WHAT ABOUT MY VOWELS?

Umlauted vowels and other symbols not in the 26 letter English alphabet are now available for use in the RSL. Since they will be alphabetized differently, other researchers may have difficulting finding them. You may want to list one version/spelling as primary and the other as an alternate spelling to make sure your surname isn't overlooked.

You will find a chart of the extended character codes at http://helpdesk.rootsweb.com/codes/

Submitters are also welcomed to chose a compromise. For instance, for o-umlaut, either a bare o could be used, or oe or "o or o" or :o or o: It will be alphabetized as if it were a plain o.


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WHAT IF I'M NOT SURE ABOUT THE DATES?
HOW DO I ENTER THEM?

Dates can be entered in several ways. Here are some examples.

  1700s Would indicate in the 1700s
  c1850 Would indicate circa or around 1850
  <1600 Would indicate before 1600...a good way to show a start date
  >1600 Would indicate after 1600
  now Would indicate up to the present



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WHERE DO YOU GET THE LOCATION ABBREVIATIONS?

You will find almost any abbreviation you'll need (almost all currently in use) at http://helpdesk.rootsweb.com/codes/

If you would prefer to retrieve it via email, the easiest way would be to send a message to server@genealogy.org with a subject line that reads send RSL/abbrev.

If you can't find an appropriate abbreviation, just spell out the location in your submission to RootsWeb, and the person who does the final data entry will put in the proper abbreviation, if any.


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WHY CAN'T I ABBREVIATE SAINT LOUIS (FOR EXAMPLE)?

Hardly anyone would spell out SaintLouis this way, but RSL is international and not all people abbreviate for searches or know the abbreviations commonly used by others. All locations should be spelled out, and there shouldn't be any spaces in the migration line.


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MY MIGRATION LINE IS TOO LONG, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

The migration path has been extended and will now accomodate 255 characters so we don't think you'll run out of room.

If you do, the easiest way is to make another entry of the surname and split the migration and date fields. This is an example of a split entry:

Johnson   1700 1800  DEU>NewYork,NY,USA; SaintLouis,MO
Johnson   1800 1900  SaintLouis,MO>BurkeCo,GA,USA

Be sure the migration pattern ties the two entries together. In this example the one entry ends in SaintLouis and the second entry begins with SaintLouis.


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WHY ARE SUBMISSIONS WITHOUT DATES AND LOCATIONS REJECTED?

RootsWeb has strived to make the information you find in the RSL as valid and helpful to researchers as possible. They have accomplished that goal by setting high standards for submissions, which in turn assures genealogists that the information in the RSL will be of the highest value.

If you can't estimate even a general date (1800s, for example) or a place (EUR, for example), then you probably don't have enough information yet to share with other researchers on that surname.

The rejection is only temporary, and once you can supply information for those fields it can be resubmitted.


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