THE 1841 DEVON CENSUS PROJECT
The project is being jointly organised by Devon Family History Society and FreeCEN.
The two co-ordinators are Terry Leaman (DFHS) and Lesley Dawson (FreeCEN) - our contact e-mails are at the bottom of the page.
The completed transcriptions will be put into the FreeCen database for free access on the internet and also passed to the Devon Family History Society for use in whatever way the Society may wish
The intention is that we will be transcribing from CDs which are being loaned, free of charge, by the Devon Family History Society in conjunction with Archive CD Books- the quality of which are excellent. These CDs will be passed from the transcriber once he/she has finished to the checker and then to a validator. Unfortunately there is no fiche or film available to us for this project. It is our intention that helpers will be allowed to choose an area of interest to them, but this may not possible if it is being done already by someone else and we would encourage folk to help in any event on the basis that someone is helping you and you can help them!
STATUS OF PROJECT
The data must be done to the FreeCEN format, using the SSCENS software, this is spreadsheet based and will allow you to work with a split screen using the data from census CD and any spreadsheet programme that will accept .csv format,
SSCENS is supplied free, download from this site
You will need a blank floppy disk to download the software to.
Note: other useful and important downloads
the first three are .pdf files and require Acrobat reader, see below if you have not got this on your computer
Once you have downloaded the software to floppy and expanded 'Sscens.exe' to get the files which will be on the floppy also, make a new folder on your C:/UKCENSUS/SSCENS and copy all the files from the floppy to this folder.
You should open the 'Readme.htm' following the instructions
*Open up the 'Structur.htm' and we would suggest you print this and look at the Demo spread sheet you will have already opened and work along with this
*Open 'Field Descriptions' and again, we suggest you print this and keep along side you as you transcribe as it will 'keep you on the straight and narrow'!
* Transcription must be done "AS IS" even if you know the enumerator to be wrong - transcription means just that and not interpretation!!
The 1841 handwriting (or the amount of ink the enumerator used) can be variable - please don't worry unduly about reading the CD. Just make your best guess and move on - there are 2 more people who will be eyeballing the same data after you who might just be able to read it. Take heart in that the enumerator changes after so many pages and sometimes you do get used to a certain hand!
You will need Acrobat Reader software on your computer to enable you to read the census CD, and some of the files you should have downloaded from the list above, if you have not got it, download it for free from the Adobe web site.
The 1841 census differed from all later census in that it used the old "Hundred" divisions instead of the Registration districts which had been introduced nearly four years earlier. To to go to a map to give you an idea of the way the county was divided
There is a dedicated 'Helpers' list where you can post questions, address below, though in the first instance we would prefer that you contact either Terry or Lesley to help; we are here for you! Finally, we would just reinforce the point to READ the information supplied with the SSCENS package and usually there is an answer there in the Help file or the FAQ, or NQTM. We would ask that after you have completed 5 pages you send it to Lesley to check that everything is in the correct format so that the final data is not having to be re-jigged!
To contact Terry Leaman, just send an e-mail to:-
To contact Lesley Dawson, just send an e-mail to:-
WEB ADDRESSES ETC THAT YOU WILL FIND USEFUL
Devon Family History Society
FreeCEN Home page which shows all the different projects
FAQs which will probably answer any queries - please print, read and refer to!
CSVCHECK is available from
Archive CD Books website
Every helper should be subscribed to the FreeCEN 'HELPERS' list by sending an e-mail to:
with subscribe in the body of the e-mail
if you prefer digest mode
again with subscribe in the body of the e-mail.
There is also a help list especially for those working with the spreadsheet version of the software
(This list is not compulsory as it only deals with queries and no announcements are made on this list.)