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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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  • I would like a way to send in corrections to data. Changing Lawrason to Lawrison or Tilley to Lilley can make someone miss a family member. I hope a way to correct mistakes can be up and running soon.
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    • My grandfather, Thomas William Potter B: 4 May 1872 was incorrectly Sealed to Catherine Mary Ann Evans according to the post was married in Aspen, Uinta, Wyoming, 1906. He was married to my Grandmother,Eliza Ann Harris 24 May 1906, In Kemmerer, Lincoln, Wyoming. This is a gross error. He had only one wife.
    • To Thomas James Potter:

      It appears that there is (hopefully) an easy fix for your problem. I think your grandfather was not actually sealed to Catherine Evans. Rather, for some odd reason, someone has combined your grandfather's record with that of a Griff Roberts. If you will go to your grandfather's record and click either "Details" or "Summary", then go to the bottom of that page and click on "Combined Records", you will be able to separate the Griff Roberts record out of your grandfather's record. Griff Roberts is currently record #11, so you will need to change "Records per page" to 20 or more so that you will see him. That is the only record on which Catherine appears as spouse when looking at the combined records. I believe that should take care of this error.

      KYN
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  • Yes, transcription errors happen. Hope you will eventually be able to work out a way to allow changes, maybe with a double or triple check on the suggested spelling of the original document. It might be somewhat biased to the new interpretation but it might also act as an "aha" moment.
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  • I’m glad to know this is being worked on
    This is a great idea, and the means for correcting mistaken extract / index items has been needed for a long time.

    This should, however, clearly be differentiated from "corrections" to the actual record. For example, some living descendants of an individual may not be aware of the many sound-alike variants for a surname that were used during the 18th and 19th centuries in original records. Some of the items on this message board complain about wrongness of an actual entry in a given record.

    There should be some way for users to make a comment concerning contemporary usage, or their opinion as to "actual" spelling of grandmother's name.

    There should similarly be a way to add an annotation, that would be added to the index, where the original record is wrong in some crucial way. I am thinking of some instances where the copy sent to the Census Bureau reversed first name and surname of head of household, and the firstname was given as the other household members' surname.
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  • I ditto what Jade wrote and more. I have uncovered an instance where the indexer "changed the surname" of person, from that shown on the Census Record. Why? Probably because the entry appeared confusing to them.
    Example: 1880 US Census, Philadelphia.
    Mary Richardson (a widow) had her younger brother, Robert Hill, his wife, Margaret, their two children, and Mary & Robert's very elderly father, Robert Hill living with her. So, what did the indexer do? Changed Robert Hill senior's name to read; Robert Richardson (thinking he was Mary Richardson's husband), but he was in fact her father. If this has happened once, it has happened on other occasions, and there needs to be a facility for righting such errors.
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    • view 2 more comments
    • One cannot be sure without seeing the two census pages, but from the description, and from what usually happened when an enumerator reached the bottom of a page and continued the family on the next page, usually without reentering the family number or the surname, If the indexer did not look at the previous image to get the correct family number, the person could be wrongly connected. In fact, if this is what happened, it is lucky if he has the right surname.
    • I have never had occasion to use the 1881 British Census, but have used the 1881 Canadian index on Family Search and the strangest thing I ever encountered was one where the Census doubled up a neighborhood. I suspect the Census taker or two different ones went around a block twice because it is a nice block of about 20 houses or so that are in the Census twice. I know it is not just a replication of data because several of the households have different results; ie more or less people and more or less details about the names, or middle name in one data set and first name in the other.
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  • When it becomes possible for users to submit corrections, an explanation and or evidence needs to be provided to show the the correction is...correct. If the evidence is insufficient and stronger evidence or an indirect proof is required, perhaps the error can be submitted to FamilySearch users as a whole. I would welcome the opportunity to improve my research skills by helping someone prove/disprove a pending correction.
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  • Most of the above comments were directed toward correcting errors in the original records, commendable, but almost entirely separate from the corrections of errors in the process of transcribing the imperfect records into the index.

    'Correcting' errors in the original records can be taken care of by leaving the records as is, [that is what they say] but adding a comments section where users could enter a 'but should have been... click to see documentation' out where it can be seen, and by making the record searchable both by the original entry and by the 'but should have been' name, date, or place.

    The transcribing process could he raised to a much higher level by feedback to the indexers as to their error rates and error types, and by having the arbitrator look at all entries not just those that differ. Duplicate errors are frequent. We hope they are of minor importance, like recording items the instructions say to skip, or expanding abbreviations the instructions say to record as is. Still, if indexers are encouraged to view all entries, there will be less of these error duplicates..
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    • English is not my firs language, but I will try to expres my idea... I was so happy when several years ago I start to work in family search and I spended some time to collect some information about my family, but not long after, I realized that some of my father, and my grandfather, and my mother records, was wrong for some reason...
      I stoped my work, and now I start again... to found that even my name, is wrong registered, because my last name given at birth, is before, and after my name...
      I realized that my family records was sended to family serch by a thirt party, that was related, but was not worked with documents or "first hand" information, thinking that do the work, was more important, that be specific with the names or places, or dates, or oficial relationships... I think that have the option to have access to our self fields for living people, will be so helpfull, even if we can not have access to correct the info for the ones that pass away alredy...
      I am so happy that people that know how the programs work, are willing to do the necesary changes, so program will be more productive, efficient and accurate. I will not give up this time, and I thanks to every one, that make this possible, to have this family serch working, and keep us toghether...
      Thanks again, love you all!!
    • Wayne's comment is spot on. E.g., I found a marriage record transcription (actually 2 separate ones) that showed the bride I was looking for to be 18 years old and the groom to be 21. This threw me off, since I knew they had to be much older at the time of their marriage, based on other records. Fortunately, the original record was available and it proved to be a form that only indicated that the bride was at least 18 and the groom at least 21 at the time of the marriage, i.e., of legal marriageable age. The transcriber evidently had taken that to mean the bride and groom were actually those ages and even took the time to do the math to put in the incorrect birth years, which were nowhere indicated on the original record. Makes me wonder how many other marriage records had the same error.
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  • If a head of household name is incorrect for a census and they are difficult to find in that census year...check for one of the known children or the spouse. This can help locate a head of house whose name may have been difficult to read and transcribe and is indexed incorrectly. This has been helpful in putting all the records together to make for a complete family with annotations as to the variations! Thus we are correcting them as we find them in the family groups. (Yea for Beta that helps with the variant spellings on the surnames!)
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  • I’m still waiting for this.
    It is urgent to provide a way for users to have transcription (index) entries corrected. Re-examining the record would often be all that is necessary to verify the correction.
    It might also be useful, but not as important, to provide a way for users to point other researchers to other (more correct?) sources.
    • Remember, an index s not a source. it points to the original record which was and is the source..

      Published genealogies should not be sources either. The quality of the information in published genealogies depends on the quality of research and the accuracy of transcription.. Errors are frequent. They should be used as a guide to find the sources needed in order to verify the information.
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  • This is great news.

    Perhaps a very easy way to do this is add a Edit Field up by print that sets the fields to editable.

    Then to view other opinions you could either go the way of having a icon to notify their is another opinion about this or Have a view other opinions link under the view image link.
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  • Urgent - is the operative word here. Sadly, I continue to uncover transcription errors (when compared with the original document) and I do not mean spelling mistakes. The last find was people on the US Census being described as - Chinese - when they were in fact - Colored.
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  • I’m frustrated
    If we cannot make corrects to the indexing, we should (at the very least) be able to add a comment to the document for various reasons.

    (1) correct transcription errors
    (2) clarify information
    (3) add relationship information

    There are probably other reasons as well.

    This morning I spent hours looking for the death record in Chicago of my great-grandfather's brother.

    I finally was able to browse the death certificates and figure out a way to find John J. Osterhaus.

    The surname was indexed as Osleitevus which is a terrible misreading of the name.

    I admit that the handwriting on the death certificate was horrible but this was a bad reading at best. (The crossing of the "t" was through the "h".)

    Another problem is that we cannot sort the list in the findings of a search. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the lists -- they are NOT by date, they are NOT by surname.

    On the GenLias website (Netherlands archives), we can sort by dates, record types, surnames, given names, places, etc.

    FamilySearch software engineers should be finding ways to help researchers find exactly the records we need.

    The hours I spent finding this one death record could have been used more productively if FamilySearch was more friendly to the research process.

    Thank you for listening.

    Mary S Scott
    • I agree with Mary that we should be able to correct mistakes. A person that I do not know has sent in false information on me, Dorel Greenhalgh, they report that I died in June 2006. Well I want you to know that I am still alive at 91. I have tried to correct this four other times. I went to The Family History Center personnally and talked to the people there. They make phone calls and tell me everything has been taken care of and it still appears the same. There is a Dorel George Greenhalgh that died in in June of 2006, buried in Enterprise, Utah. People just DO NOT DO THE NECESSARY RESEARCH that needs to be done to send in correct information.!!!

      Dorel Greenhalgh Kump
    • I also agree with Mary and Dorel
      I in error input that someone died. This was done after a RELATIVE mixed up the "Dead" person with their, I contacted Salt Lake to correct and the answer to me was how I do I know she is ALIVE, and I answered that I talked to her the previous week. She told me to send them PROOF she was Living. I asked how to prove, should I bring them there for them to Talk? I submitted the info and they (the person at Utah) refused to delete my Submittal.. Be careful what you submit,
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  • World Connect, as well as other databases, allow for post-ems. Originals are not changed but additional information, corrections can be made. Works pretty well, I think.
    • Margaret, WorldConnect is a web display of individual trees, not a records database. The post-ems can be helpful where based on evidence that is stated, but any information in them is not incorporated in the owner's tree except at their whim. They are text messages, not linked or encoded to relate to any particular datum on a given page. So they can not be incorporated in any index.

      In general, trees are not a vehicle for doing evidentiary research, although there are a very few sterling examples of WorldConnect trees that supply good documentary evidence concerning the assertions presented.
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  • When I work in Ancestry.com and get to a census record for example, it does allow me to indicate any errors and it keeps the original record the way it is and then all future searches show the corrections/additions from people. This has been extremely important as the names get butchered all the time since they are French.
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  • I’m sad that we can't get it right especially for the temple
    I have problems in that the whole family was based on a lie. The man I thought was my grandfather took my true grandfathers name. It is a mess, I have the documentation to clear it up and want to get the right people sealed to each other.
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  • Hope this will be up and running soon. It's available on ancestry.com so it's not rocket science. In 1930 census, my father's surname STEVENS was mistranscribed on both ancestry.com as Stmary and on familysearch.org as Stomero. Since I clearly know the family members and the last name I can see Stevens, but understand a transcribers error. But you can imagine how long it took me to find the census data. Forturnately my father had an unusual first name, as did his father, and a first name, no last name search limited to the state where I knew they lived proved successful.
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  • I’m frustrated
    Please provide a way for a user to submit proposed corrections to errors so that someone internally can make the correction.
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  • I’m amused
    hAHAHA I found my great-grandmother listed as Bennie..and my great grandpa's name mispelled too...and 1 of their daughters...if i hadn't done alot of cross-referencing i would have never found them. BUT--I did find out what the 'S" stood for in my Uncle's name! THANKS
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  • The gender of John M. Tools is a female in the ORDINANCE records of the church.
    John M. Tools is a male not a female. Please change the ordinance records from
    female to a male.

    Edward T. Watts
    • I have some of these situations too. This is probably not the best way to have the person's gender changed. There is a Help Center document (Document #108337) which provides the steps to have the gender changed in New FamilySearch. If the person is male and the ordinances were done for a female, I am pretty sure that the ordinances will need to be redone. See the help document and/or call FamilySearch support (1-866-406-1830).
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  • Having a way to correct errors is very important and I hope someone will devise a way to do it soon. My gr-grandfather's birthdate is wrong due to a transcription error in the 1850 Census. I have two family Bibles and a court case to prove the correct birthdate. A search will yield incorrect results of 1786 rather than 1807. That's a big mistake. I'd be happy to correct this if I could, but can't. I can't stress the importance of this enough.
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  • On your search I finally found my grandmother whose last name was Mrugalski. The 1920's census has it as Mujlski. Ancestry.com matches yours but has a way to submit a correction.Heritage Quest has her last name as Muglski and no way to submit a correction. So there is a difference in the websites. Hopefully you will find a way to submit corrections. It took me hours and I mean hours to find her. It is important that we get corrections made. I sent a correction to Ellis Island and they corrected it within two days.
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  • One thing that would certainly help folks doing indexing is an option that they can enlarge the handwriting to read it. I find most of the transcription errors I find are clear once it is enlarged. Jackson Co., Arkansas Marriage, 25 June 1876, Dascrida C. Dowden and F.M. Blackwood, is clearly Mrs. Dorinda C. Dowden and F.M. Blackford. Indexing is serious business and should be taken that way! Leonard J. McCown (leonard@mccown.org).
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  • Great idea! It's so easy to be able to enlarge on computers now that if they make that option available, it's much better.
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  • There is an error in the LDS Temple Records for my Grandfather, Guy Law, Person ID M9J1-4G1. I believe I submitted the source material years ago. Some how my maternal grandmother Geneva Mary Ballou is now listed as Guy's other wife. NOT TRUE. Guy's only wife was Florence Lucile Austin. How can this error be corrected? Thanks, Mike Law
    • look for help in new.familysearch.org and submit the problem. Listing it here will probably get you no where. This is for comments about the fact that they are considering "how" to make it possible for people to submit corrections to indexed work. This is not the group that would make changes to links and information in a family tree.
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  • I’m FRUSTRATED
    This is frustrating indeed. I looked for hours and hours for Evan Taylor Davis, his wife Laura, and sons Shuford and Bartel in Knoxville, Tennessee, both here and at Ancestry.com. I knew Evan had died in Knoxville in 1921, Laura in 1924, and Shuford in 1935. I knew they were there in 1910, ergo it would make sense for them to be there in 1920.

    So, after hours of searching I find that Familysearch and Ancestry has the family listed as Evian/Ewan T. Taylor, Laura D. Taylor, Shuford D. Taylor, and Bartel Taylor. How in God's name do you expect someone to find a family when someone has changed the surname completely? I'm not a member of Ancestry, but they have a way to make corrections, but Familysearch does not. So the mistake will throw off countless other researchers.
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    • Name: Eugene P Wilson
      Event: Census
      Event Date: 1930
      Event Place: Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri
      Gender: Male
      Age: 23
      Marital Status: Married
      Race: White
      Birthplace: Missouri
      Estimated Birth Year: 1907
      Immigration Year:
      Relationship to Head of Household: Head
      Father's Birthplace: United States
      Mother's Birthplace: United States (This was my grandfather ,he was born in 1906 .) This was my grandmother , she was born in 1908 .) can you fix this? Name: Myrtle F Wilson
      Event: Census
      Event Date: 1930
      Event Place: Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri
      Gender: Female
      Age: 21
      Marital Status: Married
      Race: White
      Birthplace: Missouri
      Estimated Birth Year: 1909
      Immigration Year:
      Relationship to Head of Household: Wife
      Father's Birthplace: Ohio
      Mother's Birthplace: Missouri
    • Gloria we aren't able correct the information you listed on this site.

      The information you provided is actually from the estimations found on the original U.S. Census records. It was not caused by inaccurate indexing. The years are determined by the date of the census and the age. Don't be too concerned about the estimated years.

      What we've been discussing are ways for patrons to make additions, corrections and notes to the indexed records. We expect that the original transcription from the indexers will be left as is which is fine.

      All we want is a way to alert others about the records and provide changes and additional notes due to indexing errors and misreading of the original documents.

      If you want to make additions at this time, check out the listing for the census on www.Ancestry.com which allows users to make notes, etc. Many public libraries and local family history centers have Ancestry available for researchers to use without fees.
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  • Firstly a note of thanks - your new site is superb: i am pleased that you have separated these transcriptions from member submissions, which have proved to have far too many errors to have as much worth as they may have done.

    I appreciate your comments about corrections and agree that underlying records cannot be changed. However, I feel that the following is more easily addressed:
    -------

    I have 5 search results for the same couple's marriage, apparently transcribed from the same source record (digital folder 4298440), but showing 3 different dates. My search was for

    richard rush,
    Event: Marriage,
    Place: langdon hills, essex,
    Year: 1776-1796

    Of the 5 relevant results, two came back with 19 Apr 1789, the others show 1779, of which two show 18 Apr and one 19 Apr.

    When there is an apparently obvious error like this it would be useful to be able to let someone know. I can accept that the bride's surname may be difficult to discern in those records, so am not worried about the Benton/Bonton transcription (though know separately it is Benton).
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  • A database is only as good as its data. If it has known errors in transcription, there needs to be a method to correct that data. Perhaps it could be done through the volunteer transcribers. Create an online form that lets the submitter report what they think the correct transcription is and then have the volunteer transcriber compare the suggested correction to the original document. Do it twice and if you get an answer from both transcribers that it needs to be corrected, then it probably does.
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  • As people use the database, there will be discoveries of corrections. For example, the 1870 US Census has been transcribed to show my GG-Grandfather as George Bar rather than George Beer. I understand why the transcriber would have written Bar because the handwriting could easily be read that way with the two e's looping closely together. I know enough to look for odd spellings, but not everyone will. There should be a method to correct this error and others like it.
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  • Another great dilema.I was having trouble finding a Potts family in Bedford County, Tennessee, knowing that they had to be there. Guess what name they were listed under? Potter. Come on folks, give us a way to correct this nonsense. Potts was spelled wrong from 1860 to 1920. Pats, Pates, Potter, etc.
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  • How about allowing people to post notes on the individuals detail page to help others.
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  • I have a Jakob Echternkamp, father of Margr. Ils. (Margarethe Ilsabein), whose record appears in "Russia Deaths and Burials 1815-1917" even though her place of demise is "Stedefreund". Your own Standard Finder places this location in Nordrhein-Westfalen, nowhere close to Russia. This entire indexing project needs to be reviewed and re-positioned to Germany / Prussia. It would appear that someone missed the "P" in "Prussia" when they labeled this project.

    Is this the proper forum for reporting such egregious errors?
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  • The error in my in-laws' census data comes because the census taker sometimes used cursive capital "E's" for lower case e's and other times used cursive lower case "e's". Therefore, the letter sometimes looks like an "r", an "i", or an "s". Also, the cursive lower case "n's" often have a dip between the two humps that make them look like "u's". This is often the case during the early 1900's (and probably more so during the 1800's). However, if compared to other names on the same document, written by the same census taker, the spelling becomes clearer. I would like to suggest some training for the transcribers that will help them look at the census taker's writing of other names when they are not sure of the spelling. This is how my husband's grandmother's name of Loneta was transcribed as Lonita from the 1930 census and as Loueta from the 1920 census when, by looking at each census, the name was spelled as Loneta each time. I have done some indexing work myself and know how hard it is to decipher the spellings many times. When I had a hard time here and there, I would note that I wasn't sure about the spelling so another pair of eyes could look at it. However, I received one batch that was so hard for me to decipher that I stopped indexing for fear that I would just mess up too much and make it harder for the family members searching for their ancestors.
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  • I’m frustrated
    Perhaps your software engineers need to talk to the people at Ancestry.com about their system of allowing corrections or additions to records. Their system seem to work quite well, so if they can do it, then I'm sure FamilySearch can too. It really annoys me that I can't correct errors on your new site, especially my grandfather's mothers name and surname, which you have got completely wrong, but then so did the vicar when he wrote it down in the church register. I have my grandfather's birth certificate which does have his mother's correct names, thank goodness. Otherwise we would start to wonder why family knowledge was so wrong.

    Don Cameron.
    • I have been on ancestry.com. You can make changes to a chosen field and add a note about the details of *why* the change. The chanes are linked to the original document and are searchable as well as the oringinal indexing entry. My g-g-grandfather is Ozias Kilbourn/Kilburn. He had a grandfather and great-grandfather also named Ozias Kilbourn. The youngest of them went by Bans, which was his nickname. No one would know to search for "Bans" which is what is shown in the census unless they knew he had a nickname that he went by. The ancestry.com changes are very helpful since they show up in the search results.
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  • Regarding the family of Horace Robert Bloxham (KWC5-G5K)
    the following children are not his children but are older siblings
    of Horace Robert Bloxhams:
    1- Martha Ann Bloxham
    2- Fredericj Fitz John Bloxham
    3- Frences Emme Bloxham
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  • I’m frustrated
    There are several misspellings of various family members. And no means to provide input/feedback/corrections?

    I did a family search on Benjamin Grifenhagen. In the results are various records with his name spelled in various ways. The URL is below:

    https://www.familysearch.org/search/r...~

    The record label "New York Marriages, 1686-1980", His spouse is listed as "Estan Foss". Her name is Esther Foss (or Voss).

    The groom's family name should be spelled "Klaus" not Klous.

    The record labeled "Benjamin W Griffenhagen / New York Marriages, 1686-1980" should read "Benjamin W Grifenhagen".

    In the item labeled "Groom's Name", the name should read "Benjamin W. Grifenhagen".

    The next two records have the surname spelled 'Griffenhagen'. It should read 'Grifenhagen' for both "Benjamin" and Max S."

    In the record for "Benj Grifenhager" in the US Census 1920, the name should be "Benjamin Grifenhagen".

    In the detail for the above, Benjamin Grifenhagen's spouse is "Ernestine Grifenhagen". His children are "Joseph Grifenhagen" and Ethel Grifenhagen.

    And to think I didn't even get to Carrie B Grifenhagey, (should be Carrie B Grifenhagen) Moe S Grifenhagey (should be Max S Grifenhagen), B. W. Grifenhager (B. W. Grifenhagen), Ernie Grifenhager (Ernestine Grifenhagen), B Gripenhager (Benjamin Grifenhagen), Carrie B Cole Gufenhagey, Max S Gufenhagey, or Edith Gufenhagey!

    And then there's Moe S. Grifenhagey (Max S Grifenhagen), Carrie B Grifenhagey (Grifenhagen), and others...

    And that's not all of the mistakes.

    You've got to come up with a means of communicating and putting into place corrections to these records.
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  • Well, I can see how really odd or complicaed names can be butchered. Having done this stuff and read census rolls, etc., for years now I can vouch for how hard it is to read and decipher names when they are not your own family. That being said, I have just learned to look for a last name, or a first name during a specific time and place in order to find material when the obvious spellings bring no results. Beginners, however, generally don't go this route, ergo we must have a way to correct the mistakes.
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  • I think you have to be careful with people adding corrections. If they do they should provide supporting sources for their changes or have them available to check out. On ancestry.com a person I was researching had a correction changing the name from Marcus to Chris. All my research and sources (and I have many for this person) do not support the name being changed to Chris.

    I agree people researching their family can recognize errors in names. One ancestor's birth is registered as Aileta Mary Elizabeth Young and because the name was so long they didn't add the last name Elliott, this could be seen only when you checked the father. The transcriber couldn't know that Elliott was the actual last name and that Young was a middle name. If corrections were possible I would add the last name and provide proof of why she should be considered an Elliott, all of course without changing the original transcription.

    Lastly I only found her birth registration by adding parents names into the search and leaving out the Young part. Like the comment by Joe Mode I have learned new ways to search and am still learning but finding a way to correct mistakes would cut down possible research time.
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  • How do you manage to get the persons name and his fathers name incorrect when on the next line the name is properly spelled. I am refering to William Mumford Parnell. You have him incorectly spelled Mumfort and his father as John. His fathers name was William Parnell also. I know this because they are my grandparents.
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  • It would be completely wrong for people to be able to randomly "correct" records which have been transcribed, and without view of or reference to the original record, because there are many people whose research is abysmal.

    Such a system would make the whole database completely unreliable.

    One has only to look through the IGI at records submitted by members to see masses of appalling mistakes, and completely impossible attributions and dates. I spotted one a little while back where a preteen male was "married" to a female in her late 30s with a bundle of children at foot - all older than he was! Right name, but wrong generation, and unrelated to the family listed.

    Instead, a system of notification of a possible error should trigger a review by one of the records team - to be corrected if an error is apparent.
    • I agree wholeheartedly that the records cannot be permanently corrected -- we need what is transcribed on the records to be accurate so the idea of a "records team" re-examining the documents is a good one.

      Still, it would be nice if we could post some additional notes, facts, etc. which might be helpful to everyone looking at the records.

      I have also seen where researchers want so badly to grow branches on their family trees that they accept all sorts of information -- even if it's obviously incorrect.

      This situation isn't limited to the indexing of records either. Just today I was working on some Dutch families. One of the researchers used a registration date for the birth as a christening date. To make it even more confusing, the registration/christening date was a year before the documented birth date. Turns out that there was a baby with the identical name who was born and died in 1829 and the other person was born in 1830. Pretty improbable to be baptized before being born!!

      It would be good to have information attached to a record but not change the data of the original record.
    • I don't think that FamilySearch should go down the path of randomly changing the original records. The system Ancestry have allows additions or corrections to be made, but with the records as transcribed by them remaining the same. For example, if John SMITH was recorded as being born in Stepney, London on the 17th of May 1643, but his real name was John SMYTH, than this could be added and anyone looking for John SMYTH would find the correction, and anyone looking for John SMITH would still see the original transcription, but the variation to the surname would be available also. As for people who have make additions or correction based on bad research, well what difference does it make? If anything, it makes you double check your own research. When I make corrections on Ancestry I give my evidence, and people who come after me can make up their own minds who is correct. Sometimes I've had to go back and change my own corrections, not that they were wrong, but because I have found more evidence to support my changes. Of course there has been the odd times where I've made errors, who can say they don't. At least on Ancestry you can contact the person who made the correction and if necessary discuss the variation between their research and your own.
      I had a case recently where a girl in England had my great aunt married to her grandfather, except my great aunt was never married to her grandfather. With a little help from me, we were able to find the right wife for her grandfather, and so set her on the right path. She was new to genealogy. Perhaps if FamilySearch do introduce corrections and additions, they might care to allow only registered users to make corrections, thereby allowing people to contact one another by e-mail or via a contact function, something like what I'm doing right now.
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  • First off - I am Margi Jones in the Sierra Montana Ward in Surprise AZ - my email address is queenofthehop@cox.net. I'm not sure where to go on the newfamilysearch website here to make a suggestion. So I hope this gets to the right person and it makes sense. When I bring up an ancestor's name and click on the column that shows Summary, Details, and LDS Ordinances - on the LDS Ordinance section, I see the ancestor's name at the top and scroll down to look at more information, it brings me right passed the Endowment information. I then can only see 1/2 of this page - so - I therefore, scroll down where I see Sealing to Parents and Sealing to Spouse. Well, by then, I have forgotten (since I am working on so many ancestors) the name of the person and have to scroll up to the top. I see at the end of the Endowment area there seems to be room to place the person's name again so that it would show up on the scrolled down page. I think this would be so convenient and not confusing and so helpful and save time! I hope you have understood what I am trying to get across. Please feel free to email me or even call me if you do not understand and are interested in my idea. I can be reached at: 623-792-8217 - Margi Jones. Thank you for reading this!
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  • This is too bad, for I found it interesting on the pedigree resource file some of the info i had searched on myself.....

    Your submitters name ldstephano2720321 entered until Cleophas Séguin but their were so many other children in that family....why no record......

    I do understand you are not able to correct or add.....

    I have the Séguin dictionary in my possession and names of those children are included with sources also thru other means available

    Hope to see this corrected or added in the near future so that I may add my info on the Son named Abraham Séguin that and children and one was Joseph Abraham which had a daughter names Ida whom happens to be my grand-mother

    Tks Lise Prud'homme Labbé
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  • I hope that corrections can be noted soon on Family Search as they can be on Ancestry.com. Genealogy is a search puzzle and it is quite easy to mix up members of the family without transcription errors, which is why I like to correct them as they are found. For example N B Gragson lived in Grayson Ky and many seem to think the g is incorrect in Gragson - alas it is correct. And Eva really is in some cases Era. and poor Violet whose death record I found under the name of Dudley. Yes these things happen for many reasons but it is nice when we can correct and there by aid others in finding the correct folks. Keep working on it and I will wait to correct. :-)
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  • I’m happy
    I'm very happy overall with your site. Yes, I would like to be able to add notes to records when I know they are in error...Still, I am forever grateful for the help your sites have been...least I forget to say it often...

    Best Wishes,
    Jim
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  • Hi! Your site is wonderful but I would love to be able to make corrections. For example, my Cuthbert Ebenezer BEGGS is shown as Cuthbert Ebenezer BIGGS. My parents, besides being related to him, were friends of his when they all immigrated to Winnipeg and his correct name is shown in the records there as well as on the Irish Civil Registration as far as I know.

    Also my Frederick Cuthbert VODREY is shown as Frederick Cuthbert VODBEL. Frederick Cuthbert Vodrey was the son of the famous Irish art pottery manufacturer, Frederick Vodrey, of Dublin. As far as I know there is no such surname as "Vodbel".

    I think you might look into the method used by Ancestry.com where people's corrections are shown as something like "alternatives" and then, I believe, can be found by a search on the "alternative" name.

    Hope you can find a workable solution. Thanks,

    Marcia Cuthbert (relative of the above mentioned people).

    P.S.: It took me 3 days to be able to get into this page in order to post this comment. Page too slow loading. NOW it keeps asking me to log in and I am already logged in.
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  • I’m frustrated
    I was going to add ancestors to my family tree and found that someone has put the wrong person in the data base as the father of my great-grandmother, Mary Lamkin Perkin. Someone put William Lambkin as her father when, in fact, her father was John Lamkin. I have family records to prove this. This happened once before but I was able to see who input the data, contact that person, and have her remove the wrong person so I could input the correct person. This time I cannot see who input the data. It is very upsetting to find these errors and to know that I will not be able to perform ordinances for John Lamkin and his predicessors. At least I can have the correct records in Ancestry.com. It makes it difficult to want to continue to work on geneology. I realize that this is an enormous data base with thousands of people working in it and that it is very easy to make mistakes. We just need to remember that one day, during the millennium, all record errors will be corrected.
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  • This is a wonderful website & research aid, but what is so difficult in implementing something similar to Ancestry.com? That ability has helped me find ancestors as well as helping other researchers save hours of researching these index records; by allowing and adding variations or corrections and comments.
    • Jerry,

      We are working on designing and building a user annotation system that will let you add a correction to a record.

      Your question is an interesting one and it turns out that the system to do this correctly is non-trivial. I thought you, and others who have asked this question, might like some insight. Read-on if you like technical minutia...

      FamilySearch, like many search sites, is built to store large amounts of data and push that data to users in response to queries. Behind the scenes there are many databases full of "cannonical" record data, terabytes of images & image data, search indexes, etc covering ~2.4 billions records, growing daily. Between each database there are all kinds of software tools that pull/push/reformat/validate/index/or-otherwise-munge the data to make it searchable and preserve it's integrity. The data flow through all of these is in one direction - toward you, the user.

      Delivering to users a means to annotate these records and make the annotations searchable requires us to build a data flow from the web software client backwards through this "data pipeline" into the canonical databases. Each of the many software elements in the flow will need to be changed to accommodate this new capability. We will also need to design, test and implement some substantial new interface components to expose these new tools to users.

      Likewise, you may be familiar with all the double-blind, arbitrated indexing work that is required to 'extract' the data from images and make it searchable with a high level of accuracy. (even a tremendous less that 1% inaccuracy rate amounts to a lot of records for users to annotate when we are talking about 2.4 billion records). Some of that logic and data validation, but probably not all, will need to be instrumented in this new system as well to insure incoming data quality from users.

      We'll get this done, but it will take some time to do it correctly.
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  • I echo the above thoughts. Ancestry has a fairly efficient means for correcting transcription errors. Whay can't FamilySearch do the same? I am looking at a Texas death certificate transcribed thus:

    Name: Thomas Reever Ilirshill
    Birth Date: 14 Sep 1914
    Death Date: 26 Feb 1917
    Father's Name: Thomas Reeves Ilirshill
    Mother's Name: Eehie Kilgors

    Here is his brother's death certificate, which was correctly transcribed:
    Name: Kirwin Reeves Mitchell
    Birth Date: 8 Oct 1909
    Death Date: 29 Nov 1914
    Father's Name: Thomas Reeves Mitchell
    Mother's Name: Ethel Kilgore

    Admittedly the handwriting is difficult on the first one, but knowing what the names are, it is clear that the transcription is nowhere close to what the document says. I don't fault the original transcriber, but there should be a means to post the correct information alongside the transcriber's guess. If adding this function isn't a high priority at FamilySearch, it should be.
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  • I’m sad
    You should be able to internally correct a glaring wrong record when the father's birth date is AFTER the child's birthdate and you have the paper work in your hand but some loony put the wrong date in and now is an inactive member.Help
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  • I have been looking for some time for Thomas Hardcastle -I thought that I had found him in your records (Christened 1776 Kirkburton) but the Huddersfield & District Family History Society says that your information is incorrect - this is not satisfactory as I might go to a lot of trouble to find his so-called father William who doesn't exist. There should be a way of correcting these errors.
    • Well the record on FamilySearch.org does have a film that you can look at and determine if the transcription is incorrect. It is possible that this christening is for another Thomas Hardcastle not the one you are interested in. Sometimes a name is insufficient to define an individual.
    • Thanks gasmodels I don't quite know how to access the film. The H&DFHSoc
      says that there is a Joseph Hardcastle b.1776 but the record in Family Search is for Thomas Cockin not Thomas Hardcastle and that the Parish Records are very faded. I have been in touch with Huddersfield Library and they couldn't find a birth for Thomas Hardcastle in the 1770-1781 time span either. According to the census forms he was born 1781 but I was interested in 1776
      because as we all know dates are problematical.
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  • I have been searching for information in Laurens, South Carolina. The family I have been looking for is Barksdale. I have noticed that on many census entries and on several death certificates the name has been anything but Barksdale, and is often so far off that phonetics doesn't even help. I sure would like to be able to correct these entries for others who may be looking. These particular Barksdales are of African Ancestry, i.e. David Barksdale born circa 1835-40 and his daughter Queen.
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