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Thoughts on Correcting Errors in the Records

Situation:
FamilySearch offerings do not today allow a user to annotate or correct an error in the record transcription, nor is there currently a means for anyone internally to do this for the user.

Status:
We clearly understand the need, it is on our roadmaps and drawing boards and a significant amount of time is being invested to design, test and build such a capability. No expected date has been announced.

A few thoughts:
Transcription (indexing) errors happen for a number of reasons and in some cases are pretty much unavoidable no matter how good the software or our eyes are today. These errors are found in every record collection and are introduced by every indexing system out there. Here's a few reasons:

1) There may be a mismatch between the language of the record and the indexer's knowledge causing diacritics to be missed or combined characters to be misinterpreted
2) The handwriting may be nearly incomprehensible, nearly being the operative word, and the transcription is attempted but transcribed wrong
3) The census taker may have written down what he heard rather than clarify the name's spelling
4) The office census worker who transcribed into the official record what the door to door census taker wrote may have introduced spelling errors (they had to read the guy's crazy handwriting too).
5) The variant spelling may actually have been used by the new immigrant for a while after they arrived in the country because that is what some employer or immigration worker wrote down.
6) any number of others

To minimize the risk of additional errors being introduced into the records during indexing a redundant indexing with arbitration system has been devised. Each record is key twice by 2 different indexers. Entered data that mismatches between the two is sent to a third indexer that has been designated as an arbiter based on skill to make the final call. Statistical analysis has shown that this process results in very low novel error rates. Unfortunately nothing can programmatically address errors written into the record around the time of creation.

When a patron finds their ancestor and knows that a name is incorrect they logically want to correct it so that it can be properly searched, found and recorded by those who come after.

The FamilySearch system does not currently allow a user to make corrections or annotations on a record. Nor does it provide a way for a user to submit these errors so that someone internally can make the correction. This user need, however, is well understood and a significant amount of time is being invested in mapping out a system that would allow user corrections/annotation to a record. We cannot yet announce a date when such a feature will be available, but it is on the roadmaps and drawing boards.

-Robert
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  • The powers that be are not going to answer these questions.... Who chooses the arbitrators? What are their qualifications? Recently I was frustrated to find, after long searching, the death certificate for an ancestor. The front of the document was online, but the obverse side had not been scanned. Of course I wrote to the county to ask for the information and hope it will come soon. {The person died far from where I had been previously searching.} This is such a blip in this wonderful project.

    What good is indexing, if someone further up the line, these mysterious arbitrators, have the final say and cannot be reached or challenged? All we are asking is a little "opinion" line where we can clarify or question data posted. I keep a list and so far I have found 116 items where there are obvious errors, not even judgment calls on spelling in old handwriting. Sometimes the information is unfindable as we use the excellent search capabilities, because of these errors. The hoped-for comment/corrections option would be included in searches and help us.

    Look at the admin message at the top of this thread. Dated two years ago. I am afraid there is never going to be an option for users to add comments.

    I don't think we could ever comment the many errors in the IGI, which was on line for years. It never occurred to me to do it, as these were not original records. One can't be bothered to try and correct the many fanciful offerings on line.

    But when an official document is on the screen, and the indexer has misinterpreted or otherwise changed the data in front of us, there must be the option to comment, for the benefit of others.. Please. This is a huge flaw in an amazing, beneficial-to-all project.
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    • Those of us who are LDS take this work quite seriously, as it directly supports one of the three-fold missions of the church. Considering the eternal consequences of not having the correct data, I find "so quit complaining" to be inappropriate. Please reconsider your attitude. If you at satisfied with mediocre or less recording of the data as recorded, that's your prerogative, but many of us are not.

      As for anarchy? What we have now borders on anarchy, with data being entered willy-nilly with no way to correct it. Ancestry.com allows correction of entries, and it is hardly in a state of anarchy, at least as far as actual records go.

      I apologize if I seem harsh in my attitude, but this data is far, far more important to me than it seems to be to you.
    • Russell Harland: Amazing project: lots of flaws. My "complaining" includes many suggestions for improving the system. I know all the other records you mention are not perfect, especially "tombstones" by which I presume you mean gravestones - and in fact they are not considered primary sources because they are often erected long after the death, and who knows who furnished the data.

      But back to familysearch: when a marriage is entered with only the groom's name (the bride's name is clearly on the document), or a surname is spelled wrong even when the writing is clear or even typedm or one side of a document is just not scanned.... - this is carelessness and no one is catching it. OK, if they do not want to set up the safeguards with reliable monitoring to catch them, let us have some little place to record comments to correct the error. ancestry.com does this for census. We are not asking to "correct entries" which would indeed be against all responsible principles of sound research, although hardly "anarchy." No one is going to take a red pencil to the records. But most of the errors I see are done by the indexers, and those should be commented upon by those who see the errors and omissions. We are suggesting corrections to the INDEXING not the original records.

      The expression "looking a gift horse in the mouth," by the way pertains to checking the animal's age by its teeth - and the adage seems to suggest that it is foolhardy to examine too closely something you get for free. I don't think so - I look hard at these free records for which I am eternally grateful, and am disappointed to see the work done carelessly. They can do better. and when they don't, they could let us have a little sidebar in which to write our comments.
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  • I’m thankful that someone else feels the way I do!!!
    I have called umpteen times on this matter, and I have been doing Michigan State Deaths and talked as I said, They came back with a reply. ( why worry as they won't worry about your name (Joe Worrell) when it is finally done, but I WILL... and it bothers me as a former Teacher, student, and a human to know that my ancestor(s) line has so many variations. For example if you google and bring up Cities in Michigan, as I do every morning. I have found several variations to the same name ex. Blumfield, and then Bloomfield, (and these are not duplicates as some counties has a Bloomfield . Reguardless, they need to check and make sure that it is correct, and if it says county accept the word county, leaving it that way, not omitting township, city, unicorporated, etc. as that is the document as it is... typing in or omitting it as they think should be there. LEAVE IT THE WAY IT SHOULD BE.

    Another is the name a child is given, and we are told to type it and leave it the way the documents is written... Yet so many arbitrators take off the word (BABY) in front of Boy or Girl. say for example, my name of my child was *** Baby Girl Worrell***, they come back and show Girl Worrell... WHICH IS INCORRECT. and then I had done one which said (Angel Baby Girl Thompson) they need to leave all of the words as it is written, not taking out BABY GIRL... As that is what they named the child. Only parents, or the child, as an adult have the right to go and get their name changed through the courts, etc., then that record(s) will reflect the changes. not someone else in arbitration to make the decision. Just like when my wife married me, she had to change to the name of WORRELL, omitting her former married name, but still has her naiden name HERBERT.. So her name is now Maria Herbert Worrell, as it was changed when marriage took place. Removing her former married name.. (Smith)... she even had to get a new Social security card with updated changes of her name....

    In fact, I have never keep records of the changes as you mentioned, but, I am from now on, so I know I did it correctly. Yes I make mistakes, as we are all human, but to continue doing this is not be taught correct personal or gospel principles.

    I feel that there should be a name, or email, or number to discuss and see how they came up with that name or date(s)...
    • Don't take this the wrong way, but at a certain point you're beginning to turn over every rock and leaf looking for something to complain about. This is a great resource that makes doing genealogical research to be a much easier task than it has been. Why complain about it? The LDS also allows this free of charge regardless of religious affiliation. I'm Lutheran and have never contributed in any way to the LDS, but they allow me to use this resource. It does cost money, after all.
      If this web site is so bad, why are you using it? It's because it's more convenient and accurate than what is found elsewhere. What isn't accurate can be double checked against other sources. For example, a photo of a tombstone. Even at that, this is still more convenient than the alternative. I should point out that even the census records often state that recorded immigration dates and foreign birth dates are approximate. So they must be verified. A record date of 1905 on immigration documents can be an actual birth date in 1904, as happened with a relative of mine. When the original document is approximate, it is just that. The LDS has no fault in this.
    • WE MUST do our very best, but it does make us perfect, the handwriting of the priest or his helper can be very bad. My relatives was those indeviduals for several generation!!
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  • Janet-

    I agree with you completely, and I have raised this issue a number of times, always receiving a reply that amounts to "too bad, so sad, but it can't be done easily right now."

    My response to all is that, if ancestry.com can do it, then FamilySearch, with all of its resources, can certainly do it.

    What I don't understand is that these are not just names and numbers we are dealing with here; they are people. Mostly deceased, to be sure, but people nonetheless. Every name is part of someone's family and someone's friend. Those names need to be given to utmost care possible, and need to be as accurate as possible. An inability to be able to even add a (supported) correction is, in my view, caused my an ignorance of the implications of not being able to find an ancestor.

    Just to resharpen my sword in this argument:

    My family name is Rethard. It is over 1000 years old in that same form, but it is quite rare (less than 25 on the planet that I can find. All Rethards in this country descend from a single ancestor who came here between 1791 and 1810. I have personally spoken with most of the living Rethards in this country.

    Which brings me to the point: In 1940, there were several Rethards residing in or near Centralia, IL: Jacob Washington Rethard and his family, Arthur Rethard and his family, and Malena (Forth) Rethard and her son. When the 1940 census images were released, I found Jacob's family (entered as John Ruthard, not Jacob Rethard) because I had the address and Malena's family strictly by chance. I did not locate Arthur's family due to the lack of an address.

    Once ancestry brought the records up, I looked again, but found NO Rethards listed in Centralia. Going back to the original images, I relocated Jacob's family again by address. The name was entered as "Ruthars." Malena's family appears correctly.

    I still can't find Jacob in the FamilySearch version of the census; still no sign of Arthur.......and Malena's family has disappeared!

    Clearly, there's a serious problem here. Without a way to tie the original images back to the interpreted records (as with ancestry.com), and without a way to correct the records when good reason is found (I think a family member's say so is good enough), there is a very serious problem.

    The solution to this - an other FS issues - is really quite simple. The people responsible need only two skills: (1) an real understanding of how to design computerized systems; and (2) an deep understanding - and commitment to the work this data represents.
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  • I’m angry and frustrated!
    I agree.... It seems that FS has screwed up my Familly Tree also. Not just in one family name, but in THREE! Starting with my Mother's family, then my Father's family... and now I find that it has messed up names in my Grand-Mother's family. One error could probably be forgiven... but there are way too many errors in this program. ; When it reaches to Family Tree Maker, and Ancestry.com, it is covering a lot of historic information and errors that follow our ancestry from now on! For some of us, a lot of work has gone into these records! And for our decendants who in the future want to do GENEOLOGY research on our family history, ??????
    This is un-excusable, and the attitude of what replies are to these complaints is atrocious! I think this whole program should be shut down!!!! Family Search used to be one of my favorite Geneology sites, and very helpful.... Until they started this "INDEXING" program that we have no way of correcting!!!!!
    • If so much work goes into your family tree, take responsibility and VERIFY. It's what anyone else has to do. Instead, you are complaining about a service that the LDS provides free of charge to anyone of any religious affiliation. I get the feeling that people on here are looking under every rock and leaf for something to complain about. What sad little lives people must lead. This web site has saved me a lot of foot work. Many of the "errors" are approximations on the original government paperwork and that information can be found exactly with a very little additional effort.
      If they did allow corrections, every Tom, Dick and Harry would have their fingers in the pie and accuracy would surely decrease.
    • Every Tom, Dick and Harry and Shirley IS allowed to make changes to FamilyTree, many of which I've had to undo because they are now allowed to change or even delete verified correct data tha I have entered. It seems reasonable to allow us to correct (by addition of an alternative, as in ancestry.com) bad infor from indexing.
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  • I can understand the frustration Patricia Casey is speaking of. Makes you not want to contribute to the file if they are going to corrupt it!
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  • I’m frustrated and confused
    I agree with all of the responses and even more perplexing is why there are so many entries with outrageous dating, i.e., mothers born AFTER their children,sometimes up to 200 years! And it goes on and on. You have to study all FS info and ancestry 'leaves' to make sure you're not transferring such information and sometimes the info gets added anyway mysteriously as it shows up as added when I didn't even add that file. Something somewhere in the programs adds info automatically with many errors included so I have to check periodically to see what changes have occurred after I have added records! I'm so glad that so much is being added daily digitally but it's of no use if it's not correct! I also agree it should not be such an impossible task to program the ability to make corrections. Why would that take more than a programmer who is skillful in databases? If someone could explain this to me I would appreciate it.
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  • "Why would that take more than a programmer who is skillful in databases?" In large environments dealing with large databases there are many different technology specialists. Even aside from programmers and database specialists there are data architects who look for issues in the data and work backwards to solve those problems.

    So far I have not been able to identify such roles being employed on the 'back side'. Thus the results we've seen.
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  • You would think that entities as large as FS and Ancestry would have these professionals in house.

    BTW indexers do the best they can considering the poor quality of the documents they are transcribing which also explains the mixed results with double and triple checking (as I don't think ANYONE can read the documents in question!) If the document has an incorrect but legible name the indexer must copy what is actually on the document and cannot be blamed for this. An even bigger problem I think is the information entered by family historians themselves. I won't even use ANY pedigree information in FS at all. If you look at a large part of the entries you will see errors, impossible dates, spellings etc originate with the family historians. Add to that the historical family members who were semi-illiterate themselves and entered THEIR OWN surnames in many different ways probably phonetically plus vital registrars, immigration officials, parish registers, land deeds and almost anyone who was filling out a document apparently did the same. I think this is also the only explanation for siblings spelling their names in different variations. What I do in these instances which cannot be corrected and no one can be blamed is to put my current modern spelling of my ancestor in brackets to confirm that this proven document is attached correctly to my history.

    It does all get very frustrating but at least I think if we accept that the above is out of our hands and cannot be changed or corrected we can just get on with our research and do the best we can. BTW Ancestry.com has almost as many errors as FS so it's up to us to watch out for these and to double check our research and/or look for proven official sources.
    • It is very kind of you to stand up for the indexers. I know there are some who are excellelent and concientous "transcribers"/Indexers. However, not all are that aware of errors they make. Indexing became a sort of "contest" at one point here. A "HURRY UP" to get indexing done for the 1940 Census when it was released! I haven't even gone through all of my relatives/ancestors for that release yet. It got too frustrating. Yes...some writing in original census reports is difficult to read, but in the case of errors found in my experiences, more than a equal ammount were very ledgible and still there were very serious mistakes in transcribing! Totally unacceptable name mistakes... just guesses when a little study of those names would show the transcriber the true information!!!! Do they realize that their transciptions change our very line of research and family history if they make errors? I realize that all "transcribers" ie: Indexers are vollunteers.... but if they were paid employees making these errors, perhaps they would be reviewed and at least made aware of the errors they made... perhaps many would have been replaced. Perhaps they would have been made aware the importance of what they were Indexing.
      Just saying..............................
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  • Patricia, I agree completely that if a document is legible to you then it should have been legible to the at least 2 indexers and an arbitrator. These are the most annoying and frustrating things to find. Luckily you are double checking. It makes me crazy also to find a mother younger than her children and countless other errors made by ????? Who can possibly make these kinds of mistakes? When you look at pedigrees it seems to be family members themselves. Drives me crazy whomever is so careless. Don't see how this happens and not occasionally but in very high numbers! As my father used to say when even 2nd or 3rd cousins had married "I'm my own grandpa!" and in the case of many of THESE entries they sometimes create that exact scenario! So just in the case of indexers who cannot transcribe LEGIBLE entries the 'disease' is rampant throughout genealogy! It makes our work as family historians almost impossible in many cases! Not only that but I have quit using FS at all except for documents and have to double check many, many 'leaves' in ancestry.com as the errors are there by the thousands also. Grrrr...
    PS: I agree with your statements regarding the careless indexers. Why are they even doing this at all? If you don't do your best and doing more harm than good why would you volunteer in the first place and waste many, many hours of time for yourself and the people who were supposed to benefit from this work? My defense was directed to those who transcribe 'errors' that are not their errors but are errors on the documents themselves and thus have to be transcribed exactly as seen.
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  • I’m thankful we have these sites!
    I have used Ancestry.com; Familysearch.org and now fold3 and have gotten nothing but good results. Having been a genealogist for 40 years I appreciate the ancestry.com family of historical information and those who do the transcribing. I have found no errors that I could not resolve with just a bit of my own extra research.
    Please be thankful for those people who are willing to donate their time and energy to give us this information. With out them there would not be a place to start your/our research.
    Thank you Ancestry
    • June, I am so happy that you found no errors in your family tree over the years. I too found that to be true in earlier years and research. Also glad that your research was able to resolve any errors you did find. Were you able to change the MIS-information? Those of us with the most complaints have not been able to correct those errors... and recognise the info as errors...but we are thinking of future generations who may want to find their ancestors and hit dead ends because someone today made a SERIOUS mistake in transcribing. I have found my ancestors back to the late 1400"s and had not recognised any mistakes in all that research over the years.... until the last couple of years when the Indexing really got started. Actual documents that I have printed out from this very web site just recent years... do not match up with the transcribed, indexed information of that same document in current indexes on FS!
    • Patricia- I find your criticism of the transcribers particularly harsh after reading your posts because you do not proofread your posts. Either you have a typing problem or a spelling problem -you see, none of us are perfect. I have found several mistakes and I know it is a terrible problem but I also know how incredibly difficult it is to find volunteers. It doesn't get any easier to find volunteers when they have to listen to all of the criticism and they don't feel like their efforts are appreciated. Let us practice a little more understanding toward one another and press toward the real problem and that is the design of the site that doesn't allow for comments or annotations to the records. -Shari C
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  • I’m research is what makes a family strong
    One other comment: try using other sites that are available including cemeteries and old obituary listings. There are sites where you can exchange information also.
    You also needed to remember that in early times those doing the records and censuses were not well educated and often guessed at spellings. In German families the children were called by their middle names and this can make things confusing when you have a record for Johann Jacob //// who was put in the census as Jacob /////. My last name Wittmer is also listed as Whitmore, Widnar and Whitmer because that is the way the writer heard them said and I had to do the research myself to find the correct family members. That us what family history is about, searching for your family, yourself.
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  • I’m waiting for an answer
    The issue is not whether indexers and arbitrators are heroes or villains. There is no question that old records written in an unfamiliar hand, interpreting various ethnic names and sometimes in less than pristine condition are difficult to navigate. The issue is that there are literally thousands of people still alive that know the correct answer and are overwhelmingly eager to set the record straight for the rest of us and for future generations. To ignore this marvelous resource for the want of programming is an absolute disgrace. This project should assume equal importance with adding new records. The records to be added will be around for years to come. Those of us who know the right answer won't.
    • Amen! We should all be more tolerant of those who have donated there time both to create the data sources and transcribe them.

      We know that many of the people taking census information in centuries past were not very literate and many of those who were providing the information were not able to read or write or even spell their own names.

      This means we must stop assuming correctness and, instead, become detectives and interpreters who make our own judgements/guesses as to the final selection of the correctness of the data.

      I like the way Archives.com allows tree-makers to add notes to each entry on the tree. Every birth, marriage, death or census record can have its own comments that can be used to explain the differences or mistakes that become evident while searching the evidence. By using these notes, it helps one to organize the confusing findings, make sense of them and keep track of where evidence was found.

      Every family tree should have such a way to keep notes for these purposes.
      Have fun growing your trees, everybody!
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  • To Leon Morse: Amen. Amen. I don't care how the error occurred. Sometimes the original is wrong; sometimes the transcription is wrong; sometimes it's both. I just want to be able to offer an alternate spelling, with my reasons, so that others can find the record.

    Ancestry has had this capability for years, and it works great. There are plenty of transcription errors at Ancestry too, but once an addendum (not a correction) has been made, a user can find it under either spelling. If four alternates are submitted, the user can find it under any one of them. I cannot understand why FamilySearch refuses to provide users with the ability to add alternate information.
    • May I add my echo for being able to add alternate readings. I located a census record in Ontario, because I gave up on my name and searched for a known neighbor. My name was spelled by the indexer in a way that it would be nearly impossible to locate.

      Adding alternate information is a boon for this type of an indexing error!!

      Shirley G
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  • Indexing is to make research easier no question about it. Much can be prevented by enlarging the handwriting so you can see it better! If Ancestry can do it certainly Family Search and the Church can do it!
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  • I’m pissed
    I've been seeing errors that multiplied in number. I've recently found entire data sets where one indexer mistranscribed every single name. This has to be deliberate, no one can make that many mistakes of reading on one dataset. I think that FS should investigate, but when I called them they promoted the party line- "The researcher will find it." I'm sorry, when it's so badly mispelled that it doesn't match the soundex at all, how are they supposed to find it?! Maybe it's a 'your're not a member of the church' thing for giving that pat answer? Do members get the same response.
    • The problem is they have people doing the transcriptions that aren't familiar with the area. The simple solution to that is -get familiar with the area! Go look at the census records. See what surnames lived in the area, see what the names of the towns and townships were. There are simple solutions to some of the problems, it's just no one has suggested them! I know about the names and places where my families are from because I haven't just studied my family, I have also studied their neighbors and the towns and townships around them. The cemeteries we visit, we study and photograph other surnames as well, to familiarize ourselves with the area. This helps a lot when you have to transcribe things! I have been working on a cemetery at find a grave using death records here and someone trascribed Letart Township as Setart. There are two places in the county -Letart Township and Letart Falls -a village. Also Letart Falls Cemetery. Also last name Beegle transcribed Buglu. It was just someone really inexperienced doing the transcribing is all. It really does take a lot of practice to read old handwriting quickly and correctly. With less and less people writing now days with the use of computers, the skill of transcribing handwriting is only going to get more difficult. -Shari C.
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  • I’m relieved and happy
    As most of the participants on this thread, I have been frustrated with the mistakes that have come through the extraction and indexing processes. I want to share with you some experiences I had recently which may be encouraging.

    Recently I started using the new Family Tree website launched by FamilySearch. It is the website that members of the LDS Church will use regularly to link their families together. It will also be available more and more to genealogists who are not members of the LDS Church.

    Experience 1: Correcting Relationships

    Last week I had the opportunity to correct the listing of parents for my mother-in-law. She has both biological and adoptive parents. Unfortunately someone also gave her another set of parents (her adoptive father and his second wife, the stepmother). It was wonderful to make the changes and not have to call the help line and/or fret anymore. I was also able to mark the two sets of parents "biological" and "adopted" which was also good.

    Experience 2: Correct Names

    Today I was able to correct a surname which had been read and transcribed incorrectly.

    The surname was from a Dutch family and is actually "Vleisman". The challenge came because the indexer/extractor had read the "V" as though it was the letter "K" (Kleisman). In another case, the indexer/extractor read the "Vl" as though they were one letter "H" (Heisman). Of course Kleisman and Heisman were incorrect.

    This family lived for generations in Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands. Their records are on GenLias (www.genlias.nl) and also the provincial archives website (www.allegroningers.nl). In addition I was able to see the actual record on a digital copy on www.familysearch.org.

    One of the problems is that the handwritten "V" in the mid-nineteenth century could be written quite fancy. If a person is not familiar with the Dutch handwriting, it really could be mistaken as the letter "K" -- especially if read by someone who might not know better or who was tired.

    After I made the correction, I wrote an explanation and also (in a separate step) added the source information with a note/comment from me.

    The thrilling part came when I could correct the surname and never see that incorrect surname again!

    I wanted to share this with the participants on this thread because there is hope for us. We will have the opportunity to make corrections, additions, and/or comments to our records.

    I agree with the suggestion made earlier today or this week -- keep a notebook of necessary corrections. The corrections might also be kept in a genealogy computer program (notes, additional facts and events, etc.).

    If you are not a member of the LDS Church, try to find out when the public will start using Family Tree. It is possible that some non-members are using Family Tree now but I am not sure when they will. Maybe the information is available somewhere but I apologize because I am not sure when or how to sign up currently.

    It will be a great day when we can ALL make the corrections and other edits we need to make. I know many of you will be anxious until you can work on the new Family Tree website. (Remember it will be on www.FamilySearch.org).

    Do not lose heart. There are better days coming soon!
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  • I’m frustrated
    When are we going to get some more UK projects - there is another life beyond the USA.
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  • I’m I am really disappointed with the new program!
    I was really excited when I heard that they were correcting the major problem with new.familysearch and that you could "correct" inaccurate information that had been submitted over the years from all those 4 generation pedigree and family group sheets that had been submitted over the years. The new program is nice and much easier to navigate but still has not solved the major problem of being allowed to "unlink" your family line and reconnect it using more up-to-date research. I belong to one of the largest families in the church. A MAJOR error was made by a highly respected genealogist in the 1950's. His research has now been totally disproven using both DNA and excellent research by our family organization, but it is still impossible to unlink the bad research and put in the correct names. Yes, it is nice to be able to correct the simple typos from the old records, but all this is pointless if you cannot link your family to the correct ancestors! The myth that the Aldridge Family and the Allred Family are the same group just keeps getting perpetuated over and over. If this only effected just a small group of people, I can understand correcting the misinformation would not be high on the "to do" list, but this effects thousands of faithful members of the church who are just trying to do the best, most accurate job they can in with their genealogy.
    • Can you unlink the bad research in FamilyTree by deleting the very first incorrect parental relationships going back in time? For example, if John is the closest ancestor to you who is linked to an incorrect line, I believe you can delete the relationships for John as the son of the incorrect father, and John as the son of the incorrect mother. He will then appear as having no parents. I think you can then enter the correct parents so that John will thereafter be connected to the proper paternal and maternal lines.
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  • I’m I am really disappointed with the new program!
    Not sure what the point of the little smiley and frowning faces are. Is it some king of "group therapy?
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  • I am a beginning genealogist and a beginning indexer but I have a LOT of experience with very large data bases transcribed by human beings. It is simply impossible to make sure that what *you yourself know* as fact is what is recorded in transcribed records. Having done some indexing, the hand writing is horrible. I've had two people appear in the same batch who I KNEW where talking about the same place in Italy but each spelled it differently. Am I as an indexer tasked with going to a gazetteer and finding the correct name? And correct as of when? The 1880's when these men left it or the 21st century? I've seen lots of mashups of my family name (Hotchkiss) and Ancestry does a pretty good job at finding mispelled variants. I won't point out how many typographical errors were made by the folks railing against typographical errors in the transcriptions! The census folks were really bad with handwriting, as we all are today. Think of how many of us don't even handwrite anything beyond a grocery list these days. As an indexer, I try my very best to get what was written on the documents correct as written. If the information is wrong when put down originally, there's nothing I can do. Names have many variant
    spellings so be a little forgiving. Absolute accuracy is impossible.
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  • I’m frustrated
    The "official response" is now over two years old.

    While major progress has been made with respect to Family Tree in FamilySearch, not being able to correct mistranscribed data in the indexes is really inexcusable and continues to be inexcusable.

    As many have said, if ancestry.com can make provisions for at least noting and being able to search on corrections, then there is absolutely no valid reason (especially after two years) why FamilySearch can't implement a system.

    If we want to access original records, then the indexes must accurately reflect those records and in one instance that I just looked at, there are two errors in the transcription from the image to the index! And no way to correct those errors!

    Even after two years of having this problem recognized? At least give us a progress report!
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    • Ooooo Aaahhh Shiny... #5 makes me think that the browser based indexing promised here (https://familysearch.org/blog/en/futu...) last August is actually going to be the same thing as user contributed corrections. Of course this makes sense technologically, and is good news for the users. I wasn't sure what new things FamilySearch could excite us with this year. RootsTech 2012 had so many exciting FamilySearch new technologies like Linking, Family Tree, and the mobile indexing app. I wasn't sure this year's RootsTech could be quite as good. I am becoming more excited for it.
    • PS I hope the new experience will work on mobile devices. That might need another year of programming, but I'm hopeful. That would also fix the mobile Indexing app needs of users.
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  • I’m frustreated
    I too have seen mistakes in the spelling of family names. For example, in the 1930 census, for Park City, Montana, several of my mom's siblings' names are misspelled; for example, Lytia was supposed to be Lydia. Even the last name was misspelled from Vogele (or Vogel) to Vogle. Granted, my grandparents were from
    Russia, which made it hard for them to speak English. In the 1940 census, my dad's sister's family's last name was misspelled from Pettipiece, to Littipiece and Lethipiece; also, at one point, my dad's last name was misspelled, from Nazer to Nazer. No, I can not go in and make corrections. Darn it!!
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  • I’m bemused why simple temporarymeasures can't be done
    There is no doubt indexers face difficulties in entering correct information but the major issue is NOT BEING ABLE TO CORRECT THOSE MISTAKES OR OUT A NOTE LISTING CORRECT SPELLING. I found a female ancestor whose name had been misspelled breaking the line as when I searched on the correct name I found a whole lot of her ancestors. Please have a simple function where we can enter a notation or a link to a note regarding this person. How hard is that as an interim measure and and alert for the indexers to go back and correct at a later time when it is possible
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  • Free BMD have an excellent system for correcting mistakes - if a researcher
    informs them re. an error, even a minor one, and presents evidence then they inform the indexer by email and they are able to correct the records - is this solution too simple for Family Search?
    • I have written add-ons in FreeBMD and hope that helps family searchers. If you could do that in Family Search it would be a welcome first step. Surely it cannot be problematical not take long to give that possibility. Why has it not been done yet? However I can put up with all the variations (incorrect spellings) and am most grateful for all the generous work put in to make so much information freely available. It is just a pity that there is no way of adding helpful information to it.
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  • I just started looking through FamilySearch and found an error in spelling on one ancestor already. If 3 people looked at the page, and they saw a looping L, they would see that Luigi is not Louigi, and never was, but they don't look at other records on the same page just to study the handwriting. I must also say that Ellis Island is much worse. There's probably 10 different spellings for the same town in Italy, doesn't anyone have a reference list to look at? I guess they just don't care. I share a (illegitimate) relative with Charles Atlas, the body builder, and in Ellis Island, they brag about his being number 1 on the search, but they have the wrong "Angelo Siciliano" (his birth name). I wrote to them about it, but of course they don't want to change it, that would mean they've been wrong all these years!

    Just imagine if these people had written the Bible, we would never know if Jesus was related to David or Abraham.
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  • I find errors in dates and places in a family tree for my great-grandparents (not a census transcription error) and it is a crime that I cannot give corrections, or even give alternate suggestions. What's the point of having WRONG information online, and being unable to fix it?
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  • While transcription errors are extremely possible,but for not having any means to correct your on-line database is hogwash. Fields can be added to allow for comments and/or adjustments. It is just that the LDS doesn't want to do it.

    Since Ancestry setup this website in cooperation with the LDS Church, both parties should look at it hard so that corrections can be made by researchers. We know the original documents cannot be changed, but websites and databases can be.
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  • Austin & bellringer,
    Robert has stated that editing/corrections of the data will be allowed later this year. They are working on it. https://getsatisfaction.com/familysea...
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  • I’m amused
    FYI
    This is a new area of Mexico which has been very helpful, church records: Los Cinco Senores, Santander Jimenez,Tamaulipas baptism records of 1749-1818 several areas seen, but if you look at image 173 of 569 it states death or interments rather than baptism, It's all good for me, since I/m able to find numerous ancestors in a different location baptism or death I'm able to connect, just to let you know there are death record mixed with baptisms.
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  • I concur. I found place after place where the indexer may grievous errors. Often, I could not understand at all why they did so. The writing/etc. was clear. Other times, it required knowledge of the area to recognize the ghastly errors. There needs to be a way to flag the familysearch to go back and look at the mistakes. Otherwise, this site is not as useful as it could be.
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  • I’m happy
    Thanks, Robert, for this good explanation about census errors. I hope that errors that had been corrected earlier are included with the census record. For instance, in the 1930 US census for Salt Lake City, Utah, my father was listed as Alma Barlser instead of Alma Barker. The error was found and corrected a couple of years ago.
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  • It wood be nice to be able to correct the errors since I'm still alive and they have my name misspelled.
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  • I’m disappointed with the new FS
    I have done extensive research on my wife's family and was i suprised when i looked them up on the new FS and saw all the mistakes. They have one of her uncles name as part of his fathers name, her great grand father goes to the wrong parents and numerous other mistakes as well as missing information. The problem is we cannot change or remove this misrepresentation of our ancestors. Even if the correct information is entered, the old incorrect information stays listed also. To me this is totally unacceptable from someone like FS, who has been such a fantastic research source in the past. With all the improvements and new information FS has been adding, they should have only gotten better, not worse. I just hope this is corrected soon, before too much misinformation is used by people that are just startind and do not know better and wind up with family trees that are useless and confusing.
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  • frustrated
    Johanna Pitsch 7 days ago
    There is mix up with my Great-grandmother in the Fuchs/Fox book. It has my her married to the wrong man, She is the daughter of Theodore Klein and Anna Freund, her name is Anna Gertrude Klein aka Gertrude Klein married Sebastian Vierheilig.
    They have her married to Johann Joseph Bauer. The lady that married him is Gertrude Anna Klein, daughter of Herbert Klein and Mary ? However to many people are believe in the Latter Day of Saint. I do their death cert. as proof. that is on the site of Seeking Michigan. My e-mail is welkelj@att.net. I am Joan Pitsch Welke. This is a big big head ache for me.
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    • Anna Gertrud Klein
      Ancestral File

      Anna Gertrud Klein
      Pedigree Resource File
      birth:
      19 December 1828
      Arft
      marriage:
      1861
      Saint Mary's Catholic Church, Westphalia, Michigan
      death:
      November 1913

      burial:

      Saint Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Westphalia, Michigan

      parents:Theodor Klein, Anna Freund
      spouse:Johann Joseph Bauer;Joseph Bauer
      children:Peter Bauer, John Peter Bauer...
      This needs to be corrected

      As you read these two death cert. You will find the One is saying Gertrude Vierheilig, died October 15, 1903, born December 19, 1930 (she did changed her date of birth so she could be younger that her husband Sebastian he was born January 20 1929, she was born December 19, 1828) Her father is Theodore Klein and mother is Anna Freund

      The other death cert. You will find the this one saying Gertrude Anna Bauer died November 22, 1913 and was born December 25, 1829, Her father is Hebert Klein

      Corr would be
      Anna Gertrude Klein
      Parent Theodor Klein, Anna Freund
      spouse Sebastian Vierheilig
      children: Rose, Helena

      Anna Gertrude Klein and Sebastian Vierheilig was married at Holy Trinity Church, Alpine Township, Kent County, MI on 09 May 1853

      These two death cert. are proof of the Mix up, I am sure you would not like mistake on you files
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    • The Story of St Mary's Westphalia 1836-1986, Of Pilgrimage, Prayer and Promise, is More right than Fuchs/Fox Book, Mr. Fox did not check out the two Gertrude Klein, he has them mix up. My Great-grandmother Anna Gertrud daughter of Teodore Klein and Anna Freund, did not marry Joseph Bauer. She was married to Sebastian Vierheilig. I would like to see this being corrected. I was good in the past that I was able to get my family records and I also was provided with originals, in which I had to read in German. I would like to see that Latter Day of Saints keep up their good work.
    • Jane Fabiano-Turner, 616-866-2943, know how to get a hold of Phillip Fuchs
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  • I’m frustrated
    Wonder if correcting entries is any closer to being allowed?
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  • It only needs to be possible to add the corrected information. For example when it says DE KUNIS all that need be added is "= DE NUNIS" and in my family's case where it says Raymon RIPPLE add "actually Raymond REFFELL". Does that posssibility need to take years to be enabled?
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  • I agree with the recent comments. After more than three years talking about it, are we any closer to the implementation of a simple method for entering name corrections, similar to the way it is done on Ancestry.com?
    • Yes.

      Much closer, even though the final deliverable isn't in your hands. I noted long ago that there were a number of back end systems that needed to be re-engineered to support this feature. We have been consistently moving the work forward on these.

      In addition to this behind-the-scenes work, You have seen many major changes to the site (Family Tree, Photos & Stories, Attach records to Family Tree) that have also been high priorities and consumed engineering time.

      We're making progress but it will likely be sometime in 2014 before this can be released.

      -R
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  • We always ask the Lord to guide us...but sometime is is hard ro read through double entrees. I have seen it al over 49 years, God bless us so we can read though the lines.
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  • I agree with what you say regarding corrections but having an Add a Postem as is the case with FreeBMD allows you to keep the recórd as it is but also to see the correct information instead of concealing and preventing it.
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  • My first time here so please forgive my ignorance but the family tree of mine shows incorrect places of death for a couple of my relatives. How do I fix that?
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  • I’m frustrated
    How do I get in touch with the people that posted this info?
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