Tuesday, 4 April 2006

After the Census

Ancestry.com and other commercial genealogical companies have almost finished the process of putting the available English and Welsh census data, 1841 to 1901, on line or on CD. Ancestry are advertising that the 1841 census will be on line later this month. Now what? This is a competitive business where you have to run just to keep up. The market is good. Baby boomers are reaching the age where they get interested in family history, but they also have great expectations for new sources.

Some would say it would be a good idea to spend effort to correct the errors in the work already done. If you found an error in the census did you send a correction? It doesn't take much effort, at least at the Ancestry site.

Dick Eastman had a recent item on his blog (newsletter) that 1837online.com has signed an agreement with The National Archives to digitize and index passenger lists. That would be welcome, but my preference would be to see work done to get the calendars to the civil probate records online. Wills are a rich source for family history as they often include mention of two or more generations of a family. I was told by a usually reliable source that Court Service, the UK organization who hold these records, are not interested as genealogy is such a small part of their business. Let's hope someone with clout comes along to change that attitude. Someone surely remembers the phrase -- there's gold in them thar' wills?

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