Friday, April 27, 2007

COCP Newletter No 21 - 1881 project

Hello folks

Recent family history lunch in Cornwall.

At the moment there are twelve people checking 1881 returns; some of whom are waiting for their first zip. This is a revisit to blog newsletter of March 10th this year.

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 during reformatting because there are none in the transcription. The reformatting will only input page breaks with a household start. Often, where a page break comes in the middle of a schedule (on the image), the change is not being noted by the project checkers. 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. If a lodger has a schedule number of his own; he is a separate household. If he does not, he is part of the relevant household.

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.

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!

The original transcribers seem to have entered all "unmarried" people as "single". I do not want all the "S" changed to "U" but they also seemed to have classified everyone 14 and above as "S". If there is nothing in the marital status column on the actual returns, then pse change it to a hyphen.

It might seem a bit perverse to do the 1881, given that the Mormon version has been available for so long. Please be assured that we are finding errors and correcting them, so it will be worthwhile. And will lead to us accomplishing our task - to transcribe ALL the Cornish 19th century returns and make them available free-to-view.

1 comment:

myra said...

Spill the beans, Michael. Name the people in the photograph . . .