* 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

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MichaelM
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1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by MichaelM » 06 Jan 2022 15:27

Has anyone worked out how to construct proper National Archive references based on the Findmypast images? For other censuses the information needed to construct the reference can be found on the transcription page, but for 1921 viewing the transcription means paying an additional fee, over and above the image fee. I don't want to pay two fees just to create a proper reference.

According to https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/hel ... us-records, a 1921 reference should look something like RG 15/26288 Sch 277, where RG15 is the census, 26288 is the enumeration district and 277 is the schedule number.

Downloaded Findmypast page images at first sight appear to be named according to that convention, but aren't. One of my downloaded images is named GBC_1921_RG15_11532_0115.jpg , but the schedule (in the box at the top right of the image) is 58, not 115. The cover sheet with the address on it is called by Findmypast GBC_1921_RG15_11532_0116.jpg.

I'm speculating the 115/116 figures are Findmypast's internal page number references (two pages per schedule), and that the proper National Archive reference in this case should be RG 15/11532 Sch 58.

Any thoughts please?
Michael

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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by AndrewEllis » 06 Jan 2022 15:38

Hi

Having downloaded some images and one transcription, I'd confirm that the schedule number is the number in the top right hand box of the image.
The Piece number is the second section of the file name.

I must admit to wanting to do the transcriptions myself, the one that I downloaded to check had a number of errors that are obvious to someone who knows a lot about the family, but would not be to a transcriber. As ever I've submitted corrections, but intend on just downloading the images from now

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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by RS3100 » 06 Jan 2022 15:51

Additionally if you click on the Extra Materials button when FMP is displaying the census page image, there are a number of linked documents available. The linked "Cover" image includes the Registration District, Sub District and Enumeration District numbers, and the household address is on the "Front" image of the census form. Both, plus any or all of the other linked images can be downloaded within the single image purchase cost for the census form.

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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by AdrianBruce » 06 Jan 2022 17:18

Philosophically, I do sometimes wonder what proper National Archive references means for digitally accessioned stuff? The OP's question is exactly the sort of thing I'd ask, by the way...

So far as I can see, the 1921 was physically accessioned by Kew (unlike the 1939 Register, I understand). But the only means of access is via the FMP system or its equivalent inside Kew, I believe. If that is so, what use is a Piece Number? You can't order the box by its Piece Number - but you can search FMP by the Piece Number (in the Advanced Search). And the TNA Reference ought to give us an unchanging reference agreed across the board.

But, this a more practical bit - I do not think that Piece Number and Schedule uniqely describe the household schedule.

The TNA Catalogue entry for RG15 makes it clear that the class and piece number was not the original referencing system. The Census Return volumes originally used a three-part reference:
  • Registration District Number - (number) (RD)
  • Registration Sub-District Number - (number) (RS)
  • Enumeration District Number - (number) (ED)
What's apparently happened is that some of the volumes have been packed together in one Piece. For instance, RG 15/16982 consists of records for Nantwich RD (part), Haslington RS (part), EDs 5, 6 and 7. So I wondered about that schedule number - is it applied to the trio of 5, 6 and 7 in a single sequence? Or does it reset to 1 for each ED?

If I try to search FMP for Piece 16982, Schedule 1, I get 22 lines of answers. Hovering over the icons (not buying anything!) I get info that says how many people there are in each household - and it looks like there are 3 households making up that 22 lines, all on schedule 1. In other words, I speculate that the schedule number resets within each ED and there may be multiple EDs in each piece, i.e. multiple schedules with the same number.
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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by Peter Collier » 06 Jan 2022 18:55

I've been pondering the same issue myself. I read somewhere (sorry, I can't recall where, it was a while ago) that theoretically at least all that is needed to cite the right record in the 1921 census should be the piece number and household schedule number, e.g. RG15/13888 Sch. 288. However, like Adrian, I'm finding that if I test FMP's advance search feature by using the Piece and Schedule numbers from the handful of records I've downloaded already, I'm getting mixed results. Sometimes the search results are all from the intended household, but sometimes more than one. So I'm not sure where that leaves us. The whole point of the citation is re-finding the information, so I would be hesistant to use any references that were developed by solely by FMP (URLs, file names, image numbers, etc.), as they might well change in time. Yet, on the otherhand, TNA's 'immutable" reference doesn't always seem to work in the only place (for now at least) that the records are accessible.

Initially, I would have said my citation would be something along the lines of:

Census Records. England. Kings Norton (RD). 19 June 1921. COLLIER, Esther Maria (Head). RG15/13888. Sch. 288. https://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 6 January 2022.

But given the mixed results I get searching by piece and schedule numbers, I might be tempted to replace them with the tri-level district numbers (i.e., in the case of the above example, RD 383. SD 3. ED 36.).
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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by AdrianBruce » 06 Jan 2022 20:21

Peter Collier wrote:
06 Jan 2022 18:55
... like Adrian, I'm finding that if I test FMP's advance search feature by using the Piece and Schedule numbers from the handful of records I've downloaded already, I'm getting mixed results. Sometimes the search results are all from the intended household, but sometimes more than one. So I'm not sure where that leaves us. ...
One of the URLs quoted earlier is https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/hel ... r-censuses and when referring to censuses 1851-1901, it says
Each piece contains several enumeration books with numbered pages. Later, folio numbers were stamped on the top right corner of every right-hand page, starting at the beginning of the piece and continuing through all the enumeration books
I believe that the bit starting at the beginning of the piece and continuing through all the enumeration books implies that the folio numbers are a single sequence within the Piece, just like I've always thought they were, so that Piece / folio gets us a unique single (two-sided) sheet of paper in that census.

For 1911 and 1921 it says:
For these census years the household schedules were kept, instead of being copied into enumeration books. Each piece represents an enumeration district (in 1921 some pieces cover two small enumeration districts), and instead of folio numbers, each household has a unique schedule number in the top right-hand corner, so that a reference will be in the format RG 14/26288 Sch 227
I don't have an issue with this description for 1911, though I've not dived down any rabbit holes / informational black-holes, to demonstrate the truth of it.

For 1921, note the bit in 1921 some pieces cover two small enumeration districts. Well, there's actually three EDs for RG 15/16982 (at least). But if more usual sizes of ED are such that we have just one per piece, then that explains why Peter finds that Sometimes the search results are all from the intended household - that's where there's only one ED (and one sequence of schedule numbers) per Piece.

In terms of the original question, what do we need to cite the right image? Part of me wants to say that Piece and Schedule Number, when attached to the name and street address will work. But that's more than is usual and is liable to mislead anyone expecting just Piece and Schedule Number to work. Logically, the minimum disruption to that expectation is to stick the ED in to middle to give the three-part Piece, Enumeration District, and Schedule Number. It's a bit of a mix (new TNA plus old GRO codes) but I'm somehow never very happy with using Registration District and Sub-District for censuses instead of Piece etc. (Your mileage may vary).
Adrian

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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by Peter Collier » 06 Jan 2022 20:52

Out of interest, I had a quck look at Stathclyde Uni's thoughts on referencing censuses as I think CP built some of their source templates around SU's notes on references in general. They (Strathclyde) really seem to want to throw the kitchen sink at it, suggesting it should include a note of the place (including Parish, RD, SD, and county) as well as a further note of the RD, series, piece, folio (not applicable to 1921, of course), schedule, ED, and page number (again, not applicable to 1921).

That really does strike me as excessive. By giving the RD in the place, and then with the other various district numbers, and then technically again by reporting the piece number as well, you are providing the same information 3 times!

Trying to include counties also throws up all sorts of tricky questions, like, which county: ancient, lieutenancy, or administrative? And if it's administrative, what about county boroughs and counties coprorate? Or, if you avoid that by plumping for the historic county instead, what do you do when the RD crosses historic county boundaries. Metropolitan areas - especially Birmingham and London, are a nightmare in that regard. Any references to counties are really best avoided if the original records are not organised that way.
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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by Mark1834 » 06 Jan 2022 21:25

My system for 1911 is to follow the following template:
Source title: Census, 1911: Town or Parish (Street address where available)
Publication Info: Piece number and Schedule
Image file title: Census - 1911 - Town or Parish (Piece number and Schedule)

I could include a lot more detail, but that framework meets my “necessary and sufficient” test to enable independent verification.

I’ve only got 3 images so far, but at the moment I’m leaning towards using the same system for 1921 with the addition of the street address in the image file name as it is no longer included in the household return.
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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by AdrianBruce » 06 Jan 2022 21:28

Peter Collier wrote:
06 Jan 2022 20:52
... They (Strathclyde) really seem to want to throw the kitchen sink at it, suggesting it should include a note of the place (including Parish, RD, SD, and county) as well as a further note of the RD, series, piece, folio (not applicable to 1921, of course), schedule, ED, and page number (again, not applicable to 1921).

That really does strike me as excessive. ...
Yes, I'd agree that's a bit OTT... That tends to be the case with a lot of referencing schemes, I feel, and the coding tends to get in the way of a description understandable by human beings...
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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by Gowermick » 07 Jan 2022 12:13

In reply to OP about FMP file names not containing the schedule number, this is no different from their 1911 file naming, where the file name does not contain the schedule number either. Don’t forget there are more than one image releted to a census return, and judging by your example, there are two per piece so filename 115 could refer to schedule 58 and 116 its accompanying page!

As for getting back to original image, if you save it with an appropriate filename, this shouldn’t be a problem.
In my case, for 1911 images I use format 1911 12345 SN890, where 12345 is piece number and 890 is schedule number. From what I understand, piece and schdule number combinations are unique to each sheet

For the FH source details, I include the rest of the bumpf used by TNA i.e RG14, Piece, RD, ED Schedule etc, but to be honest I think this is overkill, and I doubt I’ll ever use anything other that Piece and schedule number.

I think the full TNA reference is there so they can be used for different sort criteria or gathering statistics, and certainly over the top if being used solely to refer to a single piece of paper😀
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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by keith_r59 » 07 Jan 2022 16:56

For the handful of 1921 census records I have purchased if, in the FMP advanced search, I enter the Registration district number, Sub-district number, Enumeration district number and Schedule number it will correctly return a result list of all the members in the particular household referenced.

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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by satyricon » 07 Jan 2022 19:04

I prefer to use a reference number system that will lead me, and anyone using my data, to be able to check the source/image I have obtained. I have noticed that FMP and Ancestry can give different bits of information, or more precisely don't ask for the same information to be able to search. So I try to make sure that the reference will be unique, but also include any information needed for a search.

For 1921, I am using the same information as I did for 1911 documents: Class, Piece, RD, SD, ED and Schedule, eg:

Class: RG15 / Piece: 26505 / RD: 588 / SD: 4 / ED: 42 / Schd: 030
Class: RG15 / Piece: 26170 / RD: 585 / SD: 4 / ED: 13 / Schd: 062

This may be overkill, but I know that if ever I need to track down the image or the actual document, I will have enough of a reference to do it.

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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by AdrianBruce » 07 Jan 2022 21:17

satyricon wrote:
07 Jan 2022 19:04
... I have noticed that FMP and Ancestry can give different bits of information, or more precisely don't ask for the same information to be able to search. ...
That's the bit that worries me...
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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by satyricon » 07 Jan 2022 21:26

AdrianBruce wrote:
07 Jan 2022 21:17
That's the bit that worries me...
What I find most worrying is that a lot of the time, in the 1851 - 1901 censuses, Ancestry regularly get some of the information wrong, especially the Folio number. And I don't mean mis-transcriptions. As I'm sure you're aware, this is the stamped number in the top right-hand corner of each second image. Therefore you need a Folio number and a Page number to be unique. However, a lot of times the ink has bled through the page and the Folio number of the previous page can be seen in the top left corner. It is meaningless for reference, but a lot of times Ancestry have used it as the Folio number.

This means if I give the correct Folio/Page reference, people will not be able to find the document. Conversely, if I give the Ancestry-assigned, incorrect Folio/Page, they can find it on Ancestry but will be, in reality, wrong.

I wish these things didn't bother me so much and I got on with some actual research! :D
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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by AdrianBruce » 07 Jan 2022 21:35

satyricon wrote:
07 Jan 2022 21:26
... I wish these things didn't bother me so much and I got on with some actual research! :D
:D (Yeah, I recognise the problem!)
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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by jmurphy » 09 Jan 2022 00:02

Parking this here for reference:

https://twitter.com/packrat74/status/14 ... 1625844740

So how do we get the archive reference for the #1921Census if we don't buy the transcript?
David Underdown replied "reference is in the file name for most part. Schedule number should be written on front page" and then followed up with
Ah, List Cousins confirms, and reminds me that the piece reference is usually written on cover page for volume (also included in extra materials). Though as mentioned ONS sometimes made mistakes with that too! As I tweeted yesterday catalogue entries are in RG 15 in Discovery
That earlier thread on Twitter is here: https://twitter.com/DavidUnderdown9/sta ... 8562758658

Schedules in RG 15: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov. ... /C17480979
Plans of Division (for England and Wales) in RG 114: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov. ... /C17480316
Forms and instructions (free download) in RG 27/9: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov. ... r/C3716641


The link for the Lost Cousins 1921 Census special is http://familyhistory.news/1921special.htm

If you're on Twitter, I highly recommend following:

David Underdown, Senior Digital Archivist @UKNatArchives: https://twitter.com/DavidUnderdown9
Audrey Collins, Family History Specialist at TNA: https://twitter.com/AudreyCollins23
David Annal, Former Principal Family History Specialist at The National Archives: https://twitter.com/Dave_Lifelines

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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by Anthony » 09 Jan 2022 13:56

I hope this helps. If I want to go back on FMP to look for a census record I use the advanced search option which allows you to enter piece, folio and page number. If you add a surname it takes you to exactly the record you want not just to the households on that page.

I have looked at the advanced search for the 1921 census and you can enter piece, registration district, sub district and enumeration district number with a surname to get to the exact record.

So I reference my census images as follows 1921 Census RG 15 10727 RD 278 RS 2 ED 30 followed by the name of the head of household.. It works for me!

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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by MichaelM » 10 Jan 2022 17:19

Thanks all for the extremely educational replies to my original query.
Michael

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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by Jane » 11 Jan 2022 09:14

There are quite a few useful tips in the Lost Cousins newsletter this month for the 1921 Census.
https://www.lostcousins.com/newsletters ... 22news.htm
Jane
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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by nomadandy » 13 Jan 2022 04:19

Last Saturday on the National Archives event Census surgery: behind the 1921 census , Audrey Collins said TNA has not yet finalised the most accurate method of referencing specific household schedules. She said the full reference given on FMP transcriptions contains all the relevant information, but to get that data would mean paying for both the images and transcriptions, an issue they are aware of. Some of the Piece numbers - as others have pointed out - contain more than one Enumeration District, unlike the 1911 census.
I was left with the impression that TNA would be finalising the issue soon, as it is causing them problems too. Perhaps the TNA webpage for the records will be updated in due course, providing a definitive reference structure.
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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by fhtess65 » 14 Jan 2022 03:15

Better overkill, than not enough and you realize too late in the future you (or a descendant), can't find their way back. I've included as much information as I can glean in my Strathclyde style citation. Evidence Explained is even more stringent!

Teresa
satyricon wrote:
07 Jan 2022 19:04
I prefer to use a reference number system that will lead me, and anyone using my data, to be able to check the source/image I have obtained. I have noticed that FMP and Ancestry can give different bits of information, or more precisely don't ask for the same information to be able to search. So I try to make sure that the reference will be unique, but also include any information needed for a search.

For 1921, I am using the same information as I did for 1911 documents: Class, Piece, RD, SD, ED and Schedule, eg:

Class: RG15 / Piece: 26505 / RD: 588 / SD: 4 / ED: 42 / Schd: 030
Class: RG15 / Piece: 26170 / RD: 585 / SD: 4 / ED: 13 / Schd: 062

This may be overkill, but I know that if ever I need to track down the image or the actual document, I will have enough of a reference to do it.

Adrian
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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by AdrianBruce » 14 Jan 2022 11:51

By the way, although this thread refers to "1921 UK Census", it refers, fundamentally, to England & Wales. Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State (which would soon have nothing to do with the UK) followed later, at different times, and Scotland will be published separately by ScotlandsPeople.

The SP references have always been different - if you want to wind up a Scots genealogist, give them a census template with RG and Piece identities! Ironically, from vague memory, the SP referencing is actually closer to the original scheme used by the GRO (England & Wales) than it is to the TNA system that supplanted it. SP referencing in general, however, has changed over the years from the first codes used by ScottishOrigins, the precursor to SP.
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Re: 1921 UK census - how to reference a schedule from its Findmypast image?

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 14 Jan 2022 12:08

AdrianBruce wrote:
14 Jan 2022 11:51
By the way, although this thread refers to "1921 UK Census", it refers, fundamentally, to England & Wales. Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State (which would soon have nothing to do with the UK) followed later, at different times, and Scotland will be published separately by ScotlandsPeople.
England & Wales, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands to be pedantic.

Scotland's 1921 census took place at the same time as E&W etc. and (as Adrian noted) will be released by Scotland's people later this year.

There was no census in Ireland in 1921, because there was a war going on.

Both the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland took censuses in 1926, but the Northern Ireland schedules are believed to have been destroyed in World War II.

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