RESEARCH: We can do it faster, but is it better?
When I was at a training seminar for Family History Center workers years ago, the LDS church had just started putting data on that new thing: CDs. We were a bit worried about the long delay while switching from one CD to the next. The instructor pointed out to us that the 45 second delay was nothing compared to the census taker in the 1700s and 1800s going from one farm to the next by horseback. He was gathering the data for us to extract in minutes. "He." That was a man's job, not for ladies, eh?
Thanks for pointing out how technology has sped up genealogical research in recent decades. It takes more than 45 seconds to retrieve a roll of microfilm from the storage drawer and load it on the viewer. Now with online scanned images and high-speed internet access, through many local LDS Family History Centers with AncestryPlus, viewing the census page-by-page is greatly facilitated.
We can definitely do it faster now, but is it better?
IT ISN'T BETTER IF we rely on census indexes which do not include a double, blind data entry routine.
Many genealogical indexing projects are outsourced to the far east, where English is not the native language. When errors on an index have been well-documented, one database website in question has refused to make changes.
THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR reading the census for the entire township or county. You'd be surprised what other names you'll pick up, and what you'll learn about the type of workers in the area, etc.
Got additional ideas readers?
Happy family tree climbing!
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