Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Error in Indexing

Though Ol' Myrt here is sure there can be errors with any indexing project, last night's Second Life discussion of naturalization papers brought the following mistake to light.

Yesterday afternoon, I found this card by going to, then Naturalizations, then choosing NY Eastern July 1865 -Sep 1906 collection. I then selected the Index rather than petitions. I then chose Yozzo, and then Giacomo.

Notice that this index card for Giacomo Yozzo is listed as arriving in 1848 (per circle above on "you are viewing: dialog box. Yet the date of arrival May 21 1891 would have most likely precluded a naturalization date in 1848, since there were residency requirements. Note the Date of Naturalization of Aug 1 1898 where the 9 in 1898 could have been construed to be 1848.

When only place, year and name are the fields indexed, we're not able to locate this document if anticipating naturalization at the end of the 19th century. Fortunately, Yozzo is an uncommon name, and it didn't take much to review this older index card, as part of a diligent search.

I am not faulting Footnote. No one indexer is perfect. Even with double, blind data entry
(such as at handwriting can be challenging to decipher.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.


  1. Thanks for finding this error and writing about the challenges of indexing.

    I've fixed this particular error. It will take a day or two for the index to update, but after that you should be able to find Giacomo with the correct naturalization year.

    If you find errors like this you can always report them to us by clicking "About image" in the upper left of the viewer and then clicking "Suggest Correction" at the top of the "Source Information" section.

    If you find an error on a census or other image where each person in a list has a bubble with their info in it, you'll find a "Suggest Correction" link below the "Details" box on the left of that bubble.

    You could also just add an annotation with the correct information and that will be indexed and searchable in a couple of days.

    Thanks again for posting about this.

    Peter Drinkwater
    Product Manager, Footnote

  2. Thank-you Peter for explaining how one can readily report little glitches. Its amazing how many images presents for researchers.

    I appreciate everything you are doing to help make it easier to connect with documents mentioning our ancestors.