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Old 02-15-2019, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,481 posts, read 13,183,326 times
Reputation: 10912

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I need a bit of a rant here. I frequently see people saying they think FamilySearch's indexing/transcribing is better than Ancestry's, and I always say they both have errors, I don't think any one is better or worse than the other. Well, here's a prime example.

I easily found this record at Ancestry on the 1870 census:

Name: Sabila Tyson
Age in 1870: 10
Birth Year: abt 1860
Birthplace: Pennsylvania
Dwelling Number: 37
Home in 1870: Monroe, Juniata, Pennsylvania
Race: White
Gender: Female
Cannot Read: Y
Cannot Write: Y
Inferred Father: Abel Tyson
Inferred Mother: Solome Tyson
Household Members:
Name Age
Catharine Tyson 14
William Tyson 12
Sabila Tyson 10
Mary Tyson 8
John Tyson 6
Henry Tyson 4
Abel Tyson 40
Solome Tyson 36

I went looking for the same record at FamilySearch. For the life of me, I could NOT find it with the search engine. During my attempts I found it concerning that all of the 1870 census results I was getting only had "Pennsylvania" as the location, no county or town. What's up with that? https://www.familysearch.org/search/...ion_id=1438024

I finally bypassed the search engine and went straight to the image and finally discovered why I couldn't find it: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61...801&cc=1438024

The surname wasn't even indexed! And the two people in the household who even have a surname indexed have it wrong. And once again, the location is only Pennsylvania, the county and town are not indexed either. I've never seen indexing this bad at Ancestry.

I'm certainly not saying "don't use FamilySearch" - I'm just putting some perspective on the situation whenever people say Ancestry's indexing is worse on the whole. In some cases, it might be worse but in other cases, FS is worse. I don't think anyone can say with certainty which is worse overall, if there is one. However, if this were at Ancestry, I could add the missing data by adding alternate info - but I can't do that at FS because they don't offer it, so all that missing data is just going to forever remain missing and make it difficult for anyone to find these records. It's really concerning how many records don't have the county and town indexed.

 
Old 02-15-2019, 09:56 PM
 
Location: OH>IL>CO>CT
4,945 posts, read 7,882,514 times
Reputation: 6685
A possible cause of some of the poor transcribing may be that FS uses volunteer transcribers. See https://www.familysearch.org/indexing/

And it is unfortunate that FS does not allow corrections. I've probably submitted over 50 to Ancestry. Most not as bad as your example. But it did take some extended and creative searching to find my father's family in the 1940 US Census due to gross misspelling on the part of the census taker.

Note that Ancestry has Abel Tyson & family listed in 1870 Census with no corrections shown.
 
Old Yesterday, 06:26 AM
Status: "On punishment for offending someone. Again. :)" (set 24 days ago)
 
3,725 posts, read 1,859,371 times
Reputation: 5096
FS is leaps and bounds ahead of Ancestry as far as I'm concerned. Ancestry has too many unnecessary features. It's designed to give users the impression that they're getting value for their money. Familysearch's primary goal is genealogy; Ancestry just wants to make money.
 
Old Yesterday, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,481 posts, read 13,183,326 times
Reputation: 10912
Quote:
Originally Posted by treemoni View Post
FS is leaps and bounds ahead of Ancestry as far as I'm concerned. Ancestry has too many unnecessary features.
Like what?

Quote:
It's designed to give users the impression that they're getting value for their money. Familysearch's primary goal is genealogy; Ancestry just wants to make money.
If any of that were true, these massive indexing problems wouldn't exist at FS and would be more common on Ancestry. Or at the very least, FS would allow users to add alternate info/corrections like Ancestry does so this very big indexing issue could be easily fixed, making it easier for users to find all these poorly indexed records.

Ancestry are a for-profit company so yes, one of their goals is to make money, it's the only way they can stay in business. But the fact that they do make a profit means they have more money to spend on making their product better. They are certainly not perfect, far from it, but this indexing example at FS is far worse than anything I've ever seen at Ancestry. If you're unwilling to at least use Ancestry for free at the library, you're only cutting off your nose to spite your face. Any good researcher should make use of both sites whenever possible.
 
Old Yesterday, 10:41 AM
 
4,323 posts, read 3,689,076 times
Reputation: 8864
Quote:
Originally Posted by treemoni View Post
FS is leaps and bounds ahead of Ancestry as far as I'm concerned. Ancestry has too many unnecessary features. It's designed to give users the impression that they're getting value for their money. Familysearch's primary goal is genealogy; Ancestry just wants to make money.
Those unnecessary features include powerful search engines that allow variances which produce results.
 
Old Yesterday, 10:42 AM
Status: "On punishment for offending someone. Again. :)" (set 24 days ago)
 
3,725 posts, read 1,859,371 times
Reputation: 5096
FS is a free service that uses volunteers. I expect Ancestry to be better, but ironically it is not. Ancestry has the market on lock. They should have the best of everything with the amount of money they make. As a black person who didn't know much beyond great grandparents but has now found 4x's great grands on nearly every side, all by using FS, I can't sing its praises enough. Ancestry is too "loud" for me and I find they return too many useless results. Whatever FS supposedly lacks makes me a better researcher, because I'm pretty good at finding what I need.
 
Old Yesterday, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,481 posts, read 13,183,326 times
Reputation: 10912
Quote:
Originally Posted by treemoni View Post
FS is a free service that uses volunteers. I expect Ancestry to be better, but ironically it is not. Ancestry has the market on lock. They should have the best of everything with the amount of money they make. As a black person who didn't know much beyond great grandparents but has now found 4x's great grands on nearly every side, all by using FS, I can't sing its praises enough. Ancestry is too "loud" for me and I find they return too many useless results. Whatever FS supposedly lacks makes me a better researcher, because I'm pretty good at finding what I need.
You didn't answer my question, I presume because you don't actually have any examples of the claim you're making that Ancestry has so many unnecessary features. Have you ever even used Ancestry? Another question that will likely go unanswered...
 
Old Yesterday, 01:42 PM
Status: "On punishment for offending someone. Again. :)" (set 24 days ago)
 
3,725 posts, read 1,859,371 times
Reputation: 5096
I didn't answer you because this is not up for debate. If you feel Ancestry is a better service, that's your prerogative. And yes, I've used Ancestry. I wouldn't have been able to determine it's "loud" if I hadn't.
 
Old Yesterday, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,481 posts, read 13,183,326 times
Reputation: 10912
Quote:
Originally Posted by treemoni View Post
I didn't answer you because this is not up for debate.
If you don't want it to be up for debate, you shouldn't have brought it up. You make claims about something with no examples, evidence, or proof to back it up, and when someone asks for examples, you refuse to answer and then decide it's not up for debate.

Quote:
If you feel Ancestry is a better service, that's your prerogative.
I don't think they are the "better" service. As I keep saying, any good researcher should make use of both sites. That's the entire point of this topic - one is not necessarily better than the other, but some people are bias toward FS because it's free and easy to claim resources which aren't free are evil capitalists.
 
Old Yesterday, 02:00 PM
Status: "On punishment for offending someone. Again. :)" (set 24 days ago)
 
3,725 posts, read 1,859,371 times
Reputation: 5096
I can't speak for "everyone". I like FS because it stays true to its mission, which is to help people uncover their heritage. I don't know anything about programming but as an end-user, I gather that FS's programmers are better because *I've* found their searches return more accurate results.
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