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Checking and correcting entries

Discussion in 'Ask Peter' started by Pauline, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Yesterday I was entering a household from the 1841 census, and when searching for new matches, none were found but I got the message that two entries need checking. (These were two members of the household I'd just entered, with nothing showing for the rest of the household.)

    I checked the two entries carefully but couldn't see any mistakes, so confirmed what I'd entered.

    But I couldn't help wondering - if the other person has made a mistake in the entry, then maybe we do have a match via these two people which has now been missed. I presume that the other member will get a message to check these entries next time they run a search, but it would perhaps have been helpful to know how our entries differed, and thus be able to assess how likely it is that we have actually entered the same people.

    Often, of course, a match will be made via other members of the household and the discrepancy won't matter as much, and can be sorted once you are in correspondence with the other member.
     
  2. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    I have found a similar situation many times. I now have 34 such near matches which I am told need checking. I can find nothing wrong with my entries but I do not wish to lose the notification of a near match, even though I do not know who the other member is in many cases, so have not confirmed that I have checked those entries. Where I know who the other member is, I have tried to get resolution but am not always successful. Sometimes both parties are convinced that they are correct, such as when there are differences between Ancestry and FindMyPast, or I am being ignored.

    I don't know if the red question marks remain for the other member after I might confirm that I believe the entry to be correct.

    If only the red question marks could be changed to grey, for instance rather than being removed, in order to avoid loss of knowledge of a possible connection when associated entries are made.

    It would be helpful to know for what reason (which fields of the few possible - reference, name, age) a full match cannot be made but that could possibly lead to other difficulties so I have not tried to follow through with such suggestions after an initial enquiry.
     
  3. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    I agree. I've had such near matches myself which I've checked and confirmed whereupon the question mark disappears (but no tick appears). So far they've always been in households with other matches so it hasn't mattered, but it would be a pity to lose sight of a possible match.
     
  4. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Likewise! It’s the first time it’s happened to me like this and I did feel like a possible match had just slipped through my fingers.

    Bryman, I can understand why you don’t confirm what you’ve entered after checking. Maybe that’s what I should have done.
     
  5. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    Sorry folks, of course I should have referred to exclamation marks rather than question marks. Perhaps age is creeping in faster than I had realized.

    I have just checked My Ancestors page and seen one occurrence where the parents have been matched but the 13 (!) children are only partial. All entries have the same census reference and surname so the slight difference must be with first/second names and/or ages. But is that likely for all 13???? It cannot be that they were omitted as they all show the partial match. Very strange but I do not want to be nasty to the other member (could it be my error although checked?) so have not taken things beyond an initial query.
     
  6. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    I agree, it does seem very strange. Mostly when it is only some members of a household being queried, the likely error(s) can be guessed at. For example, Fredrick and Frederick, or Ena & Eva, with people 'correcting' names from the census or transcription instead of entering what's there - possibly inadvertently.
     
  7. PhilGee

    PhilGee LostCousins Member

    That, unfortunately, is a problem when using FTA to enter data - it uses the name in the GEDCOM "NAME" tag. My census tree data contains a "2 NOTE Census Name:", even if it matches the "NAME" tag, so I have the data readily available, but still not convenient. I use the same method for baptisms etc..
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
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  8. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    A near match is simply a suggestion to check your entry against the census (something you should always do, but is often forgotten). It doesn't necessarily indicate that there is another member who has entered the same relatives, because in some case the near match could be between your own entries.

    For example, if you have relatives on the same household with the same age and similar names, eg James and Jane, they will be flagged as near matches. This is most likely in 1841 because of the rounding of ages. Similarly if only an initial is shown this greatly increases the chance of a spurious near match.

    The time to worry is when an entire household are shown as near matches. In this case check the census very carefully, remembering that in the few cases when the 1881 transcriptions differs between different sites it is the LDS transcription that is the 'gold standard' (because for many years it was the only one available). For the England & Wales 1881 census you will find it at Ancestry, for the Scotland census you will find it at ScotlandsPeople. You will NOT find the LDS transcription at FamilySearch!!!!
     
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  9. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    I guess this is what must have happened in situation I mentioned above, since I was entering a household from the 1841 census, and there were two daughters named Martha and Mary who were both shown as aged 13. It was these two entries that were flagged for checking.

    And if I've understood correctly, these two were flagged not because they were similar to two people someone else had entered, but because they were similar to each other.
     
  10. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    That's right. The algorithm doesn't look at who has entered the individuals that nearly match - which is fair enough because there are plenty of instances where members have entered the same person twice, but with slightly different details.
     
  11. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    Well I didn't know that. One can still learn something new after (nearly) 15 years! I have always assumed that near matches are between entries submitted by two LC members, not one.

    I always enter the census details from the census/transcription and assumed that everyone else does too, regardless of what I have entered on my tree.

    FTA is a quick way to add many entries to My Ancestors page but does then need a later check that abbreviations and wrong ages have not been inadvertently corrected from values on the original form/transcription.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1

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