Monday, April 9, 2018

Something's Wrong With Ancestry Pennsylvania Death Certificates Search - FIXED!

A reader emailed me saying that something was wrong with the Ancestry.com search results in the Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906-1966 record collection.

\I found a random Pennsylvania death certificate that was readable:


So Eulalia Conner died on 19 May 1955 in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

I went to the search page for the Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906-1966 record collection and entered:

*  First name:  Eulalia (exact, sounds like, or similar)
*  Last name:  Conner (exact, sounds like, or similar)
*  Death year:  1955 (broad)

Here is the filled-in search form:


I clicked on "Search" and there were three matches.  None of them were Eulalia Conner, or in 1955:


I moved all of the sliders to "Exact" and saw:


Only one match was found for an "Exact" search, and it is for none of the three search field entries.

How does this happen?  There must be some corruption of the index that doesn't find Eulalia and provides a link to another death record.

Does this happen to any other researcher for this person?  Or your own search target?

I hope Ancestry.com corrects the problem quickly.  How can I trust any search I do in this record collection?

I will update this post when, and if, it gets solved.

Posted:  9 April 2018  Last updated:  1 p.m. 12 April 2018

UPDATE:  My reader also emailed the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commisson (PHMC) on 9 April, and they responded saying that  they were aware of the problem on Ancestry.  Today, the problem with the search and index for this record collection on Ancestry.com was fixed.

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4 comments:

kim haskitt said...

There is also a problem with the indexing of Ancestry's NYC birth index (New York, New York, Birth Index, 1910-1965) Random months are missing from the index, so if you search for an exact date of birth for say September 23, 1930, only the results for Brooklyn come up, no other boroughs. I brought this up to Ancestry through the 800#, Twitter and by reporting individual record errors 6+ months ago, but no one seemed to understand the problem.

Edward Black said...

Pennsylvania residents should complain to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Ancestry is supposed to be supplying this service to Pennsylvania residents and its not working.
http://www.phmc.pa.gov/About/Contact/Pages/default.aspx

Lisa Wooldridge said...

I noticed the same problems with the Pennsylvania Death Certificates this past weekend along with some of my searches on specific census (mainly 1920 & 1930). I just figured that Ancestry was having some hiccups.

Tim H said...

This kind of problem is turning up all over the place on Ancestry.com lately. The DNA "cousin-match" search results are a mess right now. Search by birth location hasn't worked properly for a few years now (especially when used in conjunction with a surname), and search by surname has been returning incomplete results in recent months. I'm also seeing a lot of mismatches between the summary results of the main ancestry.com and the details behind each record collection. In many cases, parameters from the main search are not successfully passed from the summary page to the detail page. It's a mess, and getting slower all the time...