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Newsletter from Free UK Genealogy, an umbrella charity for FreeBMD, FreeREG and FreeCEN.

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Hello Subscriber, and Happy New Year! 


Yes, we know January's almost over, but this is our first newsletter of 2017!

(Please be aware that all links will open in a new window.)
 

FreeCEN logo

 

FreeCEN2: LAUNCH UPDATE


Unfortunately, our Ruby Developer who was working on getting FreeCEN2 ready to launch, has had to leave his post due to family reasons. We are re-recruiting (If you know of anyone who may be interested, please point them to our recruitment post), but this delay has affected the launch of the first release of FreeCEN2. We are still busy testing it, and making it available for researchers to use is a priority.


FreeCEN2 screen snip
 

FreeREG logo

 

Thanks to our growing number of volunteer transcribers and web developers, FreeREG has surpassed 35 Million records and introduced a Witness search function!

 

FreeREG Witness Search
 
"This is good...... the only way I could be sure I had the right marriage certificate for my great grandfather was through the witnesses. The register got not only his forename wrong but his wife's middle name too."
 
(Comment from a FreeUKGen Facebook user)
FreeBMD logo


Faulty and Missing Scans: New System

We now have a system in place to facilitate the re-scanning of faulty and missing pages of the original index to further improve the accuracy of our transcriptions. Some of the images that transcribers were working from were unreadable or missing; now, they can request clearer copies and fill in gaps where previously there had been no entry or uncertain characters. 
 
Advisory Board

We recently held the first meeting of the Free UK Genealogy Advisory Board. This is a group of people from a range of backgrounds who have the skills and experience to inform and advise our organisation and help us move forward with our existing projects, as well as those we have planned for the future. 
New Sources for Genealogists on FreeREG

For many counties, we have run out, or will soon run out of sources for our transcribers to work on.  We are working to gain access to these records, but you may be able to help identify new records that need indexing.  There are many images available which we could transcribe if we know about them, they are of use to you, and (most importantly) are Open.  

One collection we've been looking at is the Internet Archive - a non-profit library of millions of free books, websites, and more. One example is the document shown in the image below ( you can view the document by clicking on the image).

 
If you are a member of a church - or other religious body - which has records we could include in FreeREG, please email us using the link in the footer.

 
The parish register of Burnsall-in-Craven. Missing portions recovered from the transcripts at York; together with the more antient inscriptions on monuments in the Church and Churchyard. Entries of the marriages of Burnsall folk in other registers, and such as refer to them in Paver's Licences. Some notes of the rectors and other clergy who have ministered in the parish   edited by  William James Stavert.
 
Transcriptions that have been made Open, for anyone to access and use, can benefit researchers now, and into the future. You can read this article by one of our Trustees on why the information in these documents belongs to everyone. 

Accessible CAPTCHAs - UPDATE


We are very grateful to the people who took the time to email us suggesting Google's 'I am not a robot' CAPTCHA to help reduce the amount of spam we received via Free UK Genealogy's contact form.

 
No spam image


This uses clever technology to discern from the way you move your mouse cursor before you click in the box, if you are human (irregularly, jerkily) or maybe a robot (regularly, smoothly). If it gets this wrong though, which it often can on a mobile or tablet since there is no mouse, you are then presented with a set of unclear images and asked to select all images containing, for example, shop-fronts. Tricky even for the fully-able user; people with accessibility issues like poor sight would really struggle with this.

With a bit of lateral thinking, and tinkering with our code, Bev (Free UK Gen's website volunteer) came up with her own clever way of thwarting spammers. The website now blocks any form submissions that take a very short time to complete. So far it's worked really well; we are a spam-free zone! 
You can find previous issues of our newsletter on our website- 
http://www.freeukgenealogy.org.uk/about/pages/newsletter-archive  
Thank you for your ongoing support, from all of us at Free UK Genealogy!
 
Denise Colbert
Engagement Coordinator
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