Thursday, 26 May 2016

ONS demeans family history

My bedtime reading last evening included the report on the proposed questions for the 2021 census of England and Wales from the Office of National Statistics. I'd seen red when I read

ONS does not intend to collect any information requested solely for genealogical purposes.

It's not as if genealogist's didn't register interest. Of 1,095 responses to the consultation 592 were identified as being from genealogists. But only 12 of 279 from genealogical organisations.

The information the genealogists wanted collected, and that was rejected, is place of birth and maiden or former name.

Why the rejection. The weighting scheme used in the evaluation places a premium on the current use of the information, so the 100 year embargo on release of individual census data places a whole segment of society as beyond the pale. Apparently the ONS believes they should do nothing, take not the smallest extra step, with a view to adding to the historical value of their products.

While I slept Peter Calver of Lost Cousins was at work issuing an extra of his newsletter that arrived in my inbox at 4:15 a.m. EDT. You can read his more detailed analysis at

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