31 July 2018

FamilySearch updates 1881 census of England and Wales: looking back

Once upon a time, many years ago, an index to the 1881 census of England and Wales was made available, the first such census to be fully indexed. That distant era was 1996 which saw the end of an eight-year project involving more than 13,000 volunteers transcribing and checking nearly one and a quarter million pages of the census. It was a cooperative project of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Federation of Family History Societies and UK Public Record Office (forerunner of TNA). The initial release was on microfiche as counties became available. Later it was made available on CD, then online.

Fast forward to 30 July 2018 and FamilySearch announces an update to its version of the England and Wales Census 1881 to contain 26,124,851 records stating "The images and index is provided by FindMyPast.com." Good to see how far that pioneering work of volunteers has taken us, and the stimulus it provided to private enterprise to the extent that instant access to indexed censuses and other major official records are now taken for granted.

Information on the indexing history was taken from Massive British Census Project Over, an article in Anglo-Celtic Roots, Vol 2, No 3 (1996) by Wayne Walker.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't understand. How can it be updated if it's already all been done