Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Housecleaning the database and other things

It's November. Sometime this month our local Family History Centre ought to open up again after the down-time caused by renovations in the LDS chapel building. I have just been on the phone to a chapel member and she says there is a fair amount of work to do yet. It may be a while before I can get down to transcribing St Patrick's Ward.

I have given my database of St David's Ward a housecleaning. Now, for the first time, I can produce a form giving all the data I have for a household--not just the original census schedule, but links to city directory entries, and all my miscellaneous notes that go with the people and the household or building in which they lived. I can indicate that a particular census page was extremely difficult to read, or that the details on the form may be incorrect thanks to an error on the part of the person who originally filled it in (for instance, getting the sexes of two children the wrong way round). Better still, I can add facts about the individuals, such as if they found their way into the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, even though they were just children in 1861. Eventually I can add many marriage dates and future spouses. A census is a snapshot in a life, why not expand it into a photograph album if the evidence can be found?

The next task is to repeat what I've done for St David's to the other five completed wards. I hope I can remember all of the steps.

Ancestry have just delivered their acknowledgement-and-thank-you emails for my corrections made during October. There were more than 1600 messages in a mailbox that usually gets about ten in every delivery. Can one find a census entry using a corrected entry? The answer is yes, but the individual will always be filed under the spelling that their original transcriber used.

No comments:

Post a Comment