Human transcription of family history data

FreeREG and FreeCEN are two projects run by Free UK Genealogy CIO (a Registered Charity in England and Wales). Free UK Genealogy provides free access to historical data of interest to family historians and others. Over twenty years, thousands of volunteers have so far transcribed over 400 million records. The databases, search engines and user interfaces have largely largely designed and maintained by volunteers, who have been supported by a number of contractors and, more recently, a small team of support staff. FreeREG uses mongodb, Ruby on Rails, and Refinery CMS. FreeCEN is transitioning from mysql to mongodb, from php to Ruby on Rails, and does not have a CMS in its old interface (

For FreeREG, we are planning to use the summer to finish work on Version 1.5 Coordinator Enhancement - these are features which allow our volunteer coordinators to support the transcribers in their teams, and to monitor and maintain the quality of the transcription work. We hope to have finished the tasks relating to the development of new communications systems (but there may be some bug fixing to do) and be working on improvements suggested by the coordinators.

For FreeCEN, we are also planning to use the summer to work on features for Coordinators - but this is at an earlier level. Using our learning from FreeREG, we need to enable Coordinators to move on from outdated (and unstable) software for quality control, and undertake this using online tools. We are also beginning to explore how to offer the same functionality as (lots of ways to search!) on - perhaps using AI.

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  • mongodb
  • ruby on rails
  • mysql
  • python
  • css/html


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Free UK Genealogy 2018 Projects

  • Sudaraka Jayathilaka
    Citation Generator for FreeREG and FreeCEN
    In family history, records are kept in numerous formats. When we are referring to family history data, we have to show how we got those data. For an...
  • Saumya Shah
    Proposal for Saumya Shah - Probate Parsing
    Free UK Genealogy will be launching a new project to expose genealogical information from wills and probate books. These books record the date and...