This project aims to provide a "free-to-view" online searchable database of all the 19th century Worcestershire census returns. It is part of an initiative aimed at helping make high quality primary (or near-primary) records of relevance to UK genealogy conveniently and freely available online.
It is hoped to launch the project by transcribing the 1891 census returns for Kings Norton and then Dudley, using microfiche kindly loaned to the Project for this purpose by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). The Project makes use of specially developed software modules for data entry, checking, validation and database upload, under the global name of UK-CENS. The project was scheduled to start in January 2001.
Volunteers need a computer and access to a microfiche reader. Microfiche, software, instructions and lots of advice will be supplied by the organisers. There is also a dedicated mailing list to ask questions on and to receive advice about changes or upgrades to the software.
There are two phases. In the first, the volunteer transcribes a census piece using whatever method suits them best, then uploads it to the county coordinator. In the second phase the transcriptions will be checked against the microfiche using a separate piece of software. The software for both phases is designed to make the tasks as easy as possible. Currently, the Devon and Cornwall 1891 returns are being transcribed and checked and it is hoped that transcriptions will start uploading to the online database in less than 12 months.
Anyone who wishes to volunteer as a transcriber/checker, please contact the coordinator. This project is designed to help not just ourselves and others who are researching Worcestershire family history now, but to build a resource that will help future family historians. It is also designed to appeal to all online family historians. If you are online you can participate from wherever you are!