Tuesday 9 March 2021 – Frances Richardson (Oxford): Big data and missing data: assessing the importance of nonconformist baptisms for the study of adult male occupations in Wales c.1817
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Session chair: TBC
Big data and missing data: assessing the importance of nonconformist baptisms for the study of adult male occupations in Wales c.1817
Dr Frances Richardson, Tutor, University of Oxford, Department for Continuing Education
Abstract: Recent studies of male occupations have used Anglican baptisms as a major source. However, in areas where nonconformity was strong, a significant proportion of baptisms were missing from parish registers: in Wales, around a quarter of births were to Nonconformist fathers in the years 1813-20. This paper explores the importance of missing or incomplete data for the estimation of Welsh adult male occupations 1813-20, using a case study of six contrasting areas representing a 10 per cent sample of Welsh baptisms. It finds that there were significant differences in the occupations of Anglican and nonconformist fathers in major sectors of the Welsh economy. There were also occupational differences between nonconformist denominations. But given the scale of nonconformist occupational data still incomplete or missing, how can we best derive a more accurate estimate of Welsh male occupations?
Bio: Frances Richardson is a tutor at the University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education. Her research interests embrace the social and economic history of Wales, Welsh population and livelihoods, and religious nonconformity. Recent publications include articles on Welsh medieval townships, women farmers, and illicit enclosure and she is currently co-editing a book on Communities of Dissent 1850-1914: Heyday or Crisis?