Hello everyone. Thank you for being there.
1921 Census of England and Wales
The start of the year was very exciting, as I mentioned in last month's newsletter, with the arrival of the 1921 census for England and Wales. Regular readers will know that I spend most of the year in the USA, which meant that for me it was early evening when the census appeared. Within a couple of hours I'd downloaded two or three forms and put a web page up describing the census, what it looks like, and how to find information in it. That page is here: https://howesfamilies.com/histories/feature11.php.
There were numerous early reports of people finding really bad transcription errors. I know that FindMyPast has and is spending a good deal of time and effort putting these right. One thing that surprised me from the few forms I have was that all the ages were incorrect by two months! I hadn't known, until someone told me online, that the census had to be postponed because of a workers' strike, and the government did not want to reprint all of the forms. The actual census date was June 19, rather than April 24. That explains everything!
I learned a good deal about my own paternal family from the census. My great-grandfather had continued a family tradition and was running his own shoe factory. I had thought that my grandfather would have gone straight to work for him, but I saw from the census that he was working at an engineering firm learning to be an electrical engineer, a skill that would stand him in good stead when eventually he did go to work for his father. This struck a huge chord with me as my own father did something very similar before going to work for his father!
It costs a good deal of money to view any household in the census. Consequently,
- toward the bottom of the page there is some advice on how to avoid buying the wrong form, and more on how figure out the maximum without paying a penny!
- we will not be buying very many images at all before the whole census is absorbed into the regular subscription for FIndMyPast. At a rough estimate, it would cost about £20,000 to view all of the people with our study surname. So, we wait! There will be some times when viewing the census will be cheaper than buying a certificate and we will likely do it at that point. If YOU have paid to view a Howes/House/Howse/Hows family, please would you tell us what it said?
1950 US census
The process for release of the 1950 US census will be quite different than that used in England and Wales. As for the 1940 census, the images themselves will be released immediately together with some computer generated transcripts provided by Ancestry.com which has developed handwriting recognition software. Then, the public will be invited to improve on the computer's work. I remember ten years ago that everyone was shocked by how quickly the census was fully digitized. It looks as if that process will run even quicker this year. Let us see. If anyone reading this would like to learn more and perhaps even volunteer, take a look here: https://www.familysearch.org/en/newsroo ... n0iRG35I38 and here: https://www.familysearch.org/en/info/us ... 50-census/
We've been busy bees this month, adding almost 1,300 more people to finish the month a hair over 192,000 people in our database. We passed a significant milestone this month with now over 30,000 people named HOUSE in our file. There are nearly 43,000 HOWESes and nearly 8,000 HOWSEs, as you can see from this graphic: https://howesfamilies.com/surnames.php.
Next month, we will pass another significant milestone and as I look ahead I'm becoming increasingly confident that we will reach 200,000 people in the database by year's end . . . Watch this space . . . and help if you can! Got any newborns in your family who aren't in our file yet?
Searching the database
As our file gets bigger, in theory and practice, it gets more and more difficult to find the person you are looking for. Here are a few tips on how to get to the right person quickly:
- search for the spouse if you know the name because there are SO many Howeses.
- the given name field looks for all strings of characters in the name. So if someone has an unusual given name or paid of given names, use that. For example, my mother's name was Mollie Yensie. If you type 'lie yen' into the first name box and hit 'enter' my mother's record will appear as she is the only person with that string of characters in her name. Type 'mas ben' to bring up a list of Thomas Benjamins, a Thomas Benson and one or two others.
- use the advanced search to find more complex searches. From there you can use "Starts With" and 'How' allied with the other tips above if you aren't sure of the exact surname spelling. There are many people in our file who were referred to as Howse or House, for instance. So just use 'Starts with' and put 'ho' into the surname box.
- at the bottom of the Advanced Search screen is "Other Events". Use that to search for where someone lived, or their occupation. Enter 'butch' for butcher! It still works.
AND remember the golden rule of searching: start simple and narrow down, rather than miss someone because you were too specific.
Howes in the news
A long forgotten album sees the light of day forty years on thanks to a Canadian music researcher. Read about it here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british- ... -1.6305304 - thanks to Elaine Howes for finding that and bringing it to my attention.
Skyler Howes crashed out of the Dakar rally, one of the most gruelling sporting events anywhere in the world, after being among the leaders after the first third of the race: https://www.cyclenews.com/2022/01/artic ... y-results/
I want to draw your attention to three items this month:
- RootsTech continues to flesh out the free conference in early March with announcements of keynote speakers from all over the world, from a French baker to a Ghanaian world champion boxer. Do register in advance, so that you can receive updates about the conference, particularly the list of speakers and topics. See more at RootsTech.org.
- the folks at MyHeritage have devised a full course in genealogy and IT'S FREE! Do share this URL with anyone interested: https://blog.myheritage.com/2022/01/int ... e=hs_email
- the Guild of One-Name Studies has a series of webinars open to anyone around the world on a wide range of topics. You can find out more about their offerings here: https://one-name.org/guild-webinar-series/
Thank you for your continued support, folks.
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