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Spurious References to "Slave Owner" on FMP

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Spurious References to "Slave Owner" on FMP

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:29 am

This arises out of the thread on
http://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/forum/topic16908.html
where the India Office Records transcript of the 1925 baptism of a child has this text
Slave owner slave of 005138429_00227 same as 005138429_00226


No surprise that the relatives were shocked and confused at the possibility of slave ownership. Those of us of a more cynical disposition suspected that this was, one way or another, nonsense, and as a former IT Support guy, I had a suspicion what was really going on and raised a call with FindMyPast. Their response (slightly edited) is below:
What has happened is that an internal field called Flags & Exceptions (used by our transcription house to report oddities discovered during the indexing process - in this case, repeated images) has been surfaced and re-labelled as Notes across the births/baptisms search and the text within it has been prefaced with "slave of". Now, we had indeed wanted to do this for a handful of subfolders only (those relating to St Helena); unfortunately, it seems that the command has been applied across the entire record set - which means there will be multiple misleading instances of the kind you have reported, all with bogus allusions to slaves. Our apologies for this - I confirm that this is a coding error or bug - if you order a copy of the document from BL, you will get a normal baptism without any reference to slaves but with the full dates, names of parents etc. My colleague ... is going to fix this when he back from leave next week.


So it's a spurious item that may be seen elsewhere in FMP transcripts, it isn't supposed to be visible (generally - I have no idea what it's supposed to look like for the Saint Helena stuff) and it referred, at least here, to repeated images.

My thanks to FMP Support who knew the right people to ask (most of the battle in Support!)
Adrian
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