Friday, May 17, 2013

Follow-Up Friday - Helpful and Interesting Reader Comments

It's Friday - time for follow-up on reader comments, suggestions and challenges from the last two weeks.

1)  On MyHeritage To Announce Record Detective Feature (11 May 2013):

*  Nancy commented:  "Thanks Randy for asking MyHeritage about matching delays for all your readers – many of us have been having problems as new MyHeritage subscribers with getting matches, syncing new software and NOT getting help from support.

"As long ago as you last posted about this problem (May 5th), is how long I've been waiting for a support email to be answered - today I received a response ( Yippeee only 7 days) and they report that folks having problems with software should uninstall their software and reinstall new software from a link that will fix issues – I thought you should know about this.

"With no assistance from support I deleted my own ged file ( via web) and reloaded it via the web page only and I am now getting some smart / record matches. I guess I will reinstall the software at some point but I’m interested in the matching and don’t care about the syncing so I’ll wait.

"From my email this morning from MyHeritage support ---

"'I apologize for any inconvenience. I recommend you to uninstall the software then download it from the link below:

""'It is supposed to fix some issues.'"

My response:  Thank you for the information.  I haven't received Record Matches yet for the new tree I uploaded on 5 May 2013.  I also can't sync my "bigger" original tree on MyHeritage down into FTB, even with the updated program.

*  Mac Torment snarled:  "They give you a free account and you become an uncritical part of their marketing machine.  How the hell is this different from the record matching they already do.  Sounds like the only change is the new name, stolen from gendetective?"

My comment:  You should talk to MyHeritage personnel about my being an "uncritical part of their marketing machine."  Here's a paraphrased quote from one of them:  "Randy finds problems and errors that we don't find with our testing."  You can look at all of my MyHeritage blog posts at and see that I have been both complimentary (for features I like) and critical (for features I don't like, or problems I find).  Frankly, I'm one of the few geneabloggers that is critical of the software and database companies.  I don't publish press releases, I test and analyze and comment, while trying not to gush or whine excessively.

The "Record Detective" feature finds additional records for the same person, or for family of the person, based on Record Matching from other MyHeritage family trees.  So it is different from "Record Match" which only finds records for a person in my MyHeritage tree.  If you'd read their publicity, you would understand that.

The term "Record Detective" is not the same as the term "GenDetective."  "Record Detective is an accurate description of the MyHeritage feature, and the "Record Detective" feature does not perform the same function as the "GenDetective" software.  

I do have a free account on MyHeritage, and I appreciate having it.  I think that I give them their money's worth.

*  Rick asked:  "Why is it important to include a microfilm number when you're not using microfilm? Isn't it more useful to include the image number for this record on (Plus, of course, the town, county, state and sheet number.) The microfilm number won't help anybody find the record online."

My comment:  I agree with you in principle, but not everybody will have a MyHeritage Data subscription, or even an Ancestry subscription.   Having the FHL microfilm number, one could find the image on FamilySearch, HeritageQuestOnline, or  Can we be sure that the image number on MyHeritage (or Ancestry, or another provider) will be everlasting?  I think we need every bit of the information that we can get in our source citations, including the NARA Publication number and roll number.

*  Anonymous commented:  "To search for a prefix like Sea*, you can select "Names starting with letters (e.g., Jo finds Joshua)" on the last name advanced options popup, and enter "sea" in the last name field."

My comment:  Thank you for adding to my knowledge base about searching on MyHeritage.  I did not know that before.

3)  On Amanuensis Monday - Probate Records of Elizabeth (Jenckes) Tefft (1658-1740) (posted 13 May 2013):

*  Geolover commented:  "Ah, another delightful estate inventory!  Interesting, the wo(r)sted combs. Was Elizabeth a spinster? The precious worsted fleece was carefully combed, not carded like wool, in order to align the long fibers. Then it was usually hand-spun using a spindle and whorl (a disk that acted as a fly-wheel).  The "Ktchel" was probably a Hatchel, one of the implements for processing flax fibers. Possibly a spinning wheel for flax had long since been given to a daughter or granddaughter."

My response:  Thank you for the corrections...the handwriting is never quite readable for me...

4)  On Day 3 at the NGS 2013 Conference (10 May 2013):

*  Lauri offered:  "This was easy enough to find, but here is a link to the NY Muster Rolls 1755-1764. "

My comment:  Thank you, Lauri!  That is very useful.  I didn't take the time to find it while at NGS

*  Angela said:  "Randy, Thanks for summarizing Robert Charles Anderson's presentation. He was speaking at the same time I was, so I missed it."

*  Lisa Suzanne Gorrell noted:  "I want to thank you, Randy, for attending and summarizing as many of the presentations that you did! They helped me decide to order a few JAMB recordings since I was unable to attend this year, even though it was nearly in my back yard (on the west coast at least)."

My comment:  You're welcome, ladies.  Someone has to do it, and it provided blog fodder.  By the way, I am still updating the list as posts come online.

6)  That's it for this week - thank you to all of my readers for their comments on the blog, and in email and on Facebook.  

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

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