British, English or England?

The number two most popular question we get asked is, “When are we keying more British records?” Of course, being an American, I keep thinking, “We have British records available for keying. Why do they keep asking that question?”

You see, I was taught that British meant anyone from the island of Great Britain, which is clearly made up of England, Scotland and Wales. And, we have ALWAYS had records from Scotland available for keying.

I was quickly corrected when I was told what you really want is English records. Of course, that could lead into an eerily similar discussion about how records WRITTEN in English (which is a language, not a location) come from several countries and we have PLENTY of English records available and always have. (But that might be me just being cheeky!)

“ENGLAND! We want records from ENGLAND!” Oh, I get it. :-)

Well, let’s see how much you really want it!

We published the Tax & Rent Records, Perth, Scotland for keying over 21 months ago. It’s still only 50% complete. Now, I know it isn’t the easiest project. These records cover over a hundred years so the form types change. They are handwritten (which makes them a little bit challenging). And some of them are VERY old (I think the image set I did this week was from 1753). These little beauties are also fairly name dense (there were about 130 names in the image set I did).  But, once you read through the Project Page and the Discussion Tab and look over the examples to find the one that most closely matches what you’ve pulled up in your keying tool, it’s not too difficult. In fact, it took me half the time to key the second image than it did the first even though it had double the names on it. So, clearly, it got easier as I went along.

I tell you that because we have a few projects queued up for keying. As we’ve been scheduling out the rest of the summer, we’ve been trying to figure out what order to publish these projects in; how many, how quickly, what weeks, and all that. One of those projects is a collection of records from England.

I want to know if you as a community really, REALLY want more records from England or if it’s just a few squeaky wheels posting comments on the blog and message boards. So, how about we make this into something of a competition?

The Project of the Day this week is actually going to be a Project of Two Days. This Saturday and Sunday (June 23rd and 24th) let’s all key the Tax & Rent Records, Perth, Scotland.

So far this month, as a community, you have keyed and reviewed an average of 2630 records a day from this collection. Do you think you can do a collective 5000 records a day this weekend? I’m not so sure. That’s a pretty big stretch. Prove me wrong and I will take this England collection we have ready and publish it for keying THIS COMING Wednesday!

And, as an act of good faith, we’ve got some British records you’ve already keyed that have been released to search. (Remember active keyers – at least 900 records every 90 days – have access to the images as well whether you have an Ancestry subscription or not.) Enjoy searching that database… after the weekend. :-)

Until next time – Happy Keying!

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I hope you mean July 23rd & 24th!

Your on.. I might have to work for 21 hours over those two days.. i might have walked through my door only 30 mins ago from work but you shall have your keying done! who needs sleep :S grin!

Oh and British Isles AKA Great Britain = England, Ireland (as in Northern Ireland), Scotland and Wales.

oh and one other thing.. it might show that my last post was at 6:51 PM on the 22nd of July.. please bare in mind UK time. grin it was in fact about 1:30 AM on the 23rd already over here. 😛 which begs the question. Uk or US time?


Ancestry runs on Mountain Time.

Subtract 7 hours from London.

Yes, more English records please – do you only have one in the “few projects queued”?

I’d rather see some keying projects for records from New Jersey.

Definitely check the discussion tab, and especially the Sample Keyings section.

Right now most images are fitting the form in the last sample.,_Scotland#Sample_Keyings

Speaking of records keyed for England, what happened to the school registers we all keyed a while ago. I can not find them on the site. Anyone help out with this.


London schools are Still Listed as “in processing”

Re Deborah Paterson’s comment (3)

Christa is correct; Great Britain covers England, Scotland and Wales only. The full title is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Well the British Isles is a bit of a misnomer really. The English formed Acts of Union with Ireland Scotland and Wales and we’ve been trying to get out of them for a number of years now! However I understand why you don’t understand this preoccupation with English records – you must remember that UK keyers have keyed millions of records to support family historians and we feel we wouldn’t mind having a look at something that might be of value to us as well. One of the reasons the Perth records have taken so long is that they are quite difficult and lots of people are keying the exotic USMM projects that we won’t be able to look at on line – if you remember.

Lots more English records please, i havnt keyed since the last english records was done months ago, i dont want to do the scottish records, only English records, i go to family records when this site hasnt got any English records, they always have some, but i do prefer this keying tool.
O did i mention i would like English records :)

I have been working on the Perth tax records for some time (both keying and reviewing), so I hope you won’t regard me as a squeaky wheel! I think you’re missing the point, Christa. Perth is a very tiny part of Great Britain so its records will be relevant to only a small percentage of keyers who happen to have ancestors from that area. I loved keying the London Schools records because I have ancestors from London. The records helped me to understand more about how the school system worked and I even keyed in the school admission record for someone who is on my family tree. I have no Scottish ancestry or ancestry outside Britain so other records are far less interesting for me. I can’t summon up much enthusiasm for them. Many Americans, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders etc etc have British heritage so will also be personally interested in British records. I will key in whatever project seems to be the most relevant to my own research and I’m sure I’m not unique in that!

I think everyone keys what is most interesting or important to them. Being from Canada, I am working on the Rolls and Paylists for Voluntary Militia, both keying and reviewing. I personally would like to see more Canadian records. But there you have it. It’s hard to please all the people all the time!!

Yes I would love to have records from ENGLAND to key in. In English can mean anything written in English but English Records does really mean Records from England. Just the way we understand it really.

As researchers, you’ve all benefited form the work of people from other nationalities keying your records.

Only fair you should return the favor to others.

I have also slowed down my transcribing because the content of the data needs to be either interesting or personally relevant (possibly) to generate enthusiasm. Scotland may be part of Britain, in the same way as Canada is part of North America, and I believe you guys don’t always get along!! The point is well made that we all benefit from keying regardless of nationality.

Dear Friends,
I’ve been keying in the USNHMM records almost all in French so I’ve been out of the loop on this question. But keep those good projects coming!

Well I’ve been doing US naturalization and US postmaster…because I seem to do them well. But fair is fair, so I thought I would give these records a try…I do have Scottish heritage, after all :) I am finding them difficult for me. Perhaps it’s the handwriting, or just the unfamiliarity of these forms. But (at least for the weekend) I will hang in there and do as much as I can to help you all out!

Last time this topic came up and we were directed to the Scotland records, I thought right we are not going to see any more English records until we get these out of the way. So I was determined to stick at them. After reading and re-reading the instructions I started to tackle some of them. My rating plummeted, so I read and re-read instructions and tried again. I still haven’t recovered my rating and with no feedback on what I am doing wrong I am pulling my hair out over these records. More records from ENGLAND please!

Liz if unsure ASK questions on the forum. we wont bite. I to had similar issues when i first started with these. i had a long convo via mail to paulmd199
(sorry paul) and he cleared up a number of issues i was having or was unsure of.

Asking on the forum would work the same way and i for one am very happy to help out where i can.

@Liz, there a couple common pitfalls.

1) Missing records. Sometimes whole pages or sections.

2) Missing keying fields. There is a series where the first name is supposed to be dittoed. See the last Sample keying on the talk page.,_Scotland#Sample_Keyings

3) Inferring the parish when it’s not stated, or carrying it from one image to the next.

2 and 3 are not all that bad to review.

Hang in there.

Thank you Paul and Deborah for the encouragement. OK I’ll try again. This time I’ll ask lots of questions.

Have just downloaded an image from the Perth records and they are way different from the last ones I did. These ones are in an orderly fashion, the last lot were written all over the place with no columns.

cool that sounds better. Ask on forums. Paul will be bk this evening.. (think hes US time. grin.

Im about to go to bed.. its almost 1:30 AM here grin. any problems fill in what you can leave an ask on the forums and hang onto the sets till you get a reply. 😛

yikes, I tried one set of the Perth images and BOY, I was confused. But I’m going to read up on the project page and discussion board and hopefully I’ll figure it out!
– Matt (on his wife’s Ancestry account

I wonder if anybody else has ever noticed the scarcity of projects from Canada? I have been working on the only one available, and will likely continue to, but I really think with so very many from the US and England on tap, there could be just a slight bit more from Canada. We are no longer the colonies.

As a 6th generation Australian and only having family from the British Isles I agree we certainly need more records from England, Scotland and Ireland. Ancestry caters extremely well for the American indexers.

ok its the 25th! AKA MONDAY! how did we do! how did we do? :S

Being a 400 year American, I have always considered the English squeaky wheels but in the sense of being old fashioned.
Of my 5000 immigrant ancestors, about 3000 did come from the British Isles but most were fleeing persecution. The more I study it the more I despise the foundation of the British where they burned people at the stake for professing views different from the accepted.

lol and the foundation of the USA is so much better.. native indians.. Aus and NZ same thing.. Germans.. French.. need i go on.

My problem is that although we have been through all of that.. you would think that peeps might have learned some tolerance? History is a great teacher.. but Modern peeps seem to have forgotten that. :(

@deborah (#29)

Crista will post the numbers. But the project moved at least 17% over the weekend.

sounds promising! :)

Question is when? sigh.

Yes we want more ENGLISH records please

Good morning (here anyway), to you all! Yesterday was a state holiday (Pioneer Day) here in Utah so I wasn’t in to check the Perth numbers. But, I did that first thing this morning and can I just say…WOW!!!

You keyed and arbitrated a total of 45,372 records from the Perth collection over the weekend. Looks like A LOT of you want more English records.

True to promise we will be publishing the Dorset Crew Lists, 1863-1913 on Wednesday morning.

Thank you all for your enthusiasm! And…

Happy Keying!

Well done to all!

Thankyou to those who gave these records a second chance!


This is great news! I can’t wait to key the Dorset crew lists, but I think I shall have to wait till I get home from my holiday. I’ve keyed some crew lists for another organisation previously, and just wanted to say that even if you don’t have Dorset ancestors. you will find that it includes sailors from all over the place, not just Dorset.

Yay, you all! :)

I am sure what all us UK peeps want is the 1911 census records, when I have asked before who is keying this project nobody gives me an answer.
Give us all these records and we will have them keyed in no time.

Ancestrys own people are keying 1911 census, because then they can charge to view, they wont give us them because what we key is supposed to be free to view.

Having been born in ENGLAND, having never lived in another country (yes, Wales, Scotland and Ireland ARE other countries), having a family tree of pushing 11,000 names with only 1 in the direct line not from ENGLAND (she was Irish),is it any wonder that when this scheme first started in 2008, and there were no records for ENGLAND to transcribe, I soon got very bored and gave up. Thought I’d have another look, and things have improved….there is 1 English project, even better it’s in Dorset. OK I’ll jump in and do some. But everyone I know who was born in England of English parents considers themselves English not British, same goes for the Welsh,Irish and Scots

How about some records from Wales?!

Would love to see more records from all three, Scotland, Ireland and England I tried the International Subscription. figuring I would find records on my many ancestors from the Isles. Boy was I disappointed. After only four days of intensive, long hours of searching I canceled my International and went back to US only. I would love to see many, many more from all over the Isles. I’d also like to see more from some of the states here that are so hard to get records out of, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, etc. Marriage, birth and death records from those, would be greatly appreciated, please.

Just caught up with this on my return from holiday.

When did you say to US keyers you cant have any more until you finish a certain set? Never is probably the answer!

I dont want to key Perth, not because its Scottish, as I have many Scottish ancestors, but because Im not interested and I want choice. I have even started keying elsewhere because of lack of choice.

And to Bill 74310 you did make me laugh. Which perfect part of the world did your other 2000 ancestors come from?

Just checked, Perth seems to be finished now, so when are we going to get some more?

I have to say there actually seems to be very few sets the moment worldwide, is there a time when they start running out?

Jayne, We are prepping several collections from England right now. So, keep checking back. Thanks!

My mom and her brother were born in Wanatge, England. My Grandparents met at the Swan Hotel … downstrairs in Pub one night when her and her Mum were out enjoying just being out of the house. Then a handsome gentlemen walked into the Pub and my Grandmother says to he Mum “Now that is someone I would like yo marry”… and so, my Great Grandmother invited the men over for supper the next evening or an evening shortly after that. I was fortunate enough to visit Wanatge with my Grandmother Joyce Pettinggale. We stayed at the Swan Hotel. We walked around town … it was lovely!! We peeked into the church where her and my Grandfather walked down the aisle as quickly as they could to marry. Lawerence George my Grandfather was in the Royal Airforce at the time. They married opened up shop … a Candy Shop directly across the street from a Pub. They lived upstairs … and after they put their son Michael George to sleep at night … her and Grandad would sneak across the street at night for a glass of beer. They were so in love … and lived happily ever after! More to come …

If it is truly the case that Ancestry are going to charge extra to view the 1911 census I am not at all happy with this. I think I pay enough already and I have stuck with ancestry because they do not charge extra when they release new records. You could well lose me as a subscriber and I am sure I won’t be the only one by a long way.

Just a short note; Where would I look for people from Denmark.

Noticed name of Cowan My Aunt married a Cowan.