Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Another reason to use our census search

Some people wonder why we continue to transcribe and publish census books when there are other commercial sites also transcribing and indexing the census for the whole of Scotland. Are these large scale projects not better?

Well there is no doubt that there is some advantage in being able to search the entire country but is this really as complete a search as you think? There are a number of occasions when one ore more entries are unreadable on the microfilms. The are various reasons for this. Sometimes two pages may have been turned accidently during filming or for some reason entries are difficult to read with faint or faded writing.

Graham has just been transcribing the 1851 census for Carmunnock, Lanarkshire. It would appear that some years ago (in less enlightened days perhaps) a rough repair was done on enumeration book 3. Some tape was used on the page and then when the book was filmed it appears as a white space. To ensure a high quality transcription Graham asked to see the original book while he was in Edinburgh and was able to see through the tape against the light and transcribe the entry correctly.

This is the entry:

Margaret Whyte – Head – Unmarried – 26 – Laundress – born Carmunnock, Lanarkshire

This entry will appear in the published transcription once we have proofread the book but in the meantime if you have a few moments check for yourself and see if any of the other major commercial census sites have made the effort to look at the original book and provide a full and accurate transcription.

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