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  • Ann Williams
    As FFHS contact I have been forwarded this plea for transcribers anywhere in the world, working on their own computers. It sounds as our transcriptions would
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 24, 2010
      As FFHS contact I have been forwarded this plea for transcribers anywhere in the world, working on their own computers.  It sounds as our transcriptions would raise funds for the AFHS as our transcriptions would be sold to Find My Past (to which local LDS branches have subscriptions).  If we have volunteers to do this, is it something that should be done under the auspices of the Projects Committee?  Or could the English/Welsh & Celtic SIGs co-ordinate things?  Comments please.

      "Oh Where, Oh where has my Ancestor gone?"

      A National Project to Help Trace Missing Ancestors

      We would like to invite family History Societies, in partnership with Find My Past.co.uk, to help with a very exciting transcription project. This involves simple indexing of information from a collection of UK Strays kindly donated to the Federation of Family History Societies by Dennis Pearce and many other enthusiastic collectors.

      So what is a Stray? This is a person who is described in a record as being from, or connected with, a place outside the area in which they normally lived or were born.

      Here are a few examples:

      A family may have emigrated and their burial recorded overseas on a headstone which states where they came from in the UK: there may be a newspaper obituary giving details of other members of their family left back home: a girl who went into service then married many miles away from her parish: a soldier serving in the West Indies or in India, or one killed in action: a family awaiting removal from one parish back to their original birth place: the baptism of a child belonging to a Militia man stationed far from home: seamen’s tickets: convictions and transportations: and many, many more interesting records covering all dates to the present century.

      Just imagine how it will feel to finally find that Great Uncle Charlie was buried in South Africa during the Boer War when the last record you could find was the 1881 census record!  How long were you looking for him?  How many blind alleys did you go up? This project could help solve such problems of disappearing ancestors for so many family historians, worldwide.

      To transcribe and index, the information will be placed online as excellent, clear images of each original card from the UK Strays collection. Using a specially adapted Transcription Tool provided by FindMyPast, volunteers can type up the entries online no matter where they live. Full instructions and help are on hand to give assistance whenever needed – no experience necessary.

      One previous volunteer, said, ‘I am in Somerset but all my family come from the North Yorkshire / Durham area and this is the kind of help I would have liked when I was researching. The work can be done by anyone with broadband living anywhere and I was so pleased to hear that volunteers in Australia, New Zealand, America and here ‘at home in the UK’ took up the challenge’.

      This is a fantastic opportunity to produce a good financial boost for your society and provide high quality work for any family historians searching for that elusive family or ancestor. We do hope to get a fantastic response from new members and those who have volunteered before. And yes, we do have fun!

      As this project is not place based, it offers an opportunity for name based family history societies to take participate and generate some income from their work.

      If your society would like to take part in this interesting and easy project and you can find volunteers who can give a few hours, days or even weeks to help - please contact projects@... by 30th December 2010 giving your society name, and coordinators name, email & telephone number (optional).

      The following societies have already registered an interest and I hope more will join them:

      Berkshire Family History Society

      Cleveland Family History Society

      Dorset Family History Society

      Somerset and Dorset Family History Society


      Ann-Marie Wilkinson

      FFHS Projects Officer

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