Saturday, May 27, 2006

Online release of 1911 England and Wales census

The National Archives is committed to making census data available online. We know from our own experience the huge excitement generated by the release of any new census and recognise the great historical and research value of census information. So we are already making plans to make the 1911 census available online in just under six years´ time, on the first working day of 2012.

The release of the census returns after 100 years is determined by long-standing government policy. The 1911 census form included the following emphatic assurance to householders: ´The contents of the Schedule will be treated as confidential. Strict Care will be taken that no information is disclosed with regard to individual persons.´ In 1966 the Lord Chancellor determined that ALL decennial census returns should be closed for a period of 100 years, on the grounds that they contained personal information supplied by citizens about themselves.

Since then successive governments have consistently maintained this position, and from 1981 onwards there has been an explicit assurance on census forms that they will remain closed to the public for 100 years. This is the assurance that we all receive when we provide sensitive personal information in our completed census forms. The Government continues to believe that the 100-year closure period strikes the right balance between protecting confidential data about us as individual citizens and releasing the information, which is so valuable to researchers and historians alike.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, The National Archives considers requests for access to information contained in the 1911 census returns in consultation with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) as the department that transferred the record to us. On the specific enquiries received to date it has not been possible to release the information that has been sought, on the grounds that it is exempt under section 41 of the Act, which relates to information provided in confidence.

The 1911 census is a huge document – more than 12 times the size of the 1901 census, with 35,000 volumes containing the details of our 35 million ancestors and occupying some 2 kilometres of shelving. They are in good condition and suitable for scanning, with less than 5 per cent requiring more extensive conservation work to be scanned safely. In addition there are also 38,000 volumes of enumerators´ summary books that are in excellent condition. These are likely to be included in the online project as they contain useful and unique information that supports the census information. However, they do not provide the level of personal details that can be found in the actual census schedules.

By far the best option for providing access to the census is online delivery, making the returns available to the widest possible audience and preserving the integrity of the original records. Proposals are well underway to find the very best company to work with us in order to provide a good reliable service for millions of potential users. We have published our requirements in the Official Journal of the European Union and over the next couple of months will seek to create a shortlist of potential suppliers.

Learning from previous experience and building on our current plans, The National Archives is eagerly looking forward to launching the 1911 census online in January 2012, which we are confident will rapidly become a major resource for family historians of British descent throughout the globe.

TNA 11 May 2006


Friday, May 26, 2006

scanstone digital

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) has under taken a monumental project.

It is scanning and digitizing its microfilmed records stored in their Granite Mountain Vault outside Salt Lake City and will offer them online, free of charge, for genealogical research. The project, called "Scanstone," first was estimated to take probably 120 years. Later, the time frame was shortened to 30 years. The latest predictions are within six years or sooner according to Etta Shepherd, director of the local Family History Center in Victoria. from The Victoria Advocate TX USA and click for full article

I have been following this with interest since I googled into it. Brigham Young University computer department is doing research into automatic edge recognition as that link shows, this is state of the art technolgy with widespread applications.

I met one of the programmers, who had travelled 5000 miles to London to give a lecture in May, and his tip was to subscribe and log on to in order to get their newsletters where developments will be announced.

[PDF] Microsoft PowerPoint - A Sneak Peak at the Near Future.ppt
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTMLWhat is Scanstone? A new system (both software and hardware) ... The ScanStone Process. The ScanStone Process. Microfilm is scanned 1 Education/sneak_peak_David_E_Rencher.pdf -

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


When the war broke out in 1914, German-Americans valiantly cheered their homeland. America was not yet involved in the war, so the German-Americans did not feel they had to hide their German patriotism. The fear and suspicion of German-Americans had not begun to spread. read on for an excellent essay

Rickie Lazzerini concludes :-
It was important for the United States and our allies to win the war, but was it necessary to use propaganda, the American Protective League, and other organizations to scare the country into conformity?
These actions taken by the government, and by individual citizens, created a national hysteria, which led to the harassment of innocent German-Americans and the murder of Robert Prager. Loyal German-Americans were punished for the actions of a few spies and their ancestral homeland.

German culture came to a screeching halt during this time, and German-Americans were afraid to show any pride for their ancestry.
The number of people in Illinois who claimed German heritage declined from 191,000 in 1914 to 112,000 in 1920.

During WWI, the Americanization process destroyed what German culture that did exist in place names, landmarks, clubs, and restaurants.
A German subculture has not been able to resurrect itself in America, leaving those with German ancestry at a loss for signs of their German-American cultural identity in the United States.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

one wounded genealogist

S J Dean
he is going stir crazy because he can't bend his knee yet

"See my scar"
he says, "I'm still out of action, waiting for my repaired quadricep tendon to heal. So I can't get to the [Sutton Coldfield] Family History Centre yet to look through the Parish Register"

His Top 10 Surnames [73] Pullinger [57] Dean [45]
Davies [31] Grantham [22] Backhouse [19] Woollaston [15]
Stillings [15] Morley [12] Spencer [11] Treacy
"See my family tree"

"Here are all my pictures, with some genealogy family history pictures too:" from our conversation via MS Messenger

busy doing genealogy

I have been so busy doing genealogy this weekend as new cousins contact me and I can hardly keep up
Entries: 2430 Updated: 2006-05-22 02:07:02 UTC (Mon)

whilst reading usenet this morning I found :-

the noiseiest use of css I have seen on WorldConnect yet

seeking any web resources on any ongoing genealogy projects for the descendents of Chief Justice John Marshall

they call senior surfers internauts on senior planet
at 70 years of age I enjoy being a silver surfer but now I have to go shopping in Birmingham market before the rain comes