I still think we are in a transition in family history.
This is the communication revolution really starting to exert its power.
The Americans and other former British colonies will now soon have access to
many of the key building blocks we use to do family history over here.
I believe Debbie Kennett's new book - DNA and Social Networking - captures
the essence of this change.
The questions are how critical will these Groups be of the online
information provided, and how good is that online information anyway.
Some people who have had to deal with Ancestry in the past are very
jaundiced - and believe they will never listen effectively to criticism.
But I am at least going to have a go talking to their International Commerce
& Business Development Director in the UK - when she gets back from
in the USA talking about the $12+ million they have invested in
DNA testing in 2011/2.
But the quality of the work they have done on the London and Middlesex
parish registers is atrocious. Within the next 6 weeks I intend to find out
what the London Metropolitan Archives really think of their relationship
with them - in some ways I think they must be secretly embarrassed - but are
they actively involved in any follow-up change process, or have they washed
their hands of it?
And it may need pressure from the American end to get Ancestry to change -
and not from here. The Americans are a far bigger market for them.
From: dyfed-bounces(a)rootsweb.com [mailto:email@example.com] On
Behalf Of Diana Trenchard
Sent: 20 March 2012 12:04
Subject: Re: [Dyfed] The Written Word.
Some of the entries on the IGI were extracted from parish records and are,
therefore, ok. Other entries were submitted by people in the Mormon Church
because they were asked to submit names to the Church fathers so that the
deceased person could be baptized by proxy in the Temple. I don't think it
was done from malice, but from ignorance. Unfortunately, these records are
all combined together on the IGI, and one has to look at each entry to find
if it was an extraction (transcription) or a submission. I think the FHL is
now in the process of sorting all of that out.
[End of quote]
Lynne, you are rather out of date. The IGI was sorted some time back so
that any information submitted by members is now in a separate database, and
those extracted directly from parish registers are now
the 'normal' search. Check the Source codes if you don't believe me.
They also apparently include records from the Vital Records Index but these
are easily distinguishable. The IGI also includes variant spellings, so
that 'Tritchard' and 'Transherde' appear for 'Trenchard'.
I've recently been reconciling my records, obtained personally many moons
ago directly from the parish records, with those in the Mormon 'Family
Search'. Of the several thousand records I've only found one error, which
is understandable as to why it appears. It was for a female named Philip
(in the time several centuries back when English women were frequently given
male names), and that was the name on the memorial in the parish church
erected by her son - and he should certainly have known what his mother was
called. It had been erroneously transcribed as Philis. This is in
contrast with Ancestry where, on average, one in five entries has an error
in my experience of looking at what must be well into thousands of records.
Most of these are minor, but the most recent one was where 'Rebekah' had
been transcribed as 'Obadiah'.
Such major errors can introduce a serious block in research if reliance is
placed only on databases of transcriptions such as Ancestry or FindMyPast
and, to a lesser extent in the IGI. Since we no longer have access to
original parish records, I would recommend that the most reliable databases
are those done by the local Family History Societies, frequently obtainable
on CD or fiche, then the IGI and last the commercial databases.
Note that it is no use the latter providing access to the original parish
record if it has been wrongly transcribed in the first place.
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