The recording of baptisms in 16th-century Sicily was a legal undertaking, entrusted to notaries who were responsible to the town government, the Sicilian Parliament, and to the Viceroy appointed by the Crown. As such, the documentation of baptisms was set up according to fiscal year, rather than to calendar or ecclesiastical year.
The Sicilian Fiscal Year began on September 1st in the early 1500s and, therefore, each set of baptismal records in Codex A is delineated by a number which indicates its position. The baptisms recorded in Codex A were initiated in Termini on May 1, 1542, that is, in the middle of the 1541-42 Fiscal Year. Even with this late start, they should have carried the fiscal number 1 [pº]; but this is not the case. Therefore, the baptismal records in Codex A are numbered by fiscal year as follows:
- Without number: 1541-42
- pº 1542-43
- ijº 1543-44
- iijº 1544-45 [fiscal year began on November 1]
- 4º 1545-46
- vº 1546-47
- vjº 1547-48
Sicilian-Latin abbreviations within Codex A pertaining to Fiscal Year:
- Baptismal Records for 1542:
- Ind¯s 1542
- Baptismal Records for additional fiscal years:
- pº Ind¯s 1543
- ij Ind¯s 1544, etc.