More UK news!

Yesterday we launched another UK project for keying, Dorset, England, Vagrant Passes, 1739-1791.  This project, as do most of the others, fascinates me as I learn a little more about history.  I did a little research to find out more about vagrant passes and it was so interesting how the less fortunate were seen almost as criminals.  Since we are also keying the London, England, Poor Law Removal and Settlement Records, I wondered what the difference between a vagrant pass and a removal was.  Here is what I found. 

When a person was ordered to be removed the Parish that ordered the removal was responsible for the costs incurred while they travelled to their new destination, whereas when a person had a vagrant pass as they passed through a Parish they could ask for help from that Parish.  It is interesting to compare the laws of the past to the laws of today.

And we have also released two UK projects live to the site.  Yay!  Both Kent, England, Tyler Index to Wills, 1460-1882 and Kent, England, Tyler Index to Parish Registers, 1538-1874 are available for searching.  Thank you to everyone who contributed to these projects!  

We appreciate the efforts of each contributor – without you we wouldn’t have 80+ databases with freely searchable indexes and dozens more completed that will soon be available.  Give yourselves a pat on the back!  For a complete list of the databases keyed through the World Archives Project that are live on Ancestry visit the online dashboard.

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The historic details we can discover while keying old documents is fascinating. Please continue to post them.

For instance, while keying the Delaware Land Records, I ran across a deed record from 1862 in which a slaveowner freed his slave for which he held a deed.

Another interesting tidbit I discovered while keying US Postmaster Appointments: The appointment of US Postmasters continued unabated in Southern states during the period of the Civil War. One of the Maryland Postmasters I ran across was John Sarratt, son of Mary Sarratt, who was convicted of conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln and was the first woman executed by the Federal Government of the United States.

Keep the historic discoveries coming!

PS John Surratt was relieved of his duties as a postmaster because he was suspected of using his position as postmaster to spy for the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Hi Anna,

I think it´s interesting to find historic information along the way as well, but have to be honest that it´s of course most interesting for the region you are from.

That is why I take the time to ask here: can you tell a little bit about how you receive records? Is it via other organisations or do you go looking in cities/areas where users ask for?

I´ve seen a lot of UK records go online and I know that the weighing of UK and US is going on for a while, but I´m throwing in another bit: OTHER Europe (mainland) records except for UK – there are of course a lot from the World Memory Project (which is really interesting to key), but as you state here, I´m interested in older documents (“really historic ones”) as well – can you give any info as to how well your connections and/or plans are into that direction?

Thanks a lot,

It’s all very well producing new record sets to work on but what about ones which have finished arbitration but are not available to search. I refer specifically to two sets of London School admission registers which finished arbitration about December 2010, that is OVER ONE YEAR AGO.
When are they going to be made available to search as I keep looking in the card catalogue but still cannot find them.
As I spent a lot of time arbitrating them I rather disillusioned at the lack of progress and do not intend to give Ancestry any more of my valuable time until both of these record sets appear.

Viv, read last week’s comments, the last six, discussing a problem with record counts and problem resolution.

Thanks for replying, but I do not see anything in those comments relating to the London Schools projects which finished arbitration over a year ago.

We have a team that aquires content from all over the world. When we consider projects to be part of the World Archives Project there are many things to consider, one of which is the location where the records are from. We will see what can be done about adding more European collections.

You are right and we are working hard to get collections out after they have been completed in a more timely manner. In regard to the London School Admissions there were two separate projects that are coming together again – one was complete in 2010 but the other wasn’t complete until mid 2011. We have been actively working on this project in post-production.
You will see many new databases being added live to the site this year.

Thanks for the update Anna.

Thank you for the answer Anna!

Being fairly new to the World Archives Project I am looking forward and excited to new records for keying as well as seeing the first projects I worked on “disappear” from the keying list and maybe even go online by the end of the year.

[…] months and the only Poor Law Union we expect to see is Bethnal Green.  I am still fascinated by the laws surrounding removal and settlements and vagrant passes, we have similar laws today in the US surrounding the welfare system.  This is a relatively small […]