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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:31 pm
Posts: 674
Location: Ballina, Killaloe
The forthcoming issue of Irish Roots magazine will have a short article on this topic by Steven Smyrl. I compiled some notes on my own experience with this website and sent them to Steven when he was writing his article. Paddy Casey has encouraged me to post my critique here as it is "laced with Clare/Limerick references". So here it is:

The quickest way to get at the "Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958" collection is via http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsea ... ionDetails
or equivalently via
http://tinyurl.com/cqjrlw2

[The direct URL appears to have changed slightly as of late April 2010 to the above from
http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsea ... searchable which is now giving unexpected results.
The tinyurl above is a slightly modified version for the new address; anyone who has bookmarked the old tinyurl may need to update the bookmark by adding a 2 to the end of the original URL http://tinyurl.com/cqjrlw ]

The interface to the collection requires a recent version of Adobe (Shockwave) Flash Player to be installed on the user's computer. I found it necessary to adopt the "delete-and-reinstall" strategy before I could search the collection successfully. In Mozilla Firefox, you can check your installed Plugins by selecting Tools, Options, Main, Manage Add-ons..., Plugins. In Microsoft Windows, you can delete old versions by selecting Start, Settings, Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs and looking for Adobe Flash Player in the list of Currently installed programs. The latest version can be downloaded from http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

For many years, the LDS Church resisted pressure to migrate its popular Personal Ancestral File genealogical database software from MS-DOS to Microsoft Windows, arguing that many of its users were older and less wealthy people, unwilling or unable to replace their computer hardware and operating system software with the frequency that Microsoft would like. The current need for the latest software represents a dramatic change of policy. For those using the Microsoft Windows 98 operating system, the last version of Adobe Flash Player available is Version 9; pilot.familysearch.org requires Version 10 of Adobe Flash Player, so is apparently not available at all to those using Microsoft Windows 98.

I was recently in a cemetery with a cousin looking for the grave of a long-dead relative. She had a web-enabled mobile phone, so I thought it might be a good idea to check the civil registration indexes for a matching record. I was disappointed to find that Flash is no more compatible with such handheld devices than with older PCs, so we had no direct access to the indexes while we were in the cemetery.

Furthermore, the Adobe Flash Player interface disables virtually all the keyboard shortcuts in Mozilla Firefox, making it very frustrating for those who do not like a point-and-click interface.

The ability to highlight text in results and the normal Ctrl-C keyboard shortcut to copy information into another application are both annoyingly disabled; however, each entry includes a clickable Copy to Clickboard link which is a reasonable substitute.

The huge advantage of the new search facility is that it replaces roughly 1,033 separate indexes with a single index (19 annual indexes to non-Catholic marriages for 1845-1863; 14 annual indexes each to births, marriages and deaths from 1864-1877; and 324 quarterly indexes each to births marriages and deaths from 1878 to 1958). [Or are there some twentieth-century years with annual rather than quarterly indexes?] The reduction of 1,032 in the number of indexes to be searched will be particularly helpful to those engaged in a comprehensive one-name-study of an unusual surname.

Indeed, the number of occurences in the entire database of many unusual surnames is far fewer than the number of indexes that one previously had to search. For example, there are
25 hits (Exact and close matches) for Huleatt
26 hits for Ranalow
141 hits for Trousdell
154 hits for Smyrl
222 hits for Revington
348 hits for Blackall
819 hits for Phibbs
1,076 hits for Kett

However, the search results will never admit to more than 4,700 results for any search, e.g. for the surname Waldron. It is not clear how the 4,700 results are selected, but in the Waldron example they appear to comprise 2,845 births of children named Waldron, 686 births to mothers named Waldron, 1,165 deaths, but no marriage at all. (There is an unexplained discrepancy of 4 in these totals.)

The above tinyurl presents a search form which will at first be somewhat misleading. Some of the fields requested in the search form do not exist in the underlying database; others are interpreted strangely.

For example a search for marriages in 1912 for Mary Kelly produces 716 hits. However, 194 of these are in 1909 or earlier! The search is obviously covering a number of years either side of 1912, but without going through all 716 hits one cannot tell how wide a window is being used.

Having already found the entry for my Mary Kelly's husband, I just wanted confirmation that I had the correct entry before spending four euro on a photocopy, and was not interested in the vast majority of my search results. I should be able to do this by entering volume and page numbers in the search form, but this is not possible.

The equivalent search for England and Wales at http://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl
allows the researcher to click on the page number to view a list of all other names registered on the same page; this simple addition would add enormously to the value of the new facility, particularly for those seeking the name of an unknown spouse.

-----

To use the database productively, it is best to fill in at most the first name, last name and/or (for births in the relevant period) mother's maiden name on the search form. If this results in less than 4,700 matches, then one can use the "Narrow by" links at the top of the screen to refine the search results:

Place
Date
Gender
Last Names
First Names
Role
Event Type

A very nice feature of the results is that they show the counties covered by the Superintendent Registrar's Districts (or Poor Law Unions, but confusingly called "Registration District"). Many of these cross county boundaries; for example, the Limerick Union covers parts of south-east Clare as well as Limerick City and its environs in County Limerick. Likewise, Tipperary Union covers parts of County Limerick and parts of County Tipperary; and Roscrea PLU covers parts of Counties Laois, Offaly and Tipperary.

1. Clicking on the Place link produces a list of the counties covered by the PLUs in the search results. The natural thing to do with this list is to select the county where the subject of the search was known or thought to have been born, married or died. Sometimes, however, it is better to click a neighbouring county! For example, if searching for someone living in south-east Clare with a surname which is common throughout county Clare but less common in county Limerick, selecting County Limerick may produce fewer results that selecting County Clare.

Searches would be made much easier if there was a Place list containing the PLUs as well as the list containing the counties. As both pieces of information are contained in the underlying database, it is strange that this facility is not provided.

The place list also often includes "Unspecified"; this seems to cover results where the surname being sought appears as mother's maiden name on a birth registration.

2. Clicking on the Date link produces a list of the decades associated with the results. For every result, the decades include the decade in which the event was registered. For deaths, the decades also include an estimated decade of birth.

The age-at-death in the indexes has been used to estimate a year-of-birth for each death entry. All genealogists will be aware that the age-at-death is notoriously unreliable; furthermore, the calculation assumes that the age is not the "Age last birthday" requested on the certificate, but the age at the birthday in the year of death. Thus, even if the underlying data was accurate, on average half of all death entries would result in a year of birth one year too late.

As the underlying database contains a precise year (and, in most cases, a precise quarter) of registration, it is hard to understand why results can be refined only by decade.

Even when an event was clearly registed in a later decade, the Date shown is the decade of registration.

For example, the well-known lexicographer Tomás de Bhaldraithe (1916-1996) had the name on his birth certificate changed from Thomas MacD[onagh] Waldron to Tomás Mac Donnchadha de Bhaldraithe in 1944 (the year after his marriage). This produced two database entries in the 1940s, but none in the 1910s. The 1940s entries are:

Thomas MacD 1916 Waldron (Limerick, third quarter, Volume 5, Page 309).

Thomas Mac D de Bhaldraithe (Limerick, third quarter, Volume and Page fields inexplicably blank).

However, the first of these entries does show up in the First Names field, where the list of initials in a Waldron search (but not a de Bhaldraithe search) includes the numeral 1!

3. Clicking on the Gender link allows one to choose Female (i.e., entries arising as mother's maiden name) or Unknown (i.e., all other entries).

4. Clicking on the Last Names link produces a list of initials, which sometimes helps to identify double-barrelled names, e.g. on a search for Waldron, the initials H and K denote Waldron-Hamilton and Waldron-King respectively.

In the same search, L and O denote the death record of Mary Lally ors Waldron; "ors" (short for "otherwise") frequently appears in the marriage indexes to denote the re-marriage of a widow, but it is quite unusual in the death indexes. Whether it merits indexing under O is debatable.

Finally, M and S appear in the Last Names list for the death of "Columba Waldron Sr M", presumably a nun, Sister Mary Columba Waldron.

5. Clicking on the First Names link again produces a list of initials; as already noted, these may include a numeral (1) to draw attention to a late registration.

6. Clicking on Role is yet another way of distinguish the Mothers whose maiden names appear in the database from the Principals.

7. Clicking on Event Type allows one to select Birth, Death, Marriage or Unspecified. Selecting Death or Marriage, as expected, selects the deaths or marriages. Selecting Unspecified again selects birth records where the mother's maiden name matches the last name entered. But selecting Birth selects boths births and deaths, again because an estimated birth year has been calculated for each death.

-----

Clicking "Refine search" on the results page allows one to search the Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958 again. Clicking "New search" on the results page moves one to a search of "All Indexed Collections".

The interface allows one to search by first name as well as by last name. This has a couple of potential uses.

First, if an unusual first name, especially an unusual female first name (e.g. Hermina or Marcella) runs in a family, it can help to track down missing female lines.

Second, we can now see when first names began to be popular in Ireland. For example, only one entry in the nineteenth century had the name Fiona; it occured 17 more times up to 1939; 36 times in the 1940s; 209 times in the 1950s; and even three times in the 1960s.

Since the source data ends in 1958, the last result is quite a puzzle. In fact, a search for marriages in 1968 produces 433 hits; a search for births in 1968 produces 2,047 hits; and a search for deaths in 1968 produces 402 hits. Whether the source genuinely includes some data from the 1960s or whether there has been a high error rate in data entry is not clear. A search for deaths in 1975 produces 8 hits; three of these are in 1971 with no quarter given, which suggests that the second digit of the year has been mistyped and that the year should read 1871, when the indexes had not yet been split into quarters.

The indexes do not appear to include all the Irish civil records which have been in the International Genealogical Index for many years. For example, there are only 6 hits for Peter Gallivan, none in County Kerry. But the IGI at http://www.familysearch.org/eng/Search/ ... 0304008465 includes a Peter Gallivan from Baatch No. C005951, born on 06 JUL 1876 in Kerry, Ireland
Parents:
Father: Timothy Gallivan
Mother: Margaret Gallivan Shea

This may be one of the estimated 10-15% of all registered events which are omitted from the indexes.

Volume numbers are not all correctly transcribed. For example (see http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclar ... ampion.htm), Bertram Foster Kerrison married Noreen Lyons in 1936 Q4 in Limerick Union. The database entries are:

Name: Bertram F Kerrison
Registration district: Limerick
Record type: MARRIAGES
Registration date - quarter and year: Oct - Dec 1936
Film number: 101577
Volume: 5
Page: 177
Digital GS number: 4199369
Image number: 00431
Collection: Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958

Name: Noreen Lyons Registration district: Limerick
Record type: MARRIAGES
Registration date - quarter and year: Oct - Dec 1936
Film number: 101577
Volume: 3
Page: 177
Digital GS number: 4199369
Image number: 00432
Collection: Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958

Those who are familiar with volume numbering may be able to figure out whether this entry should be in Volume 3 or Volume 5.


Last edited by pwaldron on Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:22 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:11 pm 
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Location: Ballina, Killaloe
Further thoughts:

I have always concluded when I found a birth indexed under `male' or `female' that the unfortunate newborn infant probably died before its parents agreed on a name. A recent example has persuaded me to change my view.

Sadly the great indexing work of Naoise Cleary and his followers at the Clare Heritage Centre is not yet available at http://brsgenealogy.com/ so I cannot illustrate my point with a Clare example. In any case, http://www.clareroots.com/centre.htm tells us that the civil birth index for Clare that we are not allowed to consult online covers the period 1900-1950 only.

So to illustrate my point, I will have to use a Limerick example.

A search at http://limerick.brsgenealogy.com/ for Myles births in Limerick in 1878 produces only one match, Henry Frederick.

A similar search at http://pilot.familysearch.org/ produces two matches, `Male Myles' in Q1 and `Julia Myles' in Q4, both in `Limerick Registration District'.

http://www.limerickgenealogy.com/sources.php tells us that the Limerick Genealogy index includes `Records of Births for most of east County Limerick and Limerick city from 1864,' so finding records in the nationwide index which are missing from the Limerick index should not be a surprise. Finding a name in the Limerick index that is not in the nationwide index is, however, a big surprise.

The obvious conclusion is that the nationwide index was compiled from the registers as they stood before Henry Frederick was named, but that the Limerick index was compiled from the registers as they stood after he was named. (Column 11 on the birth registration form is for `Baptismal Name, if added after Registration of Birth, and Date.') Other possible explanations are that the omission of Henry Frederick from the nationwide index results from an error in the original indexing process in 1878 or an error in the LDS filming process in the 20th century.

As a fellow researcher has pointed out to me `apparently some parents simply could not settle on a name for the poor child until they'd lived with his or her crying for several weeks!' She also gave as an example a Registrar in north Tipperary who appeared to display such indecision about the names of his own offspring.

The moral of this example is that one must always investigate carefully the `males' and `females' in the birth index if the object of one's research does not show up under his or her name.

On my next visit to the GRO in Dublin, I will check the hard copy indexes to see if Henry Frederick's omission is a microfilming error, and order the photocopied certificate for male Myles to see if his parents match those of Henry Frederick.

I am also waiting to hear from a correspondent in California who claims to have obtained a copy of his grandmother's 1903 death certificate, which I cannot locate in the indexes despite exhaustive searching.

Watch this space for updates.

-----

Another puzzle - there does not appear to be a record at pilot.familysearch.org to match this (Donegal) one in the IGI:
http://www.familysearch.org/eng/Search/ ... 0047991298


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 12:34 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:31 pm
Posts: 674
Location: Ballina, Killaloe
There is a blog at http://labs.familysearch.org/blog/ which allows people to post comments with feedback to the LDS site designers.

Several people (myself included) have already requested that the Irish Civil Registration Indexes be made searchable on all fields, or specifically on the Year, Quarter, PLU, Volume and Page fields, which would, inter alia, allow one to find the second spouse in a marriage given the reference for the first. (Actually, there are two marriages per page, so normally this method works unambiguously only if, for example, one has already found the wife's first name on a census return and now wants to find her maiden surname.)

The more people who support this request, the better!


Last edited by pwaldron on Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:33 am 
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Location: Ballina, Killaloe
At http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/p ... ge/630633/, I found a 1911 census return for John Parker (b. Co. Limerick) and his wife Bridget (b.Clare), who said that they had been married for 32 years. I was asked to explain how I had determined Bridget's maiden name, so thought I should write this up and post it here as it expands on my last post on this thread.

There was only one John Parker marriage in Clare or Limerick between 1872 and 1887, so this must be the groom that I am looking for:

Name: John Parker
Registration district: Limerick
Record type: MARRIAGES
Registration date - quarter and year: Apr - Jun 1879
Film number: 101253
Volume: 5
Page: 241
Digital GS number: 4179386
Image number: 00405
Collection: Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958

To find the bride I looked for a matching entry for

First & Middle Name: Bridget
Event: Marriage
Year: 1879
Location: Limerick, Ireland
Exact match only

and hit Search

There were 101 matches in (county) Limerick for me to scroll through until I found a potential match in Limerick PLU in the second quarter. I find it rather annoying that a manageable number like this is still split into five pages.

Since most Catholic marriages took place in Shrovetide, I knew that most of these would be in the first quarter of the year and not many of them in the second quarter of the year.

On the second page, I found an entry with matching quarter, PLU, volume and page numbers:

Name: Bridget M'Mahon
Registration district: Limerick
Record type: MARRIAGES
Registration date - quarter and year: Apr - Jun 1879
Film number: 101253
Volume: 5
Page: 241
Digital GS number: 4179386
Image number: 00401
Collection: Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958

Further down the list there were four other Bridgets in Limerick PLU in the second quarter; naturally all were also in volume 5, but the page numbers did not match. As there are two marriage certificates per page (five birth or death certificates per page), we could not be sure without the additional evidence from the census and without checking all 101 hits that John Parker and Bridget M'Mahon married each other - both brides on page 241 could have been named Bridget.

Of course, this procedure would be infinitely simpler if it was possible to search on quarter (rather than decade or year), PLU (rather than county) or volume or page number.

Limerick PLU includes Limerick city and surrounding areas, extending into south-east Clare at least as far as Sixmilebridge. As Bridget was born in Clare according to the census, the marriage probably took place in this area of county Clare. Carrying out the same search but entering the Location as Clare, Ireland produced only 82 hits. For some inexplicable reason, none of the five matching marriages in Limerick PLU shows up in the Clare list (but some from Scarriff PLU, which also overlaps county boundaries, do).

Can anyone explain this glitch?

Perhaps I will get an answer next Wednesday from Wendy Quirke of the FamilySearch staff, who will be the guest speaker at the AGM of the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations in Dublin. See http://www.cigo.ie/events.html for more details. All welcome.

\pw


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:18 pm 
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Location: Ballina, Killaloe
Here's another anomaly in the pilot.familysearch.org database - a couple from Clare with the groom and bride recorded in different `Registration districts':

Name: Stephen Scanlan
Registration district: Dublin South
Record type: MARRIAGES
Registration date - quarter and year: Oct - Dec 1891
Film number: 101256
Volume: 2
Page: 616
Digital GS number: 4179388
Image number: 00427
Collection: Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958

Name: Frances Browne
Registration district: Dublin North
Record type: MARRIAGES
Registration date - quarter and year: Oct - Dec 1891
Film number: 101256
Volume: 2
Page: 616
Digital GS number: 4179388
Image number: 00403
Collection: Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958

The certificate confirms that both parties had addresses in Tulla. The marriage took place at the `Roman Catholic Chapel of Catholic University', presumably the University Church on St. Stephen's Green. The `Union of' field on the certificate is left blank, which might explain why the index is inaccurate. I presume that the Liffey was the dividing line between Dublin North and Dublin South and thus that Dublin South is the correct designation.

It was commonplace among the Catholic middle classes of Clare and other counties at that time to travel to Dublin for their weddings.

This couple's son-in-law Edward Joseph Francis Graham was my third cousin twice removed; Stephen Scanlan's brother-in-law Thomas O'Halloran was my first cousin four times removed.

I am trying to establish how Stephen's father, Patrick Scanlan of Rosslara, Tulla, was related to the Scanlan family of Garraunboy, Killaloe and other prominent Scanlan families in East Clare.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:04 pm 
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Location: Ballina, Killaloe
There is a good letter by Patrick Murphy on page 29 of the current issue of Irish Roots magazine (2009 Number 4), headed `Frustrated By Certificates Limit At The General Register Office, Dublin.' I fully endorse his criticisms of the lack of service at the GRO.

Patrick also says `I have paid for far more incorrect that correct certificates because of ... the fact that in earlier years indexes are annual rather than quarterly.'

He appears to be unaware of a very useful table on p.23 of EXPLORING IRISH GENEALOGY No. 2 - IRISH CIVIL REGISTRATION- WHERE DO I START? (Authors: Eileen M. O Dúill & Steven C. ffeary-Smyrl; Published: 2000.) This wonderful little booklet can be ordered at http://www.cigo.ie/eig2.html

I reproduce here the relevant table:

Registration Volume Decoder 1845-1877
Volumes 1-5 March Quarter
Volumes 6-11 June Quarter
Volumes 11-15 September Quarter
Volumes 16-20 December Quarter

In other words, although neither the printed index nor the electronic index at pilot.familysearch.org explicitly indicates the quarter in which events were registered prior to 1878, the quarter can be inferred from the volume number for any event.

I had been using the GRO indexes for about 25 years before I learned this trick and I suspect that I am not the only one.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 6:17 pm 
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Location: Ballina, Killaloe
I am looking for the husband of Adelaide Frost whom I have mentioned on another thread at viewtopic.php?f=1&t=843

Her marriage is indexed as

Name: Adelaide Frost
Registration district: Limerick
Record type: MARRIAGES
Registration date - quarter and year: Apr - Jun 1899
Estimated birth year:
Age:
Mother's surnames:
Film number: 101259
Volume: 5
Page: 217
Digital GS number: 4195895
Image number: 00206
Collection: Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958

To find the husband's name, I could either wait until the GRO reopens after Christmas and pay four euro for the marriage certificate, or wait even longer for the index to be made searchable by quarter and volume and page number, or I could look for a matching index entry for the husband using the fields on which it is currently possible to search. I tried the latter.

As Limerick PLU includes part of Clare, Ireland and part of Limerick, Ireland, I could try either of two searches:

Exact match only; Marriage; 1899; Clare, Ireland; leaving both name fields blank

or

Exact match only; Marriage; 1899; Limerick, Ireland; leaving both name fields blank

(remembering in each case to wait to select the Location from the dropdown list before proceeding).

The Clare search gives me 694 matches.

The Limerick search gives me no match.

Leaving the Location field blank gives me no match.

So I decided to check all 32 counties

I found no matching marriage in any of counties Antrim, Armagh, Cork, Derry, Donegal, Down, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Limerick or Mayo.

The remaining counties produced the following numbers of matches for marriages in 1899:

Cavan 701
Carlow 287
Clare 694
Fermanagh 732
Kildare 659
Kilkenny 608
Laois 396
Leitrim 473
Longford 478
Louth 665
Meath 403
Monaghan 242
Offaly 523
Roscommon 296
Sligo 475
Tipperary 4
Tyrone 1
Waterford 783
Westmeath 271
Wexford 158
Wicklow 55

The fact that some counties give an odd number of matches is presumably accounted for by widows appearing twice in the marriage index, once under their maiden surnames and again under the surnames of previous husbands. (This does not explain the single result for Tyrone!)

So what about births and deaths?

I checked a sample of counties:

Clare has 507 births and 486 deaths

Antrim has 534 births and 522 deaths

Dublin has 508 births and 555 deaths

Limerick 514 has births and 489 deaths

Leitrim has 496 births and 457 deaths

Louth has 496 births and 466 deaths

Tipperary has 509 births and 462 deaths

Tyrone has 455 births and 464 deaths

These counts are not in any sort of proportion to my sense of the size of the populations of the different counties. Can anyone reading this see any pattern emerging?

Has a large part of the marriage index gone away on its Christmas holidays?

Here's another test:

In 1934, a search for marriages in Limerick produces 239 exact matches. Filtering on First Names and Last Names reveals that none of these has initials J. F. Refining the search and filling in the full names Josephine Foristall produces a match. (I learned this after paging through all 239 matches some weeks back.)

Can we have any more confidence in the accuracy of the results when the First & Middle Name and Last Name fields are filled in than when they are left blank?

Has anyone else felt that the search returns are often incomplete?

Can anyone explain the search algorithm which was designed to produce such misleading and erratic output?

\pw


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:39 pm 
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Location: Ballina, Killaloe
Another inexplicable quirk of this website:

I found Veronica Mary Graham, aged 5 months, born King's County, living with her parents and siblings in Shinrone in the 1911 census. (Her paternal grandmother was Mary Frost from Portdrine, county Clare.)

To confirm their birth dates, I tried to find the children in Irish Civil Registration Indexes.

Searching for Veronica Graham with all other fields left blank finds the birth of Veronica Mary Graham in Roscrea PLU, which contains parts of counties Laois, Offaly and Tipperary.

Filling in any of those three counties in the Location field still finds her birth.

Removing the first name and instead trying to find Veronica by selecting V from the First names dropdown menu is not so successful:

No V in Tipperary,
Five Vs in Laois, but none a Veronica
Two Vs in Offaly, but neither a Veronica


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:18 pm 
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I gave a workshop on using familysearch.org at the Family History Day in the Dublin City Library and Archive this afternoon. Anyone interested can see the outline of my presentation at http://tinyurl.com/pwaldron


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:32 pm 
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Location: Ballina, Killaloe
Another glitch:

I found my third cousin once removed Bridget Gibson in the 1911 census of Fodry aged 3 months. I knew she died as a child. The nearest match that I could find in the death indexes was:

Name: Bridget Gibson
Registration district: Kilrush
Record type: DEATHS
Registration date - quarter and year: Jul - Sep 1918
Estimated birth year: 1916
Age: 2
Mother's surnames:
Film number: 0101605
Volume: 4
Page: 182
Digital GS number: 4201709
Image number: 00570
Collection: Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958

I ordered this certificate today but it could not be found. I guessed from the age at death that the year should perhaps read 1913, and sure enough found a matching reference in the hard copy index in the GRO.

A search for Gibson deaths in 1913 produces no match anywhere in Ireland from the Jul - Sep quarter. So it appears that at least a whole page of 1913 deaths has been wrongly indexed under 1918, with estimated birth years correspondingly all five years too late. Could several pages or a whole quarter of deaths be misplaced?

I have also found a 1913 birth mis-indexed under 1918:

Name: Thomas Gerard Blackhall
Registration District: Dublin South
Event Type: BIRTHS
Registration Quarter and Year: Apr - Jun 1918
Estimated Birth Year:
Age (at Death):
Mother's Maiden Name:
Film Number: 101075
Volume Number: 2
Page Number: 575
Digital Folder Number: 4194694
Image Number: 00082
Collection: Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes, 1845-1958

I don't remember any query when I ordered the photocopy of this one, but the photocopy clearly shows both date of birth and date of registration as 1913.


Last edited by pwaldron on Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:06 am 
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Location: Қазақстан
Thanks for posting your experiences, Paddy. Greatly appreciate these warnings/heads up as they might save me and others from wandering down some garden path into a blind alley which ends at the top of a gum tree in a dark room.

I've just been having a related experience with the 1911 census indexes at http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/ Looking for Sheehans/Sheahans in and around Fahy/Faha I was surprised to find very few of them. It only when I started browsing the census images that I discovered that the transcriber had systematically transcribed clearly legible Sheehans and Sheahans as "Keehan". Once I cottoned on to this and started searching the index for "Keehans" I found lots of 1911 Sheehans/Sheahans around that part of the world. It looks as if the transcriber has/had a reading handicap which causes/caused him/her to read "Sh" as "K".

Paddy (Casey)


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:14 am 
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Location: Ballina, Killaloe
Caitriona Crowe of the National Archives spoke about the census project at the Family History Day at the Dublin City Library and Archives a couple of weeks ago. There are thousands of corrections to the census transcriptions being submitted via the website, as I presume you have done with the Sheehans/Keehans. But due to the current budgetary conditions the government will not approve the appointment of a clerical officer to confirm the corrections and make them live on the website.

On a related matter, according to Hugh Weir's Houses of Clare (1999, p.202), Moyarta Cottage outside Carrigaholt was leased by landlord Nicholas Westby to the Reverend Michael Sheehan [sic], P.P. Weir has merely reproduced an error in the printed version of Griffith's Valuation, which refers to Rev. Mchl. Sheehan, P.P. The P.P. in Carrigaholt at the time of Griffith was of course the famous Fr. Michael Meehan, best known in connection with the "Little Ark" used on the foreshore at Kilbaha when (long after Catholic Emancipation) local landlord Marcus Keane refused to allow the erection of a Catholic church.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:36 pm 
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Location: Ireland
The LDS site has been considerably revamped in recent days. It appears to be merging the databases from the pilot site, including the ICRI data, with the main site.
At the moment it's all rather gobbledy-gookish, and it's to be hoped that this improves. Maybe this is definitely the moment to use the contact facility, and express concerns. Though it seems so ungrateful to complain about a service that has so much good material, and is free.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:26 am 
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Location: Ballina, Killaloe
I agree about the gobbledy-gook. For example, the word `marriage' in the search results has (hopefully temporarily) reverted to `residence', which appeared briefly when the database first went online. I have edited my original posting above to reflect the slight change in the URL for direct access to ICRI.

\pw


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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 2:45 pm 
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Location: Ballina, Killaloe
The "Ireland Births and Baptisms, 1620-1881" collection which can be searched at
http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsea ... ionDetails
appears very similar to a collection which could be searched at
http://www.familysearch.org/eng/search/ ... _form=true
for many years now.

However, the new search interface is much better.

For example, using the old search form to search for Father Last Name brew and Mother Last Name cusack and Region British Isles produces only the error message:

"Enter at least your deceased ancestor's first name or last name and the region, and then click Search."

The same search using the new form produces two children of Tomkins Brew and Bridget Cusack.

A search using the old form for children with father Tomkins Brew and mother Bridget Cusack produces six hits, including one duplicate.

Why are three births in Ireland which took place between 1871 and 1877 and which are on the familysearch.org website not part of the "Ireland Births and Baptisms, 1620-1881" collection on the same website?

The answer is probably in the footnote to the search form:

"Index to selected Ireland births and baptisms. Only a few localities are included and the time period varies by locality. This collection contains 5,296,208 records. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later."

This is still a promising development.


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