SS - C E N S
Data Entry by Spreadsheet Method
Last revised 07 Feb 2002
© FreeCEN Project.


The Spreadsheet Method can be used with an appropriate computer system for transcription of any English Census conducted after 1841.

The Download contains:

  • A typical sample file, demonstrating the methods applied, and which may also be used for your own practice purposes.
  • The beginnings of a blank "Work Sheet" which should be opened using your Spreadsheet routine, to set up the standard format into which the transcription details will be entered.
  • A comprehensive Specification of the Standards to be used during Transcription. These standards should be maintained in order to avoid extra work for others after you, and to ensure that the resultant work can be incorporated into the FreeCEN project.


The general intention is to get each transcription done as quickly as possible based on the transcriber's best effort.

Following Spreadsheet preparation:

  1. the transcription will be electronically EXAMINED during conversion to the FreeCENS format. Any deviation from the required standards will need to be corrected at this stage.
  2. Each transcription subsequently goes through a detailed CHECKING process, comparing the work against the film or fiche;
  3. the checked file then enters a VALIDATION stage when outstanding queries can be resolved and (very importantly) birth place-names are rechecked.
  4. The final work is processed for display on the FreeCEN DataBase.
Thus the need for the transcriber to spend too much time on working out the sense of a word is reduced, although Transcribers do have option to go back over their work to correct known errors.

Please ...

... take time to familiarise yourself with the various guidance provided.
A display of "Frequently Asked Questions" is available for download and saving to disk
and a "HELPERS" support mailing list exists.
SSCENS Download

SSCENS Specifications
Documentation is included

Please note that by using SS-CENS
you acknowledge that fiche or film
sent to you on loan
must be returned on request
from your county organiser.

You will require one HD (1.44Meg) Floppy disk,
this can accept both the Download and the CENSFAQ files (if selected).

Download now

FAQ Sheet for using IN-CENS : Click here
Please download one file: CSVCHK.EXE (341Kb) or CSVCHK.ZIP (326Kb). Copy this file into a primary folder named C:\FCTOOLS\ (You may change the hard drive letter if you wish.)

Either RUN "CSVCHK.EXE" to expand the contents, Or UNZIP "CSVCHK.ZIP"
If necessary:RUN "CSVCHECK.EXE" to start the programme.

(Note the Option available to make a Desktop Icon for future use...)

The routine contains all necessary prompts and Help, which should be read carefully. Care should be taken that Spreadsheet files are named according to the FreeCEN standards, and saved as Comma Separated Variables (.CSV), in order to be acceptable for testing.

Self-expanding download CSVCHK.EXE

Zipped download CSVCHK.ZIP

After Download you can be off-line for subsequent operations. Simply copy the files from the Floppy Disk to a new Folder on your hard drive. Label the Floppy and keep it somewhere safe for possible future use. Select: Start / Run "SSCENS.EXE", the file is self-expanding. Start/Run "README.HTM" which will open your Browser (off-line) with further instructions.

Please mail any comments to the FREECEN HELPERS List.