Friday, January 27, 2012

Follow-Up Friday - a Potpourri of Comments that need reading

For Follow-Up Friday, I want to highlight some comments that were made on my blog posts over the last two weeks.  I thought these were valuable to have posted so that search engines can find them:

1)  On my post Do you have Loyalist Ancestors? Check out the UELAC Site, there were two comments:

*  Geolover wrote:

"For those who find extremely difficult to navigate, some background on the Loyalist claims process and some transcripts of the claims documents are available to read on the fabulous USGenWeb site for Herkimer Co., NY (so many thanks due Martha S. McGill and many volunteers):"

*  Brenda Dougall Merriman commented:

Randy, nice to see some promotion of the UELAC website and newsletter, thanks. I have an intermittent series of Loyalist posts on my blog, They are geared more to a newbie than my book on Upper Canada's (Ontario) Loyalists.

2)  On my post Follow-Up Friday - in which I Confess to Using Derivative Sources, David Newton commented that:

"Something that is even sillier about the situation in England and Wales about the access to registers is the situation with marriage registers. 

"What I said about the registers themselves not being open to public inspection is perfectly true about birth, death, civil partnership and adoption registers. The stillbirth registers are even more tightly controlled and there is not even an index published for them. However it is not true for certain copies if some marriage indexes.

"If a marriage takes place in a civil venue such as a register office or a hotel registered to perform marriages then the registers are not available for public inspection. If a marriage takes place in an ecclesiastical venue then very often the copy of the registers in the venue is available for public inspection. Furthermore for these sort of venues said registers are also often eventually deposited in local record offices. However the copies of the same registers sent to the local registrar and by them onto the GRO are not open for public inspection because according to the GRO it is "illegal". To see how many marriage registers are actually available for public inspection consider the recent collections of parish registers and non-conformist registers made available by Ancestry for the London area and for the counties of Dorset, Warwickshire (less Birmingham), West Yorkshire and the Liverpool area and then extrapolate that situation to the whole of England and Wales.

"Even if the register has not been deposited at the local record office and is still at the church in question, if that church is Anglican it can be inspected upon payment of a fee as determined by the General Synod in statute.

"It is a ludicrous situation to have all birth and death registers and a significant proportion of marriage registers locked away from public view with information in them only obtainable upon payment of a fee for a certificate. Very rarely is it necessary for genealogists to have certificates for their work, with the most common reason being work with things like tracking down relatives for probate cases or intestate estates. The Scottish situation is much preferable in this case where certificates can be obtained in much the same way as in England and Wales, but where images of the registers themselves are available after statutory periods there for privacy have expired. In the case of Scotland it is 100 years for births, 75 years for marriages and 50 years for deaths. The only problem with Scotland is that the index itself is not available for free and is instead locked behind a paywall at the Scotlandspeople website.

"The situation in certain US states is even more ludicrous with showboating legislators locking things away for spurious "privacy" reasons."

3)  On my post What is this Feature Called? And more questions..., there were several useful comments:

*  John noted:

"Ancestry's reliance on the Soundex Code to produce possible matches produces some weird results.  In your results, instead of Carringer you get photographs of Crankshaw, Cuerings, and Carmichael.  When I searched for one of my Cruvant ancestors, I got several photographs of Carpenters.

"I wonder if Ancestry and other sites should consider utilizing some of the newer variations on Soundex."

*  GeneGinny observed:

" What's particularly interesting is that you don't have to sign in to Ancestry to access this information. Very strange! "

*  Andy noted:

"The following thread will explain what you are seeing.

*  Geolover commented:

"...what you were doing searches from is a years-old test that was not rolled out for public use, and does not search current databases. It should have been removed."

*  JG in MD commented:

"I just found my dad's picture in his 1923 MIT yearbook on that page. It's not all bad."

*  My comment:  This is the remnant of Ancestry Labs' PersonView effort.  I'm glad that JG got some redeeming value from it!  

"Every week you have another will from a 17th century ancestor. I have a slew of such ancestors myself, not many of whom left wills. You realize that having that many ancestors with full wills is the exception and not the rule, don't you?"

My comment:  Yes, I know, and appreciate my landed ancestors very much!  With over 50% of my ancestry, and maybe 75% of my known 10th generation ancestry, being rooted in colonial New England, my probate cups runneth over.  Hopefully, posting them will help other researchers solve some of their research challenges .

Thank you all for your comments.

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