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Major Indexing Error and Citation (Possibly a Catalog Error)

I was recently working on one of my relatives when I noticed a strange citation title:

Now this was strange because Frank died in Idaho, not Oregon. When I opened the record, I found a delayed birth record:

I opened the image and got the viewer with the image of the delayed birth certificate:

FamilySearch-published indexed records cannot at the present time be corrected, even by FamilySearch personnel. We have been told that a means to add, correct, or change indexed information is "in the works", but we have not been told what we will be able to do, or when the feature will become available.

However, this kind of problem really does need to be addressed. There is no way that the citation should point to Deaths. I can (and will) correct the title in the record, but if I was doing a search of the historical records, I have to wonder what will come up? So, I checked:

Looking into this further, I took the film number, 2229592, on the index page for this record and entered it into the Search Catalog Film Number and go the following:

That isn't Oregon Deaths. I opened the record and found the film number in the film list:

Again, that isn't Oregon Deaths. Next, I clicked on the camera image to open the viewer and opened image 63:

Note there is no title (which is okay), but when compared to the image opened by the index details (see above), the title reads Oregon Deaths 1877-1952.

However, when I went to attach the image (without the title next to the digital folder), there was no option to Attach the image to a person in Family Tree.

There are three issues here:

1 - Wrong title in the Citation.
2 - Wrong TItle when the image is opened.
3 - No title when the image is opened by going to the catalog first, then drilling down to film 2229592 and then to image 63.
4 - No ability to attach the image to a person in FamilySearch FamilyTree.

The citation title should read "Oregon statewide delayed filings of births, 1842-1902", not "Oregon Deaths, 1877-1952"

If anything, this is a BUG that was introduced somewhere along the way, possibly because of a bad catalog entry. For instance,

5. Why are the references to Oregon Deaths there? There are no films in the list that deal with deaths. All of the films are for delayed births.
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  • Unfortunately, errors of this kind occur far too often in FamilySearch. In the example I illustrate below, Liverpool is shown as the place of death in all 2,942 records covered by this project / batch number.

    Many inexperienced users will come across an individual record from the batch (as shown in the first screen shot) and will assume the death at Liverpool is correct. Okay, if you live in England you would probably investigate why the death apparently took place some 150 miles from the burial place, but someone living in another country probably would not. So we have a situation where possibly hundreds of burial events have been recorded in Family Tree with an incorrect death place, largely due to FamilySearch's refusal to correct errors of this nature.

    If you look at the catalog record for film 1514684 (to which this batch relates) at https://familysearch.org/search/catal... you will find no reference to Liverpool at all, so it is a mystery how that place name ever became attached to these records.

    It really annoys me that FamilySearch gives us lessons on genealogical proof standards but fails to help us ensure we are inputting accurate information by continuing to ignore the problem of errors in its records that relate not just to one person but often thousands of individuals, as shown below.

    (1) An individual search result showing the error in death place:



    (2) Part of the first page of the full listing for this batch of records, showing the error compounded and appearing against all 2,942 records:

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  • 1
    While the means for patrons to correct individual records has not yet seen the light of day (after how many years?), it seems to me the means for correcting collection-level errors such as those mentioned here are well within the capabilities of the FamilySearch staff. And it is only the staff who can fix errors of this type. A record-by-record correction by patrons is out of the question here. Even if the staff has to delete the erroneously labeled collection, and replace it with a correctly labeled version, would that not be better than the false and misleading situation we have now?

    I agree with the point that FamilySearch cannot credibly teach high standards for genealogy while allowing such blatant errors to stand.
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  • Tom, Paul we have let the teams know of the issues and they are working on a fix. Thanks for reporting them.
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  • Jacob, thanks for responding.

    Can you find out how the fix is progressing. I just ran across another instance of the same problem with the Oregon Delayed Birth records, which was listed as Oregon Deaths. -- This showed up as a hint for one of the parents of the individual.

    I have already attached the source, but had to note that it was a delayed birth record, and not a death record.
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  • This appears to extend to the entire collection of "Oregon Deaths 1877-1952. I just ran into the problem for another person, and then decided to randomly select various films. They are all about births of one kind (delayed) or another, not deaths.

    Any word on the progress in getting the problem resolved?
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  • I just checked to see if this had been resolved with L7GY-WM1 ​ Frank Newman and https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/619...

    Still showing Oregon Deaths when it is actually delayed birth records
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  • I’m Unhappy that this has not yet been addressed.
    This was originally reported over five months ago. The problem still exists and has not been resolved.

    Ref: L7GY-WM1 ​ Frank Newman and https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/619...

    Still showing Oregon Deaths, when it is actually Oregon Delayed birth records.

    What needs to be done to get this issue fixed? Another person raised a similar issue with a bad catalog entry. See https://getsatisfaction.com/familysea...
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    I've just checked on the example I quoted above and, not surprisingly, find this has not been dealt with, either. As I have stated previously, one does not expect corrections to individual records at present, but when an error has been applied to the records of thousands of individuals surely efforts should be made to address the problem. With reference to my example, the mention of "Liverpool" in the Death Place field just needs to be removed for ALL the 2,942 records covered by this batch, as doubtless none of these individuals died at that location.
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  • 1
    Looking at the errors that you have uncovered makes me wonder where the records will end up on some of the records we have been indexing now on the ones marked as Church Records of New Jersey, etc. We are told to index all the records regardless of whether they are from New Jersey (or whatever state is listed).

    I know from working on the New Jersey project that most of the records weren't even from New Jersey. Most of them were from other states such as Maine, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Delaware. Hopefully, they all end up in the right place but how can we be sure?

    I also remember arbitrating what was supposed to be the Census of 1895 and the first batch I opened was for a census from 1892. It had been indexed and I sent it back. Then I opened the 2nd one and again it was indexed and again it was for a census from 1892. So I sent an e-mail to support and asked whether I was supposed to be arbitrating this or not. Support couldn't believe that I was even able to open it. When I told them that it had been indexed and that there were others that had been indexed as well, they told me to return it. They couldn't believe that the whole census had been sent out under the wrong title!

    We are going to have errors as we are all human, but a lot of the indexing errors could have been avoided. It is going to be worse unless the powers that be stop and listen. First off, they should not have released web indexing until they first completed it to the point where the indexers could see the results of the reviews. How did they expect anyone to know when they made an error? Now these indexers are going on and reviewing other indexers and changing correctly indexed projects to incorrect ones and compounding the errors and it is not their fault because they weren't told they were making an error in the first place.

    I am not a technician and wouldn't know how to begin to make the corrections needed, but I do know that we need to produce acccurate results or no one will trust us to give true information.
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  • We believe the issue has been resolved, Please test and let us know if you still see anything wrong.
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    My example (above) was rather different from Tom's, in that the error was not in the citation title but contained in every one of the records in the indexed collection concerned.

    The problem remains the same - Liverpool is erroneously listed as the death place, whereas this field should be blank.
    • That's an important point, Paul. I consider those kinds of errors to be gross indexing errors because the errors were introduced when the indexing projects were set up.

      I have seen several others, including the name of a ship (a ship's register index), and the inclusion of a series of election districts in U.S. Census indices (place name) -- This last one is a common problem for many of the 20th century U.S. Census indices.

      The Oregon situation was worse than just a gross indexing error, but a true catalog error, in that the entry was carried over into the index and could not be fixed at the index level. I am grateful that the catalog entry was modified to fix at least part of the problem, and that rippled down to the individual indexes.
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  • 1
    Hi Tom,

    The collection title and the catalog record have both been updated. They should now show Oregon Deaths, 1842-1952 and Delayed Births, 1844-1914.

    Thank you,
    Catherijne Smyth
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  • Tom,
    For your list of 5 items:
    1- As Catherijn said, the title has been fixed

    2 - The title when the image is opened has been fixed

    3 - When navigating to the film through the film number, the "title" always shows the film number - because film numbers have multiple tittles, there is no way to display the title when navigating by film number.

    4 - When there is an indexed version of a record, FamilySearch does not allow you to attach the image, due to wanting them to attach the record instead of the image (and thus grabbing additional data.

    Thanks
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  • Thanks to all those who responded. I appreciate all the help and feel this issue has reached a satisfactory conclusion.

    Thanks again.
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