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Family reconstitution in an urban context: some observations and methods

This paper concerns the application of methods for constructing family reconstitutions to early modern London parish register data, together with some observations on what types of demographic analysis may most successfully be performed in this context. It begins by considering the challenges presented by the urban environment, where population turnover is high and the spatial unit of analysis (the parish) will often have arbitrary boundaries not reinforced by topology. The steps of family reconstitution record linkage as best applied in an urban context are then defined and discussed. Ways of normalizing or shaping London parish register material into an appropriate input to those record linkage steps are described, concentrating in particular on name standardisation. Dates, ages, occupations and street addresses are also considered. The overall intention is to provide a practical guide to performing family reconstitutions of urban areas using computerised or computer-assisted methods.

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File URL: http://www.econsoc.hist.cam.ac.uk/docs/Newton-Family-July2011.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economic and Social History at the University of Cambridge in its series Working Papers with number 12.

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Length: 11,644 words (not including abstract) plus 4 figures and 6 tables
Date of creation: 28 Jul 2012
Date of revision: 08 Jan 2013
Handle: RePEc:cmh:wpaper:01
Note: There is a companion piece to this paper: see Gill Newton (2011): 'Recent developments in making family reconstitutions', Local Population Studies, 87, 84-89.
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econsoc.hist.cam.ac.uk/

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