A brief history, and
acknowledgments for FreeCEN
- The FreeCEN project was initiated in July, 1999. One of the main
Brian Randell (GenUKI,
Devon and Newcastle University), with considerable support from Bob
Muchamore (AUS), and later by Peter Cox (NZ; additional software).
- Agreement was reached with the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints (LDS) for the use of microform loaned to the Project, and where
Geoffrey Mawlam has provided invaluable help.
- The 1891 Devon transcription was instigated as the pilot project, followed
in mid-2000 by the 1891 Cornwall transcription.
By the end of 2000, four other counties had been initiated, and more ensued.
- In 2000, Brian Randell became Project Co-ordinator (Devon)
- Brian took over General Co-ordination of the Project in August, 2001
- Brian relinquished this role in October 2002
- On-line Database facilities were developed by Dave Mayall of the
core FreeUKGEN technical team, and the FreeCEN search engine was launched in
- Ongoing technical support and Enhancements to the online facilities are
being provided by Dave Mayall
- At present, the FreeCEN Executive Board membership is as follows:
- Brenda Bowers (Chairman, External Relations, Project Manager,
Software Support, List Admin and Web Pages) ,
- Rena Mitchell (Vice Chairman)
Apart from the above the rest of the support team comprises:-
- Dave Mayall (Trustee)
- Graham Hart (Trustee of FreeBMD and technical support and programmer).
- Ben Laurie (Trustee of FreeBMD and a programmer)
- Pat Reynolds (Executive Director)
- Rena Mitchell (Scotland Coordinator)
Brenda Bowers (Wales Coordinator)
- There are also many others too many to include
- Considerable aid to the Project has also been given by the late Roy
Conibear (CAN), the Coordinators and regional Coordinators listed in the main
Project page, and all the transcribers and checkers who have so
enthusiastically involved themselves at their expense and who are too numerous
to list here, but whose efforts are non-the-less substantial.
- Lastly (but not least!), many thanks to all of the core FreeUKGEN team
headed by Ben Laurie.
Passed away at his home in Ottawa, Canada on 25th Feb. 2001, aged 71.
With North Devon ancestry, Roy was a stalwart contributor to the Devon cause and
contributed much to the Roots web Devon list over several years.
He was also a right-hand man to Dennis Radford in the North American FreeCEN
(Devon) organisation and achieved many transcriptions on his own.
A knowledgeable gentleman, who has been sadly missed.
Bob Muchamore: Passed away suddenly at his home in South Australia on 5th Sep.
2004, aged 70.
Born in Taunton, Somerset in 1934, Bob was one of the pioneers of the FreeCEN
project, from the very earliest days, both as a stalwart of the Devon Project
and as king-pin of the overall project management.
Bob served on the FreeCEN Exec through some of its most difficult times, only
stepping down a mere 5 months before he died.
Throughout his time with the project, even after his "retirement", Bob was
utterly tireless in offering freely of his encyclopaedic knowledge of all things
FreeCEN to those in need of help. His contribution to the project cannot be
overstated, and he will be hugely missed.
Dave Newbury: Passed away after a long illness December 2010.
He was the Chairman of FreeCEN for the last few years and a pioneer of the
FreeREG Project. He will be sadly missed.
22 August 2016