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when a record is wrong.


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#1 SomebodySmart

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 10:13 AM

I've been dealing with BMD's that are less than precise. In one recent death record, everything fit except that the father is named Francescantonio Lucia instead of Domenico Lucia. Maybe the bureaucrat was hard of hearing. Then it dawned on me, how to add the information, when I am sure it is the correct person and probably a mistake in a given name or a surname. I add the Alternate Name and then mark it as disputed. I also add notes, of course.



#2 John_of_Ross_County

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 07:04 PM

Is there a way to get LDS transcribed data corrected for spelling errors?  If there is a way, then someone who has used the incorrect spelling would not be aware of the correction.  I have also found a case of census records where the "ditto" marks for surname were interpreted incorrectly for an entire family.  But you had to know the family and match the census records 10 years before the error and 10 years after the error to verify the mistake.



#3 mjashby

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 01:39 AM

Transcription errors are misleading and do continue to be the direct and ever increasing cause of many false lines of so-called family histories, as lazy people carelessly accept what is already recorded through other poor research, rather than questioning its authenticity.  However, questions and concerns about transcription issues should be directed to the data provider concerned, who is the body responsible for providing false information:  See: https://www.familyse...-record&lang=en A totally unsatisfactory situation, in my opinion, but I treat all records on FamilySearch as suspect and speculative, unless the actual document is available for checking.  Ancestry should also display a BIG BOLD WARNING on the blind use and lazy acceptance of the unverified content in Ancestry Trees, but they prefer to concentrate on promoting how easy it is to to find all the information you need on their site without, of course, informing users of the multi-billions of records that aren't available and which might very well produce alternative research lines of research.

 

One thing to remember is that the final transcriptions that do appear should reflect what was actually contained in the original document, including any 'presumed' incorrect information and what we today consider spelling 'errors'.  And, just because a researcher believes that Person A and Person B must be the same individual, even though they have different names, does not make it so.  It will remain supposition (and possibly a simple coincidence) until or unless clear evidence of why/if an actual error occurred is found, or there is sufficient confirmation from other contemporary documentation that supports the same conclusion.  The simplistic and naive acceptance of one possibility, just because only record can find online, is often forced to fit a particular set of circumstances is the major cause of the many false 'family histories'; and the main perpetrators always seem to be reluctant to accept that they got it wrong.  Of course this all started with the LDS and the blind unverified data that was added to the IGI en masse.


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#4 Trebor22

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 02:33 AM

The value of transcriptions lies in their 'ease of searching' and I will continue to make good use of them,  in my opinion all of the big players are as bad as one another for errors. I often search multiple transcriptions looking for a person, particularly where unusual names are involved, but they are not new, Before there was much online I had bought numerous BMD certificates from the UK's GRO before the penny dropped they were transcriptions. Unfortunately getting originals from county record offices is not always so easy but getting your data from an 'original' is worth the effort! IMHO

Other peoples research is just the same, it might be a helpful research aid (and I regularly collaborate with cousins) but not substitute for my own research - again IMHO

I enter data from original records as it was recorded, mistakes and all, and if needed I add comments for calcification, often commenting on what was transcribed.

But of course its up to individuals how they progress their research and if someone is happy with an approach, that's fine :-) 



#5 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 07:37 AM

I also insist on getting original records and on doing transcriptions "as is". Well, my transcriptions usually mark blatant typographical errors in the original documents with sic and parenthetically make note of the nature of the error. Because of how many such errors I find, I make very little use of RM's alternate name facility. I think it should be used only when a person truly had different names during their lifetime, not when a clerk made a typographical error. For example, when my paternal grandparents were married, my grandfather's surname was spelled in the official court documents three different ways by the court clerk - none of them correct. The clerk spelled the name variously as Bryant, Byant, and Brant. My view is that these errors are errors, not alternate names for my grandfather. My grandfather was perfectly literate and knew perfectly well that his surname was Bryan and that's the way he wrote it when he signed his name.

 

The problem obviously occurs when such records are indexed or even when researchers not familiar with my family work with the original record. I understand that indexing the errors can sometimes be helpful to research. But I just don't think such errors rise to the level of a true alternate name in a genealogical database.

 

Jerry



#6 Rick Landrum

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 07:59 AM

I've been dealing with BMD's that are less than precise. In one recent death record, everything fit except that the father is named Francescantonio Lucia instead of Domenico Lucia. Maybe the bureaucrat was hard of hearing. Then it dawned on me, how to add the information, when I am sure it is the correct person and probably a mistake in a given name or a surname. I add the Alternate Name and then mark it as disputed. I also add notes, of course.

I do exactly the same thing. Alternate name feature also allows you to pick a reason, such as "alternate spelling" or "AKA". I use this method when I find record transcription errors, or alternate spellings. Sometimes the original document will have these descrepancies. However, there are many such cases in Ancestry records, and other platforms, which have no indication of the descrepancy. I usually, time permitting, communicate that back to the owner (Ancestry, FamilySearch, etc.), but rarely ever see a correction. One notable exception is "Find a Grave Memorial".

Rick


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#7 zhangrau

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 10:27 AM

 Alternate name feature also allows you to pick a reason, such as "alternate spelling" or "AKA".

Rick

 

Unfortunately, the various selections in the Alternate Name dropdown are pretty useless, since they cannot be used in the fact sentence within reports. As a result, I've modified the built-in sentence to <new line> AKA: [Desc].



#8 Rick Landrum

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 12:16 PM

 

Unfortunately, the various selections in the Alternate Name dropdown are pretty useless, since they cannot be used in the fact sentence within reports. As a result, I've modified the built-in sentence to <new line> AKA: [Desc].

Good point. I guess I was really focused on my own use of the data. Reports, GEDCOM's, sharing etc could possibly be affected.

Thanks

Rick


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#9 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 01:29 PM

I'm sort of beating a dead horse here, but my narrative reports include of lot of transcriptions of a lot of original source documents. So all the "wrong" names of various sorts from original source documents do show up in my narrative reports including my own notes about what is "wrong" with the names.

 

As far as a person's "main" name, RM does not presently have a true Name fact. Even though RM doesn't support the Alternate Name drop down information in sentence templates, RM at least does support sentence templates, citations, and fact notes for the Alternate Name fact. Even this minimal level of support is not provided for the "main" name, a design defect that I believe is being remedied in RM. As a result, I have my own Name fact which supports a sentence template, a description field, citations, and a note. I will have to see what RM8 does to improve this whole situation to see how best to enter names and the evidence for names moving forward. Even if the drop down information becomes available to RM's sentence templates, I would fear that the information would not play well with other genealogy software via GEDCOM transfer or via direct API interface such as the FamilySearch API and the ancestry.com API. . So keeping such information in RM's notes or description fields may be the best long term strategy. We shall have to see what happens when RM8 comes out.

 

Jerry

 



#10 Rick Landrum

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 02:39 PM

I'm sort of beating a dead horse here, but my narrative reports include of lot of transcriptions of a lot of original source documents. So all the "wrong" names of various sorts from original source documents do show up in my narrative reports including my own notes about what is "wrong" with the names.

 

As far as a person's "main" name, RM does not presently have a true Name fact. Even though RM doesn't support the Alternate Name drop down information in sentence templates, RM at least does support sentence templates, citations, and fact notes for the Alternate Name fact. Even this minimal level of support is not provided for the "main" name, a design defect that I believe is being remedied in RM. As a result, I have my own Name fact which supports a sentence template, a description field, citations, and a note. I will have to see what RM8 does to improve this whole situation to see how best to enter names and the evidence for names moving forward. Even if the drop down information becomes available to RM's sentence templates, I would fear that the information would not play well with other genealogy software via GEDCOM transfer or via direct API interface such as the FamilySearch API and the ancestry.com API. . So keeping such information in RM's notes or description fields may be the best long term strategy. We shall have to see what happens when RM8 comes out.

 

Jerry

 

 


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#11 Rick Landrum

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 02:48 PM

I'm sort of beating a dead horse here, but my narrative reports include of lot of transcriptions of a lot of original source documents. So all the "wrong" names of various sorts from original source documents do show up in my narrative reports including my own notes about what is "wrong" with the names.

 

As far as a person's "main" name, RM does not presently have a true Name fact. Even though RM doesn't support the Alternate Name drop down information in sentence templates, RM at least does support sentence templates, citations, and fact notes for the Alternate Name fact. Even this minimal level of support is not provided for the "main" name, a design defect that I believe is being remedied in RM. As a result, I have my own Name fact which supports a sentence template, a description field, citations, and a note. I will have to see what RM8 does to improve this whole situation to see how best to enter names and the evidence for names moving forward. Even if the drop down information becomes available to RM's sentence templates, I would fear that the information would not play well with other genealogy software via GEDCOM transfer or via direct API interface such as the FamilySearch API and the ancestry.com API. . So keeping such information in RM's notes or description fields may be the best long term strategy. We shall have to see what happens when RM8 comes out.

 

Jerry

 

Hey Jerry,

My note book of "How To's"  and "Work Around's" just ran out of pages .................  :blink:

Rick


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#12 Don Newcomb

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 09:50 AM

Not just transcriptions. I've been working with death certificates for a bunch of my family. They are among the most bogus original documents imaginable. About the only thing you can consider reliable is the date of death. Everything else is second hand. Anyone who might conclude from a study of death certificates that life expectancy has increased is deluding themselves by not understanding how often people lied about their ages. When informants didn't know something, they just made up and answer. 

 

All I can say is you have to keep careful notes.



#13 zhangrau

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 11:01 AM


All I can say is you have to keep careful notes.

 

I work toward being as complete a researcher as I can, referencing BMD certificates and indices; census records; address and city directory records; newspaper articles; military records; etc., etc.

 

The Birth fact and Marriage fact typically include Notes listing the various sources and their different data. I completely concur that data provided simultaneously or only shortly after an event is likely to be the most accurate, and so strongly influences with date & place I record as my "official" info. Careful documentation with Sources and Citation will allow any future reader of my reports and/or database to develop their own conclusions about with my data should, perhaps, need updating.

 

The current family line (cousins of my father) that I'm working on already as 51 Endnotes and 32 Bibliography entries for 5 generations of persons. I am not done with this family line, yet, so I won't hazard a guess (today) as to how large those numbers will grow as my research continues.



#14 Nettie

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 10:04 AM

A reminder, Birth, Marriage,  Death certificates information came from probably family members that did not know there were other spellings. You need to find other sources that also verify that information.  Remember before surnames became a legal name, phonic spellings were many.   Even court records, early as 1840, can have two different spellings for a surname in a document [this was in a will].  Especially middle given names. 

 

1985, I had a supervisor who gave me hell, cause I would not use my first name. Finally, in the conversation, I realized the supervisor that was in the next office to him, had the same issue as I and he used his first initial and the given middle name. 

 

So yes, many a name can be different spellings. Just document like Jerry and others suggest as that is as important as a name no matter what spelling.  Especially in an era when education or knowing was not important. 


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#15 Rick Landrum

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 07:09 PM

I agree

A reminder, Birth, Marriage,  Death certificates information came from probably family members that did not know there were other spellings. You need to find other sources that also verify that information.  Remember before surnames became a legal name, phonic spellings were many.   Even court records, early as 1840, can have two different spellings for a surname in a document [this was in a will].  Especially middle given names. 
 
1985, I had a supervisor who gave me hell, cause I would not use my first name. Finally, in the conversation, I realized the supervisor that was in the next office to him, had the same issue as I and he used his first initial and the given middle name. 
 
So yes, many a name can be different spellings. Just document like Jerry and others suggest as that is as important as a name no matter what spelling.  Especially in an era when education or knowing was not important.



I agree. I have found many documents, such as death certificates, that have inaccurate or variant spellings or data. The best approach is to try and find additional supporting documents. You can also use alternate names identified as variant spelling. I also use notes to explain the "probable" variances.
Rick

RickL


#16 Don Newcomb

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 05:13 AM

I agree. I have found many documents, such as death certificates, that have inaccurate or variant spellings or data. The best approach is to try and find additional supporting documents. You can also use alternate names identified as variant spelling. I also use notes to explain the "probable" variances.
Rick

 

I just dipped my toe into the field of Jewish genealogy. I'm finding that one person may have a transliteration of their name from Yiddish, a transliteration from Hebrew and an Anglicization of the name, all different. Additionally they will sometimes use a family surname and sometimes use a patronymic. Makes Swedish genealogy look like a walk in the park.  



#17 Rick Landrum

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 02:57 PM

I just dipped my toe into the field of Jewish genealogy. I'm finding that one person may have a transliteration of their name from Yiddish, a transliteration from Hebrew and an Anglicization of the name, all different. Additionally they will sometimes use a family surname and sometimes use a patronymic. Makes Swedish genealogy look like a walk in the park.


While my tree is probably not as complex as the Jewish Genealogy you describe, I have had similar issues. A lot of my family came from Scotland. I've found numerous cases where they changed their names, or at least "Americanized" the spelling to agree with the phonetic pronunciation of the original name, after they arrived in America..
Rick

Edited by Rick Landrum, 12 May 2019 - 02:59 PM.

RickL


#18 robertjacobs0

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 04:23 PM

Orthography was not a primary concern for the immigrant generations. Moreover, immigrant Jews from Eastern Europe had only had names on the Western pattern since 1800 or 1810 when the Tsar promulgated a decree requiring that they adopt them. The decree's purpose was to regularize tax collection and military conscription.

 

Before that decree most Jewish names within the Pale, except perhaps for the most prominent Rabbinic families, were of the form x ben y: Isaac, son of David, etc.

 

An important tradition of Jewish naming is that an infant not be named after a close living relative. Thus family names tend to skip a generation — children often named after deceased grandparents for example.



#19 John_of_Ross_County

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 07:17 PM

"Editing Names on Indexed Records—FamilySearch Update" This is a copy&paste from their website.

 

Take a look at the above announcement on FamilySearch.  I have not tried their editing procedure.  They offer two cases.

1] Incorrect interpretation of names.

2] "Correcting" spelling of names