Karleen Chott Sheppard Database

The Karleen Chott Sheppard database includes birth, marriage, death and other records that she gleaned from a variety of sources covering information primarily from Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, North and South Dakota and Wisconsin, but ties to other locations are included as well. The time period ranges from the late 1800’s through about 2007.

The database includes over 200,000 images that were hand typed on the front and often the back of 3 × 5 notecards. The cards were housed in 205 boxes and that structure was maintained in creating 205 pdf files. each containing images of the cards in one box. Therefore, when you search for a particular name, location or other search term, your results will be a list of the pdf files containing those search words. Typically the back of a card listed the source of the information and it will be shown. If the back of the card was blank, it typically will not be displayed unless the automated scanning software picked up the empty image. It is a best practice to review the prior and next image to ensure you see all the information for each card you view.

Once you have completed your search and opened the downloaded pdf, use the F keys to search this file for the word(s) in your original search. Now you will be able to click on the “<” and “>” arrows to see each individual instance of your search word(s). Hint: download the Definitions & Instructions to understand the abbreviations used on the cards and other information.

You are set to go! Click on “Search the Database” below to open a search form. Depending on how many instances of your search word(s) there are, the search time may be as much as 30 to 45 seconds. Then a list of the pdfs containing the search word will be displayed. See below for additional instructions.

Search the Database

Definitions & Instructions

Additional Information to Help You Understand the Search Results

1) It will take a bit of time for the search engine to bring up your results. Be patient. I might be as much as 30-45 seconds.

2) When the results are displayed, it will be a list of all of 205 pdf files that contain at least one reference to the search word you entered. For example, if Marie Svoboda married Frantisek Martinek and you search Martinek, you will receive links to download two pdfs: first, the Martinek file since that is where Frantisek’s information is listed, and second the Svoboda file because Marie’s information also shows the name of her husband, Frantisek Martinek.

3) The search results will only show THE FIRST reference to the word searched. So, you will need to download the pdf by clicking the file name shown in green, and then when it opens, press F and search that pdf for all remaining listings of the word searched. For example, in the file listed with the Martinek name there are actually 168 cards that contain the name. Using the pdf’s search function will allow you to click from one to the next directly.

4) Karleen developed her own system of abbreviations for her work. Unfortunately, we do not have that list, but we have attempted to create a document that will explain what we have discerned. Definitions & Instructions