The Ancestry.com App showed a black image, which I thought was strange, so I went in today on my desktop computer to take a look at it. In my Ancestry Member Tree, there was a Hint for this record:
I wanted to look at the image, so I clicked on the thumbnail image above and saw:
Hmmm. Zooming out, I see that this is the leader on the microfilm roll that was digitized. The heading above the image says:
"Pennsylvania > 7th Regiment, 1777 (folder 34), 8th Regiment 1778 (folder 35), 9th Regiment, 1777-78 (folder 36) ... > 1"
It is apparent that the link from the Martin Carringer Hint does not go to a page with Martin Carringer on it, but to the first image of 702 images, and that this microfilm contains one (or more) pages with the name of Martin Carringer on it.
That really sucks! Apparently, I need to look through up to 702 pages on this microfilm to find Martin Carringer's entry (or entries).
I checked my Notes in my database, and found that Martin Carringer was a member of Colonel Carnahan's Company in the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment of Foot in the Pennsylvania. I found (finally) the 8th Regiment on this microfilm stream, and on Page 286:
And another entry on Page 284:
How many researchers would go through this on this database? Perhaps 10%. Certainly no one using the Ancestry.com App would. I wonder how many App users accepted this hint and now have a black image on their smart phone? How many users have attached the black image to their Ancestry Member Tree?
I saved the two page images to my computer files under Martin Carringer, and will attach them to my RootsMagic database, and might even upload them to Ancestry Member Tree. I rejected the Hint on my Ancestry Member Tree for obvious reasons.
But now I need a source citation. The Ancestry source citation given on the screen says:
Ancestry.com. U.S. Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
That doesn't work for me - Ancestry has non-standard source citations. Here is what I crafted using the "Military Records, Images" source template in RootsMagic:
National Archives, "U.S. Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783," digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 April 2013), Muster Rolls, Pennsylvania 8th Regiment, Colonel Carnahan's Company, June 1778, unnumbered page (image 286 of 702), Martin Carringer (Private) entry; citing citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M246, Roll 83.
I could not find the NARA Microfilm Roll number on Ancestry's image page or database information page, but it was in the link to the Roll on the record summary for Martin Carringer when I searched for him.
How many databases does Ancestry.com have that have an index but don't link to the actual record pages? Ancestry.com has an index - it says it was indexed by Direct Data Capture - why don't they link to the actual image? They do for millions of other records. Why doesn't the Ancestry source citation provide the NARA Roll number? They do for other NARA records.
Why does Ancestry make this so difficult?
After I wrote that, my thought was "You're so spoiled ... five years ago, you would have ordered that microfilm at the FHC, or at an Archives branch, and searched page by page until you found it (or passed over it with my eyes glazed over). We're lucky to have this database in digital format."
Yes, we are ... but Ancestry provides a Hint, and every user's expectation is that they will see the image. That's part of the deal, isn't it? We pay money to Ancestry to provide a record image when it's available.
The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2013/04/finding-martin-carringers-revolutionary.html
Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver