Tuesday, 11 August 2009

August Actions--Tidying Up

With the transcription of St Andrew's complete, I am adding its frills and furbellows: additional fields naming spouses, children, parents and the one for which I can't think of a better title than "Living With". This field lists the head of the household for all servants, boarders, relatives with a different surname, and all the older children who might leave the nest come another year or decade.

Putting in these extras can be very boring and I keep trying to think up some semi-automated way to fill in the columns in my spreadsheet. With between 200 and 250 households in each of the five districts completing will take a while. This morning I hit upon a two-stage way of filling in the Living With column which is fairly successful. District One is now finished.

I have also started to proofread St David's Ward, the first one I attacked. I was surprised to find my files were dated 2005. Was it really four years ago? From the looks of my corrections I was pretty green then. In 2005 I was doing the whole transcription at the Family History Centre and, if I was to make any progress at all, I had to limit my time on each schedule. I did well if I could cover 20 schedules in a session. The proofreading is being done against Ancestry's originals (not their index) and I can manage 50 households a session and, perhaps, two sessions a day.

There is plenty of other work to do with the census. Finding 19th-century Torontonians in the Dictionary of Candian Biography is one of them. Hiding in the census, there must be other young men who went on to success besides John Ross Robertson, and the DCB could guide me to them if it had a Toronto index. I wonder if anyone has ever made one, of if I shall have to do it myself?

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