On 30 Mar 2010 at 7:10, DayMargaretstan(a)aol.com wrote:
Perhaps it is a good idea that the info is not available , and
I think the hundred year law should stand. >
I don't know how many times I have to repeat this, but there is NO SUCH THING as a
"hundred year law" !
The only so-called law is the 100-year closure period for censuses and even this
came about as a result of some bureaucratic jiggery pokery by government in the
1960s. The first census to guarantee confidentiality for 100 years was that of 1921. Up
to that time no census had ever promised confidentiality except for the 1911, which
mentioned no specific period. Any of the censuses from 1841 to 1901 could have
been opened at any time, but there was little interest until the family history
of the 1960s and 1970s. Then sometime in the mid-1960s a law was hurriedly rushed
through that imposed the 100-year closure period RETROSPECTIVELY - a quite
disgraceful moving of the goalposts by ministers and Whitehall civil servants.
Guy Etchells, the man who heroically (in my view and that of many others) challenged
The National Archives, with his Freedom of Information requests, to release data from
the 1911 census and, in so doing, forced their hand to release it two years early,
knows the full details and I expect they can be found online somehwere. Guy has now,
of course, achieved the same result in getting the NHS Information Centre to release
data from the 1939 registration, which was in effect a census of sorts. He tells me he
may well challenge their decision to restrict information to those who are proved to be
deceased and I believe everyone should support him in this. What on earth can
possible be sensitive about knowing where somebody as living and who with more
than 70 years ago. As I have said, it's paranoia gone mad!
Any other so-called 100-year rule is entirely self imposed by hypersensitive family
historians, which I regard as censorship - not acceptable in a democracy.
Genealogical researcher, writer & lecturer
Newbies' Guide to Genealogy & Family History: www.genuki.org.uk/gs/Newbie.html
"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about,
and that is not being talked about."