FREEBMD-DISCUSS-L ArchivesArchiver > FREEBMD-DISCUSS > 2009-12 > 1259864656
From: Christopher Richards <>
Subject: Re: Transcription errors by typists
Date: Thu, 03 Dec 2009 18:24:16 +0000
I did try to find out if the original handwritten pages could be
accessed. This was when we could still look at the actual books. It
turned out they were in store somewhere in the country - and it sounded
as if it would be very difficult to get at them even then.
The only other possibility is that some of the books could have been
photographed before the typewritten versions were made - but I don't
know how we could find out if this is the case.
But I agree that the typists introduced yet another layer of mistakes in
Richard Clwyd Jones wrote:
> When transcribing if I come across an unusual surname with possibly
> some uncertain characters I usually flag it for checking later
> against the existing database.
> Two such surnames were ROSEBEAR and ROSEBEARE in the handwritten 1856
> Mar Deaths. In checking the database I found only THREE other
> ROSEBEARs. My suspicions aroused I went back to my scan and realised
> that the two surnames lay between ROSER and ROSEWALL suggesting that
> the surnames were in fact ROSEVEAR and ROSEVEARE (of which there are
> a considerable number in the database). I had mistaken the clerk's
> misshaped 'v' for a 'b'.
> I went back to two of the ROSEBEARs I'd found in the database (in
> 1864 Sep Births) and had a look at the scan (of a typewritten page).
> This is what the entries look like:
> ROSER Albert Maurice
> Mary Ann
> ROSEBEAR Amelia Jane
> Arthur Langdon
> ROSEVEAR John William
> William Albert
> I suspect that when the handwritten page was transcribed the typist
> had made the same mistake as I had and mistaken a misshaped 'v' for a
> The third ROSEBEAR in the database was in 1880 Mar Deaths ... George
> Edwin ROSEBEAR Age 0 Guisborough
> His birth was registered in 1880 Mar Births as George Edwin ROSEVEAR
> Guisborough. So it appears the same 'v/b' transcription error had
> occurred here in the Death index.
> I know the aim of FreeBMD is simply to transcribe the indexes as
> accurately as possible and not to correct any errors. Presumably
> nothing can be done about such errors apart from adding postems which
> doesn't really help anyone searching for mistranscribed ROSEVEARs.
> Dick Jones, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex UK
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