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1939 Register

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Re: 1939 Register

Postby Guy » Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:59 pm

Mick Loney wrote:Whatever one thinks about the rights and wrongs of the charging for this access, the quality of the transcriptions suck. How can they get it so wrong?
Out of all my close relatives I looked for, I only found 2! Where are all the others, most of whom died at least 15-20 years ago?


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You have answered your question yourself; they are still on the register but redacted and will therefore not show.

The problem being the terms of data protection do not allow any company to display any data that can identify living people.
FMP have been supplied with data (D notes on the register) that denotes some people who died between 1915 and 1991.
They are also allowed to open the records of people born before 1915 (100 years and 1 day).

That unfortunately leaves some records of people such as your close relatives who died within the last 15-20 years which still have to be redacted until FMP have proof of their death.

If you are a subscriber to FMP you can supply a scan of their death certificate to FMP and they will open the record.
If you are not a subscriber to FMP you will have to apply to the National Archive to open the record but they charge a £25 fee for opening the records (this fee like other fees charge by government departments is a fee set by statute calculated from the costs involved).
It has nothing to do with FMP.

Cheers
Guy
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Re: 1939 Register

Postby madducks » Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:46 am

One thing I would say is don't assume your relative will be open even if they died a while ago. I have emailed the death cert of my grandad who died in 1954...thankfully I know where he was living in 1939.
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Re: 1939 Register

Postby junkers » Fri Nov 13, 2015 6:44 pm

If you are interested The National Archives (TNA) are going to give an 'update' on the 1939 Register at their Users' Forum at Kew on Saturday 21 November, the Forum starts at 1230.

I do find it unhelpful to suggest that archivists don't want release information for genealogists, I would suggest it is the other way around. As I understand it under EU legislation you have to publicise contracts for work by Government and to suggest that only FMP or any other company were the only ones that could do the work is incorrect as Government should be assured that the company can do the work to the level required. Transcriptions should be better for the Register as there are a number of entries with a question mark but I find it rather odd that the entries cannot be deciphered.

On the issue of data protection what is the difference between the closed records of the Register and the catalogue records of the Durham Home Guard for the Second World War (a number re still closed), one has no open data and the other does, so one of them must be wrong. No-one could seriously content that The Queen's birthday is a candidate for redacting when the date is known by virtually everyone, but that is what has happened.
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Re: 1939 Register

Postby Guy » Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:48 pm

junkers wrote:I do find it unhelpful to suggest that archivists don't want release information for genealogists, I would suggest it is the other way around. As I understand it under EU legislation you have to publicise contracts for work by Government and to suggest that only FMP or any other company were the only ones that could do the work is incorrect as Government should be assured that the company can do the work to the level required. Transcriptions should be better for the Register as there are a number of entries with a question mark but I find it rather odd that the entries cannot be deciphered.


Junkers you must live in a different world than I do, I take it you never tried to access records in an archive in the 1970s or 1980 when archivists called family historians name collertors rather than serious historians.

I take it you never tried to access the 1911 census prior to 11th December 2006 when the National Archives were forced to release information on it to a family historian.
Or indeed never tried to access the 1939 National Register prior to 9th November 2009 when the NHSIC were forced to release information from it to a family historian.

You possible don't remember being able to walk into a Superintendent Registrar's office prior to 1974 and view the historic registers of Birth, Marriages and Deaths and take notes from them, something family historians had been allowed to do since 1837 but then stopped despite there being no change in the law.

I could carry on with many other examples but I think you get my drift.

junkers wrote:On the issue of data protection what is the difference between the closed records of the Register and the catalogue records of the Durham Home Guard for the Second World War (a number re still closed), one has no open data and the other does, so one of them must be wrong. No-one could seriously content that The Queen's birthday is a candidate for redacting when the date is known by virtually everyone, but that is what has happened.


Perhaps one data controller is obeying the law and the other is not.
The Data Protection Act is very clear on the subject.

Data Protection Act Section 1
"“personal data” means data which relate to a living individual who can be identified—
(a)
from those data, or
(b)
from those data and other information which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller, "

Schedule Part 1 2 states
"Personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes."

Under those two parts of the Act the Queen's birthday is personal data and as she is still living it is unlawful to release that information.
Whether everybody knows something is not a factor that is allowed to be taken into consideration.

Cheers
Guy
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Re: 1939 Register

Postby junkers » Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:07 pm

I did actually look for records in the 1970s and 1980s and you just had to wait for it to be released at the correct time, why should the 1911 Census be released before its time?, there was a clear confidentiality undertaken on the form. The record offices did have a different view to today, but there plenty of examples, the Royal Navy records of service lying out on the open shelves at TNA in the late 1970s/early 1980s, even though some people would have been still alive.

My comment about the Home Guard records versus the 1939 Register is that one of them must be wrong, you can't have a data protection policy that is applied separately. I do have sympathy with local Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages, if I was registering a death I wouldn't want the staff to be reduced because they were dealing with a family historian.
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Re: 1939 Register

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:56 pm

junkers wrote:.... My comment about the Home Guard records versus the 1939 Register is that one of them must be wrong, you can't have a data protection policy that is applied separately...

Not necessarily. There is no blanket prohibition on publishing personal data of living people. If there were, then phone directories and electoral registers would be illegal. Everything depends on the context and what the data is intended to be used for. In the case of phone directories and electoral registers, people have, explicitly or implicitly, signed up for the publication of that data. In other circumstances, where they haven't, then the same data could be forbidden from publication.

I am not certain what you feel the difference between the 1939 Register and the Home Guard records is - I think you consider the issue is that the TNA Catalogue shows a name and date-of-birth in clear in the index (redacting only if you try to access), whereas the 1939 Register would redact the same data in both index and full record. However, the 1939 Register shows whole families and it shows their (presumed) residences - this is a far greater coverage of information, hence, I suggest, the redaction.

You could argue that, following the Home Guard precedent, the index of the 1939 should not be redacted, only the image - I think the greater coverage, in particular in context of the family, explains why the redaction has to be total for the closed people.
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Re: 1939 Register

Postby Guy » Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:19 pm

junkers wrote:I did actually look for records in the 1970s and 1980s and you just had to wait for it to be released at the correct time, why should the 1911 Census be released before its time?, there was a clear confidentiality undertaken on the form. The record offices did have a different view to today, but there plenty of examples, the Royal Navy records of service lying out on the open shelves at TNA in the late 1970s/early 1980s, even though some people would have been still alive.


What records are you writing about census records could be accessed using a form from the GRO, There was even an information leaflet made available by the PRO telling one how to do this Records Information Leaflet No. 14 (Pro Finding Aids).
There were no qualms in releasing that information early and we were expected to pay high sums for the privilege.

Let's think about releasing census early for a moment yes the 1911 schedules carried the words “strictly confidential” but there was no time limit put on the confidentiality.
Only 6 out of the 15 pre 1910 census were closed for 100 years.
The data from 9 out of the 15 pre 1910 census were released after less than 90 years (Source Hansard 29 March 1940)

The 1841 census was released after 70 years and the 1851 census was released after 60 years.
The general public had never until 1981 imagined that census would be closed for 100 years until the schedules of the 1981 census claimed that time period. The registrar General later apologised to parliament for adding that unlawful statement to the schedule and admitted he had exceeded his authority by doing so.
In reality the general public thought about it at all they would remember that in their recent experience earlier census were released within the lifetime of the people it recorded.

junkers wrote:My comment about the Home Guard records versus the 1939 Register is that one of them must be wrong, you can't have a data protection policy that is applied separately. I do have sympathy with local Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages, if I was registering a death I wouldn't want the staff to be reduced because they were dealing with a family historian.


Why should staff be reduced?

There should be adequate staff to deal with more than one person at a time and one of the main reasons for setting up civil registers in the first place was for family history. I.E. to enable people to prove their pedigrees.
Why should one user take precedence over another, each should be dealt with in the order they arrive at the office.

Cheers
Guy
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Re: 1939 Register

Postby madducks » Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:33 pm

Slightly off topic but is there any way to get home guard records?
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Re: 1939 Register

Postby meekhcs » Sun Nov 15, 2015 11:18 am

The National Archives hold the Home Guard records for WW2. You can search and download the enrolment forms for a small fee.

Sally
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Re: 1939 Register

Postby AntonyM » Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:05 pm

Guy wrote:Why should staff be reduced?

There should be adequate staff to deal with more than one person at a time and one of the main reasons for setting up civil registers in the first place was for family history. I.E. to enable people to prove their pedigrees.
Why should one user take precedence over another, each should be dealt with in the order they arrive at the office.



Guy - you are right they shouldn't be reduced, but the sad reality is that there is no money to pay them. Registration services are now funded through County Council(or equivalent) budgets, which as we all know are being cut dramatically.

I have worked recently as a registrar and we barely had enough staff to cope with demand to register current BMDs. The provision of historical certificates is not something a registrar has any involvement with unless they are from recent, open, registers. It will be usually done as a sideline activity by the reception staff , who in my office did a great job under huge pressure and still managed to get most requests out within 24hrs, many on the same day.
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