The fuss over the release of the 1911 census seems to have died away now, in fact things seem to have gone very quiet now over on the 1911 census website www.1911census.co.uk with no news updates since the 19th January 2009.
However, if one goes to the 1911 census blog http://blog.1911census.co.uk/ you will see that work is still continuing on getting the rest of the census online and steps are being taken to improve the transcription for those counties that are already there.
In particular a March 3rd post reports that amongst other things, “Transcription errors reported up to February have been checked and corrected where necessary”. It is good to know that they are listening to their users.
So what do I think of the 1911 census?
Well it is good to have it online, and I have spent several pounds downloading images for my ancestors. However, I am starting to get annoyed by people complaining about the price and the transcriptions.
Sure it would be nice if it was free, and we could see who was living in the same street as our ancestors without the costs associated (the reason: I can’t locate my 2x great grandmother’s house and would really like to see the names of the houses either side of hers), but I can wait until the price comes down and other providers get their turn at transcribing. Complaining to the rest of the community is not going to get you anywhere, complaining to the providers is probably not going to get you very far either, the bottom line is: if you don’t like it, don’t use <steps down from soapbox>.
I was quite amused with the great excitement that followed the news (a few years ago now) that one could request a look up in the 1911 census from the National Archives for the cost of £45. It would be hard to think of an example in my family tree where I could warrant spending that sort of cash, for information that would be available at a fraction of the cost just a few years later. Did these people really have nothing else left to do on their family trees? I am sure there were probably one or two good cases, that being said I don’t know how many people did take advantage of the service.
One of the greatest assets for any genealogist is patience.