Author Topic: What is wrong with Ancestrythis afternoon?  (Read 9139 times)

Offline Necromancer

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Re: What is wrong with Ancestrythis afternoon?
« Reply #36 on: Thursday 24 January 08 17:19 GMT (UK) »
So , as w/o Exact Matches ticked, no hitlist is produced    .... it seems clear that the Ancestry Search Engine uses other logic when Exact Matches is requested ....


Case rests.


Long Live Ancestry (.co.uk)   :P
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Offline Gadget

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Re: What is wrong with Ancestrythis afternoon?
« Reply #37 on: Thursday 24 January 08 17:19 GMT (UK) »
I've just had a go  :)

I first put in George Wright
Yorkshire and Sculcoates

Came back with no matches found.

Then I took out Sculcoates and added Maria as wife and it came up with the ones you listed.

Right - I'm happy now!

Gadget  ;D
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Offline Necromancer

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Re: What is wrong with Ancestrythis afternoon?
« Reply #38 on: Thursday 24 January 08 17:20 GMT (UK) »
and all w/o using the RG Refn    ::)
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Offline Gadget

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Re: What is wrong with Ancestrythis afternoon?
« Reply #39 on: Thursday 24 January 08 17:22 GMT (UK) »
No ref used.

I usually have no probs with Ancestry census stuff. OK, their indexing can be a bit out but their mistranscriptions are funny (most of the time).

FindMyPast for post-1910 BMDs though  :)

Gadget
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Offline dimmell123

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Re: What is wrong with Ancestrythis afternoon?
« Reply #40 on: Thursday 24 January 08 18:05 GMT (UK) »
Hi Everyone
I read this thread with GREAT interest because I have been having extensive discussions (by phone and email) with Ancestry staff for some weeks now about the 'silliness' of the search engines. These discussions escalated to the level of Product Manager but when I invited him to join with me in a structured search under my guidance he seems to have backed off. I am an experienced researcher in general terms (being a retired university lecturer) and can see all sorts of problems with the manner in which Ancestry have developed their databases. For those in the know they do not use hierarchical searching and so results are very random indeed. Tney also use one American tradition which is not in universal use and that is adding the woman's married name to the maiden name when you use the link next to your person in the tree "Search For Historical Records" (if when searching you scroll right down to the bottom of the page you will see the system has added the married name in so the original might be Mary Jones but becomes Mary Jones Smith [names concocted]). You will now readily see why when looking for example for a birth record in Ancestry lots of Smiths come up when you are only expecting Joneses! They say they do this so that it becomes possible to get a match for a death which would only be recorded under a married name. Talk about taking a sledgehammer to crack a walnut!. My brother and I have run many tests in this way using known data (our mother) and it is possible to go through 2000 results (all completely irrelevant) without finding her. Interestingly a hit is produced in Findmypast instantly. I have asked and better asked if  am going about searching the wrong way and all staff have said I have it right and they cannot understand why so many false results are produced. I have even challenged individuals to find themselves using these methods and they have to confess they cannot.
I really don't know where all this will end. All I do know is that now I am retired I find it difficult to justify an Ancestry subscription, Findmypast credits, credits for other specialised sites and then the cost of certificates on top of all that so something will have to be done and Ancestry don't seem to have the answer.
Whilst having a little rant have you not noticed in the UK how Ancestry slows down to a standstill in the afternoons (presumably when our friends across the pond get out of bed and get going on their PCs)?  Yesterday (high powered PC, fast broadband and 4GB memory!) it actually timed out about 10 times! We need more dedicated bandwidth (UK servers) but will they listen????
And then there is the matter of the GRO and sending for certificates. 7 each and they retain 4 if it isn't right. But usually the errors are in the actual Index in the first place - ie THEIR error. That seems most unfair. On this subject there are two books (A Comedy of Errors Acts I and II by Michael Whitfield Foster available through FFHS at GenFair) which is phenomenal research indicating that at least 30% of GRO records are in an error state. Add to that transcribers' errors and suddenly all is explained!.
I'm not knocking Ancestry for the sake of it. If I say I was originally with Genes Reunited and got hopelessly fed up with the clunkiness and inadequacy there (since ITV took them over) and I haven't found anything better than Ancestry yet - but you know - fitness for purpose, 'doing what it says on the tin' - it isn't cheap and we should expect what we expect.
I just wanted to share these thoughts with you in view of the fact that some of you have experienced search problems. Actually I don't know many people who haven't!
David
Lawson - Northumberland - Ashington, Longhirst, Newcastle
Jennings - Northumberland, Lancashire, N Wales, Cornwall
Heron - Northumberland, Ashington, Blyth
Stobbs - Northumberland, Newcastle, Allendale

Offline carol8353

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Re: What is wrong with Ancestrythis afternoon?
« Reply #41 on: Thursday 24 January 08 18:27 GMT (UK) »
I totally agree with David. Ancestry has become too clever for it's own sake.

They have started to fiddle about with the last column,so you now get town
and county in that box.

Half the time the search doesn't recognise the county,cos it now says Hull Yorkshire(for example) and not just Yorkshire.

And after two years of me reguarly emailing them ,they still insist that Harrow is in Berkshire.I think that is the case in both 1861 and 51....can't recall of hand now.

By the way I've not had any trouble searching today.But you do wonder if it is bringing up ALL the results sometimes.

Regards

Carol
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Offline Gadget

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Re: What is wrong with Ancestrythis afternoon?
« Reply #42 on: Thursday 24 January 08 18:39 GMT (UK) »
I would just love to see their specs for their searches  :)

I think there's been a bit too much fiddling  around the edges and, probably, no thorough documentation of the original logic and their changes  ::)

Maybe they're using fuzzy logic but, let's face it,  go back 6 years and see how we'd all be without them  :-\

Gadget

Quote
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
  And seven million Whys!

 :D
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Offline dimmell123

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Re: What is wrong with Ancestrythis afternoon?
« Reply #43 on: Thursday 24 January 08 20:14 GMT (UK) »
Gadget, thanks for replying and I'm so glad to see you are in some agreement (I have a lot of respect for you!). I was really scared I might have ranted a bit too much and was waiting for a 'flame war' to start.
My bro and I have just had an hour together on Skype and together we have been searching for some of our 'brick walls'. And because of some of the stuff in this thread I tried logging in to Ancestry.com instead of .co.uk. Very strange happenings there! It logged me in automatically but I have to log in on .co.uk and then.....and then.....I see the Americans have a different menu system on the right hand side of the people view. One is a beta test for printing a book (very very interesting and possibly shows a lot of promise) and then another which I forget now. But we were looking for an ancestor of ours called Charles Lawson and true to form, it brought up Andrew Charles Lawson, Archibald Charles Lawson etc right through the alphabet until finally, after 350 results it reverted to just Charles Lawson. Excuse me - that's what I asked it to do. There simply is no rhyme or reason for this idiocy.
David
Lawson - Northumberland - Ashington, Longhirst, Newcastle
Jennings - Northumberland, Lancashire, N Wales, Cornwall
Heron - Northumberland, Ashington, Blyth
Stobbs - Northumberland, Newcastle, Allendale

Offline Gadget

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Re: What is wrong with Ancestrythis afternoon?
« Reply #44 on: Thursday 24 January 08 20:55 GMT (UK) »
Hi David  :D

I think if you tick the 'exact match' box, you might get him  :-\

Newf - any ideas  ::)

Gadget

PS - David - what you have to do is not just have your USS penson but an OH with one as well and who then goes back   :D
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