Problems with FamilySearch

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Steve Hayes

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Aug 15, 2020, 2:48:44 AM8/15/20
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For the last few years I've been using FamilySearch a lot, comparing
our records with ones on their family tree, and trying to verify
everything.

But they recently seem to have acquired a new source, "Cumbria Parish
Records", which they are showing in their "Hints". It actually seems
to be an index rather than a transcription, and has far less
information than their "English Birth and Christenings" resource,
which is a transcription rather than an index, and often has a link to
images of the actual parish records where you can check the accuracy
of the transcription.

I spent several hours trying to disentangle a couple of families that
seem to have got entangled as a result.

They were Mark Elwood who married Mary Jackson and was born in
Branton, Westmorland in 1794, and Mark Ellwood (or Elwood) who married
Mary Mauncey (or Mouncey) and was born in Appleby in 1`796, son of
William Ellwood and Anne Simpson.

Censuses show that the children of the former Mark and Mary Ellwood
were born in Arkholme or Dalton in Furness in Lancashire, while those
of the latter Mark and Mary Ellwood were born in Long Marton in
Westmorland and Lazonby in Cumberland.

But the new "Cumbria Parish Records" index shows them all as having
been born in "Cumbria, England. United Kingdom", as a result of which
the two families have god thoroughly entangled in FamilySearch's
family tree, and no doubt in the family trees of several of their
users.

I don't know if family history societies have enough clout to persuade
FamilySearch to withdraw the "Cumbria Parish Records", or at least not
to display it so prominently in the "Hints" to prevent the contagion
from spreading further and degrading their whole family tree effort.

Even their "English Births and Christenings" resource is not devoid of
pitfalls, as it is the product of many different volunteers
transcribers, and it appears that some of them thought that if a
person was baptised in a church they must have been born in it as
well, but often the images are linked so one can correct them.

In the case of the Lancashire records one can often find better
transcriptions on the Lancashire Online Parish Clerks web site, but I
don't know of an equivalent resource for Cumberland and Westmorland,
the other constituents of the present-day Cumbria, which did not exist
in the time of more of the events in the "Cumbria Parish Records"
resource.



--
Steve Hayes
Web: http://hayesgreene.wordpress.com/
http://hayesgreene.blogspot.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/afgen/

Steve Hayes

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Aug 19, 2020, 10:30:55 PM8/19/20
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On Sat, 15 Aug 2020 08:51:00 +0200, Steve Hayes
<haye...@telkomsa.net> wrote:

>But they recently seem to have acquired a new source, "Cumbria Parish
>Records", which they are showing in their "Hints". It actually seems
>to be an index rather than a transcription, and has far less
>information than their "English Birth and Christenings" resource,
>which is a transcription rather than an index, and often has a link to
>images of the actual parish records where you can check the accuracy
>of the transcription.

Someone from the Cumberland Family Huistoery Society tried to discuss
this with FamilySearch and commented:

"I have had a long series of exchanges with Family Search over this,
initially the responses were standard pro forma answers about how to
use the website which did not answer the question posed.

I have now received from them another standard answer which
essentially says "Thank you for reporting errors in this database
which they will investigate and address, however due to the volume of
work do not expect this to be for at least a year" and have closed
down my query.

Note that most of the entries in this so called Cumbria Database are
in fact from the Furness region of Lancashire, the full list of
records it contains is :

(Film Collection) Parish registers for Blawith, 1709-1902 / Church of
England. Chapelry of Blawith (Lancashire) (Film Collection) Parish
registers for Egton-with-Newland, 1792-1917 / Church of England.
Chapelry of Egton-with-Newland (Lancashire) (Film Collection) Parish
registers for Haverigg, 1891-1911 / Church of England. Chapelry of
Haverigg (Cumberland) (Film Collection) Parish registers for Holy
Trinity Church, Ulverston, 1832-1914 / Church of England. Holy Trinity
Church (Ulverston, Lancashire) (Film Collection) Parish registers for
Ireleth, 1865-1909 / Church of England. Chapelry of Ireleth
(Lancashire) (Film Collection) Parish registers for Kendal, 1558-1907
/ Church of England. Parish Church of Kendal (Westmoreland) (Film
Collection) Parish registers for Kirkby-Lonsdale, 1538-1910 / Church
of England. Parish Church of Kirkby-Lonsdale (Westmoreland) (Film
Collection) Parish registers for Lowick, 1718-1916 / Church of
England. Chapelry of Lowick (Lancashire) (Film Collection) Parish
registers for Osmotherley, 1874-1908 / Church of England. Parish
Church of Osmotherley (Lancashire) (Film Collection) Parish registers
for St. George's Church, Millom, 1877-1909 / Church of England. St.
George's Church (Millom) (Film Collection) Parish registers for
Thwaites, 1724-1911 / Church of England. Chapelry of Thwaites
(Cumberland). (Film Collection) Parish registers for Ulverston,
1545-1911 / Church of England. Parish Church of Ulverston (Lancashire)
(Film Collection) Parish registers for Walney, 1744-1917 / Church of
England. Chapelry of Walney (Lancashire) (Film Collection) The
registers of the church of S. S. Michael & All Angels, Muncaster,
Cumbria in three parts / Church of England. Parish Church of Muncaster
(Cumberland)

So it is by no means a full record for the county of Cumbria."

So the Lancashire online parish clerks is probably a better bet
anyway.

Steve Hayes

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Aug 24, 2020, 10:37:19 PM8/24/20
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On Sat, 15 Aug 2020 08:51:00 +0200, Steve Hayes
<haye...@telkomsa.net> wrote:

>For the last few years I've been using FamilySearch a lot, comparing
>our records with ones on their family tree, and trying to verify
>everything.
>
>But they recently seem to have acquired a new source, "Cumbria Parish
>Records", which they are showing in their "Hints". It actually seems
>to be an index rather than a transcription, and has far less
>information than their "English Birth and Christenings" resource,
>which is a transcription rather than an index, and often has a link to
>images of the actual parish records where you can check the accuracy
>of the transcription.

I've now incorporated some warnings about this in a blog post on
"Getting the best out of FamilySearch"

<https://hayesgreene.blogspot.com/2020/08/getting-best-out-of-familysearch.html>
or
https://t.co/XRQDD6SXDf?amp=1

It was also prompted by complaints on a Facebook genealogy group from
people who said they had started "my tree" on FamilySearch, and were
enraged when people merged people on "my tree" without their
permission.

If you have any good hints and tips on using FamilySearch, please
write them here, and possibly in comments on the blog post.

Jenny M Benson

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Aug 25, 2020, 5:09:50 AM8/25/20
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On 25/08/2020 03:40, Steve Hayes wrote:
> It was also prompted by complaints on a Facebook genealogy group from
> people who said they had started "my tree" on FamilySearch, and were
> enraged when people merged people on "my tree" without their
> permission.

That sounds like people not understanding the whole purpose of FS
FamilyTree. It rather reminds me of a saying that my father used to
use: "you can legislate for the fool, but not for the bloody fool."

I am not a member of the LDS Church and I do no embrace many of their
beliefs but I have met with much kindness and generosity from many
members and I admire much of what they do. It costs me nothing to
garner a vast quantity of valuable data from the FS site and if it is
sometimes a little hard to find or a tad misleading then that is a small
price to pay and not worth my bitching about.

--
Jenny M Benson
Wrexham, UK

Steve Hayes

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Aug 26, 2020, 4:08:20 AM8/26/20
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On Tue, 25 Aug 2020 10:09:49 +0100, Jenny M Benson
<Nemo...@hotmail.co.uk> wrote:

>I am not a member of the LDS Church and I do no embrace many of their
>beliefs but I have met with much kindness and generosity from many
>members and I admire much of what they do. It costs me nothing to
>garner a vast quantity of valuable data from the FS site and if it is
>sometimes a little hard to find or a tad misleading then that is a small
>price to pay and not worth my bitching about.

I agree, but I do think it is worth warning people about when in the
hints they show bad data before good, because if people accept those
hints the tree will gradually degrade instead of improving.
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