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CART Basics

Entering the
First Record
Page Numbers &
Line Numbers

Additional Information
Shortcut Keys Adding a
Skipped Record

Getting Started

After starting CART for the first time, an "About Cart" message will appear.  
After reading the message, click the [OK] button.  
Another message box will appear with - -
    "No Census Abstracts are in the data base.  
      Use the New or Import option to create an abstract."  
Click the [OK] button.

To create a NEW census file:
    On the Menu-Bar, click "Census Abstract"
    On the drop-down menu-list, click "Create New".
    Fill-in the three fields on the top row for the State, County, and Year.

Note: If your census is large and you will be creating more than one file for this census (by division, township, or whatever subdivisions this county is divided into) you can use the OPTIONAL field "Split County Name (Optional):" and type a township (or whatever) name and then later you will be able to add another separate file for this same county.

    Click the [OK] button to create a new file.

Entering the first record in your new file:

Refer to the Transcribing Help web pages.  On the "Transcribing Help" web page - click the year-button link for the census year you are transcribing and the individual census year web page will have help for the top portion and each column on that census year.

Use the STAMPED page number in the "Page #" field.  If the PAGE# on the census year you are transcribing requires an "a" and a "b" do not put a space after the page number, put the "a" or "b" immediately after the number.  (Most of the 1850 census years, except for a few Texas counties were stamped on every other page.  For these you should type an "a" after the page number on the stamped page, and a "b" after the page number on the unstamped page and use the same page number as the previous stamped page.)

 The "Ref:" field is for the enumerator's name, and enumeration date.  Sometimes there is enough room left over so that you can fit the Handwritten Page# in the end of the "Ref"  field.  If there is additional information about the district for your census that does not fit in the DIVISION field, you might also be able to squeeze that information in the "Ref" field.  The "Ref:" field is only necessary on the first record of a new page and does not need to be duplicated into every record on the page.

Shortcut Keys

Each drop-down list on the CART menu-bar lists the Shortcut Keys on the right side of the drop-down list for those items that have Shortcut keys.   Following are a few of the Shortcut Keys:

Ditto (copy field after add new): [F2]   - - this shortcut repeats the information from the previous record (for this field) into the new record.  This is most useful on the Birthplace field.

Increment Dwelling & Family #: [Ctrl + i ] - - this shortcut increases the Dwelling and Family numbers by one number each.

Add New  [Ctrl + a ]  this shortcut will start a new record so you can keep your hands on the keyboard and not have to click the [Add New] button with the mouse.

There are more shortcuts that you might want to review by checking the drop-down lists on the menu-bar.

Page Numbers and Line Numbers
Additional Information

CART automatically increments the "Line #" field for each new record.  If the microfilm page you are transcribing from has blank lines in the middle of the page, type a comment in the REMARKS field of the last record that has information and then manually change the LINE# on the next record to the proper line number for the next record that has information.  An example of what to type in the REMARKS field would be something like: "Lines 12-15 were not entered by the enumerator".

CART automatically increments the "Page #" field for each new page after the last line record is entered for a given page.  (There are 42 pre-printed line numbers on the 1850, and 40 on the 1860 and 1870 census years).  If only the top rows have information in them and the rest are left blank - - after typing a comment in the REMARKS field of the last typed record on the page, you will need to manually change the Page# field and the Line# field on the first record for the next page to the needed information for that page.  

Adding a Skipped Record

CART will not let you insert a record in the middle of a file, but you can add a missing record at the end of the file by using the [Add New] button - - make sure you give it the correct Page# and Line# and then CART will put the record where it needs to be the next time you close and re-open that file. (CART sorts the entire file by Page# and then Line# within Page# every time a file is opened).  The remaining line numbers on the page with the missing record may need adjusted and you will need to manually do this for each of the lines.  Also check the following Page for the Line numbers to make sure they are ok.

It is a good idea to get into the practice of checking the preprinted line number with the Line# field for that last record when you finish entering all the records for a given page .  Then if you've missed entering a record for this page it is much easier to add it now rather than later.

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