FreeCEN The Transcription Software

The Software
Under the global name of UK-CENS , this specially-developed software includes:

You can also download GENIE and CSVCHECK from this page.

You can download the parms files you need from Parms

This software is usable for any census from 1841 onwards. Full documentation is included with each module, but a FAQ sheet is available here, which contains answers to many frequently asked questions. This FAQ is mainly intended for Transcribers, but it may also be of help to Checkers and Validators.

See under each Phase (below) for the download of the UK-CENS software module you need.

Checkers and Validators may also like to download GENIE: click here, and install by simply clicking on the file after it has been downloaded into the folder of your choice. Download size is 500kb and maximum installation size is 1.5MB. GENIE is automatically available with the transcription program (IN-CENS), so transcribers do not need to separately download this program.

Genie 3 can be downloaded from here,

In General
Have regular breaks - do not work more than 2 (or, perhaps, 3) hours at a stretch. This Project needs you, and you need yourself !

Inputers and Checkers must take care to backup the Census DataFiles on at least a daily basis (to floppy disk, CD, USB stick, memory card etc. or any external medium) as per instructions.
Phase 1: Transcribing
For further background and details in how the Transcription is performed click here.

Software download:

You have transcribed a Piece. To know what to do next click here.

Data Entry method - Spreadsheet

For various technical reasons, as well as popular request, a standardised approach is now available to enable volunteers to perform Data Entry using any spreadsheet system.
  • The integrity of the FREECEN concept is preserved since any such data entry will be subject to the usual CHEKCENS and VALCENS procedures.
    The Transcriber will complete the Data Entry and forward a file (of .csv type) for conversion into the FREECEN format, at which time it will also be tested for compliance with the necessary standards.

    Therefore, while more Transcriber discipline (to maintain standards) will be necessary using this method, it will satisfy those who prefer the "Spreadsheet methods" or whose computers do not successfully run the INCENS module.

    Download SSCENS specifications

    Spreadsheet tips can be found in PDF form here
    Further help pdf file are also available, Relationship to Head file here and Chapman county Codes are here

    CSVCHECK a utility for SSCENS users to check their own work can be downloaded here.

Phase 2: Checking
The checker main functions will be to:
  • Sight-check the file details against the microfiche, and correct where possible;
  • Re-sequence data as necessary;
  • Input any missing entries;
  • Clear as many queries as possible.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have started checking using CHEKCENS, you must complete the current piece using CHECKCENS. If you need a replacement for the CHEKCENS routine as you are part way through a piece, please request through the helpers mailing list.

Software download: WINCC : Transcription Checking

You have checked a Piece. To know what to do next click here.
Phase 3: Validation
The County Co-ordinator (or his appointed delegate) will clear queries passed back by checkers. The output file from this process will be passed to the Database Maintainer, and will be scanned for acceptability before formatting an upload file for the on-line database loading. The upload file will be in Comma-Separated-Values ascii file format.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have started validation using VALCENS you must complete the validation using VALCENS. If you need a replacement for the VALCENS routine as you are part way through a piece, please request through the helpers mailing list.

Software download: VALDREV : Validation
NOTE that because of the manner in which the program operates, it is of considerable advantage to use a PC with a minimum 400MHZ processor and recent hard-drive.


CENSDUPL is a "Post-Validation" Utility. This needs to be ran on all  file validated with an version of VALDREV earlier than 1.24

Software download: CENSDUPL : Post Validation

Page last updated 26 March 2008