1939 National Register


John James
 

Forgive me if this is the wrong place to ask, but ...

... why are images from the 1939 Register downloaded from Ancestry given a filename prefix of "tna_R39_..." when the Register is in the series "RG 101"?
For example, to find the TNA catalogue entry for St Just in Penwith, it's RG 101/6706 on TNA.
What am I missing here?
Thanks,
John


colevalleygirl@colevalleygirl.co.uk
 

You’re missing the fact that Ancestry (and most of the other information providers) aren’t very good at referencing documents correctly.

 

From: family-historian@groups.io <family-historian@groups.io> On Behalf Of John James
Sent: 14 January 2021 10:56
To: family-historian@groups.io
Subject: [family-historian] 1939 National Register

 

Forgive me if this is the wrong place to ask, but ...

... why are images from the 1939 Register downloaded from Ancestry given a filename prefix of "tna_R39_..." when the Register is in the series "RG 101"?
For example, to find the TNA catalogue entry for St Just in Penwith, it's RG 101/6706 on TNA.
What am I missing here?


John Liddle, Backwell, North Somerset - "Where the cider apples grow"
 

I think you're being a little unfair - most providers have their own internal file reference structure for the data they provide and the TNA referencing system may not play nicely with that.

The quoted "tna_R_39" structure presumably reflects Ancestry's internal file referencing.


David Dewick
 

FindMyPast gives an RG101 reference: e.g. RG101  6303C-020-18 RJIF, which is piece, page and line number. I tend to use FMP instead of Ancestry for searching the 1939 register because of this.

 

A note on the birth dates given, however, as they are frequently wrong. Always cross check with the online GRO index. I have had several instances where the year is incorrect, and one or two with completely wrong dates.

 

 

 

From: family-historian@groups.io [mailto:family-historian@groups.io] On Behalf Of John Liddle, Backwell, North Somerset - "Where the cider apples grow" via groups.io
Sent: 14 January 2021 11:34
To: family-historian@groups.io
Subject: Re: [family-historian] 1939 National Register

 

I think you're being a little unfair - most providers have their own internal file reference structure for the data they provide and the TNA referencing system may not play nicely with that.

The quoted "tna_R_39" structure presumably reflects Ancestry's internal file referencing.


Paul Tanner-Tremaine
 

Ancestry, and FindMyPast have licenses to index quite a lot of the information which is actually stored at The National Archives, and hence the tna part is part of their own citation. They have the same arrangement with Ships Passenger lists, etc, but Ancestry and FMP have indexed different record sets on passenger lists - one seems to have outgoing from UK and the other incoming to the UK.  Same goes for the London Metropolitan Library and the Westminster Archives, who have also give Ancestry, etc a licence to index their records.


Victor Markham
 

Ancestry list the register at the start as tna-r39.... more sense thn RG101


On 14/01/2021 11:41 am, David Dewick wrote:

FindMyPast gives an RG101 reference: e.g. RG101  6303C-020-18 RJIF, which is piece, page and line number. I tend to use FMP instead of Ancestry for searching the 1939 register because of this.

 

A note on the birth dates given, however, as they are frequently wrong. Always cross check with the online GRO index. I have had several instances where the year is incorrect, and one or two with completely wrong dates.

 

 

 

From: family-historian@groups.io [mailto:family-historian@groups.io] On Behalf Of John Liddle, Backwell, North Somerset - "Where the cider apples grow" via groups.io
Sent: 14 January 2021 11:34
To: family-historian@groups.io
Subject: Re: [family-historian] 1939 National Register

 

I think you're being a little unfair - most providers have their own internal file reference structure for the data they provide and the TNA referencing system may not play nicely with that.

The quoted "tna_R_39" structure presumably reflects Ancestry's internal file referencing.


Geoffrey Knott
 

I presume you are taking the reference from the URL strip at the top of the Ancestry screen. At the right side of the screen are several symbols including an arrow pointing left. If you click on that arrow a pane appears at the right of the screen, in which you can read the proper reference.

Geoff

On 14/01/2021 10:56, John James wrote:
Forgive me if this is the wrong place to ask, but ...

... why are images from the 1939 Register downloaded from Ancestry given a filename prefix of "tna_R39_..." when the Register is in the series "RG 101"?
For example, to find the TNA catalogue entry for St Just in Penwith, it's RG 101/6706 on TNA.
What am I missing here?
Thanks,
John


John James
 

Thanks all,

"You’re missing the fact that Ancestry (...) [isn't] very good at referencing documents correctly. " 

Missing the blindingly obvious, in other words :¬D

It wasn't the "tna_" part, but rather the ..."R39_..." I was querying.   I've not come across such a significantly incorrect reference on Ancestry before - perhaps I've just been very lucky.

Thanks again,

John


Lorna Craig
 

Although the image name (on both Ancestry and FindmyPast) starts with tna_R39, they both give the RG 101 reference below their transcription. 


John James
 

Geoffrey, no, I wasn't, I was looking at the file name given when downloading the image to my computer.  You're correct that the 'left arrow' menu gives "Reference: RG 101/6706H" , but I would still expect the file name to agree with that.

Victor:, I have to disagree ... "tna_rg101..." would be better, because that would be correct. "tna_R39..." is just plain wrong.

John


Adrian Bruce
 

On Thu, 14 Jan 2021 at 12:10, John James <gladtobegrey@gmail.com> wrote:
...
"tna_rg101..." would be better, because that would be correct. "tna_R39..." is just plain wrong.
...
Speaking with my (former) IT hat on... "tna_R39..." is not a TNA
reference, nor is it ever alleged to be that - it's the leading part
of the image filename.

There is absolutely no reason why the filename should contain the TNA
reference and it's not that difficult to come up with circumstances
where it might be sensible not to do so. Such as the fact that the UK
and Canadian archives both have RG series. Presumably there are higher
directory levels in Ancestry filenames that avoid any Transatlantic
clash - but there's no reason that there should be, in which case it'd
be CA_RG and UK_RG, say...

It just happens that for the censuses, it was easier to use the TNA
reference than think up a new code. Except...If you look at the 1911
image file names on Ancestry, the initial part of the filename does
indeed consist of the Class and Piece - albeit punctuated *totally*
incorrectly for a TNA reference. However, the rest of it, instead of
being a Schedule and / or Folio, is some sort of incremental number.
That must have everything to do with TNA not bothering to stamp a
folio number on the papers so leaving it to its contractors to make up
a useful identity.

Adrian


Lorna Craig
 

A Google search for TNA/R39 throws up an extract from a National Archives blog of 4 September 2015 called “The 1939 Register – when is a ‘census’ not a census?”

 

The extract is:

“The references beginning TNA/R39 are image references used by FindmyPast, which contain elements of the actual document reference.”

 

Unfortunately when I go to that blog I can’t find that line!  However it seems that it was FindmyPast who first used this image reference.  I think FMP have the transcription rights and Ancestry get their information from them.

 

Lorna

 

From: Lorna Craig via groups.io
Sent: 14 January 2021 12:02
To: family-historian@groups.io
Subject: Re: [family-historian] 1939 National Register

 

Although the image name (on both Ancestry and FindmyPast) starts with tna_R39, they both give the RG 101 reference below their transcription. 

 


Adrian Bruce
 

On Thu, 14 Jan 2021 at 12:47, Lorna Craig via groups.io
<l.m.craig=ntlworld.com@groups.io> wrote:
...
... I think FMP have the transcription rights and Ancestry get their information from them. ...
Bear in mind that TNA's 1939 Register is a digital only accession
(it's not the paper version which, I understand, still resides in
Southport though one wonders if anyone's tempted to recycle it...) So
far as I can see, FMP are TNA's contractor for the imaging, indexing,
redacting, unredacting, etc, so I *think* that Ancestry will have
obtained their (ready redacted) images from FMP. But I have a feeling
that Ancestry did their own indexing because I found something right
on Ancestry that was wrong on FMP. I think.

Adrian


buckleypaddy09@...
 

I have subscriptions to both FindMyPast and Ancestry, and can endorse Lorna's remark that FMP were the first to transcribe the 1939 Register.  I believe that Ancestry arranged with FMP to use the same database at TNA.
Paddy Buckley


John James
 

Adrian, et al,

Thanks for your further comments; I've learned something in the process.  In particular, I hadn't foreseen more than one countries' archives having the same references - my ancestors thus far have all been boringly UK based.

I knew FMP transcribed the Register first, but as I don't have subscriptions to both (other than occasional need, such as the Inbound vs Outbound Passenger Lists) I hadn't picked up the R39_ issue there.

This has borne out the value of having experienced family historians on the mailing list sharing their experiences of the various pitfalls out there for the unwary.

John


Adrian Bruce
 

On Thu, 14 Jan 2021 at 15:25, <buckleypaddy09@gmail.com> wrote:
... I believe that Ancestry arranged with FMP to use the same database at TNA.
...
Minor point of pedantry but one which might make it more
understandable. I don't believe that there **is** a database at TNA
containing the 1939. There might be a stack of DVDs, tapes, whatever,
containing a back-up version of the (unredacted?) data, but that'll be
unusable without the software. A database isn't just data - it's the
software to access it as well.

The TNA database will be, I believe, running on the FMP servers and
FMP will be administering it for TNA - e.g. unredacting on supply of
DC, etc. **If** I recall correctly, if you access the Register at Kew,
you do it via an interface that drills down into the FMP system -
that's what it looks like. More accurate systems information welcomed!

John - re "I hadn't foreseen more than one countries' archives having
the same references" - not just that, but they're (nearly) all called
"The National Archives"! :-)

Adrian


John Hanson
 

Paddy

Not so – Any contract to put items from the National Archives is via the National Archives itself

Ancestry get their images once a year from TNA

Regards
John Hanson - researching the Halstead/Holstead/Alstead names
Researcher, the Halsted Trust - https://www.halsted.org.uk
Research website - https://www.halstedresearch.org.uk

2021 Family History Conference - https://www.elizabethanancestors.org.uk

 

 

From: family-historian@groups.io <family-historian@groups.io> On Behalf Of buckleypaddy09@...
Sent: 14 January 2021 15:25
To: family-historian@groups.io
Subject: Re: [family-historian] 1939 National Register

 

I have subscriptions to both FindMyPast and Ancestry, and can endorse Lorna's remark that FMP were the first to transcribe the 1939 Register.  I believe that Ancestry arranged with FMP to use the same database at TNA.

Paddy Buckley


Sheena Harling
 

With reference to Adrian Bruce's post, I found a person I had searched long and weary for on FMP's version of the 1939 Register. When I searched again when Ancestry acquired it, this person came up with the right name and age. The latter was wrong on FMP so although the name was correct, she did not show up in searches. When I eventually found the person, and the correct page at Ancestry, it appeared that the information including the age, had been taken from the line above, which threw out all searches. Either the transcription or the indexing was done differently at Ancestry. Moral of this tale- search both!
--
Sheena


Adrian Bruce
 

The indexing was definitely done differently. So far as I know, Ancestry bought the redacted images and indexed those. Easy enough (?!)

When FMP did it, they were starting from the full pages and had to produce a complete index, I believe. While it might be thought inevitable that FMP's indexers would need to see the whole page, someone unfortunately had the bright idea of just showing them a column at a time, letting them index the columns and then spinning everything round inside the computer ( before presenting the lines to be redacted). 

The problem with indexing column at a time is that it's dreadfully easy to get punch drunk doing a whole column of similar data and missing something out or double entering. With the result that the transcript can show a line with part of its own data, followed by the data from the row above. 

Adrian


Lorna Craig
 

I think census enumerators sometimes made the same mistake when copying their own notes into a census form.  I remember seen images of a couple of census pages which only made sense if the occupation and place of birth were moved down one line for everyone in the bottom half of the page.

Lorna

On 15/01/2021 19:14, Adrian Bruce wrote:

....The problem with indexing column at a time is that it's dreadfully easy to get punch drunk doing a whole column of similar data and missing something out or double entering. With the result that the transcript can show a line with part of its own data, followed by the data from the row above.