Friday, October 9, 2015

How to Correct or Add Alternate Information to an Record permits users to correct or add alternate information to many of their database records.  The addition or correction is added to the Index, but the original indexed information is retained, even if it's wrong.

In years past, the user could add or correct information from the actual record image and the image indexed information.  Now, it is only possible to add or correct from the record summary page using the "Add Alternate Information" link.

For example, here is the record summary page for the 1870 U.S. census for my great-grandfather, Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922):

The "Add alternate information" link is on the left side of the screen, below the thumbnail image and the "Show blank Form" link and above the "Report issue" link.

I wanted to add his birth name to this record, so I clicked on "Add additional information" link and a popup window appeared titled "Add or update for Frank W. Seaver."  I clicked on the dropdown menu arrow and the choices were:

I could choose to add or edit:

*  Family Number
*  Name
*  Estimated Birth Year
*  Birthplace
*  Age
*  Race

I selected "Name" and another popup window appeared, and I could choose a Reason for the change:

The Reasons to add or correct a Name are:

*  Transcription error
*  Incorrect in image
*  Nick Name
*  Name Change
*  Variation
*  Maiden Name

I chose "Variation" and then corrected the first name to "Frank Walton" from "Frank W."

I could add a reason for the change in the "Explain or Source your update (optional)" box:

I added a reason.

When I was done, I could click on the orange "Submit Alternate" button.  The change should be added to the index for this census in several weeks.

This process is fairly straightforward and easy to understand.  It works, but not immediately.

Does any other record provider permit corrections or additions to their databases or record collections?  I don't recall.  I'll check on this!

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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Jan Murphy said...

Randy -- most of the corrections I submit are for the US City Directories database, where the index has many errors. Lately I've noticed that on the New Ancestry, the reason that shows up for the 'alternate' information I submit is not the reason I chose from the drop-down box. For instance -- I might add a street address which was left out of the index and I choose "Information not transcribed" as the reason. When I view my correction afterwards, the reason says "information not found in record". Annoying.

Dona said...

Not a big change, and glad we're able to do this. One thing I do wish is that we could correct the misspellings and/or mistranscriptions of county and town names. Some are highly mangled. I know some enumerators bungled those, but for the sake of the database, there should be some way to change it to reflect the correct name (at the time of the record).