Last month, I finished compiling the Microsoft Works® index database for volume 1 of my Pettus book. Volume 1 spans eleven generations of English and Virginia Pettuses descending from the earliest known progenitor, Thomas Petyous, who was granted the Freedom of the City of Norwich, England, in 1492. Another five generations will appear in volume 2, which has yet to be indexed.
After alphabetizing the completed database and merging all records relating to a particular person, place, or event into just one record containing all associated page numbers, I expanded the database to include alternative ways of indexing places and events and to index married females by both their maiden and married names. The final database contains over 7,500 records.
About a week ago, I copied the database into Microsoft Word® and reformatted the index into one column for convenience. After discovering that some entries in the index are not in proper alphabetical order, I traced the problem back to the original Works database. I am now reviewing the index to find and correct entries that are not in proper order. As of today, I am starting to work on entries beginning with the letter L. I expect to finish that task later today or tomorrow.
To complete the index, I will be indenting first names or local place names under common headings, such as Pettus and Virginia, respectively, before using a special button in Word to convert the results into the final three-columned format. I will also include some explanatory notes at the beginning of the index and paginate the index pages. I hope to finish up all the tasks mentioned above by the end of this week or early the next week.
While working on the index database, I spotted some errors in the main text of my book. When I finish the index, I will try to figure out how to fix the errors without affecting the page numbers of index entries. I expect I can finish this in the next week or two.
I will be contacting certain archives and libraries to seek or renew permission to use extensive quotes or illustrations where copyright laws or other restrictions apply. I had already contacted most of the institutions years ago, but some of the permissions have expired in the meantime.