We need your assistance. - By Dale McDonell, 12 June 2003
Within the next week, Tom should have quite a few new transcriptions available on line here, mainly covering Victoria, Australia.
Ian Wills and myself have been trundling around collecting data.
There are numerous records for other States on microfiche which I'd love to be able to access, so I thought I'd share my methods of transcribing. Hopefully it might motivate those from areas, other than Victoria, to also contribute data for all WILLS researchers to share. Personally, there are many NSW and South Aust., records I'd love to see, but have great difficulty in accessing from where I live in Victoria.
Whenever I check any indexed material in my hunt for an elusive WILLS or other surname branches of my tree, rather than laboriously copying details by hand and risk errors, I use a photocopier or microfiche photocopier. At four or five pages for AUD$1, it is well worth it. Later, in the peace and quiet at home, I transcribe what I've found directly into a Word document set on html and send it off to Tom for addition to this site. He can then cut and paste directly into his web page layout. I keep a record of those publications, fiche etc., which I have already checked.
Using this method, I can harvest far more information at one visit to a research centre than I could if I tried to transcribe on the spot, and it is likely to be far more accurate. I also find it easier to digest and analyze when I have a hard copy in front of me at home. I can compare one record with another and slowly build a clearer picture of what was happening to the WILLS bods during a given period.
It takes little extra effort and expense to harvest info of possible benefit to others whilst hunting for one elusive WILLS. I'm grateful to the www for the hours of pleasurable research in which I can indulge for the cost of a 'phone call. I'm pleased to be able to "do my bit" too and contribute info that might help others one day.
If Tom, Ian and others can provide so much free help for all of us, isn't it only fair that we all try and contribute any scraps of information within our local reach? If you don't feel confident in transcribing, then please take copies home and scan and send them to someone else who will be happy to do the transcribing. I for one, will volunteer and I'm sure there are others.
Don't forget to hunt for the common WILLS surname variants too and harvest the WILLS, MILLS, WELLS, WILLIS etc., even whilst researching an entirely different surname.