Kent Online Parish Clerks
The idea of the Online Parish Clerks that is proposed by the Kent OPC project should in no way be confused with that of an official Parish Clerk, who is appointed by a County Council. The term OPC as used in the context of the Kent OPC project refers to individuals who hold genealogical-related materials such as, but not limited to, parish registers, land tax assessments, tax lists, voter's rolls, census and such like.
If you are merely interested in learning if there is an OPC for a particular parish please see the Parish List.
If you are having difficulty reaching a Kent OPC project clerk please write to me, Susan Young, County Administrator.
If you have any completed extracts, abstracts or transcripts that you would like to share through the Kent OPC project please contact me, as above noted, or contact the OPC for the parish, if there be one, for which you have transcripts. We would be grateful for your contribution and look forward to having you join our project as a casual contributor.
One can also become a casual contributor by volunteering to extract, abstract, collate or transcribe, from time to time, various record sources for any parish such as tax lists, voters' rolls, or even index a book. If you think that you would like to partake as a casual contributor please fill out and submit our on-line Volunteer Form.
The remainder of this web page is given over to addressing the duties and responsibilities involved in becoming a Kent Online Parish Clerk for one or more parishes in the Kent OPC project. After you have finished reading through the information, here, and you still wish to become a Kent Online Parish Clerk, please fill out and submit our on-line Volunteer Form. Without the information being completed on this form, we have no ability to properly formulate your parish page for your particular wants and needs. If you have difficulty submitting the form, please copy and paste the on-line form into an email, answer the questions on the email version and send it to me at administrator "at" kent-opc "dot" org.
As an OPC you will access, collect and collate records for your chosen parish or parishes as those records become available and as your time and resources permit. Records should cover as broad a spectrum as possible but remain specific to your OPC parish or parishes. For example, records can be parish registers, census returns, tax records, parish histories, newspapers both current and historical and postal directories. Suggested records for transcription, extraction, abstraction and indexing (hereinafter collectively referred to as "your work") are set out on the various parish pages posted on the www.kent-opc.org web site. See this page as an example of the records desired.
The records listed on the parish pages are of value to all genealogical researchers but I recognize that there are many other record groups and classes that are not yet added to the parish page lists. If you have a record source that is not listed amongst the records on the parish page please let me know and I can add it under the appropriate category before your work is received. It is envisioned that with diligent collection and collation of records across many classes and time periods an OPC could eventually assemble a record of every individual who lived in a parish from earliest times to approximately 1912.
As a parish OPC you will, as your time permits, transcribe, abstract, extract or index the material in your possession with a view to posting your work or a link to your work on the Kent OPC project web site.
If you wish, you may confine your activities to simply carrying out lookups in your work(s) and in your collection of records rather than posting your work on the internet.
You will be required to record the original source of any data from which you have produced a work. The source information should include the full title of the original source and its type e.g. book, microfilm, CD-Rom, et cetera; the name of its publisher, editor or compiler; the name and address of the publisher; the year of publication; any ISBN or ISSN; the location of the source including the full name of the library, archive or repository where it was consulted, the date it was consulted; the address of the institution and if applicable, the call number; and the general condition of the source. A source citation form is posted here in PDF format for your use in recording this data. An abbreviated source citation should be submitted with your work so that it may be included with your work on the Kent OPC web site. An example of an abbreviated source citation would be, in the case of a census: 18-- Enumerator's Returns for England and Wales, as found on LDS microfilm number 0542022.
You will be solely responsible for producing works that do not infringe the copyright of other agencies, institutions, organizations, commercial ventures or individuals. Under no circumstances must the rights of copyright owners be breached. If it is possible that your works may, in some way, infringe an existing copyright it is your sole responsibility to seek and obtain written copyright permission and any waivers of fees or royalties necessary from the proper copyright owner permitting not only the transcription of the source under copyright but also permitting the material to be displayed on the Kent OPC web site or used in a look-up service.
There is much information already available in the Public Domain, which can be extracted, abstracted, indexed and transcribed at will.
In general, there is no need to seek permission to transcribe, abstract, extract or index material held by the National Archives (England and Wales). But, please read their rules concerning copyright on their web site. As the census is a public record and held by the National Archives, the archive has been gracious in providing an open permission for those wishing to transcribe any of the dicennial census returns in their care. Consequently, the census of a particular parish is usually chosen by a new OPC as their first project for transcription.
A copy of any copyright permissions and/or waivers obtained by an OPC or casual contributor from a copyright owner, as contemplated here, shall be forwarded to me with your work. If it is clear that a copyright permission or waiver is required from a third party and no such permission or waiver accompanies your work, your work shall not be posted until I have received a copy from you of the requisite permission and/or waiver granted to you.
All copyrights attached to transcriptions, extracts, abstracts, indices, photographs and images that you produce and contribute to the Kent OPC project remain your sole intellectual property except as noted specifically under the section titled Transcriptions of Parish Registers, below. As such, you are free to continue to hold, enjoy, sell, transfer or otherwise deal or trade in your intellectual property as you deem fit. All potential or future sales, assignments, licensing or transfers of your ownership in the said copyright will need to include a continuation of the free non-exclusive license granted to the use of the said intellectual property, as contributed to the Kent OPC project, to the Kent OPC project in perpetuity.
At the time that you submit a work to me for posting to the Kent OPC web site you shall be deemed to have included with that same email a granting of your free and non-exclusive licence to the Kent OPC project for use and display of your work in perpetuity.
If you will be submitting photographs to me for posting on your parish page, please include a statement containing the photographer's name (which should be you) and the year in which the photograph was taken. I will then add a copyright disclaimer to the bottom or side of the photograph before it is uploaded to the Kent OPC web site. If the photograph depicts a place or feature within a particular parish, please include a short description of the photographed scene.
The various record offices holding Kent material will independently provide advice on copyright permissions and waivers on a case-by-case basis regarding transcription of the material they hold. Largest amongst the holdings of the county, ecclesiastical and borough record offices are the parish registers.
Unless you have in hand an existing transcript, extract, abstract or index of a parish, Bishop's or Archdeacon's register, then before you begin any transcription work in such a resource, please contact me. We currently have a working relationship with FamilySearch and with the Kent County Council Libraries to produce transcripts of certain parish registers. If your parish of interest is on our list of projected transcriptions we will make all arrangements necessary to attempt to obtain a digitized copy of the register for your use in your transcriptions. The copyright pertaining to or accruing to the transcriptions of these resources remains, at all times, with the Kent OPC project and with the participating entities. However, you will be cited as the individual transcriber on the applicable web page bearing the transcription.
In the event that you identify another resource at one of Kent's archive offices, such as Workhouse Admission records, and are able to secure the permission of the holding record office to transcribe and upload to the Kent OPC web site your transcription, then the copyright accruing to that transcription, at the pleasure of the record office, will remain with you.
If you wish to produce a work that is to be posted to the internet, then, ideally the work should cover one or more complete pages of a source rather than just be a name-specific index of that source. Similarly, by way of guidance, if you wish to produce a partial work from a record such as a parish register, then, in that case, the work should cover a specified period of time such as 25 or more consecutive years. In short supply is ready access to the parish registers that were maintained even during the time of the English Civil War and subsequent Interregnum, or the years 1642 through 1659. Works covering this period would be of enormous benefit to many researchers.
Parish Maps: I would like to be able to add an image of a true parish map (not to be confused with an ordnance survey map) to every Kent OPC parish as part of its standard stock and call upon all OPCs to attempt to locate a parish map that pertains to your chosen parish. A true parish map is a depiction of features within the parish boundaries and sets out the historic location of roads, churches, inns, farms, named fields, large houses and/or estates with their names, facilities within the parish such as public washrooms, jails, alms houses and any special features in the parish such as barrows or tumuli, streams and fords.
Transportation Survey Maps: I would also like to add various transportation maps drawn up at the time of a new cut through the parish for railway, road and canal constructions. These maps often lay out the position of homesteads with the names of occupiers that will be directly affected, or likely to be affected, by the construction of new engineering and infrastructure projects. As such, these maps can be used to pinpoint the location of an ancestor's home within the parish boundaries, add the names of neighbours and proximity to parish facilities, all of which information is very useful in building a picture of the social atmosphere in which an ancestor lived.
As your time and resources are valuable, it is requested that the commonly available records be approached last. For instance, the Kent Archaeological Society ("KAS") has performed a valuable service by transcribing and posting on their own web site the monumental inscriptions completed by Leland Duncan throughout Kent. Similarly, the KAS is making available the tithe apportionment maps with lists of householders and occupiers. Links to both of those resources have been added to each Kent OPC parish page as a matter of course. Accordingly, no further transcription of those particular sources is required.
Links to historic directories as posted on the historicaldirectories.org web site have also been added to each parish page. Again, the reworking of this source is discouraged except as noted below.
If you have a source that is not covered by these types of sources, such as monumental inscriptions or photographs of monuments located inside a crypt or church, or in a churchyard not found on KAS, then, in that instance, a work covering those inscriptions would be very valuable to our readers.
In respect of postal directories a work covering very specific groups of individuals over two or more directory years can be posted to the Kent OPC web site under "Occupations" in our "More Kent Data" section. In this regard, an enumeration of those involved in the beer and ale trades, doctors and midwives, as well as photographers operating throughout Kent and the years of their operation would be of great interest. Similarly, works enumerating the location of jails, hospitals, asylums, sanitariums and children's homes would also be of great benefit to our readers.
You are responsible for maintaining backup copies of all of your original electronic data and works and ensuring that your data and works are protected from loss, damage or corruption. This can be achieved by archiving your data and works at least one time per week to floppy disk, CD-Rom or DVD, emailing it to a third party for safe-keeping or uploading it to a private independent storage web space. These precautions are to reduce the chance of the loss of all of your dedicated hard work. The entire Kent OPC project web site is routinely backed up to CD-Rom. Both of our efforts in preserving the integrity of our work and data should lessen the risk of a catastrophic loss of data should the web site become destabilized at any time and for any reason.
When the data that you have accumulated is transcribed or otherwise turned into a work and is ready to be added to the OPC parish page, please do not convert your work to HTML code. HTML coding of all works will be completed by me so as to ensure its compatibility with the server on which the Kent OPC web site now resides. Simply submit your work to me as an attachment to an email or on CD-Rom or DVD by postal-directed mail as a text file, a MS Word file, a cvs file, or as an Excel spreadsheet.
Producing census transcriptions in Excel or cvs format is encouraged as that is the format used by the FreeCEN project. Although it is not mandatory, I would ask that every contributor of census transcriptions give some thought to also contributing their transcript to the FreeCEN project. If you do wish to contribute your census transcription to FreeCEN I would ask that you please print out and read each of these documents: Read Me, Introduction, Tips, Census Demo Spreadsheet and Blank Census Spreadsheet, the last two of which should be downloaded and saved to your computer.
Please submit photographs in their original size. Also, unless you are a professional or well-skilled amateur photographer, please do not attempt to resize or otherwise colour-correct or improve your photograph. Any correction work and resizing will be done by me with a professional imagining program to suit the purposes of the Kent OPC project and storage available on our web site. I can accept photographs in most native formats, including TIF, GIF, BMP, JPG and JPEG.
All Online Parish Clerks (hereinafter referred to as "OPC"s) are simply willing volunteers and as such are unpaid. Any expenses you incur that are related to your carrying out your post as a Kent Online Parish Clerk including the transcription of records for your parish or in receiving of and responding to email or postal-directed mail, or in the registration, setup and/or maintenance of an independent web site, email addresses, internet service, or web page(s) are strictly at your own cost. The Kent OPC project is in no manner responsible for any costs that you may incur in the commission of your duties as an OPC for this project irrespective of the number of parishes for which you volunteer and act as OPC.
You may seek out and appoint one or more individuals to assist you in your tasks as an OPC. You shall have full responsibility for co-ordinating all actions of your assistants, at all times. You will have to ensure that all transcripts, extracts and/or abstracts completed by your assistants are in the acceptable file formats for submission to the Kent OPC web site and are complete with all relevant source and copyright requirements. You will also be required to maintain seek out and maintain all requisite copyright permissions for the works completed by your assistants. Again, or course, your assistants are also unpaid volunteers and any expenses that they incur in the commission of their volunteer work is at their own expense unless you reach some agreement with them directly for compensation of out-of-pocket or other expenses.