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Just enter the Head of the Household?

Discussion in 'How to save time when entering data' started by webwiz, May 2, 2013.

  1. webwiz

    webwiz LostCousins Star

    Why not just enter the head of each household? Any unknown cousin that you are trying to contact should either enter all the household including the head thus giving you a match, or if they are using this trick will also just enter the head. You get a match either way. The only risk I can see is that they might only enter one person (not the head) for some reason.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 3
  2. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    It will save some time, but not as much as might at first appear - entering the first person in a household takes far longer than entering other members because you're typically filling in 6 boxes (3 census references, surname, forename, age) whereas for other members of the household you're typically only completing 2 (forename, age). The average household has 4.3 members so entering everyone only doubles the number of boxes.

    The disadvantage of this approach, as you've pointed out, is that your cousin might enter a different member of the household. It's also possible that one of you might make a mistake.

    However, if your time is limited then it's certainly better to enter one person from each household than everyone from half as many households. But for the sake of an extra minute per household you could enter everyone, as I do.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. webwiz

    webwiz LostCousins Star

    Let me rephrase. Start off by entering just the head until you have entered every family that you know of (and intend to enter). This will capture most if not all of your matches. Later, at your leisure enter the rest. The overall time will be similar but you will start getting matches more quickly.
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  4. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    That's certainly a better way of expressing it. However, I suspect that for many people the overall time would not be similar, but almost double - because digging out the information out the information in the first place often takes more time than entering it. Also, when you come to enter the other family members you've either got to locate the relevant head of household on your My Ancestors page or type in the census references and surname again, either of which takes time.

    Once you've got the information in front of you it's possible to enter between 150-200 relatives in an hour (or more if you can type properly and not with two fingers like I do). For the average member with between 1000 and 2000 relatives on their tree (and therefore between 200 and 350 relatives on the the 1881 Census) imputing the whole lot in one go is only going to take an hour or two - so it hardly seems worth messing around.

    But for someone who is running a One-Name Study, or who has a much larger tree, the two-stage process might be worth considering.
     
  5. webwiz

    webwiz LostCousins Star

    Yes, but still there are a lot of members with few or no ancestors entered and anything which encourages them to get entering is surely worth considering.
     
  6. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, of course it's something for them to consider, but it's important that they have all the facts and figures in front of them when they make that decision. They can read this discussion and make up their own mind.
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  7. emjay

    emjay LostCousins Member

    If they are genuinely interested, surely it is not a chore to enter all these households...? There are only 3 census years (England) and ancestors will not figure in all of these.
     
  8. Liberty

    Liberty LostCousins Megastar

    I was bit startled to see this suggestion BUT I realise that I do something a bit similar FOR RELATIVES BY MARRIAGE [caps intentional]. That is, where I have located someone who will marry into my tree but hasn't done so yet (e.g they may only be 10 in 1881) I tend to enter the 'future relative' plus the head of the household. I feel I want to capture that individual, but it would be misleading to include all the siblings, whereas including the father as well will flag a match with someone who enters the whole household. So, I recognise Webwiz's argument, although it's not something I follow for those related by blood.
     
  9. emjay

    emjay LostCousins Member

    Liberty, I sometimes add as a note : e.g. future father in law as a note on My Ancestors page
     
  10. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    I have certainly gone forward from the 1911 census to capture "relatives" including mother and father in laws who will join the family at a latter date by tracing them back to 1881 and 1911. Like Emjay I use the notes section at LC to remind myself of my thinking and in some cases speculation. I am also planning I guess for the 1921 census to be available and will have a head start on who to look for! Certainly just prior to the 1914-18 war there seems to have been a flurry of marriages, and then again around 1919-1921 so it's worthwhile in my opinion.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  11. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    An important point that has just occurred to me is how we define "head of the household". Much of the time among my 19th century family women were heads of the family because their mariner ( and a couple of military) husbands were away. Overall by 1881 the male head on the 1841 census had often died and the 1881 male head had died by the time of the 1911 census. Listing the female partner has the advantage of also recording their maiden names a very useful LC feature. Admittedly for the 1841 census this is a bit tricky if the marriage happened before last quarter 1837 and the reason I consult a variety of sources for those unions.
     
  12. Liberty

    Liberty LostCousins Megastar

    I think this doesn't matter for (most of) our purposes. The phrase was used here because it was suggested that only one name per household be entered - presumably the one at the top of the list. I can't think of any occasion in which the definitionof the term matters - other than when some tiresome person asks to speak to the 'head of the household' (which I don't think they do nowadays). It evidently caused confusion regarding censuses, as you can see fishermen's wives (of which I also have a lot on my tree) considering their absent husband the Head, whereas the census takers wanted someone who was in the house on census night. But if you are going to enter all the family inthe household, it doesn't matter two hoots what their 'position' was.
     

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