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Ancestry.com is riddled with transcription errors

  • 19 August 2020 12:08 PM
    Message # 9176121

    While it's great that Ancestry.com has scanned and indexed many new records, their ability to transcribe them properly is called into question.

    I've gone through several hundred records over the past month of various documents Ancestry holds that I had never reviewed before.

    My conclusion is that the Ellis Island Foundation, which transcribed the Ship Manifests, no matter how illegible, were held to a higher standard of data entry.  They were trained on reading stylized script of the day (no longer used), history of the regions the immigrants came from, their language, and ethnicity not found in the USA.  It was with this knowledge that they could make a better call on what the word they saw actually could be.

    I have found many blatant transcription errors, where words were misspelled, letters dropped or added and other distortions that should not have made their way into the typed transcription.   The problem is that you will miss records entirely.  The errors sneak past the sounds like, looks like, contains, begins with, etc.

    This is another good reason to go right to the source document and view it yourself and even more the reason to search all the pages in that particular document series, as you may never, ever find them using their "search" facility.

    Good Luck,

    Bill

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