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Transcription Errors

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Transcription Errors

Postby meekhcs » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:51 am

I am having a moan.
I consider myself a competent researcher but I need to let off steam over the amount of time I have wasted in the past 24 hours on Ancestry through these errors - and they haven't been words you would expect to be wrongly transcribed. On all occasions I have had to resort to FMP to find the correct record, and then have entered the relevant piece, folio, number etc to find the record on Ancestry. Very time consuming - and I am fortunate in thatI have a subscription to both sites.
What chance does a newbie have when faced with similar problems?
Increasingly accuracy is being ignored for the sake of speed!!
Rant over.

Sally
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Re: Transcription Errors

Postby coopernicola » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:26 pm

I know what you mean. My biggest bugbear is "windower' instead of widow/widower. It really pushes my buttons.
Nicola
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Re: Transcription Errors

Postby Mick Loney » Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:33 pm

I wonder how many of these errors you have reported back to Ancestry (or any other site)?

We all help each other on this site, so why not extend the help to others on Ancestry?

Personally, I try to report ALL such errors back to Ancestry, ( hundreds at last count) so that others won't have same problem as me. If we all did this, then eventually we'll have accurate transcriptions.

My favourite error to date goes to my 2'GGmother, Jemima Rothery, who I found transcribed as Jennings Korbury!

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Re: Transcription Errors

Postby meekhcs » Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:45 pm

Mick

I try and report every error I find to Ancestry, in the hope that it will help anybody researching after me, and have done for many years, but that in itself is time consuming - today alone I have flagged up over 20 that I know are incorrect!! Equally galling is that even after pointing out the errors they are not always corrected by Ancestry!

My original post was born out of sheer frustration that a) the amount of time I waste because of incorrect transcriptions and b) theamount of time I spend correcting them.

Sally
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Re: Transcription Errors

Postby SoozOne » Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:58 pm

After seeing an earlier post some months ago where someone had been searching Ancestry and queried why births they had traced were in Hendon, Oxford and then apparently moved to Hendon, London. I reported a place location error to Ancestry where it had my birthplace registration, Hendon in Middlesex, down as Hendon, Buckingham!
I emailed Ancestry informing them of the error, pointing out that having my birth certificate there was no question of where my birth was registered, as well as the fact that there is no Hendon in Buckingham.
I pointed out that I knew the Ancestry version was wrong, but for others who didn't know place names and counties, paying for search information which was incorrect and consequently confusing leading their research astray, wasn't a particularly good practice for a high viz professional genealogy search company.
I received a very short reply which said they had many data error reports each week, and worked on fixing the 'most important' first.
Having just seen Sally's 'rant', I checked my birthplace details again to see ... Yup ... Hendon is still in Buckingham!. Obviously correcting place and county names doesn't rank very high in their importance list.
I've come to the conclusion that Ancestry has now grown so huge they've come to decide quantity comes before quality.
Because I have my tree on their site and make use of off-computer free apps, their hints are very useful, I am currently committed to them. I no longer take Ancestry data as being trustworthy and still double check anything I find there with FMP, who currently put quality before quantity. It does mean double handling and double subs, but my tree has higher likelihood of correct, as far as I can tell, sources.
Susan


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Re: Transcription Errors

Postby AntonyM » Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:18 am

The data table they seem to use to look-up inferred counties from registration districts does seem to throw up some very strange results.

For UK based researchers that isn't usually a huge problem, but I have done research for people in the USA who have got themselves very confused by these issues , and in some cases ended up tracing the wrong families completely.

As registration districts have changed over time and moved counties (and counties disappear) it is a complex thing to get right, but the information is available if they wanted to set up their system correctly.

According to current GRO rules Hendon would be recorded as being in Barnet.
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Re: Transcription Errors

Postby JaneyH » Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:28 am

In terms of checking registration districts in England & Wales - the county they fall within and even the parishes in each RD - this website is invaluable http://www.ukbmd.org.uk/genuki/reg/


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Re: Transcription Errors

Postby junkers » Fri Aug 07, 2015 7:18 pm

Ancestry are bad for transcription and after I had corrected many entries there are literally thousands, who ever thought it was a good idea to state place of birth as London for the 1911 Census when it says where in London, e.g. Brixton, Hammersmith etc and London. Given that ancestry have listed dead people or those counted twice and can't spell American place names, they are an American company after all. A number of entries for Lancashire (in England) and Lanarkshire (in Scotland) have been entered wrongly and places in the West of England are listed as 'Devon/Cornwall/Scilly Isles' rather than by the individual counties.

Ancestry are not alone in transcription errors, The National Archives recently had Admiralty records transcribed by volunteers who decided that Stonehaven was 'Stone, Haven' and Haverfordwest was 'Haverford West'.
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Re: Transcription Errors

Postby brunes08 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:29 pm

The worst situation I came across was the listing of the soldiers in a barracks in the 1891 census. Every soldier's surname was ignored and all had been transcribed with the surname of the first one in the list - some 200 plus men. I contacted Ancestry and was told it was the fault of the National Archives transcribers as Ancestry do not do the transcribing themselves. Doesn't help with the difficulties we face as we already know that it is the transcribers who are the problem. Some years ago, I did some transcribing of parish records for a family history society. Anything we were not sure of, we had to highlight. All the transcriptions were checked at least three times to ensure that every word was as accurate as possible. Sometimes handwriting is very difficult to interpret but we have all seen census returns etc where the transcription does not match very clear handwriting. When people are paying for a service, it is unacceptable to be treated in an apparently cavalier manner.
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Transcription Errors

Postby Mick Loney » Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:23 am

Ancestry 'buy in' sets of records and have to rely on the seller to keep them accurate, and updated.
For example a lot of their London parish records are provide by the LMA, who are the transcribers.
If Ancestry corrected the errors in these records, there is the risk that they would be overwritten when the supplier (I.e. LMA) provided an update, so the error would re-appear.
The only real way to get these errors corrected, is to get them changed at source (I.e LMA). These corrections would then appear on Ancestry next time LMA updated the records. Likewise with BMD records supplied by FreeBMD.
How many other suppliers are involved I don't know, but the same principles would apply.

So in some sense, the previous poster was correct in that Ancestry is putting quantity before quality, but one can hardly blame them in going down this path to give us what want, when we want it (yesterday!)

Mike


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