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Archiver > FreeBMD-Admins > 2009-06 > 1246346305

From: david mayall <>
Subject: Re: Can anyone give me a reference to a potted history of the transcription of the uk gro bmd indexes?
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2009 08:18:25 +0100
References: <48EC467E466844B38C796567859F9D4A@notreordinateur>
In-Reply-To: <48EC467E466844B38C796567859F9D4A@notreordinateur>

2009/6/28 seingier.bouchicot <>

> Hello,
> Can anyone give me a reference to a potted history of the transcription of
> the uk gro bmd indexes, one which explains which organisations did what in
> the past and who's doing what today ?
> I've been a transcribing for freebmd for only a few months. Using my simple
> minded logic I'd assumed that freebmd was the only organisation undertaking
> such a vast task. Today I'm wondering if that assumption is true.
> In this space a few days ago there were comparisons of databases available
> in ancestry and in freebmd. In ancestry there is an access to a database of
> births 1837 to 1915 labelled as transcribed by freebmd. In ancestry there is
> a second database for births from 1916 onwards, for which there is no
> mention of freebmd and I find no mention of the origin. This second
> database seems to be in advance of what is available on
> freebmd which surprised me, hence the above question.
> Example : If you search for births of people called SWAIN mother FLOOD
> between 1916 and 1939, ancestry finds automatically 3 people (the correct
> number), while freebmd only finds two people. It doesn’t seem to be an error
> in freebmd, because one of the corresponding births in 1932 is not yet
> included in the freebmd transcribed index database, whereas it is indexed in
> ancestry.
> That made me wonder who did the transcription work for ancestry and hence
> my search for a history of the transcription process which I have not found
> using google.

Ancestry has a long standing agreement with FreeBMD that allows them to use
out transcriptions. provided they make no charge for them (although clearly
they use them as a "loss leader" to attract people to their service.

Recently, Ancestry took a decision, for their own business reasons, to have
1916-1983 transcribed by their own paid transcribers, and to offer those
transcriptions only as part of their paid service.

Clearly they believe that 1837-1915 is enough data to offer as a loss
leader, and equally clearly the fact that they can offer more complete
coverage of later records gives them (in the short term) a distinctive
product offering that they can sell, and which will presumably generate
revenue in excess of the money they paid for transcription. Our work to
transcribe later records continues apace, and in a relatively short time, we
too will haver those records transcribed.

It is my understanding that the transcription work on the 1916-1983 records
would have been carried out by one of a number of companies that Ancestry
regularly use in India.

Dave Mayall

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