New Projects!

Today brings us 3 new projects, North Carolina, Native American Census, Selected Tribes, 1894-1913Newport Pagnell Vaccination Register 1909-1927 and U.S., Album of Criminals, 1906.  These projects are all smaller with only 1000 image sets between them.

The North Carolina, Native American Census, Selected Tribes, 1894-1913 collection contains census books enumerating Cherokee Indians residing in communities and counties within the Cherokee Indian Reservation, in western North Carolina.  These are handwritten records but the main difficulty will be deciphering the Indian names.

Newport Pagnell Vaccination Register 1909-1927 a vaccination register for those born in Newport Pagnell between 1909-1927 – exactly what the title implies.  We will be capturing parents names there will be some records where you will need to determine whether it is the mother or father’s name given.  The handwriting is generally legible and seems to be the same clerk throughout.

And the U.S., Album of Criminals, 1906 is an album published by the F.B.I. of criminals for the use of members of the National Bureau of Criminal Identification.  This project has the most Alias Name fields that you will likely ever encounter in a project.  You will need to read through the text to find the Alias names and Record date and place. My favorite part of the records are the pictures.

There is a lot of variety to choose from.  Happy keying!

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8 aliases! I first thought like that was overkill, then I started looking at the records and began wondering if it would be enough. These guys were seriously crooked!

Why can’t I see these new data sets?? I want to see those criminal files!!!!

I know! I thought the same thing when we were testing the project.

There were less than 500 image sets and they have all been checked out.

I sense that I am fighting a losing battle here, but I would like to reiterate what I have said on previous projects – keyers should not be asked to guess people’s gender when it is not stated on the image (or ascertainable from a word such as “wife”, “husband”, “him, “her”, etc.)

The instructions for the Newport Pagnell vaccinations state that “You can use the name of the parent and occupation as a guide. Women’s occupations are typically listed as housekeepers or domestic servants.”

You cannot always tell gender from someone’s name, and this is going to be cause errors and confusion. Some of the people included in this project will still be living and it could be particularly upsetting and offensive to them to see their father listed as their mother or vice versa. I am not only thinking of names such as Evelyn, Hilary, etc but you must realise that the UK’s population includes many people with origins in other countries, and some of these do not have a tradition of “girls’ names” and “boys’ names” (for instance, Sikhs.) There are names which are male in their countries of origin but have been turned into female names in the UK (and US), such as Nicola, Sasha, and so on. Since the dates on this project title go up to 1927 this should be an important consideration.

As for women’s occupations being housekeeper or domestic servant, this is a ridiculous statement to make, especially for a project that goes up to 1927. I have a birth certificate in my collection from 1911 where the mother is a “waterproof garment examiner”. A marriage from 1910 where the bride is a “shop assistant”. A marriage from 1918 where the bride is a “clerk (post office”. In this particular case her name is Marion so I can easily imagine a US-based keyer might believe this to be a man’s name and would key her as the father if she had an illegitimate child. I also have marriage certificates from 1844 and 1881 where the bride’s occupation is “weaver”.

As for the US Album of Criminals, there may well be confusing given names here too, and asking people to determine someone’s gender from an old photo is likely to produce some errors. I have certainly heard of female outlaws who dressed as men.

In general, this type of instruction is going to make it unnecessarily difficult for keyers and reviewers, especially if they don’t live in the country that the records are taken from.

Names I have come across recently which I would have inferred the wrong gender for if it had not been stated on the record – Eunice, Ruby, Opal, Emerald (yes, names of precious stones are particularly troublesome!), Florence (I never knew that this used to be a male name, common in Ireland, before it started to be used for girls in England.) There was a male Catherine in one of the US military projects, and there are some students in the Oxford Men project who have names that would normally be given to a girl, I can’t remember the exact names.

Please bear the above in mind when specifying gender fields and instructions for future projects.

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Just writing to update my e-mail for your records. I am enjoying keying the newspaper records for the Northeast.
Fran Pittman

Maybe for these small projects you should consider only releasing half initially & then 12 hours later releasing the rest so that the rest of us around the globe have a chance of grabbing a few if interested.

Out of curiousity, is the N.C. Native American Census the same project that was mentioned back in 2010 as being in testing and then supposedly got cancelled? (It has the same year coverage span, which got me wondering.)

Kerrie, You don’t have to be half way around the world to miss the new files. By the time I got home from work all were gone but a few Native American files. Maybe limiting everyone to 5 files for the first 24 hours would be good.

Yes Joel, that’s the one.

It got as far as 18%. And stalled out.

It’s finally seen the light of day. It looks like they threw out the old data, but did make some use of it to build the lists for given and Indian names.

This project is structured differently than the old one in terms of what has been keyed and not, which may explain why the old data wasn’t incorporated.

You can find the old version of the page by searching for “selected tribes”

Bit late to be commenting on this but I did not see any of these projects – being ahead of the USA I thought I would – nothing – not even in arbitration. I would have been interested in the Newport Pagnell ones…

This happened about a month ago too – when Ancestry first released the April ‘competition’ – I saw nothing for the first week…

Anyone else experiencing these problems?

We are currently working to resolve an issue that has caused the review image sets to not be listed in the keying tool.