Saturday, March 10, 2007

COCP Newletter No 19

Hello folks

This week we have completed 7 more 1871 pieces plus 3 1881. They should all be online soon. The number of 1851 parishes being worked on has fallen to about a dozen. Shouldn't be long now. The February rebuild of Free Census showed that we have completed and uploaded 1,500,741 returns.

At the moment there are ten people checking 1881 returns and it is this project that is the subject of this newsletter. This transcription was given to us and is not in the FC format. It has to be reformatted before it will go into the FC checking software. The transcription is a good one and most of the problems in checking stem from the reformatting that has had to be done.

Schedule numbers and page breaks are inserted arbitrarily because there are none in the transcription. Often, where a page break comes in the middle of a schedule, the change is not being noted. Checkers must check the header detail for every household and keep an eye open for changes during a schedule. There is also a problem with lodgers. Enumerators should have treated them as a separate household. Sometimes they did and sometimes they didn't. Even where the enumerator got it right, the non-FC transcribers frequently ignored the separation of landlord's family and any lodger.

The transcription does not include the uninhabited dwellings and public buildings. Free Census requires they be inserted. This involves inserting a new record. The header detail of this new record will reflect the previous household unless the checker changes it. Ths comment also applies to volunteers checking the other years.

The occupational field in the donated transcription is more generous than FC allows. During reformatting the occupational data is often split and part of it is dumped in the notes field. Checkers cannot edit the transcriber notes field, but they can tidy up the occupational field. By the use of judicious abbreviations you can get the information into the limited space available. If you are uncertain of what is allowed, browse the existing returns on our web site. Our aim should be to produce something that is correct, makes sense - and looks nice!

We have now completed the 41, 61 & 91 returns; the 51 is almost complete and about 60% of the 1871 is done. More & more work is going to be 1881. I have just spent 3 days validating a single 1881 piece!

Finally, a reminder that we are transcribing "as is". It doesn't matter if the Enumerator is wrong - we want to record his words. Place names, surnames, relationships - it doesn't matter - get down what he wrote. Leave notes if it will help. If I don't think researchers will understand our finished work, I will write a note for them.

All in all, things are going well. Another couple of years and I can retire and grow cabbages. Or something.


tina said...

Dear Sir,
I just wanted to express how happy I was to find your site! I am writing you from Arizona. I had some family which I had found in your census records. In the 1891 census folio 68 page 9. Mary Jane Williams (Lavender was he maiden name) and Edwin James Lavender were brother and sister. Their brother who lived in Texas "Richard Henry Lavender" was my great grandfather. Since I am in the States, it has been difficult on this side to find relatives or to know much about the geograpy over there and so on. I know that in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census that Edwin was living in Ironwood Michigan. My grandmother who remembers meeting him as a child once said that he had returned to cornwall because he had a daughter there who was crippled. It is to our understanding that he returned to Cornwall, and years later died there. The family other wise came from Glamorgan Wales. I do not know if I still have relatives there or not. I figured that I still might there in Cornwall though. If not of the Lavenders, then indirectly through Manry Jane WILLIAMS and her Husband William James Williams. So I believe that what I am trying to do then is ask for help or advice on how I can try to get in touch with possible family there? Is 1901 the most recent census? Do you happen to know when the next one would be comming about? I am so sorry to bombard you with so many questions, but I must finally get in touch with someone from Cornwall truely thrills me! My Grandmother is the last of the Lavenders in the family. She is in her 80's, and told me how her father and brothers would speak Welsh, and that none of the children learned it. It was a way in which her father and brothers had their privacy. She told me that her father did not talk about the rest of the family that was still in the UK. the mystery then compells me to ask why did they leave, and why nothing mentioned about the family, such as parents or siblings? I do know from Census records in Glamorgan, that Richard Henry Lavender's father was William Lavender, and that he was a Brewer/Inn Keeper for a pub called the Golden Lion. His wife was Martha, from a friend of mine looking through the records, she believes that Martha's maiden name may of been "Dance". Any how I know that I have rambled on enough on your blog. I hope that you can suggest something for me, or anything. Thank you so much for your time in reading this!

in Arizona

Michael J McCormick said...

Hello Tina

Please email me.



tina said...

Hello! So sorry that it has taken me a bit to get back to you. For some reason I had difficulty in getting into this site again and it would not let me log in. So i had to create a new account. The other thing too is that I guess that my Mac will not let me email you via this site. So I will give you my email address so that you can directly get in touch with me, then I shall be able to do the same in return. you can contact me at I look forward hearing from you!