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The Manchester Genealogist

Unfilmed 1851 census of Manchester, Salford And Districts
Report No. 5

Fifth progress report on the transcription work to retrieve entries from previously unfilmed census returns for Manchester and district.

The publication in September 1999 of the microfiche of the unfilmed census of Pendleton and Pendlebury marked the completion of the work initiated in 1990 when John A. Coupe, the Series Editor of the census surname indexes sought volunteers from London-based members to assist in this important task. The overall results of this project are shown below:

Retrieval Data Analysis

* provisional figures
UV checked in bold
at 17 December 1999

Sub-district reference Males Females Total Irish born 100% of entry retrieved All except town of birth Untraceable
2220 Chorlton upon Medlock * 24722 26591 51335 0 40000 1068 10267
2221 Hulme 9927 10871 20798 0 12428 1050 7320
2222 Pendleton and Pendlebury 7836 9050 16886 363 8192 613 8081
2223 Salford Greengate * 16725 17975 34700 0 27000 760 6940
2224 Salford Regent Road 5540 5557 11097 1557 9696 166 1235
2230 St George's 5658 6122 11780 4193 10363 70 1347
2232 Harpurhey, Blackley, Prestwich 4472 4515 8987 313 8091 135 761
2233 Ashton under Lyne 8933 9868 18801 1355 17981 111 709
2240 Oldham-below-Town 2744 2962 5706 90 4377 443 886
Grand total 86557 93511 180090 7871 138128 4416 37546
%age of total     100% [4%] 77% 2% 21%

Towards the end of the transcription work, the use of ultra-violet (UV) light to read the water-damaged originals proved of immense value in recovering unreadable entries. Consequently recovery rates were appreciably higher than with the old methods. Because of this, the need to recheck the filmed returns with many gaps in them was considered and it was decided to check the Ardwick township and Chorlton upon Medlock returns (Public Record Office (PRO) reference HO 107/2220). Those members who have searched through the microfilm of these returns will be aware of the frustration in trying peer through the water-damaged sections covering the bottom 15 lines of most pages.

The three volunteers at the PRO (Kath Arkwright, Jeanne Bryan and myself) have now completed the 16 Enumeration Districts (EDs) of Ardwick township and have passed 10 of them to Francis de Courcy who is busily inputting them for microfiche page make-up. The use of UV has proved very useful and the following recovery rates have been achieved:-

Summary of Ardwick Township returns (10 Enumeration Districts)

  Male Female Total 100% retrieved All except Town Untraceable
Total 4156 4853 9009 6178 269 2562
%age of total     100% 69% 3% 28%

The team are now working on the remaining 34 EDs for Chorlton upon Medlock and expect to complete these in 2001.

The successful use of UV light on the unfilmed returns towards the end of the project raised the question of those returns transcribed in the early stages of the project that were not checked using these techniques. The unfilmed (and now transcribed) returns for Ashton under Lyne were selected as a trial and have been rechecked using UV light. The increased number of recovered entries has highlighted the importance of using this equipment. Another 1,700 persons have now been made available to researchers, bringing the entries recaptured to 18,200 (96%). The microfiche covering the unfilmed returns will eventually be updated, but meanwhile those members who checked the unfilmed returns for Ashton under Lyne without finding their ancestors are invited to contact me to see whether the recheck has brought their missing entry to light. Please send a SAE if writing by post and quote the transcription page reference in all cases.

Other returns, including those for Oldham-below-town, Salford Greengate, Salford Regent Road and Hulme will be rechecked in the years ahead to maximise the information available from previously 'lost' returns.

Finally we are always seeking volunteers from the London area that can spare one day each week to assist in this important work. If you think that you may be able help, please contact me.

Ray Hulley (1923)
Project Coordinator
April 2000

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