Friday, October 7, 2011

Graphing of Blake Marriages by registration district and by decade

I have now completed my initial arrangement of the Blake marriages from 1837 to 1951 for all the Registration Districts in England. Now I have to clean up the data as some of the entries in FreeBMD are double keyed and not all of them match. However I have organized a list of all the Registration Districts by County checking with the correct lists of Registration Districts for these counties. I have about 115 entries to check - mis-spelled mostly and also the differring names through the 110 year period. This will be the chart that I use for my graphing and I have columns designated for each decade from 1841 to 1941.

Eventually I will also do the births and deaths per registration district and tie them in with the census for each decade where available. Since the surnames of the spouse are listed after 1911 on both marriages and births I should be able to assemble the families even lacking the census from 1921 on. Although this is a large study and most often family trees are not created in large studies I do intend to attempt to create family trees and take them back into the early 1800s, 1700s and further back if possible.

Tomorrow is my talk on the Guild of One Name Studies. I have prepared 24 slides and have gone through a few renditions and finally settled on a set that capture the essence of the Guild and why one would take on a study. The benefits of being in the Guild I have kept towards the end. We are around 2400 members which is quite a large society but if you consider the number of surnames (we study 7900 surnames) then we are looking at only 7900/270,000 potential surnames in the UK or 3% of the surnames. Really a very small number.

I do get the occasional request for information on my Blake and Pincombe studies. For Pincombe I am often able to assist but I am still new to Blake unless you are descended from the Andover Hampshire Blake family. In which case I have quite a bit of information and a lot of it I am still transcribing. It actually depends on how closely related you are to me as to whether or not I can help you.

I am starting to think about how I will graph the resultant data once I have finished cleaning up the data. Thirty thousands data points is a lot of information. However, some of those datapoints are duplicated and I will see at the end what percentage are duplicated. After graphing all of the information than I will go back to linking the spouses with the Blake partner using the census and I am still contemplating the best coding to use to designate family lines. Not sure yet but there are a couple of ideas that I have had. I could construct a code out of the Registration District name plus the Volume and page number - that would make it easier to locate the marriage that I am referring to but wouldn't have a lot of significance as I move back prior to Civil Registration so I would need a second style of coding which probably makes sense as I move backwards in time the families will collapse and the resultant coding of RD, vol, pagenumber will sit under the marriage of their parents. It is a rather major project and I want to think about it slowly to make the most effective flatfile that I can also take into Access and build queries. But first I need to clean the data and that will take me a while to complete that process. There may be further alignment of the data once I bring the census into play but the graphing of the Registration Districts is to show trends and I can always correct any errors later as I have a file (separate from the original collection that I made) that will be solely used to create the graphing. The original file from FreeBMD remains intact with all the odd spellings and double entries in case I ever need to refer back to the file although I can also refer to it online.

I actually transcribed for Free BMD back when I was first into Genealogy in 2003 (for about four years) but finally I was so into transcription of CMB fiche that I finally gave it up. It is a good way to get started in transcription though. I used to do one page a day which was around 50 names.  I remain somewhat of a newbie to genealogy as I am just now into my eighth year of genealogy as compared to my husband who has been doing genealogy for over 40 years.

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