Wednesday 18 March 2020
11.00 - 13.00
Building of Demographic Databases II
P.J. Veth, 1.01
Lisa Dillon, Bertrand Desjardins & Marilyn Amorevieta-Gentil & Alain Gagnon :
Recovering Marginalized Lives and Fragmented Itineraries: Advancing PRDH Quebec Family Reconstitution
Since 1966, the Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) has worked to create comprehensive genealogical data of the Quebec population based on historic parish registers. Inter-institutional and inter-sectoral collaboration via the 2012-2017 IMPQ project and the Institut Généalogique Drouin (IGD) permitted PRDH record linkers to extend family reconstitution of ... (Show more)
Since 1966, the Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) has worked to create comprehensive genealogical data of the Quebec population based on historic parish registers. Inter-institutional and inter-sectoral collaboration via the 2012-2017 IMPQ project and the Institut Généalogique Drouin (IGD) permitted PRDH record linkers to extend family reconstitution of the Quebec French Catholic population up to 1849. Pushing this family reconstitution forward to the mid nineteenth century has forced the PRDH team to reckon with the increasingly mixed and geographically mobile Quebec population of the nineteenth century. Beginning in 1825, the automatic record linkage procedures which hitherto allowed the PRDH to link at least 85% of baptisms, marriage and burials to family files, produced an increasing proportion of unresolved cases. Baptisms, marriages and burials of in-migrating Irish Catholics began to appear in the corpus, inflating the number of acts which could not be easily linked to a parental union. An increasing number of Protestant couples baptized and buried their children via a Catholic priest, when a Protestant church was unavailable. A rise in the number of first names used and increasing inattention to first names by priests recording infant deaths decreased the number of automatic linkages. Finally, Quebec’s Catholic population began to inter-marry with the British Protestant population; these inter-marriages also produced baptisms and child burials not readily linked to a parental union. Via a series of collaborations, the PRDH is now seeking to redress these gaps in its family reconstitution. Access to a set of Protestant parish records from the IGD is allowing the PRDH to connect Catholic baptisms and burials to mixed Catholic-Protestant couples. Simultaneously, the PRDH has received from genealogist and author Marcel Fournier a collection of Protestant-Catholic marriages conducted in Quebec from 1760 to 1780. PRDH historical demography graduate students are refining the data by contributing other specialized collections and variables, notably observations of African-origin and indigenous persons drawn from Marcel Trudel’s dictionary of slaves in New France, and new variables identifying midwives, causes of death (when available) and Quebec men who served in the War of 1812. Another family reconstitution challenge concerns the rising number of Quebec families with gaps between child births; these gaps often reflect migrations back and forth across the Ontario and U.S. border. Once again, access to IGD records has enabled the PRDH to begin integrating cross-border acts into the family reconstitution. Finally, a renewed collaboration with FamilySearch provided the opportunity to integrate census observations into the longitudinal data, beginning with the 1831, 1852 and 1881 censuses and eventually incorporating the 1825, 1844 and 1861 censuses. Rather than push record linkage forward in time by multiple decades, an approach which would risk high and compounded false linkage rates, the PRDH strategy is to expand across space, across cultural groups and across primary sources. Our proposed paper will address these various initiatives and the way they facilitate greater attention to marginalized persons and fragmented life course itineraries, and more complete family reconstitution, thereby ensuring better and more representative demographic statistics. (Show less)
Daniela Marza, Ioan Bolovan :
Historical Population Database of Transylvania (HPDT) - a Valuable Tool for Family Reconstitution in Transylvania, 1850-1914
Family reconstitution is the process of reconstructing historical data on family membership, the relationships among family members, and family change over time from often incomplete registers of vital events and similar sources. The techniques of family reconstitution are an important part of the tool kit of historical demographers (Encyclopedia of ... (Show more)
Family reconstitution is the process of reconstructing historical data on family membership, the relationships among family members, and family change over time from often incomplete registers of vital events and similar sources. The techniques of family reconstitution are an important part of the tool kit of historical demographers (Encyclopedia of Population, The Gale Group, 2003).
This study aims to show the usefulness of HPDT for family restitution. Out of the localities included in the database, Ocna Mure? was selected, due to its more numerous and diverse population.
Ocna Mure? was a small industrial town in Transylvania. Among its enterprises were a salt mine and a soda factory. It was also a popular spa during that period, as it was well-linked from an infrastructural viewpoint (a railway line was constructed in 1872). Ocna Mure? was a multi-denominational and multi-ethnical community: the majority of its inhabitants were Greek-Catholics, followed closely by Calvinists and Roman-Catholics.
This paper?s aim is a better understanding of the dynamics of family relationships within the extended family (including grandparents, brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins), of the alliances between families; a clue, in this regard, was the recurrence of some of the given names along generations. This paper aims to investigate a part of the social networks in the community.
As a methodology, this reconstitution process starts from birth records: couples are reconstituted from their father's name along with their mother's. The information thus obtained is continuously corroborated with data from the marriage and death records. Each reconstituted couple receives a unique ID. Then, the possible links between them are investigated. The Godparents are also considered, as an additional element of identifying families, and sometimes as part of them (when they were family members). This research involves some difficulties, the biggest being that family reconstitution process must be done manually. In many countries from Europe and around the world, family reconstitution is done automatically by computer; in order to do this in the case of HPDT, the information needs to be standardized, to allow the record linkage. For various reasons, record linkage is not possible in the near future, so the information analysis has to be done manually; In this context, information from HPDT also raises the following issues: data is often incomplete - often the mother's name is either completely missing at the birth registration, or only her first name is mentioned; the same name can be written in many ways, which excludes automatic selection; people with identical names are very numerous, therefore it is difficult to know to which family each one belongs. (Show less)
Joana-Maria Pujadas-Mora, Alícia Fornés, Josep Lladós, Miquel Valls, Gabriel Brea :
Building Individual-level Historical Demographic Databases using Computer Vision Methods based on Deep Learning. The Barcelona Case.
Nowadays, one of the great challenges of Historical Demography is integrating handwriting recognition techniques into data collection of primary sources as a way of being part of the Big Data revolution (Pujadas-Mora et al., 2016). This integration would make possible to reduce the time of data collection and processing large ... (Show more)
Nowadays, one of the great challenges of Historical Demography is integrating handwriting recognition techniques into data collection of primary sources as a way of being part of the Big Data revolution (Pujadas-Mora et al., 2016). This integration would make possible to reduce the time of data collection and processing large collections of documents and would offer everincreasing arrays of information. Moreover, this process, also, fits with the gradual introduction of information technology occurring since decades in Humanities, the more recent massive campaigns of digitization of historical sources, which have become customary and the important progress in document image analysis and recognition techniques. In particular, successful adoption of deep learning to handwritten text recognition (HTR) and key word spotting (KWS) has been developed. In this times, these techniques are moving towards ‘Document Understanding’ rather than pure transcription in order to narrow the semantic gap regarding the interpretation of the contents, which is extremely useful to build databases automatically, and more specifically demographic databases.
The aim of the paper is to describe the main document image analysis techniques that have been developed for extracting the information from handwritten demographic sources in order to create the Barcelona Historical Marriage Database (BHMD) within the Advanced Grant project ‘Five Centuries of Marriages’ (IP: Cabré, A.) funded by the European Research Council and the Baix Llobregat Demographic Database (BALL) inside the projects: ‘Tools and procedures for the large scale digitization of historical sources of population’ (IP: Lladós, J.; Esteve, A.; Pujadas-Mora, J.M.) and ‘Networks. Technology and citizen innovation for building historical social networks to understand the demographic past’ (IP: Fornés, A.; Pujadas-Mora, J.M.) funded both by RecerCaixa program – Obra Social “la Caixa”. The BHMD brings together the marriage licenses recorded at the Llibres d’Esposalles covering the Diocese of Barcelona (formed by 250 parishes in 1900) from 1451 to 1905, accounting for more than 600,000 marriages. The BALL database is an ongoing database containing individual census data from the Catalan county of Baix Llobregat (Barcelona, Spain), up to now, of 9 different municipalities for the nineteenth and twentieth centuries gathering more than 220,000 individual observations.
The specific applied techniques of document analysis in those projects are the Key Word Spotting and the Handwritten Text Recognition. Key Word Spotting turns out to be more suitable when a document does not have a clear internal structure or when the handwriting style is new to the system. Word spotting has been approached through structural and learning-free method, graphs and statistical and learning-based method when training data is available. To train the system we have included the human in the loop through a bimodal crowdsourcing platform. So, when the document is legible and there is enough training data of a particular handwriting style, a handwriting recognition system could be properly trained. In this way, once the words are recognized, the next step consists in assigning a semantic category to create the database. (Show less)