Friday, July 12, 2013

Follow-up Friday - Helpful and Useful Reader Comments - Week Ending 12 July 2013

This Follow-Up Friday post highlights helpful and useful reader comments on Genea-Musings posts received the past week or so.

1)  On Finding Martin Carringer's Revolutionary War Rolls on - Difficult! (posted 11 April 2013):

*  Jennifer Leible asked:  "So glad to come across your post and know I'm not the only one having a problem! So you said you finally found it on page 283/4. How did you finally come to those pages? I've been looking and looking through my document with no luck yet...please help elaborate on how you found it! Thanks!!"

My comment was:  I used determination and knowledge gleaned before - 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. 

That's it....prior information that I was lucky enough to be able to find before wasting three hours going page by page hoping i'd be able to recognize the name when it appeared on a page.

*  Geolover noted:  "You said, "8) A user can edit any source citation in the FamilySearch Family Tree"

"Not so, if the citation was added to Source Box by clicking on the FS-HistoricalRecords extract-page citation. It can only be edited if one first makes a copy to add to the Source Box. The copy can then be edited to show such niceties as identity of the actual record (such as X County, Ohio, Probate Court Marriage Licenses Vol. XX p. yy).

"You noted that repository data was not transferred by RM6 into the source citation in FS-FT. FS-FT does not have a field for "Repository" and is not set up to establish a source hierarchy such as exists in full-feature home genealogy programs. For such things as each member of an 1880 US Census household, FS-FT wants you to have 8 separate citations derived from the index/extract page for each individual.

"On the other hand, there is no present plan to completely index complex documents, such as an application for estate administration that lists 20-odd heirs of different sorts. There is no 'tagging' system in FS-FT for a person's being "grandchild of" or "niece of".

"So the organization's stated intention to have all the uploaded documents attached to an indexed individual is quite limited in scope."

My comment:  You're right about not being able to edit a citation added to my source Box from FamilySearch collections.  It appears that you can "Add" a comment or note to a "Source Box" citation (which might include information about a census NARA film and roll, for instance).  You can "Edit" a source citation created by TreeConnect and added to our Source Box.  All of this is good to know.

*  Anonymous offered:  "I agree that the links are messy on Ancestry. A few tips to obtain a cleaner web link:

"1. You can save the record to your Shoebox. The link created for the record in the Shoebox is much shorter:

"The two key pieces of data to get back to a record are the DBID or DBName and the pID (record ID) within that database.

"2. You can modify the longer URL from the record to its most basic parameters:

"In this case the "indiv" parameter indicates the record page. The other parameters store the search terms and other data to help keep the links to return to results, etc...

"It does not provide a long-term solution to user-friendly URLs directly available from the record page, but it is a workaround."

My comment:  Thanks for the two suggestions.   I think I'm not going to add web links to my database for fear that they are not permanent.

*  John said:  "I would find the phonetic option for surnames very helpful if I could turn off Soundex and implement one of their other Phonetic Algorithms in its place.

"But when they do implement the other algorithms, it's in addition to Soundex, and I sometimes have to scroll through thousands of names that aren't really phonetic matches for the surnames I'm searching for, and are only listed due to Soundex's limitations.

"It also bothers me that checking the phonetic box only means that it provides Ancestry the option to use these alternate algorithms if Ancestry has determined the algorithm is appropriate for a particular database. The researcher isn't allowed to determine if an algorithm is appropriate or not. If the algorithm is encoded into Ancestry's software it ought to be useable in any database at the discretion of the user."

My comment:  It sounds like you want to be able to select from the specific phonetic algorithms for a certain database.  As you noted, Ancestry lets you select "Exact matches" plus "Phonetic matches" but you don't know which algorithms are available.  

The "About these settings" link on the "Last Name" filter dropdown menu says:

"There are other name matching algorithms that we can use to help identify records to consider for your results. If you choose phonetic, we will identify appropriate algorithms that apply to specific data collections and if a record has one of those names, we will use it as a possible record for your results set. For example, if you are prioritizing Jewish Collections first, we would choose the Daitch-Mokotoff phonetic algorithm."

5)  Thank you to all of my readers for their comments.  I did not include the comments on the Ancestry Help I don't Need blog post, because they were confirmatory in nature.

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

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