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General => The Common Room => The Lighter Side => Topic started by: Beeonthebay on Wednesday 23 March 16 20:07 GMT (UK)

Title: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Beeonthebay on Wednesday 23 March 16 20:07 GMT (UK)
Now admittedly the person who wrote out the 1911 census had a strange way with their letters, especially the letter H.  But if you look at the whole page you will see the word House with their weird way of writing H.  So why didn't the transcriber look at the whole page?  I don't know if it's true but I've read somewhere that Ancestry transcribers have a dictionary and transcribe letter by letter what they see which of course you are supposed to do, but doesn't common sense come into play?

Hector R. Williams transcribed as Teelos K Williams, that took some finding I can tell you!!  ::) :o ;D
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: ScouseBoy on Wednesday 23 March 16 20:18 GMT (UK)
One day soon they will get computers to perform transcribing.  They will probably be more accurate than human transcribers.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Rainbow Quartz on Wednesday 23 March 16 22:02 GMT (UK)
I appreciate that transcribers have to write down what they see, and that some handwriting is VERY difficult to read, but I've had two bad ones, Harrisa instead of Louisa on a census return, and I was so thrilled at such an unusual name and how easy it would be to trace her, it only took several weeks to sort out (and when I finally saw the original it was so obviously Louisa); and worse still, Henry instead of Frances, so it took about a year and quite a bit of help from Rootschatters to find a burial record ::)
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: BumbleB on Wednesday 23 March 16 22:44 GMT (UK)
Aw come on!!!  Looking at the page I would never, in a million years, have seen the name Hector!

Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Andrew Tarr on Wednesday 23 March 16 23:04 GMT (UK)
One day soon they will get computers to perform transcribing.  They will probably be more accurate than human transcribers.

They've been trying for a long time with OCR, and that can only handle printed characters with any reasonable hope of success.  Attempts at blurry Victorian newspapers are a joke sometimes, so I don't share your optimism - yet.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Andrew Tarr on Wednesday 23 March 16 23:05 GMT (UK)
Aw come on!!!  Looking at the page I would never, in a million years, have seen the name Hector!

It wouldn't take me that long, BumbleB.  The H is certainly strange, but the rest of it looks pretty suggestive to me  ;)
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: BettyofKent on Wednesday 23 March 16 23:08 GMT (UK)
Jemima Crumpler transcribed as Fanina Oompler.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Beeonthebay on Thursday 24 March 16 07:23 GMT (UK)
Aw come on!!!  Looking at the page I would never, in a million years, have seen the name Hector!

Neither did I until I figured out the first letter was H (as in Milk House occupation) not T.........which made me think that the transcribers *are* only looking letter by letter and not at the whole page.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: jaybelnz on Thursday 24 March 16 07:42 GMT (UK)
Banfree for Winifred! 

Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: carol8353 on Thursday 24 March 16 08:11 GMT (UK)
My ancestor whose name was Fred- was transcribed as FROG  ;D
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Beeonthebay on Thursday 24 March 16 08:19 GMT (UK)
One day soon they will get computers to perform transcribing.  They will probably be more accurate than human transcribers.

They've been trying for a long time with OCR, and that can only handle printed characters with any reasonable hope of success.  Attempts at blurry Victorian newspapers are a joke sometimes, so I don't share your optimism - yet.

Eeek I hope I am gone before that happens!!!   :o :o :o
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: 3sillydogs on Thursday 24 March 16 08:58 GMT (UK)
Don't know if I would have got "Hector" out of that straight off, but would have looked at the rest of the document for where that letter had been used in another word.

As a transcriber I know we are supposed to type what we see but a certain amount of common sense should come into play.  The problem comes in with transcribers that are working in languages that may not be familiar to them, which is possible with online transcribing with transcribers from all over the world.

I have also found that the older the document the worse the handwriting, don't know if it was the types of writing instruments and ink that they had or what, but the more "modern" ones are easier to read at times.  Maybe "practice makes perfect" ;D ;D
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: larkspur on Thursday 24 March 16 09:04 GMT (UK)
Aw come on!!!  Looking at the page I would never, in a million years, have seen the name Hector!

Neither did I until I figured out the first letter was H (as in Milk House occupation) not T.........which made me think that the transcribers *are* only looking letter by letter and not at the whole page.

I have done a small amount of transcribing for Ancestry, and it is not always easy, you do not always see the "whole"page, and you are informed NOT to guess but leave a blank where you cannot read something.
I think we should be very grateful for all the people who transcribe-for free- some have done over 60.000. When you consider how much information Ancestry has and how many errors occur, and it is done by amateurs that is pretty remarkable.
What would you prefer? Back to the library etc and the fiche's, or sitting in your nice home in front of the comp. I know which one I do  8)
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: 3sillydogs on Thursday 24 March 16 09:11 GMT (UK)

I have done a small amount of transcribing for Ancestry, and it is not always easy, you do not always see the "whole"page, and you are informed NOT to guess but leave a blank where you cannot read something.
I think we should be very grateful for all the people who transcribe-for free- some have done over 60.000. When you consider how much information Ancestry has and how many errors occur, and it is done by amateurs that is pretty remarkable.
What would you prefer? Back to the library etc and the fiche's, or sitting in your nice home in front of the comp. I know which one I do  8)

I transcribe for Family Search and at least we do get to see the whole page (at least for the records I have been transcribing) it does make it easier to come to a conclusion.   ;)

, (well for the records I am transcribing at least) it definitely does make it easier to come to a conclusion.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: StevieSteve on Thursday 24 March 16 09:55 GMT (UK)


I have also found that the older the document the worse the handwriting, don't know if it was the types of writing instruments and ink that they had or what, but the more "modern" ones are easier to read at times.  Maybe "practice makes perfect" ;D ;D

Don't know when they were written but the ones I curse are whoever wrote out the PCC wills.

Their writing is perfectly neat and consistent yet at times I find it perfectly  unreadable
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Andrew Tarr on Thursday 24 March 16 09:57 GMT (UK)
I have also found that the older the document the worse the handwriting, don't know if it was the types of writing instruments and ink that they had or what, but the more "modern" ones are easier to read at times.  Maybe "practice makes perfect"

I think that's mainly a matter of familiarity with style.  I'm sometimes surprised at how 'standard' Victorian handwriting seems compared with today's variations - I assume that there was a national drive to increase literacy, with a recommended style of 'copperplate'.  Increasing literacy between 1850 and 1890 is noticeable in the number who can (or try to) sign a marriage register.

But as you say, the further back you look, the more unintelligible handwriting seems.  By the 17th century it's becoming difficult, and earlier than that, impossible - for me at any rate.  And spelling is less predictable too.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: jaybelnz on Thursday 24 March 16 10:06 GMT (UK)
The words themselves are harder the further we go back, unfamiliar spelling, funny f thing for an f, strange English words in Ye olde English- must take a bit of working out sometimes, fortunately I don't have any from back that far though, but soo wish I did!
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Beeonthebay on Thursday 24 March 16 10:23 GMT (UK)
Don't know if I would have got "Hector" out of that straight off, but would have looked at the rest of the document for where that letter had been used in another word.

As a transcriber I know we are supposed to type what we see but a certain amount of common sense should come into play.  The problem comes in with transcribers that are working in languages that may not be familiar to them, which is possible with online transcribing with transcribers from all over the world.

I have also found that the older the document the worse the handwriting, don't know if it was the types of writing instruments and ink that they had or what, but the more "modern" ones are easier to read at times.  Maybe "practice makes perfect" ;D ;D

I did wonder if perhaps there were non English speakers transcribing though why you wouldn't see the whole page I don't understand.

I've been doing some transcribing for FreeReg of parish register marriages and have found a kind of rhythm in the flow of the handwriting sometimes by comparing it to a street name I know is correct if I don't quite "get" a letter.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: jess5athome on Thursday 24 March 16 11:07 GMT (UK)
My ancestor whose name was Fred- was transcribed as FROG  ;D


He wasn't a "Riveter" by trade was he?  ;D ........... Sorry, couldn't resist it  :-[

I'd not have seen it but would have looked at the whole page then for any clues.

Frank.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Rosinish on Thursday 24 March 16 12:36 GMT (UK)
One day soon they will get computers to perform transcribing.  They will probably be more accurate than human transcribers.

I believe this already happens.

Annie
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: jbml on Sunday 27 March 16 23:01 BST (UK)
I looked at it for a while ... it's difficult to say how I would have construed it, given that I already KNEW it was "Hector".

But ... just looking at that first letter, there is one thing which is ABUNDANTLY obvious ... and that it that it has two parallel upright strokes, not one.

I know of only three English capital letters with two parallel upright strokes: H, N and M

Once you have eliminated those that it cannot be ... N and M ... then the solution that it must be an H with the bar raised a little way does seem pretty obvious.

With the benefit of hindsight.

As for "ee" or "ec" ... well, the letters are differently formed, so they are not the same letter.

l or t? Well, it it doesn't have a cross-bar, then the following letter has a dot over it. But the following letter is neither an i nor a j, so the upright letter in the middle of the word its a t not an l.

Are we nearly there yet?

(As I say though ... all this IS starting out KNOWING it is Hector ... which makes it easy to see. Not so sure I would have got there without knowing it in advance ... and that's what makes transcription such an exacting task.)
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: marcie dean on Monday 28 March 16 01:55 BST (UK)
My ancestor whose name was Fred- was transcribed as FROG  ;D


He wasn't a "Riveter" by trade was he?  ;D ........... Sorry, couldn't resist it  :-[

I'd not have seen it but would have looked at the whole page then for any clues.he wasnt a purl and plain knitter, a ribber, ribbit ribbit, i couldnt hekp it either :o ??? ::)

Frank.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: MagicMirror on Thursday 07 April 16 19:04 BST (UK)
Someone named "God Amen" apparently left a number of Wills over the years.  ;D



Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: hookleg on Friday 13 May 16 14:27 BST (UK)
I have corrected hundreds of names, which I appreciate can be difficult to make out. What does annoy me a bit is the mis-transcription of village names. Surely people who are doing this have access to a list of parishes, at least for the county they are transcribing?
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Beeonthebay on Friday 13 May 16 15:06 BST (UK)
I have corrected hundreds of names, which I appreciate can be difficult to make out. What does annoy me a bit is the mis-transcription of village names. Surely people who are doing this have access to a list of parishes, at least for the county they are transcribing?

I corrected one the other day where the place name was correct but it was most definitely in the wrong county.  I did google it just to make sure and yep.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: jaybelnz on Friday 13 May 16 23:16 BST (UK)
One day soon they will get computers to perform transcribing.  They will probably be more accurate than human transcribers.

I believe this already happens.

Annie

I don't know why it is, but numerous "electronic transcriptions" I have tried to read on say, old newspaper records on Trove,  FindMyPast etc, can be difficult to understand, but fortunately there is also an image of the actual page!
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: NooshieW on Saturday 14 May 16 01:09 BST (UK)
I had the surname West thranscribed as Resh, took ages to find that one. But the worst by far was
Mary Hunter, that had been transcribed as Stumbles , took years to unravel it, we had to pull the original documents and then we could see it wasn't Stumbles at all ,but Hunter, haven't got a clue how they could have got that so wrong.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Rosinish on Saturday 14 May 16 01:55 BST (UK)
One day soon they will get computers to perform transcribing.  They will probably be more accurate than human transcribers.

Not read any further posts on this thread but this is already happening....computer generated transcriptions which has been mentioned previously on RC.

Annie
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Rosinish on Saturday 14 May 16 02:02 BST (UK)
Jemima Crumpler transcribed as Fanina Oompler.

 ;D  ;D.....I doubt anyone would have found that with the "variants" option either  ???

Annie
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: BettyofKent on Saturday 14 May 16 16:27 BST (UK)
I think I found her via her husband Thomas, at least that was transcribed correctly!

I've just found a Mary transcribed as Wavy on FindMyPast.

Betty

Jemima Crumpler transcribed as Fanina Oompler.

 ;D  ;D.....I doubt anyone would have found that with the "variants" option either  ???

Annie
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Beeonthebay on Saturday 14 May 16 17:15 BST (UK)
I was looking for a birth earlier on the Anc BMD's and dismissed one from Stroud, Gloucestershire but I couldn't find what I was looking for in Kent.  So I opened up the Stroud one to find somebody had corrected it to Strood, Kent 10 months ago and it still hasn't been amended.

No wonder we can't find people at times!!
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: carol8353 on Saturday 14 May 16 17:32 BST (UK)
I was looking for a birth earlier on the Anc BMD's and dismissed one from Stroud, Gloucestershire but I couldn't find what I was looking for in Kent.  So I opened up the Stroud one to find somebody had corrected it to Strood, Kent 10 months ago and it still hasn't been amended.

No wonder we can't find people at times!!

Ancestry don't change their transcription errors,they just add a suggested amendments to the record.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Beeonthebay on Saturday 14 May 16 17:40 BST (UK)
I was looking for a birth earlier on the Anc BMD's and dismissed one from Stroud, Gloucestershire but I couldn't find what I was looking for in Kent.  So I opened up the Stroud one to find somebody had corrected it to Strood, Kent 10 months ago and it still hasn't been amended.

No wonder we can't find people at times!!

Ancestry don't change their transcription errors,they just add a suggested amendments to the record.

Really?!!  Even when they have the whole place name wrong!!!  :o
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: pharmaT on Saturday 14 May 16 19:04 BST (UK)
I'll need to go and check if there are still examples of Birmingham, West riding, Yorkshire on Ancestry.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: StevieSteve on Saturday 14 May 16 20:52 BST (UK)
I'll need to go and check if there are still examples of Birmingham, West riding, Yorkshire on Ancestry.

As I understand it, if there was before, then they'll still be there.

What you really want to check is: for a record that someone has added a correction to Warwickshire, that it is picked up by a search with Warwickshire as an exact keyword.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Andrew Tarr on Monday 13 June 16 16:47 BST (UK)
Here's one I turned up today, indexed by FamilySearch as LAYLUTORE.  The correct surname is pretty clear to me, but it's also clear that no amount of soundex or look-alike would ever find it in the index.  Answers on a postcard please ....
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: majm on Friday 17 June 16 01:32 BST (UK)
Starts with "S", ends with "ton" and is nine letters long, so that is an 'e' before the 'ton'

S - - - - eton

Agh .... that's an 'l' before the 'e'

S - - -leton

Agh and that's an 'ing' after the S

If pressed to transcribe I would actually decline and set it aside and have a team effort.

But after some considerations over several days of leaving the print of the image on my desk, I have come to the conclusion that the surname "Singleton" is a better transcription than Laylutore.

I suppose a fair way to check would be to seek out a likely civil registration,  either via http://www.lancashirebmd.org.uk/births.php or https://www.freebmd.org.uk/

Postage rates in Australia are on the increase, and no postcards handy.

NO, I am probably wrong.  Here is the familysearch index (from December 2014) for Thomas Henry SINGLETON's baptism
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JQCD-YR2

JM



Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: andrewalston on Friday 17 June 16 05:10 BST (UK)
If this was the first entry being transcribed in a session, then maybe I might have made the same mistake.
However, if I'd done a couple of pages in the same handwriting, Singleton would be the choice.
Even with the small sample we have, the capital S is a decent match for the one on the end of the street name, there is a dot (some distance) above the I, the vowel just before the -ton is a decent match for the one in Russel (though it also matches the u !).
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Andrew Tarr on Friday 17 June 16 09:15 BST (UK)
Well done.  I have the advantage of seeing many pages in this cleric's handwriting, and to me Singleton is pretty clear.  He had the annoying habit of using two forms of 'e', the common one and the 'Greek epsilon' of which there are three examples here.  That alone should help to identify the name (which is confirmed on FreeBMD), along with the capital S.  That is why the Laylutore is so awful - the transcriber seems to have made no attempt to deduce anything.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: anne_p on Friday 17 June 16 09:22 BST (UK)
One of my families are found on the 1911 census in Montreal.
The original in quite clear yet every one of the 4 people in the household have their place of birth mistranscribed.
New Zealand transcribed as New Ireland
England transcribed as Ireland
Scotland/Ecosse transcribed as Nova Scotia
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: mowsehowse on Friday 17 June 16 09:45 BST (UK)
Here's one I turned up today, indexed by FamilySearch as LAYLUTORE.  The correct surname is pretty clear to me, but it's also clear that no amount of soundex or look-alike would ever find it in the index.  Answers on a postcard please ....

Slightly tongue in cheek, as I have now read entire thread but.....

After I had read the thread that far, I sat with my husband to mull over this conundrum.

We laid out the EIGHT letters, hangman style, and filled in the more obvious before cudgelling our brains over the others.

_ _ ybilo _ 

Definitely a dot above supposed i.
Definitely no crossing of upstroke, so decided L not T.
Last letter could easily be w,n,m.

Eventually concluded "Swybilow" or perhaps Swybilom or Swybilon.  :P

But "never in a million years" Singleton!!!!!!!!  :-[
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: carol8353 on Friday 17 June 16 11:47 BST (UK)
No way would I have said that started with an S,to me it read as LUYLULOW  ;D
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: majm on Friday 17 June 16 12:30 BST (UK)
The S is similar to the S after the word Russell as in 26 Russell S(treet.)   :)

There is a stroke as though to cross the t to the left of the t.   

Transcribing is usually a relaxing time, but sometimes it needs a load of time to come together.  When the tricky word starts to appear it will fully reveal itself in a rush.  But, yes, having the benefit of pages of the one hand, and knowing the particular archive resource being transcribed is a significant benefit.

I am not familiar with the clergy's hand, but I am familiar with transcribing parish registers from the mid 1800s that are extant the New South Wales Anglican archives, so you get used to reading a particular person's handwriting.   I am sure Andrew would have similar experiences with the UK ones.

JM
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Andrew Tarr on Friday 17 June 16 12:44 BST (UK)
Definitely no crossing of upstroke, so decided L not T.
Last letter could easily be w,n,m.

Eventually concluded "Swybilow" or perhaps Swybilom or Swybilon.  :P

But "never in a million years" Singleton!!!!!!!!  :-[


Yes, Swybilow would look very like the name written here.  The clues are (a) the capital S in Russel S, (b) the 'epsilon' e and uncrossed t in Elizabeth (you will have interpreted that correctly ?  ;)) and the dot floating high above the i .

But as I said above, it helps a lot to have read dozens of other names from this chap (George Rudd).  Also it wasn't quite the first Singleton in the register ... :D
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: mowsehowse on Friday 17 June 16 12:55 BST (UK)
Yes, Swybilow would look very like the name written here.  The clues are (a) the capital S in Russel S, (b) the 'epsilon' e and uncrossed t in Elizabeth (you will have interpreted that correctly ?  ;)) and the dot floating high above the i .

But as I said above, it helps a lot to have read dozens of other names from this chap (George Rudd).  Also it wasn't quite the first Singleton in the register ... :D

Uncrossed T in Elizabeth, darn it..... yes ofcourse.... BUT look at the B in Elizabeth.....
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: jaybelnz on Friday 17 June 16 13:02 BST (UK)
I think I may have posted this one in another thread re oddest names we have found, but this one I found interesting.

It was was the Christian name of Banfree, in a Canadian census, when I was looking for her parents. I thought what a strange name, but on looking at the image the name was Winifred!

So much for all the trees on Ancestry that have her as Banfree, obviously hadn't looked at the source document!
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: coombs on Sunday 17 July 16 22:06 BST (UK)
Somerset records on Anc just released have a George Coombs wed a Sexcy Williams in 1816 in Weare lol.

Scrap that, just viewed the original, the original does seem to say "Sexcy".
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Andrew Tarr on Sunday 17 July 16 23:08 BST (UK)
Somerset records on Anc just released have a George Coombs wed a Sexcy Williams in 1816 in Weare

There is a very respectable school somewhere in the West Country (I forget where - just checked, it's in Bruton) named Sexey's.  I do wonder what the pupils make of it, and how much backchat they suffer.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: ..claire.. on Sunday 17 July 16 23:13 BST (UK)

I've had a look at that marriage record it certainly looks like Sexcy to me, the witness looks to be called 'Sexa Williams' unless I'm mistaken.

 :)

Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: coombs on Monday 18 July 16 15:31 BST (UK)
Some parishes in census transcriptions have been mistranscribed such as 1841 for Suffolk village of Hacheston put down as Hackeston. And Fakenham Magna in Suffolk is in Thetford district, which is mainly in Norfolk, seems some districts did cover more than one county, and the 1851 census says Fakenham, Norfolk, but it is Fakenham in north Suffolk. There is the north Norfolk town of Fakenham, 20 miles north of Thetford.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: cristeen on Monday 12 September 16 14:27 BST (UK)
My favourite is the 1911 for my Richard William Baxter Gardner, he is transcribed as Reta Haidee Bailee Gadwa. Admittedly Baxter may not be an expected name, and the handwriting isn't great, but his signature is much clearer and could have given clues to the transcriber if they'd looked! Took me a LONG time to find him :D
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: roderickpaulin on Monday 12 September 16 14:57 BST (UK)
Alimor transcribed where it reads Ellinor
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: horselydown86 on Monday 12 September 16 16:02 BST (UK)
The unchallenged champion Worst Ancestry Transcription Ever can be found in the collection All London, England, Freedom of the City Admission Papers, 1681-1925.

Search for Rock Doffethor.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: andrewalston on Monday 12 September 16 18:51 BST (UK)
The unchallenged champion Worst Ancestry Transcription Ever can be found in the collection All London, England, Freedom of the City Admission Papers, 1681-1925.

Search for Rock Doffethor.
You win the whole internet with that one!  ;D
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: horselydown86 on Tuesday 13 September 16 05:13 BST (UK)
Humbly, Andrew, I have to give all the credit to the transcriber.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Gillg on Sunday 18 September 16 15:00 BST (UK)
My ancestors came from Huntingdonshire, Hunts for short, however more than once I have come across the transcript giving "Hants".  Only one letter, but it makes a lot of difference when you are searching records.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Treetotal on Sunday 18 September 16 16:06 BST (UK)
I have been given the runaround with a mistake like that...My Great Grandmother was born Salford, Lancs...transcribed in 1901 as born in Alford, Lincs. Just two letters out but caused me years of searching in the wrong place  ::)
Carol
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Ayashi on Sunday 18 September 16 16:16 BST (UK)
My favourite is the 1911 for my Richard William Baxter Gardner, he is transcribed as Reta Haidee Bailee Gadwa.

That is quite spectacular!

I'm glad that my ancestors generally lived in small towns because on occasions I've been reduced to looking through pages and pages of original images of census records in order to find them. My Thomas Milburn was found as Thomase Millison living with his father John Milliron (sigh) and the absence of my Joseph Carter and family was eventually explained by virtue of their surname being mistranscribed as Liota...
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Treetotal on Sunday 18 September 16 16:22 BST (UK)
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D...That's a shocker  :o
Carol
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Chilternbirder on Sunday 18 September 16 16:48 BST (UK)
Quote

But after some considerations over several days of leaving the print of the image on my desk, I have come to the conclusion that the surname "Singleton" is a better transcription than Laylutore.
I read that one as Singleton straight away but an hour previously I had been looking at my gg aunt's details and her married name was Singleton. I am not sure if I would have read it that promptly if I had come to it cold.

The only glaring transcription error that has given me problems was my own reading of an 1841 census on microfiche in pre internet days. Again I was expecting to see the name and the person was of the right occupation and right age. It was only when I realised that Ancestry had read the name differently that I rechecked and found my error. Luckily it only moved the brick wall forward by one generation.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: cristeen on Sunday 18 September 16 19:54 BST (UK)
My favourite is the 1911 for my Richard William Baxter Gardner, he is transcribed as Reta Haidee Bailee Gadwa.

That is quite spectacular!

I'm glad that my ancestors generally lived in small towns because on occasions I've been reduced to looking through pages and pages of original images of census records in order to find them. My Thomas Milburn was found as Thomase Millison living with his father John Milliron (sigh) and the absence of my Joseph Carter and family was eventually explained by virtue of their surname being mistranscribed as Liota...
Ayashi, that is exactly the reason I eventually found him, he lived at Sunderland Point which thankfully only contains a handful of houses so I trawled through each page!
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: mowsehowse on Sunday 18 September 16 20:20 BST (UK)
Jemima Crumpler transcribed as Fanina Oompler.
This has to be my favourite. :)
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: judb on Tuesday 20 September 16 09:24 BST (UK)
Some beauties here - Wales 1851 at Aberystruth, Monmouthshire.

W S Bullard, born Corenhouse - actually William Ballard b Crickhowell
Iza Bullard, actually John Ballard
Mary Anna J Smert, born Frooper, Somerset - actually Mary Ann Sweet b Frome

Took me a while to find them!

Judith   
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: trystan on Thursday 22 September 16 00:01 BST (UK)
Generally speaking, it does make you wonder if the method used for transcribing some records (and I'm not saying this is how it's done in these cases) is by recording people reading text, and then using speech-to-text software to 'transcribe' it. Some examples sound as if it's the syllable sounds that are transcribed possibly? It may be a really effective method a lot of the time but come with the errors that we see at times? Just a thought, that's all.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: ymfoster on Thursday 22 September 16 00:19 BST (UK)
That sounds very feasible Trystan.  :)

Also people unfamiliar with old style writing misinterpret letters, & then transcribers in foreign countries transcribing the census.  ::)

Yvonne
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Bookbox on Thursday 22 September 16 00:32 BST (UK)
The unchallenged champion Worst Ancestry Transcription Ever can be found in the collection All London, England, Freedom of the City Admission Papers, 1681-1925.

Search for Rock Doffethor.

I should like to propose another contender for this award, from the same database.

Search for Wilhout Any.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: horselydown86 on Thursday 22 September 16 18:27 BST (UK)
Certainly a solid contender, Bookbox.

I think Rock Doffethor shades it for creativity and I will always admire the way the transcriber simply discarded all the letters which didn't fit his theory.

However, Wilhout Any (and the whole Any family*) wins points for sheer bloody-minded refusal to consider meaning as a useful adjunct to transcription.

*  I see the Any family were prolific suppliers of Freemen to the City.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: stonechat on Tuesday 27 September 16 14:01 BST (UK)
Familysearch have some good ones too. My Great great grandfather Staffurth Clarke was transcribed as Huffenth o children's baptisms. Family search have I think a correct version now as well
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: PrawnCocktail on Saturday 01 October 16 14:45 BST (UK)
How about this one -

"The Tmdon Boock" in the new Deddington burials. Reality is The Widow Crockford!
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: isk on Saturday 01 October 16 15:45 BST (UK)
An interesting one on an emigration record from London to Sydney calling at a place Marsouffles,  reasonably clearly it should be Marseilles.  isk
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Geoff-E on Saturday 01 October 16 19:23 BST (UK)
Some beauties here - Wales 1851 at Aberystruth, Monmouthshire.

W S Bullard, born Corenhouse - actually William Ballard b Crickhowell
Iza Bullard, actually John Ballard
Mary Anna J Smert, born Frooper, Somerset - actually Mary Ann Sweet b Frome

Without prior knowledge, I'd have trouble agreeing with much of what you say are the correct transcriptions.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: judb on Sunday 02 October 16 06:18 BST (UK)
Hi Geoff-E
Yes, I do have other records which show that my transcription is correct.  The image shows appalling handwriting by the enumerator and is heavily scored  and blotted.  With the information I already had I could make out that the image does have the correct names etc - just very difficult to read and I can see how the mistakes have been made.

Took me a long time to find it though!
HO107/2447/415 p 18

A fascinating thread!
Judith
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Peter Bathe on Friday 07 October 16 08:15 BST (UK)
The "Long S" usually foxes the more inexperienced transcriber - Rufsell for Russell etc - but is understandable, as are, indeed, many transcription errors.

My biggest bugbear is that unwillingness of major sites to admitted transcriptions were wrong in the first place and keep the entries indexed under the original transcriptions, even when they are clearly wrong. The sites' users have gone to much trouble to bother sending in corrections and can provide "chapter and verse" as to why corrections are necessary.

They might suggest there is an alternative - but why not get rid of the totally misleading version?

Some of the sites are also unwilling to accept the version provided by the transcriber. I volunteered to transcribe for one site and was given "modern" registers of marriage - those where the brides' and grooms' surnames appear not only in the box completed by the registrar, but also as their own signatures. I looked at both (and also the registrars' entry of the fathers' names) and my transcriptions were "bounced" if I chose their own signatures (often very clear signatures) over the scrawl of the registrar which could be interpreted differently.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: judb on Saturday 08 October 16 01:14 BST (UK)
Absolutely agreeing with you, seigebatteries.  It's extra annoying when it's the first letter of a name which has been mistranscribed.  Perhaps it's the good old $$ and the corrections sent in happen automatically but it would take a human to change the original.

Judith
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Andrew Tarr on Wednesday 12 October 16 23:24 BST (UK)
They might suggest there is an alternative - but why not get rid of the totally misleading version?

It's because of a slavish and rigid refusal to relax the rule of Type What You See, even when it should be clear to all what the correct version is.  A common explanation is that transcribing has been done by those unfamiliar with the language or the handwriting.  Some sites do accept submitted alternatives, but retain the incorrect version, perhaps to 'keep a handle' on it.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: dawn-in-nz on Friday 14 October 16 22:38 BST (UK)
I was always under the impression that most if not all of the census on ancestry had been transcribed by word recognition software (not sure if that's exactly what you call it). That's why whoever/whatever did the transcription doesn't actually KNOW that Fanny Arbuckle aged 6 can't be a grandmother!

One day soon they will get computers to perform transcribing.  They will probably be more accurate than human transcribers.

Not read any further posts on this thread but this is already happening....computer generated transcriptions which has been mentioned previously on RC.

Annie
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Peter Bathe on Saturday 15 October 16 07:11 BST (UK)
That's why whoever/whatever did the transcription doesn't actually KNOW that Fanny Arbuckle aged 6 can't be a grandmother!

Humans can't be trusted to spot the impossibility of 6-year-old grandmothers; 60-year-old new mums; or multiple births spread over three or four months. You can tell that by the number of trees with these absurdities on Ancestry - often the result of blind acceptance of poor transcriptions but more often the result of wishful thinking.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: hurworth on Saturday 15 October 16 07:43 BST (UK)
Perewae James Martin on the 1891 census in London.  Perhaps it was transcribed in New Zealand?

It looks like Percival to me.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: PrawnCocktail on Saturday 15 October 16 09:05 BST (UK)
Perewae James Martin on the 1891 census in London.  Perhaps it was transcribed in New Zealand?

It looks like Percival to me.

One of the Northamptonshire parishes must have been done by a Spanish speaker - the Thomas's were transcribed as Gomez!
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: andrewalston on Saturday 15 October 16 10:03 BST (UK)
It's because of a slavish and rigid refusal to relax the rule of Type What You See, even when it should be clear to all what the correct version is.  A common explanation is that transcribing has been done by those unfamiliar with the language or the handwriting.
One of my pet hates is when the transcriber guesses at the letter without engaging the brain, such as the family transcribed as "Leddon" rather than "Seddon", even though the capital letter matched exactly the one at the start of "Son".

And don't get me started on about the long "s" !
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: phenolphthalein on Saturday 15 October 16 10:45 BST (UK)
Someone may have said this before. If so sorry.

I'm not a computer whiz BUT
One can not use OCR for handwriting I think.
The reason OCR works for print is straight lines,
even letter spacing,
standard characters to recognise etc.

If one observes TROVE NLA's Aust newspapers
then WHEN:
Fancy characters are introduced it often gets it wrong
If the tracking device runs crocked [correction crooked] then several lines can be mucked up,
if it stops short then part or full lines are lost.

The great beauty with NLAs newspapers is
 the fact all can view
and no private companies are involved
BUT also many wonderful Aussies
are correcting the transcription as they go.
If someone gets it wrong
next person corrects it.

Though it would be rather nice if they did
an automatic correction
of "tbe" to "the"
Regards and thank you
phenolphthalein

[Hopefully this is how one is supposed to correct]
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Andrew Tarr on Saturday 15 October 16 23:05 BST (UK)
......
Regards and thank you
phenolphthalein

Phenol - I am trying to work out whether your post is meant to be read as a poem ?  If not, why ?

I agree about the OCR.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Douglas P on Saturday 15 October 16 23:41 BST (UK)
I recently discovered a three year old boy transcribed as Gotobed.

It still amuses me. With four sons aged one to six, I can imagine that being said with a stern voice. He may have been Gordon.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: BumbleB on Sunday 16 October 16 06:23 BST (UK)
Why would he not be Gotobed?  It is an accepted surname, certainly in England, and we all know that our ancestors used surnames as forenames - derived from "the son of Godbert"
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: phenolphthalein on Sunday 16 October 16 06:48 BST (UK)
......
Regards and thank you
phenolphthalein

Phenol - I am trying to work out whether your post is meant to be read as a poem ?  If not, why ?

I agree about the OCR.

Yes isn't TROVE lovely.

First here is a Tydeman for you (I wasn't looking for it)

•   The Biz (Fairfield, NSW : 1928 - 1972)
•   Wed 21 Feb 1962
•   Page 8

Secondly thank you for your comment I wasn't aiming to be poetic
More a shopping list. Ill and headachy. Trying hard to be understood and not beaten up.
Getting very very edgy.
Principal said to me about me there were too many illiterate scientists in the world.
Failed almost every poetry essay I ever wrote. Thankfully passed the one that mattered.
God bless John Donne.
I do keep mis-stepping.

HOWEVER, I will try to be FUNNY and poetic below

Kind sir I must apologise
You see I have some problems with my eyes
New methods I must now devise
And my layouts I must revise
So that we all may harmonize

To gain others trust
Just
Cross t's and dot all i's I must
Must

Regards and thank you
phenolphthalein
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: ecksdochter on Sunday 16 October 16 10:26 BST (UK)
Hello,
     Luckily I had viewed this 1871 Census at my local library before I saw the A*try transcription or I would have been completely stumped at this occupation, "Meshemse At Shonnerg Hill Wood Pabbian" - Mechanic At Spinning Mill And Publican.
               Regards,     Dod.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Andrew Tarr on Sunday 16 October 16 15:24 BST (UK)
Hello,
     Luckily I had viewed this 1871 Census at my local library before I saw the A*try transcription or I would have been completely stumped at this occupation, "Meshemse At Shonnerg Hill Wood Pabbian" - Mechanic At Spinning Mill And Publican.
               Regards,     Dod.

Now that has to be an OCR attempt?
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: janfurness on Sunday 16 October 16 16:13 BST (UK)
Not the worst- but far from the best: 1841 census,Middlesex, the Garrett family appear to have kidnapped 1 week old "Kat Maund." Close inspection of the original reveal that the infant was, in fact "Not Named."  ???
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Peter Bathe on Monday 17 October 16 06:57 BST (UK)

The highlighted bit of this scrawl was transcribed as "grandson" but a quick look at the ages of the household shows this to be impossible. Judging by a capital "J" lower down the page, I've taken this to be "Journeyman"
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Andrew Tarr on Monday 17 October 16 09:11 BST (UK)
The highlighted bit of this scrawl was transcribed as "grandson" but a quick look at the ages of the household shows this to be impossible. Judging by a capital "J" lower down the page, I've taken this to be "Journeyman"

Whatever it is, I can't make it into any logical name for a relationship to a head of household.  It looks more like Forreyner (=foreigner?) to me ....
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: phenolphthalein on Monday 17 October 16 09:16 BST (UK)
As both head of household and this person are listed as shoeing smiths
then this person is indeed a journeyman (day labourer or short term labourer)
staying overnight with his employer.

Congratulations on reading this at all.
phenolphthalein
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: BettyofKent on Monday 17 October 16 14:23 BST (UK)
I made good use of the recent free weekend on Ancestry, & as well as the usual nonsense (Kent Lunalie Asqlum for Kent Lunatic Asylum) I found the surname TOOKIE transcribed as FOOKIE.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: janfurness on Wednesday 19 October 16 09:56 BST (UK)
This is too easy and we could go on for ever!
I found one just now:- 1871 census- place of birth Thishine Cornwall- which is of course Flushing Cornwall.  ::)
While I can sort of see it, assuming you expect to find a loop on the final e, and you haven't noticed the consistent handwriting style throughout the whole page,surely you'd refer to a map if the place name seemed odd?
Free Reg and FreeBMD are transcribed by volunteers- have far fewer errors and put a query mark if they are unsure their transcription is correct.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: phenolphthalein on Wednesday 19 October 16 11:15 BST (UK)
NOT an Ancestry transcription error BUT two of their time

Port Macquarie recorded as Port Mercury on an 1880-1890's death certificate.
Also Lylie's enrolment for 1903 NSW electoral roll misprinted as Sybil.
Did she get to vote? Hopefully booth had handwritten version.
Try it in copperplate.

phenolphthalein
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Willatts on Friday 21 October 16 14:58 BST (UK)
I don't know if it was intended as a joke, but I once read in one of the genealogy magazines that many of the transcriptions on Ancestry have been carried out by Chinese transcribers. They are supposedly much better at character recognition than western people are!
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: ..claire.. on Friday 21 October 16 18:04 BST (UK)

Not really wrongly transcribed but made me laugh. I was looking for a burial of a Mr Head and found on Anc* NC registers for Bristol.

Mrs Parsley Head

It was as it said, although it was Mrs Parsley, 'to head & foot stones emitted in due time'

 :)
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Falkyrn on Wednesday 26 October 16 11:14 BST (UK)
Transcription of the 1901 census -

Charles Hendrie 16 - "Apprentice Moron"

I just had to look at the original which very clearly shows Apprentice Mason
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: majm on Wednesday 26 October 16 11:49 BST (UK)
The unchallenged champion Worst Ancestry Transcription Ever can be found in the collection All London, England, Freedom of the City Admission Papers, 1681-1925.

Search for Rock Doffethor.
You win the whole internet with that one!  ;D

That's a clanger and a half !   :)  how embarrassing - I assume there was no team effort checking that transcription.   

JM
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: ecksdochter on Wednesday 26 October 16 13:06 BST (UK)
     Shocked to find this error while searching all male births, early 1800s in Leslie, Fife. Try searching 1871 Scotland Census for Andrew C*nt. Age 67. Born about 1804 at Leslie, (transcribed as Lestin) Fife, Scotland & living in Glasgow Barony, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
     Made me use John McEnroe's well known phrase!
     (Obviously transcribed, not just by an Apprentice Moron, but a fully fledged MASTER MORON!)
     
     Regards,     Dod.
     
P.S. Surname is Cant on 1851, 1861 & 1881 Census.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Rosinish on Wednesday 26 October 16 13:23 BST (UK)
Dod,

I recognised which surname with C*nt (living in Fife & have come across it) however, be thankful they didn't get that surname wrong!

This thread must give people a good laugh.

Annie
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: ecksdochter on Wednesday 26 October 16 14:12 BST (UK)
Hello Annie,
     That's the point, A*try did get it wrong on the 1871 Census. I'd get kicked off this site if I say what they transcribed the surname Cant as!
     Do you think the 1871 Scotland Census Returns seem to have far more transcription errors than other years? Maybe they used the OCR system mentioned in an earlier post.

     Regards,     Dod.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Forfarian on Saturday 12 November 16 21:06 GMT (UK)
I struggled for ages looking for a family called Ballantyne. Would you believe Lazzartyre?
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: pharmaT on Sunday 13 November 16 22:57 GMT (UK)
I struggled for ages looking for a family called Ballantyne. Would you believe Lazzartyre?

LOL was the handwriting very bad? I have Ballantynes too.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: roderickpaulin on Sunday 13 November 16 23:34 GMT (UK)
So do I- on the wife's side
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Forfarian on Monday 14 November 16 03:18 GMT (UK)
LOL was the handwriting very bad? I have Ballantynes too.
It was pretty bad!

I erred in fact - confused two different families - the 'Lazzartyres' were Bannatyne not Ballantyne. But I do have some Ballantynes, in East Kilbride.

Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Rosinish on Monday 14 November 16 03:46 GMT (UK)
My favourite is the 1911 for my Richard William Baxter Gardner, he is transcribed as Reta Haidee Bailee Gadwa.

That is quite spectacular!

Incredible to say the least....I wonder what language their OCR machine was set on  ???  ::)  ;D  ;D

I think that one beats Rock Doffethor myself  :P

Annie
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Rosinish on Monday 14 November 16 04:00 GMT (UK)
I have one, not exactly a transcription error.

6th on list....EDIT....My g g/mother

Surname was Donoughue in any variation (I have about a dozen) but this one had me beat for an age in my early days.

Don't know who wrote it but it certainly shows nothing like the surname it should be.

Annie

Added Doorhouse & to be honest the reason I actually decided to look at it was because I couldn't believe anyone could have such a surname  ::)
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Forfarian on Monday 14 November 16 10:00 GMT (UK)
I am intrigued by the Brush and Mop Manufactory Offices Warehouse!
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Rosinish on Tuesday 15 November 16 02:01 GMT (UK)
I am intrigued by the Brush and Mop Manufactory Offices Warehouse!

Forfarian,

That was unoccupied.

Address my family are at is Pilgrim St, 8 Fosters Court

My 3 x g g/father was a Brush Maker so probably worked for that company?

Class: RG11 Piece 5062 Folio 90 Page 30

Annie
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: cristeen on Tuesday 15 November 16 12:23 GMT (UK)
My favourite is the 1911 for my Richard William Baxter Gardner, he is transcribed as Reta Haidee Bailee Gadwa.

That is quite spectacular!

Incredible to say the least....I wonder what language their OCR machine was set on  ???  ::)  ;D  ;D

I think that one beats Rock Doffethor myself  :P

Annie
Annie, I have to say 'Indian Call Centre' sprang to mind!
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: rayel on Monday 21 November 16 09:05 GMT (UK)
I used to be a transcriber, and unless you have actualy done it you dont realise how hard on the eyes it can be as some of the records are a total mess and very hard to transcribe, I done it for 4 years but I had to give it up because of the strain to my eye s, I think people who do this job and may I say most of them are volunteers as was I are doing the very best they can do and have helped so many people with their research
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: cristeen on Monday 21 November 16 13:56 GMT (UK)
I used to be a transcriber, and unless you have actualy done it you dont realise how hard on the eyes it can be as some of the records are a total mess and very hard to transcribe, I done it for 4 years but I had to give it up because of the strain to my eye s, I think people who do this job and may I say most of them are volunteers as was I are doing the very best they can do and have helped so many people with their research
Rayel, I certainly had no intention to cause offence. I think the transcribers on the whole do a marvellous job, which is clearly extremely difficult at times. However, there are times when transcriptions bear so little resemblance to the original that one has to wonder what was going through the transcribers mind! I have attached the original of my ancestor's census return for comparison purposes.
I have attached an image of my ancestor's census
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: rayel on Monday 21 November 16 16:50 GMT (UK)
The N in Gardner does resemble a U which does make things difficult
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: cristeen on Monday 21 November 16 16:54 GMT (UK)
Agreed, but Reta Haidee Bailee Gadwa?  :)
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: rayel on Monday 21 November 16 17:10 GMT (UK)
The bottom name does look like Emily to me
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Rosinish on Tuesday 22 November 16 02:20 GMT (UK)
I think it has to have been an OCR transcription otherwise "should have gone to specsavers"  ::)

Annie
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: JJJ2 on Tuesday 22 November 16 11:17 GMT (UK)

George Howson died in 1879 in Belleville Ontario, Canada he was about 80 years old and born in England.   The death certificate was transcribed as Genya Snorton.  Just to add to the mystery the certificate information was incorrect and stated he was aged 0 and born in Belleville Ontario.


JJJ2
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Rosinish on Tuesday 22 November 16 20:41 GMT (UK)

George Howson died in 1879 in Belleville Ontario, Canada he was about 80 years old and born in England.   The death certificate was transcribed as Genya Snorton.  Just to add to the mystery the certificate information was incorrect and stated he was aged 0 and born in Belleville Ontario.

Maybe changed his name  ;D

Death certs. can be a hit or a miss depending on who registered the death.

I don't think that people are actually given crucial information as to what info. is actually required (if known), when registering a death.

I don't recall being told what info. would be required when issued with the Hospital info. when my mother passed away in 1984?

I only realised what was needed when I went to the Registry Office.
Luckily my aunt (mum's sis) was with me & could give details I didn't know (I was only 23 yrs old & didn't know her mother's maiden name)!!

Annie
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Ayashi on Tuesday 22 November 16 20:57 GMT (UK)

George Howson died in 1879 in Belleville Ontario, Canada he was about 80 years old and born in England.   The death certificate was transcribed as Genya Snorton.  Just to add to the mystery the certificate information was incorrect and stated he was aged 0 and born in Belleville Ontario.

JJJ2

This is probably a dumb question but if his name, age and place of birth were all wrong, how do you know he's your guy?
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Meelystar on Tuesday 22 November 16 21:16 GMT (UK)
Presumably they ordered the certificate?
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Rosinish on Tuesday 22 November 16 21:20 GMT (UK)
George Howson died in 1879 in Belleville Ontario, Canada he was about 80 years old and born in England.   The death certificate was transcribed as Genya Snorton.  Just to add to the mystery the certificate information was incorrect and stated he was aged 0 and born in Belleville Ontario.

This is probably a dumb question but if his name, age and place of birth were all wrong, how do you know he's your guy?

I agree Ayashi,

Having read over the post again, and being on a certificate does raise a ?

I initially thought it was a transcription from a site!

Annie
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Rosinish on Tuesday 22 November 16 21:33 GMT (UK)
From reading this, it does seem the transcription from "Fancestry" was the problem;

https://mymeehanfamily.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/trials-and-tribulations-of-researching.html

Annie
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Scrumper on Wednesday 23 November 16 01:47 GMT (UK)
Geschwender for Mainwaring in the 1891 census, maybe they were drunk.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: McGroger on Wednesday 23 November 16 03:43 GMT (UK)
About four years ago I completed a spreadsheet of all the people living on three adjoining farms in highland Scotland from 1841 to 1891. There were 24 heads of families and a total of 124 people in 1841. This gradually decreased to 6 heads and 33 people in 1891.

This is from the notes I did after the exercise:

“Survey results were obtained from Ancestry.com Census transcriptions by putting two items only into the search: ‘Shian’ and the year, and then following through by searching the people revealed.

“At least one transcription error was evident in greater than 50% of households. Placenames are the most frequent error, followed by people’s names, then ages; however ages is the most problematical because while names can often be deciphered, an incorrect age needs at least two other sources to find the most probable correct age and to identify the correct person.”

Peter
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: JJJ2 on Wednesday 23 November 16 09:55 GMT (UK)

George Howson died in 1879 in Belleville Ontario, Canada he was about 80 years old and born in England.   The death certificate was transcribed as Genya Snorton.  Just to add to the mystery the certificate information was incorrect and stated he was aged 0 and born in Belleville Ontario.

JJJ2

This is probably a dumb question but if his name, age and place of birth were all wrong, how do you know he's your guy?

I had found his burial record so I knew the date he was buried.  I then searched the deaths for the death certificate, by going through page by page in the Hastings County, Ontario death register.

JJJ2
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Chooch on Thursday 24 November 16 02:51 GMT (UK)
Joseph Rawlings transcribed as 'Forest Dowling', thankfully I knew the area he was likely to be in and with the help of some clever people found him.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Scrumper on Thursday 24 November 16 21:11 GMT (UK)
Rees Dicks became "Bus Dicken" in 1901.  Found him in the same house he was in in 1891.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: majm on Thursday 15 December 16 04:00 GMT (UK)
Ancestry has uploaded some electoral rolls for Western Australia. These of course are NOT handwritten documents, but printed at the Government Printers.   And so I share the following MIS-transcription from the 1934 Roll for Kalgoorlie, Subdivision of Mount Magnet, pg 11.
 
Delay Bmaabelb Mery Nerill   (JM notes this is meant to be the elector’s name)
Mdrfle, tie Yalgee  (JM notes this is meant to be the elector’s home address)
Bee (JM notes this is meant to be the elector’s occupation)

I clearly read this particular entry on the roll as :

610 Nevill, Daisy Elisabeth Mary, Melville, via Yalgee, home duties, F   

(To be eligible to be enrolled on that roll in 1934, you needed to be resident, a British Subject, and aged 21 years or more …. , ) 

Daisy Elizabeth’s death is indexed at WA BDM for the year 1960.  She was aged 69.   
http://www.bdm.dotag.wa.gov.au/_apps/pioneersindex/default.aspx

To BEE or not to BEE, to DELAY or not to DELAY .... whether tis better to be Bmaabelb or to be Elisabeth or worse to be Mery and not Mary....
 ::)  ::)  ::)


JM
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: rachelharvey on Thursday 29 December 16 19:37 GMT (UK)
Found an old guy, well he wasn't always old but in my mind he is. he doesn't get married and stays as a lodger for over 30 years at the same place, on all of the census's he gives his place of birth as Londonderry Worcestershire, at first I didn't question it and just thought there is a small place there called Londonderry I have never heard of, but then I looked for it nothing. then in his final years he is in workhouse it is only then corrected crossed out to (Londonderry Ireland) but this was on the original . I thought this was quite sad really as he probably joked about coming form Londonderry Worcester.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Indiana.59 on Thursday 05 January 17 12:29 GMT (UK)
I had the surname West thranscribed as Resh, took ages to find that one. But the worst by far was
Mary Hunter, that had been transcribed as Stumbles , took years to unravel it, we had to pull the original documents and then we could see it wasn't Stumbles at all ,but Hunter, haven't got a clue how they could have got that so wrong.
Whiskey and bad lighting  8)
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: angelfish58 on Thursday 05 January 17 13:22 GMT (UK)
I found my Snowball family in 1841 transcribed, not unreasonably considering the writing,  as Turnbull on FindMyPast and as Smeaban on Ancestry. It all adds to the fun.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Lisajb on Sunday 08 January 17 18:47 GMT (UK)
I've just found George Louis Mead transcribed as a "gentleman of private moans"...

Wonder what he was like to live with?  ;D ;D
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: trystan on Monday 09 January 17 13:22 GMT (UK)
Lisa, at least he kept his moans private :)
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Treetotal on Thursday 12 January 17 21:52 GMT (UK)
I've just found George Louis Mead transcribed as a "gentleman of private moans"...

Wonder what he was like to live with?  ;D ;D

 Hilarious......maybe he had gagging placed on him  :D
Carol
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: BumbleB on Friday 03 February 17 17:09 GMT (UK)
Another good one:

"Courmecial Isauller Big & Poulter Iron Prind Wood" the occupation of Stephen Geoye Warren - his wife is Mirnie Isabel  ;D

Nearly missed the son's name Albert Herrery  :D


Added:  FindMyPast got only one word wrong!   ;)
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Andrew Tarr on Friday 03 February 17 17:27 GMT (UK)
I had the surname West thranscribed as Resh, took ages to find that one. ...

That's a wonderful serendipitous word which somehow fits a clumsy effort at transcription.  Just noticed it after several months ...  :D
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Kellee58 on Tuesday 07 February 17 20:47 GMT (UK)
My great grandmother's surname was transcribed as "Kilondaway".  I had to go through the baptisms records page by page to finally find her. The last name was very clearly written "Broadaway"

Some of these have given me a good chuckle today.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: imchad on Tuesday 07 February 17 20:59 GMT (UK)
I noticed one man who was a DAIRYMAN in Renfrewshire, Scotland. Only his occupation was given as FAIRYMAN.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: SteveKNS on Wednesday 08 February 17 15:45 GMT (UK)
A 1901 census record eluded me until I found that Walter King had been mistranscribed as Walter Fanny! See attached screenshot.

The handwriting isn't that clear but how they managed to make "Fanny" out of it is hard to imagine, unless they were getting very bored; possibly a case of not knowing their fanny from their elbow ;-)
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Seaton Smithy on Wednesday 08 February 17 21:31 GMT (UK)
Not Ancestry, and possibly not the worst ....

On Familysearch, father of the bride (for her second wedding) James Quinn transcribed as James Ruinor.

If he wasn't deceased, you might think he had tried to stop the marriage.

(Finding this wasn't helped by the bride's first married name Killeen being transcribed as Killisn.)
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: andrewalston on Saturday 11 February 17 12:00 GMT (UK)
Just come across one on FindMyPast. I was following one of their "success story" blog entries and looked for the 1861 entry mentioned.

I failed miserably until I omitted the given name from the search.

There was George Dealey, with his first name transcribed as "Buster". Only one letter right!
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: JenB on Saturday 11 February 17 12:14 GMT (UK)
I failed miserably until I omitted the given name from the search.

There was George Dealey, with his first name transcribed as "Buster". Only one letter right!

I just took a look at that entry. How on earth anyone could see Buster there is beyond me  ::)
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: stonechat on Monday 20 February 17 07:28 GMT (UK)
Found one the other day
Father was transcribed as Casler

In fact this was an illegitimate birth and that was mother's name and it was really Easter.
Father's name was given at the end of the record
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: JenB on Wednesday 22 February 17 14:59 GMT (UK)
While looking for something else completely I found this little gem on Ancestry:

Boseobel Rilst Leonards Alxxle - Fairfield

which appears to be an address wrongly transcribed as a name  :-X
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Joannie Gardner on Thursday 23 February 17 17:27 GMT (UK)
That's bad and I have a couple also. In the 1921 census of Canada, my father (James Boyd McKinnon) became Royal Markusson. His grandmother (Mary Boyd) became Wang Bozel. Yikes.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: ..claire.. on Thursday 23 February 17 19:31 GMT (UK)

Welcome to RootsChat Joannie Gardner ;D

The mind boggles at some of the errors in transcription that have been made and found

 :)
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: wee Hugh on Tuesday 28 February 17 19:51 GMT (UK)
The transcribers and indexers at Ancestry.con have a combined IQ of 40 at the most.

Sometimes I think those who submit trees are not much better.
Certainly in the USA the motto is "anything goes".
"Oh, look!  There's a John Smith.  He must be the one I'm missing."
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Stanwix England on Tuesday 28 February 17 20:16 GMT (UK)
That's bad and I have a couple also. In the 1921 census of Canada, my father (James Boyd McKinnon) became Royal Markusson. His grandmother (Mary Boyd) became Wang Bozel. Yikes.

 ;D Wang Bozel sounds like a villain from Flash Gordon.

@wee Hugh, I can understand why people make that mistake. I'm forever getting hints for English relatives from American sources. Sometimes Ancestry is quite persistent in this, providing hints again and again for an American namesake even though I've rejected a few. It's very easy to put a foot wrong if you are not paying attention. I suspect it's particularly tempting when you have a missing relative.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Kevin, now in Chester on Friday 31 March 17 18:24 BST (UK)
Another contender which made a search for the Jagger family in Chester in 1911 a little more challenging (correct names in brackets).  Fortunately I was able to use a combination of John's forename and place of birth - Huddersfield - to aid my search.

26 Cherry Road Bouryton (Broughton)

 John Henery Lassar  50 (John Henry Jagger or Jaggear)
 Rachul Lassar  49 (Rachel Jagger)
 John Nilly Lassar  24 (John Willy Jagger)
 Thomas Henry Lassar  21 (Thomas Henry Jagger)
 Albret Earnest Lassar  16 (Albert Ernest Jagger)
 Eaed Redpis Flassear  11 (Cecil Redvers Jagger)
 Repanal Arther Flassear  5 (Reginald Arthur Jagger)

Perhaps they were just taking the Mick out of the Jagger family?

Kevin now in Chester
 
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Treetotal on Friday 31 March 17 18:26 BST (UK)
 ;D ;D ;D ;D...I wouldn't have their job for a gold watch. One of mine "Trunter's Assistant"...real job..."Fruiterer's Assistant"
Carol
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Geoff-E on Friday 31 March 17 22:15 BST (UK)
Perhaps they were just taking the Mick out of the Jagger family?

"They" was John Henrey JAGGEAR who wrote and signed the form ...

(father of John Earnest, Ceciel Redfers and Reginal Arthur whose surname he appears to have spelt JJAGGEAR)

FindMyPast has them all as JAGGAR, but I can't see why.  :-\
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: JOOBLES on Sunday 16 April 17 19:07 BST (UK)
I had a Fisher wrongly transcribed as Plisher !!
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Sunnyhill on Tuesday 25 April 17 11:49 BST (UK)
In Family Search my ancestor William Frederick Layng is transcribed as William FREAK Layng in a couple of places. I complained to them about it but it seemed all too hard for them to correct it.

 ::)
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: wilcoxon on Saturday 29 April 17 15:39 BST (UK)
Not exactly a transcription but --- I have Nevada Death Records 1911 - 1965  which contains a baptism at Toxteth Liverpool in 1865,
 ::)
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Ellenmai on Saturday 29 April 17 16:35 BST (UK)
I was researching a family in Bangor Caernarvonshire some time ago with no results. Finding this very odd as I hadn't had this trouble before for later records I tried just putting just Bangor and up came a whole host of results with Bangor, in the County of Anglesey. When I complained to this particular site and asked if this could be changed I was told that's how it had been transcribed when the records were purchased and that is how they would stay, but if I wanted to make an addition to each individual record I could. What a cheek :-\
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: BumbleB on Saturday 29 April 17 16:41 BST (UK)
Not exactly a transcription but --- I have Nevada Death Records 1911 - 1965  which contains a baptism at Toxteth Liverpool in 1865,
 ::)

If you contact Ancestry, I am sure they will remedy the error?  After all you have the evidence from their records to support your application.  ;D
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: wee Hugh on Saturday 29 April 17 17:14 BST (UK)
Surely you know, BumbleB, in the USA the motto is "anything goes".
Those people don't give a damn about correct transcripts or indexing.
Never mind the quality, just feel the thickness.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: BumbleB on Saturday 29 April 17 17:19 BST (UK)
Surely you know, BumbleB, in the USA the motto is "anything goes".
Those people don't give a damn about correct transcripts or indexing.
Never mind the quality, just feel the thickness.

Sorry, can't agree  :'(  I had a problem with parish entries on Ancestry.co.uk and it was fixed.  The people I spoke to at Ancestry were very helpful.  OK it took a little while, BUT it was fixed.

Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: CarolA3 on Saturday 29 April 17 18:43 BST (UK)
Searching for a burial with just a first name and a date range, I was offered 'Horace Jenn SOX'.

The image clearly shows 'Horace John FRY'.  One out of three ain't bad I suppose ::)

Carol
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: andrewalston on Wednesday 07 June 17 12:42 BST (UK)
A database of UK campaign medals has just been updated.

In there I find one of my distant cousins, James Donbavand, awarded a medal for his service in the Napoleonic Wars.

His regiment? The TANK CORPS ! And the medal was awarded in 1923 - 108 years after Waterloo.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: a-l on Wednesday 07 June 17 14:50 BST (UK)
Was he a time traveller ?  ;D
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: andrewalston on Wednesday 07 June 17 18:41 BST (UK)
Was he a time traveller ?  ;D

I wouldn't have minded if it had been a long service award, but it was the General Service Medal.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: a-l on Thursday 08 June 17 13:49 BST (UK)
Was he a time traveller ?  ;D

I wouldn't have minded if it had
been a long service award, but it
was the General Service Medal.
 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: coombs on Thursday 08 June 17 18:22 BST (UK)
Forenames and surnames which have exotic sounding transcriptions such as Thirza mis transcribed as Shaina in the Oxfordshire Marriage Records. A distant rellie reported the error and corrected it.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Seaton Smithy on Friday 28 July 17 05:32 BST (UK)
Helen transcribed as "Mab K"
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: tillypeg on Wednesday 02 August 17 16:07 BST (UK)
On FindMyPast 1911 - Henry Carpenter: a Stereod Gels Salesman......  Thought he must be selling new-fangled ointments....

but no -

Stewed Eels of course!
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: OrsoGrande on Wednesday 02 August 17 17:35 BST (UK)
On the 1939 register I eventually found a maternal Gt Grandmother and relatives transcribed as 'Ticayle' rather than 'Quayle!'
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Lisajb on Wednesday 02 August 17 17:57 BST (UK)
Ancestry have Michael Maher in the 1901 Scotland census as a Labourer at
Brassibuslun.

Now I have no idea what this could possibly be, but FindMyPast have it as a perfectly reasonable Labourer at Bridge Building....
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Suekilp on Tuesday 08 August 17 21:51 BST (UK)
The 1841 Census has Jufant Norwamed aged 2 mo (plainly written "Infant Not Named") there are masses of Jufants, including Jufant Female Child and several records for Jufant schools. I presume they may have been the precursor of Montessori Schools. You can see how these mistakes arise though. I have had to spend ages typing this as every time I write Jufant the predictive text autocorrects to Mutant,lol.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Maiden Stone on Tuesday 08 August 17 23:09 BST (UK)
Coal weaver instead of coal heaver or hewer. It may have been mentioned before. Must have been a skilled occupation.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: larkspur on Wednesday 09 August 17 11:56 BST (UK)
Not only Ancestry......I have my 3x great grandfather's baptism from the National Archives, he is named as William Magitimate. On the baptism record from Lincs to the Past, he is William, illegitimate. :o
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Suekilp on Wednesday 09 August 17 23:26 BST (UK)
My son-in-law's distant ancestor George Bdrzggs was born in Robingwoods Bay, according to the 1901 index.  Not one of the 8 hints from Ancestry was an accurate transciption, though to be fair his father being recorded as Jothan Knaggs in 1851 was enumerator error.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Suekilp on Wednesday 09 August 17 23:29 BST (UK)
And actually now I've transcribed it wrong; it was George Bzrdggs 😀
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: JuneFCa on Saturday 12 August 17 01:36 BST (UK)
I was looking at a UK Census for my great grandparents and they weren't on the page that the image showed! The transcribed information listed page 20, but the image was page 21.

I couldn't figure out how to find the census that I could scroll through, so finally I did a search with no name filled in, just the same street name and a house number just before those I was looking for, and ta da!!! there was my family!

I wanted to look at the image, because sometimes there is more information than is transcribed.

Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Suekilp on Saturday 12 August 17 05:01 BST (UK)
If you use the back button it might take you back to the the right entry
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Seaton Smithy on Tuesday 05 September 17 03:39 BST (UK)
Crozier (with a big loopy "z") transcribed as Quinn.

Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Treetotal on Tuesday 05 September 17 22:53 BST (UK)
Not only Ancestry......I have my 3x great grandfather's baptism from the National Archives, he is named as William Magitimate. On the baptism record from Lincs to the Past, he is William, illegitimate. :o

That's a shocker but it made me laugh  ;D

Some of mine are:

Caper - Capes

Boviel - Borrell

Bucknole - Bucknall

Place of birth Alford, Lincs.....should have been Salford, Lancs.

And Trunter's Assistant  should have read Fruiterer's Assistant  ;D

Carol


Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: AlannaGrace on Sunday 24 September 17 05:16 BST (UK)
Looked like Teelops to me!  Hector - heavens - how did you ever work it out
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: smudwhisk on Monday 25 September 17 03:05 BST (UK)
Ursula Clough daughter of Phillipe baptised 1605 Welford on Avon, transcribed as Birtnla Olongh daughter of Thilliye. :o  While I accept that the "u" letters could be misread for "n", that really is a poor attempt at transcription.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: cristeen on Monday 25 September 17 17:53 BST (UK)
My son-in-law's distant ancestor George Bdrzggs was born in Robingwoods Bay, according to the 1901 index.  Not one of the 8 hints from Ancestry was an accurate transciption, though to be fair his father being recorded as Jothan Knaggs in 1851 was enumerator error.
Guessing the POB was actually Robin Hoods Bay (North Yorks) :)
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Seaton Smithy on Monday 09 October 17 23:27 BST (UK)
Philip Burley transcribed as Builey isn't too bad.

His wife and children's surname transcribed as Burry is a bit odd given the above.

The winner here though is the wife's birthplace of Plympton transcribed as Phempler.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: yelkcub on Wednesday 18 October 17 21:45 BST (UK)
In the 1891 census my ancestor Hiram Horsfall, a gardener living in Bermondsey, was mistranscribed 'Horsface'.
Some bored transcriber's idea of a joke?
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Rosinish on Thursday 19 October 17 18:08 BST (UK)
I wanted to look at the image, because sometimes there is more information than is transcribed.

As well as being more accurate.

I find some of the Scottish place names in particular to be way off & no way of being able to hazard a guess  ::)

Annie
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Geoff-E on Thursday 19 October 17 18:53 BST (UK)
In the 1891 census my ancestor Hiram Horsfall, a gardener living in Bermondsey, was mistranscribed 'Horsface'.
Some bored transcriber's idea of a joke?

If I had to transcribe it. I would say it was HORSFACE. ;)
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Rosinish on Thursday 19 October 17 19:01 BST (UK)
If I had to transcribe it. I would say it was HORSFACE. ;)

I tend to agree as the 'll's don't have a long upward stroke, the last 2 letters look different & neither looks like an 'l'

Annie
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: yelkcub on Thursday 19 October 17 20:52 BST (UK)
See what you mean, though perhaps common sense ought to have kicked in to question whether 'Horsface' was a likely surname. I know there are some outlandish names in existence, but ...

Hiram was the brother of my paternal grandmother's father. There is quite a story attached to one of Mr Horsface's daughters, too complex to repeat here.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: frostyknight on Friday 20 October 17 00:11 BST (UK)
Bet you'll always think of him as Mr Horsface now.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: stonechat on Monday 23 October 17 10:09 BST (UK)
I get just as annoyed when they transcribed a GRO index - the clearly printed ones - Norma as Norman.
Just no excuse for that extra N in there
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: tillypeg on Monday 06 November 17 15:30 GMT (UK)
FindMyPast 1861 census - the Hardaf family - actually Wardell.

Poor Zachariah Wardell in 1851 was affectionately known as Qgackriah !!
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: coombs on Monday 06 November 17 16:16 GMT (UK)
My fave one is Pernella E Smell, born Phedge Naton, Oxfordshire. I did more digging and her name was Priscilla E Snell born Brize Norton.
Title: Terrible transcriptions
Post by: LizzieW on Wednesday 08 November 17 15:14 GMT (UK)
I've spent ages looking for my 2 x g.g.aunt and her first husband, I think he died in 1853, but she had her 3rd child with him in 1851 so I assumed they would be on the 1851 census.  Their surname was Bassingthwaighte.  Eventually I found them on Ancestry transcribed as Bapingthwaight, so not too far out.  I went to FindMyPast and copied the piece/folio/page numbers, a family came up named Wright ::)

Correct family but husband transcribed as George F Baping (all first names) and Wright as the surname with the rest of the family given the surname Wright.  No wonder I couldn't find them when I was looking under every combination of a name beginning with B and FindMyPast which doesn't like searches with just first names gave them a surname beginning with W.  I wonder how many other "lost" ancestors have been similarly mistranscribed?
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: mijath on Wednesday 08 November 17 23:41 GMT (UK)
1891 census. Surname Ruttledge. Transcribed as? Kattledgo.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Rosinish on Thursday 30 November 17 23:41 GMT (UK)
Robert Baunatync...

Transcribed from a typed doc. Electoral Register from Register of Parliamentary Voters, Burgh of Glasgow, 1871 - 1873...

Is actually Robert Bannatyne (clear as day)

Annie
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: stonechat on Monday 04 December 17 16:06 GMT (UK)
was just reminded of one I had forgotten

A family of Varnden all transcribed as Barricks
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Mark1973 on Friday 26 January 18 14:08 GMT (UK)
Not Ancestry unfortunately but I was just browsing through the British Newspaper Archive site for my local pub history. The Dolphin has been transcribed as the Bulimia!
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: CarolA3 on Saturday 27 January 18 01:52 GMT (UK)
Hi Mark :)

That would be an unfortunate choice of name for any catering establishment :o

I believe BNA use an OCR system rather than human transcribers, otherwise the project would be too slow and expensive.  It's usually good with standard typefaces but does get confused by features like italics or curly/gothic/ornate print.

Carol
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: stonechat on Saturday 27 January 18 07:13 GMT (UK)
By no means the worst but in the typewritten GRO birth indexes a lady we know first name of Norma, somehow they found an extra 'n' which is not there for Norman
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: candleflame on Monday 29 January 18 13:36 GMT (UK)
Not a transcript but a hearing error on one census by the enumerator had one tree I was doing for a Friend called Dixon, down as 'Distant. ' Fortunately they lived in the same area all their lives and had a fleet of children all the correct age to be at home all there in the right order and with the right places of birth. So a search using just Christian names eventually tracked them down.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: panda40 on Monday 29 January 18 14:42 GMT (UK)
Not a transcription but an entry next to a child that belonged to the second wife of one of my ancestors quote basted child of wife. Obviously he had strong feelings about this child all the others are listed as scholar except this poor girl aged 8. Sadly the wife died the following year and I can find no trace of the unfortunate daughter.
Regards Panda
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: teilujnitram on Friday 09 February 18 11:13 GMT (UK)
Jemima Crumpler transcribed as Fanina Oompler.

Love this.  Oompler is an amazing surname - very creative!  Made me laugh.  I had Edward Thomas written as Edward Alassa.  The guy couldn't write very well, but at least was trying to sign for himself!
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: J.J. on Sunday 18 March 18 17:56 GMT (UK)
Because the databases are making searches harder to take on longer ...it can be a good idea to find some info elsewhere first. Especially when one needs a last name that is a first name.  Family Search was usually pretty good, but lately there is a lot of garbage in, garbage out...
I have found this in other batch files before, & wonder if it the same person. Why did they bother doing this for free? Sabotage rather than help? Useless
a whole batch file is nothing but first names duplicated as last names...adding an "s" or whatever they felt like doing at the moment...SAINT ALKMUND, SHREWSBURY,  First names also often sketchy so you know they're bad as well. Out of over 19,000 entries, this is a lot of errors...
Thomas John  - father: John Lee
Ales Walkins - father: Walkin Yenn
Abraham Abraham  - father: Abraham Phillips
Marther Adman - father: Admon Gitins
Hughe Harrys Rogers - father: Roger Harris
Margaret Oliver  - father: Olifer Griffies
John Benge - father: Benj Powel
Hesketh Thomas - father: Thos Barrow
Samuell Isaac - father: Isaack Phillips
Samuel Edwards - father: Edward Allcoks
John Thomas -father: Thos Gadd
Not their fault but they should have just deleted it after it was reported, as it is all useless, unless only a mother listed. Maybe surnames Jane & Harriet didn't work for them.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Rosinish on Tuesday 04 June 19 16:52 BST (UK)
Willheluraia Farbs on Anc 1891 England

Wilhelmina Forbes (clear as day)

Annie
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: forestchild on Sunday 16 June 19 21:44 BST (UK)
This one's from Find My Past
Mary Cattell born in Preston Bagot. The birthplace was transcribed as Preston bay of war!
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Maiden Stone on Monday 17 June 19 13:24 BST (UK)
This one's from Find My Past
Mary Cattell born in Preston Bagot. The birthplace was transcribed as Preston bay of war!
Well there was a battle in Preston, Lancs. in 1716.
Title: Re: The worst Ancestry transcription ever?
Post by: Forfarian on Monday 17 June 19 13:41 BST (UK)
There's a thread on the Angus forum about a family whose spelling variants are mind-boggling
McAtasney 1865
McIntassney 1867
McIntusney 1869
McIntosh 1871
McIntasney 1871, 1873, 1876, 1901
Turney 1881
Tosney 1888
Toshney 1891, 1906
Tosmey 1901
I haven't seen all the originals so I can't say whether the variants are in the originals or just in the indexes/transcriptions. And I have not even attempted to look for them in A******y.