Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Gigantic Whinge

The aim of Free Census is to provide an accurate transcription of the pages of the Enumerators' books. To that end we transcribe "as is". This is the so-called Golden Rule of Free Census. Just by chance the other day, I noticed a little girl called Olive E Smith, born in Lydiard Tregoze. But the Enumerator had written Oliff E Smith born Liddiard Tregooze. That is what the transcriber should have written.

When I start new checkers off, I always state what seems obvious to me. Checkers must try and identify AND then fix the transcriber's errors. In the case of Oliff, the checker detected the error and left me a note. This is NOT correct practice. The checking software allows you to do many things and all but one field can be corrected. Only the transcriber's notes cannot be edited by a checker.

My final whinge for today concerns communication. Emails must be one of the easiest and fastest systems of global communication yet invented. Why then, do I not get regular emails from volunteers? All you have to do is drop me an email every month or couple of months telling me what you are doing. It would be nice if you had a subject line - NWOCP 1287 would tell me at once what you are working on. For transcribers, just say your piece has 253 images and you are working on image 157. For checkers it can be more accurate. Under Options you can select review progress. This tells you exactly how many records you have, how many you have done and how many are left. You just cut and paste this into your email.

Finally, if you don't want to do what you have volunteered to do - then please, oh please, tell me. There will be no hard feelings. Although the task is quite easy to carry out, it can be a pain. Lots of people drop out - for all sorts of reasons. Just let me know and return the disc.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Occasional rant by Blog owner!

My wife and I have a newspaper each every morning, which we read over breakfast. Most mornings produce a rant from Michael, which she endures politely. I have decided to have an occasional rant on my blog. If you don’t want to read it, don’t. If you wish to comment, be my guest.

A sneaky announcement on December 29th (after the New Year holiday had started) revealed that the EU had wimpishly given in to the demands of the US government over transatlantic flight passenger information. Well, I say announcement, but in fact it was only revealed after a Freedom of Information release, forced by the Tories.

Under this deal, airlines will provide the US Government with 34 pieces of information on people flying into the USA. This information will include name & home address; email address, telephone number and credit card details. This last will not only show which card has been used, but will allow the US government to access the credit card account.

Although the justification for this invasion of privacy is anti-terrorism, the US Government reserves the right to look for other sorts of alleged violations of US law. Not EU law or British law – US law. Some two dozen US agencies will have access to this data and the US Government reserves the right to share information with “foreign” governments.

In my opinion the EU should immediately insist on reciprocity. Every US citizen flying into the EU should have to provide the same 34 bits of information. Plus they should have their fingerprints taken, pictures taken and be finally and ritually humiliated by having to provide a DNA sample. The EU should also insist on a visa, although we will waive that under a visa-waiver scheme. Sound familiar?

However, the EU is pretty gutless at the best of times and the UK no longer has the power to go its own way. But just in case any US readers think their privacy is safe, their government is going to “encourage” US airlines flying into the EU to provide the information anyway.

I have spent many happy times in the USA. I did a rough count the other day; since 1958 I have made over 50 visits to that great country. I don’t think I will be visiting again. Shame

COCP Newsletter No 17

Hello from Cornwall

Here in the southwest of the UK, the day has started off dark, wet & windy. Just like yesterday really. What a difference a new year does make!

Anyway, I hope that you all had a lovely Christmas and wish you all a happy & prosperous New Year.

The world's largest project of its kind (COCP that is) has trundled along during 2006, just like it has during the previous five years. We have just one piece of the 1861 left to do and that is with a checker right now. The 1871 is about 60% done and the 1881 is edging up to 20%. The spotlight of my attention has shifted to the 1851 (sounds a bit naff that). There are 20 parishes or bits of parishes left to do. Most are pretty small and I am hoping that all those working on the 1851 will crack on.

At the beginning of 2006 we had 1,117,534 records uploaded to Free Census - at the end of the year we had 1,454,770. Quite an achievement; my thanks to everyone.

On the wider front, Free Census now has just under 9 million records online with the COCP contributing 16%. A third English county (Wiltshire) has uploaded its first 1841 piece. The Cornish parish register project (C-PROP) has gone through the 460,000 record mark.

NWOCP Newsletter No 4

I hope that you all had a lovely Christmas and wish you all a happy & prosperous New Year.

The world's largest project of its kind (Free Census that is) has trundled along during 2006, just like it has during the previous five years. Our project has done rather better than most of the other English projects. At the beginning of 2006 we had 15,000 records uploaded to Free Census - at the end we have 73,000+!!!! Quite an achievement; my thanks to everyone.

Of course, we have rather more than that on our own web site. Last month we uploaded the first 1841 Hundred. There are only three English 1841 projects and the other two are complete. 1841 parishes are rolling in on a daily basis; I hope that everyone working on the 1861 & 1871 is encouraged by this and will be cracking on!

Our web site is also carrying some returns from outside Nth Wilts as Terry clears his backlog.

Cornish 1851 Project update

Hello folks

Another grandson - the only one bearing my surname!

Here is the status of the 1851 project. If your name is on here and it shouldn't be, please let me know. If it should be on and isn't - let me known. If you are doing a piece that isn't listed here - let me know.

Trying to be realalistic, this looks about 3 months work to me. Be nice to be proved wrong again!

Virginstow Ho5a1896 Being transcribed by Sandra Coles

St Giles OTH Ho5b1896 Being transcribed by Julia Bassett

Lanteglos by Camelford HO5h1898 Being transcribed by Trudi Groves.

Maker HO5a1900 Being transcribed by Gillian Johnson.

Rame Ho5b1900 being checked by Ken Hosking

Menheniot Ho5a1902. Being checked by Arthur Hodge

St Cleer Ho5b1902 Being transcribed by Bill Phillips

St Neot Ho5d1902 Being transcribed by Ainslie Jones

Duloe Ho5b1903 Being transcribed by Caroline Buckland

Morval Ho5c1903 Being transcribed by Nick Russell

East Looe Ho5m1903 Being transcribed by Mike Beck.

West Looe Ho5n1903 being transcribed by Joan Oliver

St Blazey Ho5d1906 Being checked by Maxine Cadzow

St Stephen in B Ho5e1908 Being checked by Frances Kenshole

St Mewan Ho5f1908 Being checked by Mark Jose.

St Stithians Ho5a1914 Being transcribed by Luke Harris.

Gwennap Ho5b1914 Being transcribed by Lauren Patey.

Redruth Ho5a1915 Being checked by Peter Veryan; Di Thompson; John Nance

Gwinear Ho5b1916 Being checked by Jean Minter.