25 May 2009

Ancestry deception

In a recent posting on the Ancestry Town Hall Meeting this blog noted that "Ancestry apparently have a relationship with some of their harshest critics. If you want to have your gripes addressed it seems it's good to be a really squeaky wheel."

Squeak. Here's an appalling case of Ancestry deception. Squeak. Squeak.

Ancestry recently made available selected issues of Crockford's Clerical Directories. These contain biographies of Anglican clergy in the UK. They also provides other information such as details about the Anglican churches and benefices in England, Wales, and Ireland. The years covered are 1868, 1874, 1885, 1898, 1809, and 1932.

Here's the search dialog box that appears when you attempt to search these volumes. There's space for first and last names and other information. But, try a search and you'll find that names were never identified as such in the digitization. Search for a man with last name Newby and you'll get lots of hits for a place called Newby, and some for people named Newby. There's no discrimination. The hits for the surname don't appear first. It's simply deception that you can search specifically for a name.

Aside from that problem this is an example of OCR'd documents with a poor quality OCR - likely one of the earlier efforts from the now defunct Archive CD Books UK. My great grandfather appears in the 1898 issue but he won't appear when you search from the form. Only because the listing is alphabetical was I able to track him down.

1 comment:

M. Diane Rogers said...

Good info to know, John. Thanks. Hope those get 'hand indexed' soon for Ancestry. Squeak, squeak...(I still long to know who those very special Ancestry critics are.)