Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Looking at Della's Ancestry Hints

One of the persons that I looked at for Ancestry.com Shaky Leaf Hints in my post How Accurate are the Ancestry "Shaky Leaf" Hints? yesterday was my great-grandmother, Abbie Ardell "Della" (Smith) Carringer. 

In the "Randy Seaver's Genealogy Database" Ancestry Member Tree (not up-to-date), here are the Hints listed for Della:

1)  Accepted Hints (meaning I attached them to this tree at some time):



2)  Unaccepted Hints (meaning I haven't accepted or rejected them yet):



There are 11 Hints total.  They are (with my discussion of each of them):

1)  Ancestry Family Trees - there is only one other tree listed:



I have not communicated with the owner of this tree.  It is evident that he has copied some information from my tree for some reason (I Can tell because of a spelling error) and has attached several more records to her than I have.  It's a match.

2)  1870 U.S. Federal Census - this lists a 7-year old Abbie Smith, born in Wisconsin, in the family of Julia Smith in Prescott, Pierce County, Wisconsin.  This is not my Abbie/Della, but I can understand how it found her - the first name, last name, age and birthplace all matched.

3)  1880 U.S. Federal Census - this lists an 18 year old Abbie Smith, born in Wisconsin, in the household of William Cash in Saint Paul, Howard County, Nebraska.  This is not my Abbie/Della, but I can understand how it found her - the first name, last name, age and birthplace all matched.

4)  1880 U.S. Federal Census - this lists an 18 year old Della Smith, born in Wisconsin, in the household of Abagail A. Smith in Blue Rapids, Marshall County, Kansas.  This is my Abbie/Della residing with her mother, sister, and grandparents.

5)  1885 Nebraska State Census - this lists a 23 year old Abbie Smith, born in Wisconsin, residing in Riverdale, Buffalo County, Nebraska.  I don't think that this is my Abbie, but no image is provided.

6)  1885 Nebraska State Census Collection, 1860-1885 - this lists a 23-year old Abbie Smith, born in Wisconsin in the 1885 Nebraska State Census, residing in Riverdale, Buffalo County, Nebraska.  This is the same as #5, and I don't think this is my Abbie.  However, it matches first name, last name, age and birthplace.

7)  1900 U.S. Federal Census - this lists a 38 year old Della A. Caninger (additions made as Della A. Carringer and Della A. Smith), born Apr 1862 in Wisconsin, residing in San Diego, San Diego County, California with her husband, son and mother.  This is my Della.

8)  1910 U.S. Federal Census - this lists a 48 year old Della A. Caninger, born in Wisconsin, residing in San Diego, San Diego County, California with her husband, son and mother.  This is my Della.

9)  1920 U.S. Federal Census - this lists a 57 year old Della A. Caninger, born in Wisconsin, residing in San Diego, San Diego County, California with her husband and mother.  This is my Della.

10)  1930 U.S. Federal Census - this lists a 67 year old Della A. Caninger, born in Wisconsin, residing in San Diego, San Diego County, California with her husband and mother.  This is my Della.

11)  California Death Index, 1940-1997 - this lists Della A. Carringer (alternate Della A. Smith), born 11 April 1862 in Wisconsin, died 1 January 1944 in San Diego County, California, with father's name smith, mother's maiden name Vaux  This is my Della.

In summary, 8 of these 11 records from Shaky Leaf Hints are for my Della, and the other three could have been.  I can't fault Ancestry.com for finding them and displaying them.

Now, what records does Ancestry have for Della/Abbie Smith/Carringer that are not listed above that fit the name, age and birthplace criteria?

1)  1870 U.S. Federal Census - Della Smith, age 8 born in Wisconsin, resided with her family in Benton, Taylor County, Iowa.  (1870 United States Federal Census, Population Schedule, Taylor County, Iowa, Benton township: Page 13, dwelling #207, family #207, D.J. Smith household; online database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com); citing National Archives Microfilm Series M593, Roll 421.)

2)  1885 Kansas State Census - Della Smith, age 23 born in Wisconsin, resided with her family in Clyde, Clay County, Kansas.  ("1885 Census, Kansas State Census Schedule," Clyde township, Clay County, Kansas, page 35, line 10, D.J. Smith household; Online database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com), original data at Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, Kansas., Kansas State Historical Society Microfilm K-23.)

3)  1885 Nebraska State Census Collection, 1860-1885 - Della Smith, age 23 born in Wisconsin, resided with her family in McCook, Red Willow County, Nebraska ("Nebraska State Census Collection, 1860-1885," Red Willow County, Nebraska, McCook, 1185, ED 654, Page 3, Dwelling 35, Family 35, D.J. Smith household; Online database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com), citing original data in National Archives Microfilm Publication M352).

4)  California Voter Registrations, 1900-1968 - Mrs. Della A. Carringer is listed in 8 separate voter registration lists ("California Voter Registrations, 1900-1968," San Diego County, California, 1908-1912, 1914, 1916, 1920, 1930, 1934, 1936, 1938; online database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com), citing State of California, United States. Great Register of Voters. Sacramento, California: California State Library.

Note that all of these matches are obtained by performing a search for Della Smith on the Ancestry.com home page (exact match selected).  However, none of the four above were found with an exact search for Abbie Smith born in Wisconsin on the Ancestry.com home page.  Apparently, the search algorithm only used Abbie Smith and not Della Smith.  So I wonder why it found any Della Carringer but not any Della Smith matches.  

In summary, Ancestry.com did a good job of finding records for Abbie/Della (Smith) Carringer, even with two different first names.  I wonder why Ancestry.com didn't find the four other items listed above?

My conclusion, based on this short evaluation:  The Ancestry.com Shaky Leaf Hints find only some of the records in the Ancestry.com collection - not all of them.  

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

4 comments:

Russ Worthington said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Russ is exactly right. Ancestry's hints only catch the "low-hanging" fruit. Best to always do your own search to be complete.

Paula said...

Randy, I was reviewing your posts and came across this "shaky leaf hints" (well-named)post and just wanted to thank you for helping to bring this problem to light. It's mostly common sense. I think Ancestry should post more practical posts such as yours, instead of some of their "fluff." At my age, I don't have time to read it all, about everyone, I'm just trying to get as much done in the time I have left. Keep up the good work. Glad you enjoyed your cruise!.

Anonymous said...

I was teaching a genealogy class the other night and showing my students how the shaky leaf works using my gr grandfather Gustave Schattner as the example. Up came naturalization records I had never seen and didn't know existed in the 20 years I've been researching. Found a new possible place of birth in Germany and other good information. Happy dance!