To all Volunteer Transcribers,

Many of you are wondering why there are two USGenWeb Census Projects on the
internet. The following questions were asked by a volunteer. Maybe the answers
to this volunteer will also help you.


Subject: US GenWeb Census Project

   > I want to transcribe a census, but I am confused about how your census
   > project differs from the one also called the USGenWeb Census Project that
   > was started February, 1997, and has different people as coordinators. That
   > census project appears on a RootsWeb page rather than USGenNet.

   > Are both projects sponsored by the same organization?

Both projects are recognized and linked to by The USGenWeb Project. Originally
our census project was hosted by We obtained our own domain name
and moved the census project to the non-profit web server in the
spring of 2000. Our census project filed for and obtained non-profit status for
The USGenWeb Census Project to insure that the data submitted to the project will
always remain free to everyone for research. Our non-profit domain name is

   > How can two separate projects have the same name?

I'm sorry that there is so much confusion about the name. We started using the
name "The USGenWeb Census Project" in 1998 when the USGenWeb Bylaws were adopted,
and we were the first USGenWeb census project to use that name. The census project
currently on Rootsweb started using our name in October 2000. From the spring
of 1999 until then, they were known as the USGenWeb "Archives" Census Project
and were a sub-division of the USGenWeb Archives Project.

The non-profit census project using the domain name (which is on
the non-profit USGenNet web-server) filed for and obtained a Service Mark with the
United States Patent and Trademark Office for the name The USGenWeb Census Project.
The USPTO Registration Number for the Service Mark is: 2816972

   > If I transcribe for one project, does the work appear on both web sites?

No, transcribing and submitting to one census project does not mean that your
work will automatically appear on the other census project's site. There are
several reasons for this. The individual transcriber should decide where they
want their work to be displayed. Our project has always maintained that the
copyright and ownership of the census transcription is held solely by the
transcriber. After submitting to us, you may at any time in the future request
that your work be removed from this site and it will be with no questions asked.
The census project on Rootsweb and the USGenWeb Archives have a clause in the
copyright that when you submit your files to them you are giving them permission
to store the file(s) permanently. If you want your census to appear on both sites,
you should submit your transcribed census files to both census projects.

   > What led to there being two projects with the same name?

I'm sorry to say that it was politics. Back in 1997 the USGenWeb Archives Project
coordinator made a personal agreement with the owners of RootsWeb to always keep
the archives on their web server. This agreement was made long before RootsWeb
incorporated for profit and was sold to Ancestry/MyFamily. Our Census Project did
not make that agreement with RootsWeb and consequently we did move the census data.

In a nut shell, the original USGenWeb Special Census Project is located at...

The transcriptions on this site will remain freely accessible to all researchers for
all time. The copyright of each transcription will always remain with the transcriber.
This non-profit incorporated census project cannot ever sell your work or use it to
benefit any for-profit company.

I hope this explanation has helped you. If you have any other questions,
please don't hesitate to ask.

Linda Talbott, Coordinator
The USGenWeb Census Project®