Article:HolmeVillageHome How a reconstitution was done



The Aim

The aim was to collect all family history and Social History about my chosen village/parish, Holme nr Huddersfield in Yorkshire England. Then to explore the links between people, families, events, places, records, photographs etc etc.

Obviously a WIKI is a good platform to present this but not the quickest way to gather the information

Step one - Ancestry

People are the key pages in my reconstitution. My first task was TO ccount for every person entry in the 1841 to 1901 census for my chosen parish. They need to be in gedcom format and if one person is in more than one census, each entry should be linked to the appropriate person. Ancestry census database and member trees is a very good tool for doing this.

Wen I did my Parish, in late 2008, I had to print out the all the census pages for all the census and then add people to my tree, one by one (you can do it family by family using ancestry tools - speeds it up a bit) Since I did this, ancestry has come up with a three panel view of the census (shown below)

There is a panel to view the census page. Below that a table view of ancestriy's transcription (with facility for you to directly add alternate information into the ancestry database)You can copy and paste this information into a spreadsheet for your own reference.

On the right side is a window where you can see who has linked a particular person's record to a record in their ancestry database (This is the best way to find serious researchers in my opinion) In my example you can see I have linked to Holmewoods community (can be found here if you arent an ancestry subscriber - you may need to change for .com or -

In this I kept adding every person entry to my public ancestry tree.(Holmewoods community) Once you move from your first census (e.g from 1871 to 1881) you need to keep another window open to check you dont already have that actual person in the tree already - if this is the case you link a person or family to an existing person rather than a new person.

There is an alternate path here which is once you have a person or family in your tree, you can then use hints within your memeber tree to link to all the cansus appropriate for that person. Eventually You need to go through all the census for a particular parish to ensure each entry is linked to one person in your member tree. Logic dictates each record must be linked to just one person, if you are going through the census and see a record linked to two people in your member tree - this conflict must be resolved. It could be because you hve entered a person twice or two actual people could be a candidate.

At this point its useful to point out that by reconstituting an entire parish, ambiguities that for example a 'ordinary' tree might not detect, become apparent and need to be resolved.

Next there comes a process of reconciling unparried with married women. Through the process of filling out families (where did each person go - even after leaving the parish - you can uncover where young females got married. Normally a marriege search in BMD, ordering the MC is required. In this case it is not so neccesary because as you have an almost complete databse of the village, and local marriages are still very much the norm, you can resolve the marriages using three pieces of information:

   -Two Census for male before and after marriage
   - first census for female after marriage 
          -showing age of eldest child (marriage date) 
   -Last census for Female before Marriage (record showing maiden name)
   -first names e. g. Mary Hannah (should match) 
          -birth place should match
   - Marriage record - searched either from male name of female maiden name
   - other info - a relative of the female or a previous 'illigitimate' child will give extra reinforcememt to your cas

The approach will be to resolve the marriages from the male side first - most of the females in the parish ill be thus resolved. Its surprising how easy this is - even though the BMD district will be many times the size of your parish, the numbers of links which are totally ambiguous will be small. My village does have very common firt and surnames - in one case I had two mlaes with identical names and two females also. The marriage date of the two marriage cert candidates was just one year apart. Luckily the ages of eldest child were also one year apart meaning the males and female could be link ed with perhaps 80% certainty. In this case the MCs might be appropriate. if a note is added to the two families in werelate that should be enough

In the case of Holme natives marrying outsiders (known locally as 'comer-ins') I added as much census information as I could for that person, htheir immadiate parents and siblings. Worth noting is I also trace decendants where people have left Holme for other parishes - this is a potential source of collaborators in the future.

Link to ancestry example here - you may need to change for .com or -

Image if you dont have a subscription

Image:Ancestry census screenshot.jpg

Example of how a census page looks in my WeRelate tree

Step Two - Post Ancestry

Ancestry has a couple of shortcomings meaning the downloaded gedcom has to be worked on before uploading to somewhere like WeRelate

1. While the ability to link all members of a household in one go is good. Its not so easy to remove links or remove duplicate familes which appear every so often.

  Gedcom needs to be loaded into a desktop FH program where duplicates can easily be deleted I used FTM because you can still - at this stage - make links and import data from Ancestry - should something have been missed in the first step

2. The gedcom from ancestry links each census reference as a source three times - once for name, once for birth date and once for residence. When the gedcom is uploaded to WeRelate there are three times as many sources in there. leading to clutter. The Source references arent particularly attractive eiter - but the do have sources -and correct ones if you chose correctly in the first step.

  The excess could be eliminated here, otherwise, as I have found, duplicate source references within person entries need to be reduced when loooking at them in WeRelate

3. To date you cannot upload a FTM gedcom over the top of another one and maintain the 'links' to census records etc. I loaded mu edited one back up to Ancestry. You can see it here

The tree(s) remain on ancestry although I am not a vigilant about fixing up problems there. I do however, in my ancestry home page , get notifications every day about others making changes to people who match those in my tree. In a lot of cases the people are on the fringes of their tree. If they are more direct than that, or seem to be a good ancestry contributor (perticuarly photographs or scans of certificates) I get in touch and make them aware I have extra information in WeRelate

Step Three Upload to WeRelate

The Gedcom was uploaded to WeRelate in the usual manner.

As you might guess there are still errors which I am fixing as I see them