Friday, December 9, 2016

Comparison of Database Matches by Record Providers - Seaver Surname

I wondered how different the number of matches are for a given surname and different genealogy databases for different record providers.

*  I picked Surname = Seaver (exact match)

*  I picked five U.S. census databases, the World War I Draft Registration database, the Social Security Death Index database, Family Trees, All Databases and All U.S. Databases.

*  I used Ancestry.com, MyHeritage, Findmypast and FamilySearch as record providers to find the results.

Here is my table of results for 9 December 2016:

COMPARISON OF DATABASE MATCHES BY RECORD PROVIDER
FOR “SEAVER” SURNAME (Exact Search) - 9 December 2016
Database
Ancestry
MyHeritage
Findmypast
FamilySearch
1850 U.S. Census
1049
840
854
846
1880 U.S. Census
1624
1535
1534
1528
1900 U.S. Census
2086
1734
1734
1734
1920 U.S. Census
2247
1910
1910
1911
1940 U.S. Census
1737
1761
2003
2003
WW I Draft Reg.
418
405
296
405
Soc. Sec. Death 
1439
1422
1327
1421
All Databases
407627
170870
32070
66538
All U.S. Databases
379247
118505
23110
63654
Family Trees
95804
14188
???
> 2500

Some observations:

*  Ancestry.com consistently has more matches than the other three record providers.  I think that this is because Ancestry has corrections and additions in their database indexes, while the other three providers do not.  The exception is the 1940 U.S. Census for some reason (although I think Ancestry did their own indexing, MyHeritage did their own indexing, and FamilySearch did their own indexing on this database).

*  FamilySearch and Findmypast have almost identical numbers for the census records, but not for the World War I Draft Registrations and Social Security Death Index. I think Findmypast got the census database indexes from FamilySearch.

*  FamilySearch and MyHeritage have almost identical numbers for all of the databases, except for the 1940 U.S. Census.  I think MyHeritage got the indexes for the seven databases from FamilySearch.

*  Ancestry has significantly more records than the other three record providers, by a wide margin.  

*  The FamilySearch number for Family Trees is only for the FamilySearch Family Tree, a shared tree as opposed to isolated trees on Ancestry and MyHeritage.  Findmypast does not search in family trees to date (although my tree has over 4,500 Seaver persons.

*  These results are for the surname Seaver, which is very much an English surname.  Your surname, or any other surname, might provide different results.  I may do this study for some of my other surnames.

I didn't use other census years just to keep the study manageable.

What other databases are on all four record providers?  I'm sure that England and Wales census records are on all four.  I couldn't match the New York passenger lists on the four record providers.

I will update this study occasionally to see if there is significant growth in the numbers on the four record providers.  

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Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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2 comments:

Delbert Ritchhart said...


Randy:

Very interesting comparison. I will be interested in any follow ups you do, especially of other ethnic names such as German or Irish.

Jenna Mills said...

Interesting idea Randy. I too am interested in any follow up/drill down you do. I may spin this off as you've sparked an idea for me. OR I may take a nap. :)