Author Topic: 1901 Leftovers: Should we correct transcription errors ??  (Read 100195 times)

Offline Silverhawk

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1901 Leftovers: Should we correct transcription errors ??
« on: Saturday 22 October 05 00:00 BST (UK) »
Another query.  Do we copy the info exactly as the census states or do we correct info we know for a fact is wrong?

For example, my great-grandmother Mary Watson is on the 1901 census as being from Crook, County Durham.  I know for certain though that she was from Arlecdon, Cumberland.  What happened was the family moved from Cumberland to County Durham (via Kirkcudbright) when she was young and in 1901, either out of laziness or just not being able to remember, she's given herself the same birthplace as her younger sister (who was visiting at the time).

Anyone else looking for Mary that didn't already know that bit of family history though, would see "Crook" in the census transcript and end up wasting their time looking there for her birth.

That side of the family have always been very vague with personal info.  On the 1891 census, her mother has the wrong name (Jane in place of Sarah), but it's right again by 1901.  On one of the censuses, half the family just have "not known" for their birthplaces.

Anyway, part of me says that in the interests of accuracy we shouldn't perpetuate these mistakes.  However another part of me is wary of setting a precadent as not everyone is thorough with their research and it only takes a few people making erroneous 'corrections' to mess up the database.

Moderator Comment:
Split off from original thread "Done <--> Not done" to form a sepaerate topic
Ancestral names: Lewis, Watson, Hetherington, Barclay, Clark, Regan, Hunter, Murray, Robson, Todd, Carney, Comerford, Urwin, Rayson, White, Purves, Biggins, Wilson, Gibson, Graham, Curry, Kennedy, Greenlaw, Waldie, Armstrong, Hodgson, Harle, Wild, Monkhouse, Donald, Allen, Bowie, Cowe, Ogilvie, Barnes, Pattinson, Williamson, Hogg, Denholm, Kirkwood and Hewitt

Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

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Offline Berlin-Bob

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Re: Done <--> Not Done
« Reply #1 on: Monday 24 October 05 07:41 BST (UK) »
Don't know the answer to this one (yet)

Anybody got any views on this ??

Bob
Any UK Census Data included in this post is Crown Copyright (see: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk)

My research interests (and data found) can be seen on my website:   http://www.margulies-chronicles.com/

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Offline JenClark

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Re: Done <--> Not Done
« Reply #2 on: Monday 24 October 05 08:05 BST (UK) »
I think if you are absolutely certain that the name is incorrect change it, but if there is any doubt leave it as enumerated because it really should be up to the person doing the research to decide what to do with the information presented...I hope that is not too harsh...but hey it gives us a challenge sometimes...if everything was how it was supposed to be we would not have so many fulfilling victories  ;)

After saying that I just sent in some transcriptions last night and I have changed one entry to read Alfred rather than Arthur (as enumerated) as I know for certain through other research that it is incorrect, someone else looking at the same entry would come to the conclusion that Arthur is incorrect without too much delay as the father and another son are also Arthur already, but they would not know who was incorrectly enumerated and what the name should read.

What do you all think? I think maybe places of birth and ages should be left as enumerated, sometimes they give a clue to something else (towns they lived in as children for example) or a sneak peek into our ancestors minds, like my great great grandmother who on all census before her marriage states her age correctly, but on EVERY census afterward is consistently 5 years younger! She was 11yrs older than her husband, but really I think it is cute, if someone had changed her age to the correct one I would have never known about her age obsession  :)

Jenny
Clark, Sommerlad, Bowden, Barrett, Griffey, Sayers, Bridge, Walters, Pollard, Capel, Dibble, James, Lingard, Mensforth, Watts, Rutherford, Stainton, Chatterton, Tubbs, Thompson, Fulton, Booth, Sellwood, Edwards, Pitcher, Creech, Johns, Phillips, Roberts, Keast, Tregonning, Mason, Lancefield, Ibberson, Green, Case, Cook, Dunham, Porter, Pope, Hall, Welsh, Hellefield, Warburton, Fletcher, Foster, Stiles, Tait, Nicoll, Sutherland, McIntyre, Cole, Neal, Ladlow, Bellamy, Castleton, Barker, Yuill

Offline ericx

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Re: Done <--> Not Done
« Reply #3 on: Monday 24 October 05 11:42 BST (UK) »
Hi
I have been cross checking my transcription against the official version and have found a number of discrepancies between what I think it should be and how it appears on the original transcription. I think it should be consistent with the original. Perhaps someone could give some guidelines on this.
Regards Ericx
Eric Cross
Newton-le-Willows, England

Researching: Cross (Cambridge, Shoreditch, Manchester), Cheetham (Manchester), English (Cambridge, Shoreditch) Roberts (Radnorshire, Manchester), Pugh (Kington, Cardiff), Unwin (Nottingham, Manchester), Hoare (Ireland, Scotland, Manchester), Jackson (Manchester). Pigott (Ely), Zanetti (Dorset/Hamps.)

Offline Berlin-Bob

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Re: Done <--> Not Done
« Reply #4 on: Monday 24 October 05 12:05 BST (UK) »
In general, I would agree with JenClark on this.

One definite exception would be if it concerns your family and therefore you are absolutely certain.

Although, having said that, the thought occurs, that even in the own family some things are far from certain  ;D

Bob

Any UK Census Data included in this post is Crown Copyright (see: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk)

My research interests (and data found) can be seen on my website:   http://www.margulies-chronicles.com/

Offline Silverhawk

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Re: Done <--> Not Done
« Reply #5 on: Monday 24 October 05 13:04 BST (UK) »
In Mary's case, I have her birth certificate confirming "Arlecdon Hill" as her birthplace in 1876.  And I've compared the data from all available censuses to make sure I'm looking at the same family each time.  The 1901 census was actually the easiest as I had documents from that period (my great-grandparents marriage for example).
Ancestral names: Lewis, Watson, Hetherington, Barclay, Clark, Regan, Hunter, Murray, Robson, Todd, Carney, Comerford, Urwin, Rayson, White, Purves, Biggins, Wilson, Gibson, Graham, Curry, Kennedy, Greenlaw, Waldie, Armstrong, Hodgson, Harle, Wild, Monkhouse, Donald, Allen, Bowie, Cowe, Ogilvie, Barnes, Pattinson, Williamson, Hogg, Denholm, Kirkwood and Hewitt

Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline J.A.M.

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Re: Done <--> Not Done
« Reply #6 on: Monday 24 October 05 13:32 BST (UK) »
I have a birth cert. from GRO for a uncle stating he was born 27 Dec. 1890 in Ballymena yet the church records state he was born 20 Dec. 1890 in Ballymoney. What I have done in my records is to add a foot note showing the discrepancy. This is what should be done to census errors as well. I don't think we should change things around but let others know our thoughts & let them decide what is or isn't correct. Dealing with 100+ years old information can not be an exact science so leave the original in it's original state but add a foot note.
J.A.M.
Islandmagee, County Antrim, Ireland

Offline JenClark

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Re: Done <--> Not Done
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 25 October 05 07:38 BST (UK) »
I agree with J.A.M, if we had an option to add discrepancies in a notes section that would be great....probably more work for you though Berlin-Bob  ::)

That would solve the problem though...

Jenny
Clark, Sommerlad, Bowden, Barrett, Griffey, Sayers, Bridge, Walters, Pollard, Capel, Dibble, James, Lingard, Mensforth, Watts, Rutherford, Stainton, Chatterton, Tubbs, Thompson, Fulton, Booth, Sellwood, Edwards, Pitcher, Creech, Johns, Phillips, Roberts, Keast, Tregonning, Mason, Lancefield, Ibberson, Green, Case, Cook, Dunham, Porter, Pope, Hall, Welsh, Hellefield, Warburton, Fletcher, Foster, Stiles, Tait, Nicoll, Sutherland, McIntyre, Cole, Neal, Ladlow, Bellamy, Castleton, Barker, Yuill

Offline Claremcg

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Re: Should we correct transcription errors ??
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 27 October 05 21:29 BST (UK) »
Should we correct them?

Definitely NOT! 

I am a volunteer for the FreeBMD website and we are all strictly instructed to Type What You See, and NOT what you think you know. If you cannot read it, you leave a space.
The early Indexes are handwritten and very difficult to read in some cases.

The same should apply for the census.

I transcribed over 10,000 names for Trudy's Leftovers when she had it and in all cases I tried very hard to transcribe exactly what was written on the 1901 census, not what I thought was written or what I knew it should have been. The first page I ever did was appallingly badly written and should have put me off......!

If you change the entry in the transcription, it is not then a true copy of that page and its entries.

You may know your great granny was known as 'Peggy-Sue' or whatever, but if that is not what the enumerator wrote [say - Margaret Susan, or even, Margaret S], then you must not change it to what you know.

If the transcriber has genuinely mis-read the entry and you can prove this, then, yes, it should be changed to what the handwritten entry says.

If you apply the TWYS then you should not go far wrong.

Best wishes

Claremcg

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