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Improved response to error reporting

Discussion in 'Findmypast' started by Stephen L, Feb 20, 2022.

  1. Stephen L

    Stephen L LostCousins Member

    Not a problem but it looks like FMP have recently improved their response to transcript error reporting,
    I have just reported one and get the message Thank you for reporting the error(s). You should receive an answer from us by email over the next 30 days.
    Until recently I think it was 90 days and no email on the decision made. I will see what happens over the next 30 days.
  2. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    Despite the previous 90 day time scale, some errors were corrected within a day or two, while others seem take much longer. It will be good if there is an email response so you know if the reported error is not deemed to be one or just not investigated yet. I report so many errors I tend to lose track of them and am sure I must have reported some more than once.
  3. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    There I always used to be a response (in the old days) but I got annoyed if they didn't accept my corrections, so in one sense I was glad when they stopped telling me.
  4. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    This is where I am at now. I keep getting a response saying they've decided not to amend the transcript because they have "concluded that the transcript matches the original record". I wouldn't mind if the original was unclear or ambiguous, but every one of these I've checked back on so far very obviously doesn't match the original record. I've taken to reporting the error again but if it keeps happening I might as well stop bothering to report errors at all. Why waste my time?
  5. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Perhaps if you tell us which records they are we can support your amendments?
  6. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    As mentioned previously in the 1921 census thread back in April, I reported a transcription error where a man named Harry Frank Martin had been mistranscribed as Mary Frank Martin. Three days after reporting the error, I got a very nice email from the Findmypast Support Team thanking me and saying this correction had been submitted and it would show online within 30 days. However, I see that today - 60 days later - he is still shown as Mary Frank.
  7. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    I don't generally keep records of reported errors, but I do have a note of two where my reported amendments have been rejected:

    1) Lincolnshire marriages - Joseph Templeman married in Carlby, the date transcribed as 20 Jun 1765 (see here). I read the original image as 30 Jun 1766

    2) Lincolnshire baptisms - baptism of Mary in Great Hale on 6 May 1810, the transcript has her as Mary HIDES daughter of Thomas and Susanna Bolton HIDES (see here). The original record has "Mary Illegitimate Daughter of Susanna Bolton, and the reputed Father Thos Hides, baptized May 6th", so she was Mary BOLTON, her mother was Susanna BOLTON and her father was reputed to be Thomas HIDES.

    EDIT: Typo in 1) above - should say "I read the original as 20 Jun 1766" (not 30 Jun). Thank you, Helen!
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2022 at 11:16 AM
  8. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    To me, it looks like the original says Twentieth June as transcribed, but I agree the year is 1766.
    I agree that the original here is exactly as you state. The transcription is certainly misleading, though could be seen as a 'summary' of the record?
  9. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    Oops yes, that was a typo by me! Have added an EDIT to my post above.
  10. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    I'm not so sure - the surname of both mother and child are incorrect in the transcription which means this baptism is easily missed in a search. The transcription assumes that Mary and Susanna were known by the surname HIDES which can't be assumed from this baptism (and I happen to know they weren't.)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    I agree. I was just being kind to the transcriber, who wouldn't know by what name Mary was known.
  12. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    The best transcriptions of parish registers include additional notes, though if the notes aren't indexed it's still hard to find the entries.

    Looking at Essex burials at Ancestry this week I found 10 that were indexed as 1653 rather than 1731-2. In this case the vicar had made use of a half-empty page, and whilst it was obvious to me what had happened (because the handwriting matched the following page, which was correctly dated) there's a limit to what transcribers can be expected to do.
  13. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    The FMP transcription template for the Lincolnshire baptisms (and those in some other datasets) appears not to allow for the parents having different surnames. The surname is given for the child but forenames are given only for the parents, and this isn't the first incidence I've come across of an unmarried mother's surname being entered as her second forename.

    The norm is for an illegitimate child to be given the mother's surname, but if there is any doubt as to which surname the child had at the baptism, then the safest thing would be to index it under both surnames.
  14. Stuart

    Stuart LostCousins Member

    Ah, but "given" by whom, and when?

    Most parish registers only give one surname for both parents (often worded as just the father's), and none for child. The English civil registration form has no place for a child's surname either. So you could say that babies didn't have surnames, but acquired one later on (perhaps when old enough to need one) from the head of the household they are in. Maybe that was how people did see it at the time.

    A second surname only comes into the picture where the parents are not married and the father is named. But that's just the father's surname, not the child's, until and unless someone decides the child should take that surname. And the registration form, as well as most registers, don't do that. GRO's indexers applied their rules, which have been accepted as defining the child's surname, but arguably don't do that - they just construct an index. Certainly they often do not represent the mother's intentions.

    For parish registers the way we see the information, in most cases, will depend on what the transcription protocol was. Labelling the one and only surname as the child's (as in that Lincolnshire example) is probably wrong, but it doesn't matter if it's the only surname in any case.

    Hence much confusion!

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