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Berkshire Family Historian
Main Page, September 2003 Contents

Berkshire Family Historian
September 2003

Berkshire 1851 Census on CD

The long awaited CD version of the Berkshire 1851 Census is now available from our Bookshop. This CD combines the MACH
(Mapping and Analysis of Census Households) format from Drake Software with the data transcribed from the 1851 Census. The data collection was done by a team of volunteers from BFHS lead by Geoff Mather, with contributions from the Oxfordshire FHS. This data was first published as printed indexes in 17 volumes. After some data cleansing to standardise place name spellings the transcribed data from the enumeration books together with the indexes was published on fiche — these are still available.

A Census Place Map

A Berkshire census place map
     - click image to see full size version
(38Kb) with true colours then use back button to return to this page.

Phil Wood from BFHS, and Hugh Ainsley of Drake Software, have spent many hours pufting the data into the MACH software. As a result every data entry has been allocated a mappable census place and where possible birth places have been allocated to map locations. However, this has not always been possible as the information given in the census is sometimes incomplete. The majority of these cases are where people gave their birth place as only part of the place name such as Kingston. There are two Kingston parishes in Berkshire — Kingston Bagpuize and Kingston Lisle as well as the hamlet of Kingstone Winslow. Thus the actual birth place cannot be determined.

The data has not been altered in any way to accommodate the mapping process and the enumeration book pages, householders schedules and maps can all be printed out for use in your family trees. The ability to use wild cards, extended and compound searches as well as a Soundex facility means that you should be able to find that long lost ancestor if he or she was in Berkshire on the night of 30th March 1851.
It is inevitable that in a project of this magnitude a few errors will have crept in and researchers should always check queries against the microfilms. BFHS would be glad to hear of any errors, so that changes can be made to future editions. It should be noted that the aim is to provide an accurate representation of the information available in the census enumerator’s notebooks - errors in these will not be corrected.

Opening Page of 1851 Census CD

Simple search - opening image

     - click image to see full size version
(50Kb) with true colours then use back button to return to this page.

Search facilities within the program are comprehensive — as are the ways you can choose to view this data: the maps are a fascinating viewpoint not available within other census search engines, but the traditional views are also available. The complete search can be printed or an individual selected and the enumeration of their household shown; it is also possible to view a census page and to then step through the pages of the book to see who the neighbours were and perhaps find further pointers to the location of the house (often very difficult to determine in a rural location).

NOTE: The 'as enumerated' and Gazeteer images given below do not appear in the original article. 

Sample Countrywide Birth Place Map from CD Sample 'as enumerated' page from CD Sample Gazeteer page from CD
A countrywide birth place map A Census Page 'as enumerated' Sample from Gazeteer
- click images for full size versions (about 35Kb) with true colours then use back button to return to this page.

The CD is available from BerksFHS Bookshop

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© Berkshire Family History Society 2003

created 9th December 2003
images updated 23rd December 2003