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Archiver > APG > 2009-01 > 1232146249

From: Langdon <>
Subject: Re: [APG] FW: "Fun" with ancestry.com
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:50:49 -0800 (PST)
In-Reply-To: <49707D39.6080505@reevesweb.com>

--- On Fri, 1/16/09, Peggy K. Reeves <> wrote:
 Ancestry can afford to flood the airwaves with prime-time
T.V. commercials for their product...yet they have convinced people that
they can't afford to screen their indexers and pay them a little
something...   What we will continue to receive are ridiculous
excuses to explain what we can all plainly recognize as shoddy work. 
....  These business entities are the same ones NARA is dependent
upon to "preserve" their records, with no apparent consequences for
omissions and poor performance.  Scary, isn't it?

Yes, it is scary. Ancestry.com has a new data base of South Carolina Death Records, 1821-1855.  Here are the first few entries I found:
Indexed: Mrs. Jane Axson born abt 1854, died 1857
Actual Image:  Jane ~ Mrs. Axson 35 yr old black female
[Jane is a slave, age 35.  Mrs. Axson is the owner. The birth date was pulled out of thin air. Two people were merged into one person in the index]
Indexed: Georgeania Col Condy  born abt 1840-1857
Image: Georgiania~ Col Condy  female black, age 1 ½
[Georgiania and Col. Condy are two different people, slave and slave owner.  I don’t know how they arrived at the birth date!]
Indexed: Majr Axson abt 1765 -1830
Image: N K   Majr Axson  Female  5 mo old
[NK, (Not Known), is the entry for a 5 mo old slave belonging to Majr Axson..]
Indexed: Laura O. Axson, b abt 1831, d. 1831
Image: Laura ~ O. Axson [Laura is the slave of O. Axson. The slave was age 12]
Indexed: Capt Charles Axson, born abt. 1852, died 1861.
Image: Charles was clearly age 37, not age 9
After ten minutes of research, I realized that every death of a slave is merged with the owner’s name and indexed as one person. Every page I saw had purely careless errors, as in Charles Axson's age. Why hasn’t Ancestry.com noticed, with all of the double- checks?  Did Ancestry believe this was an acceptable form of indexing?  Apparently Ancestry thought it was acceptable to give only the certificate numbers, and not page or volume numbers, for any of the records. Volume numbers are not usually on the actual certificates.
Great job Ancestry.com! Keep striving for that 100% accuracy! [Peggy, please pass this on to whoever needs to see it.]
Langdon Hagen-Long


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