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Updated 31 March, 2014

Useful Tips for Transcribing with FreeCEN

Trouble deciphering any words.

The rule is really if you cannot decipher a word within 30 seconds of looking at it make an educated guess as to what you think it says. 

Type it in and put an 'X' in the query column and in the notes column Y put a very brief note  if you think the Checker will need it.

Remember the rule for transcribing is always 'AS IS'

The Checker will then pick up the Query  "X" and have a look at it   and make a choice.


The FreeCEN Stages... that a single PIECE Number goes through

  1. We Transcribe into a CSV Spreadsheet.
  2. At any time during the Transcribing you can run the CSV through the CSVCHECK program or send it to your COORD to do it for you
  3. The CSVCHECK program will show any warnings and/or errors  based on what you typed in any particular column.
    This will help you with the Transcribing.
  4. When the transcribing is complete it is sent to the Coordinator who arranges for it to be Checked .
     (After converting the file to a FreeCEN Format)
  5. The Checker uses a FreeCEN program called WINCC. (Windows 7 Visual Checking)
  6. When the PIECE has all been checked the file is then sent to the Validator
    (This could be the  County Coordinator or nominated Helper)
  7. To Validate a PIECE we use a program called  VALDREV.
    Any Birth place typed in that does not match the correct County Chapman Code or is not spelt correctly brings up an ALERT in the VALDREV program and it will be checked again.
  8. When all is done the PIECE is Post Validated prior to it being Uploaded to the DATABASE.
    This is to check  that the file to be Uploaded to the ON-Line Database. has no corruptions etc.
    This process checks that the file looks OK and also removes any unnecessary comments from the Notes field.
    It also checked to see if files that were deleted actually were.

1891 CENSUS ONLY  Occupation Status Column R

1.    In the 1891 Census you also have to Transcribe  COLUMN R the Occupation Status if it has been enumerated.

2.    The Census form includes three columns 12. 13 & 14  relating to the persons occupation.

3.    You will see either a R E N or they might have entered a 'tick' an X or it will be empty.

4.    FreeCEN Transcribes this information into a single column.

5.    Please Do not make assumptions! 

6.    If these columns are all empty then please leave Column R empty.

7.    Enter either  a     R   E or N  as follows:-

a.    R       for "employeR"  If there is a 'X' in column 12

b.    E       for "employeE"   If there is a 'X' in column 13

c.    N       for "Not employer/employee" If there is a 'X' in column 14

d.    If a person is marked for both "employeR" and "employeE": please enter  R

Column Q

1.    Columns Q & R for the 1891 Census have to share the maximum number of
Characters allowed for the 2 columns. This is  a total of
30 and includes spaces.

2.    So if you have  entered something in Column R that will use 6 of the 30 Characters allowed when it is converted by the DATABASE.

3.    So in Column Q you will then only have 24 Characters left to use

a.      Examples : When  uploaded to the DATABASE they will look like this.

b.      The R you entered in Column R will get converted to (Em’er)   and  will look like this :  Farmer/publican(Em'er)

c.     The E you entered in Column R will look like this (Em’ee)    :  Errand Boy(Em'ee)

d.    The N you entered in Column N  will look like this (Notem)    Carter(Notem)


It has been found that where HOUSEHOLDS go over to the next page 
some transcribers'  are repeating the schedule number again.  
This is causing enormous problems for the Checker.
When  the Household goes over the page all you have to put is the 
NEW PAGE NUMBER  and maybe the Folio number if that has changed.
Only put a new Schedule number at the start of a new page if it is a



"Relationship to Head" - Standard Abbreviations

Relationship Use: Relationship Use: Relationship Use:
apprentice appren half-brother hlfbro Sister-in-law sislaw
assistant asstnt half-sister hlfsis son son
aunt aunt head head son-in-law sonlaw
boarder boardr husband husbnd step-brother stpbro
brother brothr inmate inmate step-daughter stpdau
brother-in-law brolaw lodger lodger stepfather stpdad
cousin cousin mistress mstres stepmother stpmum
daughter dau mother mother stepsister stpsis
dau-in-law daulaw mother-in-law ma-law stepson stpson
father father nephew nephew stranger strngr
father-in-law fa-law niece niece traveller trvelr
granddaughter grndau patient ptient uncle uncle
grandfather granpa prisoner prisnr visitor vistor
grandmother granma pupil/scholar pupil wife wife
grandson grnson relative reltiv wife's mother wif-ma
great aunt gtaunt servant servnt wife's dau wifdau
great uncle gtuncl sister sister wif'e son wifson
governess gvrnss nurse child nrs-ch  

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