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FreeCEN Scotland

Putting 19th century Scottish census transcriptions online
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Checker Tips & FAQs

Tips and Hints for Checkers

The process of transcribing census records from film or CD to computer database has three steps to ensure accuracy. The transcriber does the first pass without spending too much time deciding precisely what is meant when they find a problem.

The checker then does a 100% check on all records. This check is to ensure that nothing has been missed, problems have been resolved, and the records are accurate.

Finally the validator looks at any differences of opinion between the transcriber and checker; and also removes any notes that have been put into the records by the transcriber for the checker but not required in the final file.

This set of notes is intended to provide some tips and notes for the checker, but does not replace the checking software help file, which provides the processes for correcting records.

  1. Do read the instructions that were given to the original enumerator. This will give an insight into what has been written in the records.
  2. Pay particular attention to the split of households. Read the Enumerator Instructions for the year you are working on. For 1841, look at where the / and the // are positioned and use intelligence to work out what is meant. For 1851, look at where the line under the family stops. It means that you may have to look at the complete page, or several pages, before you start. Many transcribers do not use this information correctly.
  3. Sometimes the address is complicated. If it can be put fully into the address field then do so, otherwise put part into the notes.
  4. The most important item to be checked is the surname as this is what future researchers will be using as their first way into the data. Sometimes two surnames are given for women. It almost certainly means that one surname is her maiden name and can be vital for future use. See Column I of the Transcriber FAQs for proper entry formatting of Maiden/Married names.
  5. Forenames must not be expanded. You may have to reset these back to ‘as is’.
  6. Do not assume that an enumerator has made a mistake if the age appears to be in the wrong column. Some transcribers make invalid decisions.
  7. Ensure that no records have been omitted, and that unoccupied property has been entered correctly.
  8. Check Page Numbers carefully.
  9. Use the GenUKI Gazetteer to confirm place names for addresses and birth. Remember that the spelling may not be the same and to enter the spelling as enumerated in the spreadsheet.
  10. Please ensure that the Chapman and Birth Place are filled out correctly. If only the county is stated, the CHP should be entered and a hyphen in the birth place. This also applies to entries where the county and parish born have the same name and only one is entered.
    EX: Only Aberdeen is enumerated. Enter the CHP and a hyphen.
  11. Watch for typo’s from the transcriber!!
  12. Ensure that the occupation is entered in full. If it won’t fit in the Occupation column, leave a note so part of it can be entered in the Notes column.
  13. Ensure that all unsolved queries are marked or noted so that the validation program will stop at them. The validation program only stops at Queries, Database Notes, Checker Notes and Unrecognized Birth Places.
    EX: Birth Place is entered as LAN, Glasgow. VALDREV will stop at this entry because the wrong county code is entered.

Checker FAQs

Q1 - I've got an entry to check where the transcriber has put an apostrophe in the sex column and this has disabled the dropdown options and I'm unable to change it.

A1 - Please leave a note for the validator. This is a bug in WINCC that will not allow you to change it.

Q2 - I've changed an Uninhabited building to a New Construction and now all the entries after it are greyed out. How do I fix this?

A2 - This is a bug in WINCC. Shut the program down and restart it. Everything should work now.

Q3 - How do I enter an institution number in WINCC? There isn’t any place to enter the # symbol.

A3 - Enter the ED number, or a zero if there isn’t a specific number, in the first box. Enter the special institution number in the second box. The program will pick up on the numbers and know it’s an institution.

Q4 - Do I enter an E Parish for 1841?

A4 - Only enter an E Parish (Ecclesiastic Parish) if there is a Quoad Sacra Parish listed.

For 1841, you may tab through the box without entering anything. The default, a hyphen, will automatically be entered after converting the file in post validation.

For all other years, if there is no Quoad Sacra parish, you will have to enter the hyphen.