About spelling things out, yes, although for sure everybody uses some abbreviations. Another thing that happens that can be confusing is that sometimes someone will refer to a record (they say they noticed such and such in the record), but they don't post a transcription of the record or say where they found it or under what spellings. Then I might go looking for it, and not find it. Ergo I am a big believer in posting transcriptions. And again, maybe that's someone like me wanting or needing help from a more skilled person (from the person who found the record). But also, when transcriptions are posted, all the facts are in front of everybody. So many facts get omitted when a record is alluded to, but not posted in full.
Miles, I want to say I admire you (and I'm sure others do too) for sticking with it and contributing so much to your own search. Not everybody does that. I also thank you for telling when there's something you don't understand. If another person can explain, great - you learn but so do other people out there, if they read the exchange.
Miles you and I both should check your posting history as phyl g suggests. In case it helps, I'll go ahead and say here's how:
Click on your username Click on "Show This User's Posting History"
You will then see all your threads. By viewing your own history, you can keep track and ensure that you revisit all your threads. At the moment you have some threads going, with replies, that you haven't yet re-visited.
Again thanks for your responsiveness and additions, so we're not left out here alone with your project. That kind of participation makes this hobby much more fun and rewarding. phyl g and I have talked about this previously, so I know there's strong agreement with that.