ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2002-03 > 1017277640
From: "p-pgriffiths" <>
Subject: Re: 1901 - reply to Peter Whybrow
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 01:07:20 -0000
Good for you, Colleen
All power to your typing fingers. This kind of serious passion is all too
rare in the world of family history and genealogy. There's too much rolling
over and letting authority get away with things.
For instance, I was shocked to read in the April 'Family Tree Magazine'
yesterday that only one in five of the family history societies belonging to
the Federation bothered to comment on the government's discussion paper re
the proposals to deprive us of any BMD certificates less than 100 years old.
I hope that more are now writing about the White Paper. Only a deluge of
letters will stop that OTT legislation going through on the nod.
All the best,
----- Original Message -----
From: "Colleen" <>
Sent: Wednesday, March 27, 2002 8:53 PM
Subject: 1901 - reply to Peter Whybrow
> Peter, Re; your worry that we might infringe copyright if Ian & the Essex
> listers set up a site to share Essex 1901 census data, my view is as
> Q and the PRO have been in public and disgraceful breach of their
> with the fh community since January 2nd. Don't tell me there was no
> contract, I have proof of it in front of me, unused and unusable tokens to
> access this absurdly inaccessible census. That's just the first breach,
> second, and even more serious breach is as follows. The very limited
> I was able to obtain to this census confirms what many thousands of fh
> researchers across the globe have found - the PRO/Q census transcription
> a complete fraud - it's riddled with errors.
> Thanks to the government's cheapskate under funding, the PRO were forced
> take up the cheapest quote submitted, Q's. The PRO in turn forced Q to cut
> corners on transcription and on the software.
> ONE OF Q'S STAFF TOLD ME THAT THEY WARNED THE PRO THAT THE COST CRITERIA
> PRO/GOVERNMENT APPLIED WERE UNWORKABLE.
> Yet the PRO brushed the warning aside. Hence the initial use of the
> inexperienced transcribers of the prison service. Hence HM prisons'
> being so unacceptably inaccurate that Q were forced to search for the
> cheapest transcribers in the world in a desperate and doomed race against
> the clock to put these right. By this stage, Q and the PRO must have been
> so frantic that they would not meet their deadline that they grasped at
> straw to get out of the mess they were in. The use of the Sri Lankan
> student transcribers, who lacked both any prior experience of such
> transcription and even the smallest glimmer of knowledge or understanding
> Victorian/ Edwardian English place and surnames was an unacceptably
> incompetent act of desperation. In my experience, not only have the
> population, the Sri Lankans - and the expert supervisors Q claim to have
> used - not resolved the inaccuracies, they've probably compounded these.
> If not, why were the details of a large percentage of the ancestors I
> up on this online travesty so dreadfully inaccurate? For example, one gt
> grandfather, a clearly legible 'dustman, council' on the film of the
> original is indexed as an 'emul council' - perhaps they don't have council
> dustmen in Sri Lanka? Date after date, place after place, name after
> WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. I regard that as a very serious infringement - of my
> right to receive the high quality service I've paid for - of the British
> public's contract with the PRO for accurate data - of my ancestor's right
> have their details accurately and respectfully recorded.
> WHY DO YOU THINK THE THING HAS BEEN OFFLINE FOR SO LONG? BECAUSE THEY ARE
> DESPERATELY TRYING TO CORRECT MILLIONS OF ERRORS.
> The PRO's repeated attempts to deceive us with a farrago of doublespeak,
> misinformation, deliberate obscuration of the facts - in other words, down
> right LIES - is a little bit of an infringement too, don't you think?
> THIS DATA DOS NOT BELONG TO THE Q, THE PRO OR THE GOVERNMENT- records of
> lives of our lives our beloved ancestors belong to all of us. The PRO Has
> misused and abused it, we are taking it back. No copyright law on earth
> prevent the friends charity/self-help group on the Essex list helping each
> other by sharing data among ourselves.
> Lastly, copyright law can only be enforced through the courts. Do you
> think that Q and the PRO will want the dreadful, adverse publicity of even
> threatening us with court action over this? Why their own website claims
> census is freely available all over the country - and Tony Blair implores
> to do this with his digitisation for the people campaign. Be warned PRO,
> you cut up rough, we will shout the truth of this disgraceful fraud and
> cover up to every newspaper and TV reporter who'll give us space - and
> plenty will.
> I vote we carry on. Come on Peter, be with us, not against us. I notice
> that as quick as you are to be a harbinger of doom, you nevertheless are
> pretty quick too to set down your own criteria for how we should do it -
> clearly intend to use it regardless.
> Perhaps instead of being a Jerimiah (whose ancestor was he?)you would like
> to contribute some positive input -transcribe a parish? Best wishes,
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Peter Whybrow" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Wednesday, March 27, 2002 9:45 AM
> Subject: ESS 1901 census
> > Ian,
> > Gracious me - all this 1901 chat. On some lists discussion about it has
> > been banned!
> > Do I sense a problem concerning copyright? ERO lets you copy stuff for
> > own personal use. I guess PRO has the same constraint. Consequently, if
> > transcriptions become available to all on your site would this be a
> > of copyright? I would further guess that QtictocQ have this aspect
> > If no problem then -
> > guidance please about non-readable words/letters. Use of " ? " for the
> > letters that cannot be read or several for the letters in a word? Some
> > consistency would be helpful. Likewise, if a knowledgable guess is made
> > about a word should the " ? " come before or after the word?
> > Sorry to be boring about this but I use Paradox where such things if not
> > used carefully can really mess up a search.
> > Best,
> > Peter J Whybrow