My Tangent – Brunhammer Doherty Genealogy - Researcher Beware – Eight Errors in Five Lines – 2012 Errors NOT 1940 Ones

06 April 2012


Good Day, I think,

Well, we all have a choice… Do we worry about correct Indexing when the access is supposedly free at Ancestry.com?

Or should we expect, if we pay for annual subscription, that the data entry to be a close to perfect as possible?

There are many answers to these two questions, but listen to my find today.

I have a complete subscription to Ancestry.com. I have had one for quite a number of years. I am ever so lucky that one of the first States to be “Indexed” is Delaware.

Two nights ago I was able to find the 1940 United State Census Page for the Brunhammer Family. It took a bit of time, but I found it. See Part 656b.

Now two days later Delaware is Indexed. For you genealogy neophytes, that is, I should be able to search the 1940 US Census by Name. That is quite a feat… but I know that and I understand that the data capturing, aka indexing, has been going on for some time now. But that is neither here nor there.

Today, I decided to use the Ancestry.com search facility. I entered in two bits of information: Last Name – Brunhammer and Live in Location – Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware, USA. I hit the search button and the first of 272 Records was not Brunhammer, it was Barman.

I scrolled down the first 50 Records. No Brunhammer. (Remember I have already found the Brunhammer Family at Enumeration District 4-45 and Sheet No. 6 A.) I keep scrolling down and bingo, Record number 98 is Herry Breenhammer. And the subsequent four Records are listed as Ann Breenhammer, Madeline Breenhammer, Eugens Breenhammer, and Clair Breenhammer. Surname incorrectly entered… should be BRUNHAMMER.

The enumerator’s handwriting is relatively neat… One should be able to read the difference between a “u” and the double letters “ee”. One error is excusable. And we shouldn’t complain as the transcription error in 1880 created a new surname PREENHARNESS… But Eugene is spelled and written E U G E N S, not Eugene. And grandfather Harry’s name is Harry, never was it Henry… or the data-entered concoction of Herry.

But that doesn’t take the cake. Column 10, Color or race, of the Census Page across from Harry Brunhammer’s name, Brunhammer, Harry, the enumerator of 1940 wrote and entered “W”. I think the “W” means WHITE. But the 2012 Ancestry.com data entry person has enter for Race: NEGRO (Black). Huh?

I would tender a guess that it appears that proof-work has gone out the window, so-to-speak...

Buyer is it? Or is it? Researcher beware… Check the image of the Page for the original entries. Please note that this is an Ancestry.com's “(Beta)” attempt. But EIGHT errors in five lines is a bit too much!!!

Enjoy,

Jim

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