Census asks Family Historians to share their stories

Today sees the launch of a new family history page of the 2011 Census website www.census.gov.uk/2011familyhistory 

The idea is to provide members of the public who are keen to delve into their family’s past with easy how-to guides, hints and tips, and give those who are already up to their eyes in second cousins, twice removed, the opportunity to share their experiences with others.


Anyone wishing to offer their census story for consideration can do so via 2011censusfamilyhistory@ons.gov.uk or post their story on 2011 Census Family History on Facebook. The 2011 Census team is also looking for interesting census- related stories to feature in local newspapers, radio and websites. These too can be sent using the family history email address.

The 2011 Census will take place on 27 March 2011 when everyone in England and Wales will be asked to complete and return a census questionnaire. For the first time the questionnaire can be completed online using a unique access code.

The completed paper questionnaires will be scanned and the data digitised, but a ‘photo’ of the handwritten questionnaire will be kept confidential until released after 100 years.

Censuses will also take place on the same day in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

For further information, images and interviews:

Press Hotline: 01329 447654

Email: 2011censuspress@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Visit:

www.census.gov.uk. This will raise the profile of the 2011 Census among the general public. A sample page is available to download at www.census.gov.uk/2011familyhistory.

BACKGROUND NOTES

1. The 2011 Census team is asking genealogy organisations to publish a  2011 Census page on their website, which includes the 2011 Census logo and a link back to

2. A census is a survey of all people and households in the country. It provides essential information from national to neighbourhood level for government, business, and the community.

3. The 2011 Census will take place on 27 March 2011. The census occurs every 10 years and involves everyone in England and Wales filling in a questionnaire about themselves and where they live.

4. Office For National Statistic (ONS) is responsible for carrying out the census in England and Wales.

5. ONS is responsible for gathering and interpreting all the data from the census and turning it into helpful information, as well as using it to estimate the number of people and households in each area across England and Wales.

6. The information provided in the census is confidential and safeguarded by law.

7. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the Media Relations Office.

8. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for official statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference. © Crown copyright 2009

www.census.gov.uk/2011familyhistory along with a Facebook page where amateur genealogists can share their helpful tips for searching census records and discuss their findings.www.census.gov.uk/2011press

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Genealogists may find TNA’s Rediscovering the Record Project interesting

David Thomas, Director of Technology at The National Archives, has announced the concept behind The National Archives’ Rediscovering the Records project on his first TNA’s Labs blog

The Rediscovering the Record project takes in hand the redesign of TNA’s two major catalogues and some new search functions including geographic based searches making it possible to  link from maps to related to records.

The TNA’s labs project is similar to the  FamilySearch Labs projects that have been around for some time now. These labs projects include beta testing for developments within familiar sites such as the Familysearch.org, but without actually changing the main site. Putting the lab site up for a while means it can be thoroughly tested. I’ve been using the 1851 English jurisdictions date on labs.familysearch for some time now and it has a lot in common with TNA labs and had become more and more useful to me as it improved.

Comments can be fed back to the development team and these are open for others to see. Suggestions will lead to further tweeks and alterations. When I used the site there were obviously some teething problems – functions seemed to freeze but evidently I wasn’t the only one having problems. I got a good feel for some of the new possibilities within the proposed “person search” functions that should improve results when searching across name rich database and catalogue entries on the TNA website. The new person search makes it clear what sets of records with good name information exists at TNA and canny readers will have noted this  search is being integrated as a beta test within he main TNA website.

I didn’t have such a great experience with the other “new” test areas. The Valuation Office Map Finder and the UK History Photo Finder potentially sound really interesting. Photfinder allows you to search and view digitised historical photographs of the UK and Ireland, starting with the Dixon-Scott collection, which holds more than 14,000 photographs taken in the 1920s-1940s. However in order to discover what places are covered both seem to rely on a wizzy map link from interactive OS mapping or a dedicated place name list in drop down boxes. Sadly neither of those worked for me. But I’ve done my bit and reported this as feedback so I’ll see what they do to improve it. Other comments show people have successfully seen it working and have suggested interesting ways to present the information and to link to similar initiatives using similar mapping and historic photo information.

Collaboration on sites like The National Archives Labs  through its  comments and related wikis and forums, draw upon the greater collective experience and knowledge the users often have about specific records. As more people can test and comment about the site the more user-friendly it might become.

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Members’ Area update

The Society of Genealogists has recently added many more family history records to the Members Area of its website (http://sog.frontisgroup.com/bin/aps_person_search.php)  More than 600,000 people are now listed, ranging from railway workers to nuns, and you may well find reference to your ancestors amongst them.

To celebrate the addition of the new records an article will appear here each Friday describing them in more detail, starting tomorrow with an exciting collection that lists many people who died at sea.

Non-members can carry out a free surname search on the site but to view any records found you will need to join. New records are being added all the time so check back regularly – you may just find a reference to that elusive ancestor.

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CALLING ALL WORLD CUP WIDOWS AND WIDOWERS

 As someone whose not been at all interested in the forthcoming football excitement I’m delighted that Find My Past has given family historians a reason to wish England  well in the World Cup.

 


Find My Past has made the following announcement:

 

“The World Cup is now upon us and we thought it would only be fair to provide some entertainment for any non-football fans out there:

Whenever England play a match, you’ll be able to access all our records for free!* “

What you need to know about this fantastic offer:

- When England play, you don’t pay: 30 minutes before each England game kicks off, all the records on findmypast.co.uk will be free to view for 3 hours

- You can view original images and transcriptions of all our records for free including birth, marriage and death records 1538-2006, census records including the 1911 census and our Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service Records 1760-1913 – to name just a few

- Normally you would need a subscription or PayAsYouGo credits to view our records – some of which normally cost 30 credits each – so to be able to see them for free is a rare opportunity

- Keep an eye on our blog for a competition question to enter during each England match. You’ll need to answer all the questions correctly for a chance to win, so make sure you don’t miss any. The prize is a goodie bag containing a digital camera, vouchers for a year’s Full subscription plus much more

All you need to do to make use of this unique offer is register on findmypast.co.uk as you’ll need to sign in to view the records. Visit our World Cup page for more information.

If you need a helping hand with your research, take a look at our video tutorials or our Getting Started page which provide clear advice on how to use our records.

We’d love to hear about any discoveries you make while our records are free to view – post anything you’d like to share with us and our readers on our Facebook page.

Please pass this on to friends, family or anyone else you think might want to make the most of our free family history records.

*All records available using our Full subscription (including the 1911 Census) will be free: Living Relatives searches and Memorial scrolls are not included.

 

So this is the ideal oppotunity to escape from the football fuss and get done to some serious genealogy searching. Here are the times of the first three matches.  You will need to break a habit of a lifetime to follow the football results to find out when England may be playing further matches !

I am sure that you will know how your local time relates to GMT.

England  vs.  United States     –  12 Jun       7:30pm      
England  vs.  Algeria                –  18 Jun       7:30pm      
England  vs   Slovenia              –  23 Jun       3:00pm      

Remember that the free time starts 30 minutes before the kick-off and runs for three hours.   All records available using the Full subscription (including the 1911 Census) will be free: Living Relatives searches and Memorial scrolls are not included.

I guess that you can register in advance to be ready on time.

Happy hunting -

Geoff Stone and Else Churchill

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web button Pharos SoG course1 Society of Genealogists and Pharos Announce New Family History Skills & Strategies Distance Learning Course

 The Society of Genealogists and Pharos Teaching & Tutoring today announced a new joint programme, the distance learning Certificate of Family History Skills and Strategies (intermediate).

 


The Society of Genealogists, in conjunction with Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd is now bringing its popular classroom programme to the Web. Following successful pilot courses last year, the Society and Pharos have teamed up to make available a full course of instruction, with  optional assessment, to any interested genealogist anywhere in the world. First modules in the Skills and Strategies programme will be offered in September 2010. It will be possible to complete all 10 modules in an 18 month period. 

The modules are listed here in alphabetical order:

Apprenticeships & Guilds
Employment Records
Lists & Sources from Georgian England
Migration in the British Isles
Military Records
Nonconformity in England and Wales
The Poor, the Parish and the Workhouse
Victorian Crime & Punishment
Wills and Administrations
17th Century Sources

Tutors include the well-known authors and genealogists, Gill Blanchard, Liz Carter, Else Churchill, Simon Fowler, Sherry Irvine, Michael Isherwood and Stuart Raymond. All have made significant contributions to the world of family history and bring a wide array of records knowledge and teaching experience to the online classroom.

The Skills and Strategies course is suitable for genealogists who have had at least two years experience in family history research in England & Wales and have mastered the fundamentals of census, civil registrations and parish registers but who now wish to move on to new records and a greater understanding of research methods and skills.

Students choosing to take all ten modules as a full programme with assessments leading to the Intermediate Certificate can sign up now at an introductory price of £450. This represents a saving of £42.90 on the full listed price.  Each module is monitored by the Society to ensure excellent standards of content and teaching.

Students may, alternatively, choose not have work assessed and to take any arrangement of individual topics. Courses taken individually without assessment cost less.
 
Find out more or enroll  for this great learning opportunity

Information about the course and a link for bookings can also be found on the Society of Genealogists’ website

Helen Osborn, Managing Director of Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd, said today

“We are very pleased to continue and build on our collaboration with the Society of Genealogists. We know that many Pharos students are interested in working towards a certificate that acknowledges their achievements and that others are looking for a wider range of choice in online programmes. The Skills and Strategies course meets those needs, offered by organizations and teachers with shared standards of excellence.”
                                                         

Else Churchill, Genealogists at the Society & tutor on the new programme, said today

“The Society of Genealogists is delighted join forces with Pharos to offer the highly regarded SoG courses and education programme to a wider audience than can attend the Society’s classes in London. The Skills and Strategies course will offer a practical opportunity for family historians to take their research further and to develop their own expertise and understanding of genealogical sources and techniques.”

 

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