Thursday, February 16, 2012 What's wrong with this picture - Example 1

Ol' Myrt here can imagine that it is difficult to make a field label that works generically with all databases, but this one comparing my online family tree (right) with information from the Historical and Biographical Record of Los Angeles and Vicinity (left) takes the cake.

I know Californians are progressive, but...
  • How marvelous to have a "residence" after one's death, unless of course, you count the cemetery. 
  • I also defy anyone to live from 1600 to 1901.
  • My step-mother's side of the family has strength of character, but I never dreamed her ancestress Cassandra Coan could live so long.
  • By the way, was Los Angeles, or California, or for that matter, the United States in existence in 1600?

Actually, DearREADERS, this page from a typical local history book features the ancestors of Augusta C. Hazzard, son of Cassandra (Coan) and William Hazzard. Yes, I'd like to link this to all three individuals. However, don't you think the fiend labels are just a little bit misleading.

Usually if I were to save such an item "to my tree" the residence date would be erroneously added to the timeline for Cassandra who died in 1871 and never set foot in California to my knowledge. Thank-fully, this has be prevented in the case, so the coders really worked some magic there.

Just a few more tweaks, and they'll have this one right.

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


  1. Save it to your tree and see how long it takes before 10 or 15 copies of it show up in other people's tree ;)

    1. Anonymous,
      You are evil...I love it!! That is just the way some people do, believe, copy, print. Your comment just set me off into some tee hee hees. Love you for it.

  2. Anonymous,
    With all the people that do just that how can you get them to correct it???

  3. Ah, Dear Myrt, thank you for pointing this out. Very thoughtless extracting.

    A similar mess is in a very large recently-uploaded group of supposedly improved-OCR extracted images of mainly 20th-century City Directories. Aside from lack of minimal overview by a person with a brain (resulting in multiple-line text business entries' being partially extracted line-by-line as nonsensical person-names), the entries such as "Hattie Smith (wid. of John)" are indexed to John as well as to Hattie. Result: numerous deceased males can have posthumous residences added for decades following death, since women are often noted as being widowed for a long period of time in the Directories.

    Just one more way for clickophiles to garble-up trees.

    1. DearGEO,
      One thing that bothered me during an RootsTech 2012 presentation was a screen shot featuring city directories where the advertising was considered "undesirable" and therefore not to be indexed.

      I think advertising is very important, particularly where one's ancestor works at one of businesses.

      Just saying...

    2. In one family I was able to approximate a death date by when one brother replaced the other in an ad.

  4. I put my family name is to see how accutate they are. Wow, they are off on EVERY birth and death date. This is a bad service!

  5. Five of my female relatives are shown with incorrect maiden names and we are shown incorrectly to be related to another family with the same surname.