Monday, January 11, 2010


Yesterday after I posted about finding a transcription error on's
1910 Federal Census entry for my cousin Hiram Winfield West, I went back
to research more of my family. This time I conncentrated on Hiram's brother
Asa Ferdinand West, and once again I found census transcription errors
that astonished me.

On the 1910 Census, the transcription listsed him as Asa F. Ines.

On the 1920 Census, the transcriber listed him as Asa F. Wicks with Asa
F.Wist as an alternate spelling.

And on the 1930 transcription he's Isa F.West

I laughed at first, but then it struck me that someone else researching
Asa might not have the information I already knew and not make the
connection. That's three Census records, a thirty year span in Asa's
life that they might miss because of transcription errors.

This morning I posed this question to my geneablogging friends on

"Does anyone know how to inform about census transcription
errors? Do they actually read and act on that little "comment" box? I'd like
to make things easier for future researchers of my West family."

Quite a few folks replied almost immediately that they had personal experience
that Ancestry does indeed act when members submit corrections. So tonight,
just before I wrote this post, I sent in corrections on the transcription errors
for Hiram, Asa, and Cleveland West, and I'll be doing the same for others I've
found in the past.

Let me be clear,I'm not slamming Ancestry here for the errors.I'm glad they
have all these records that make my research much easier. Considering
how many million names out there.there's bound to be errors.So I urge
any of you that are Ancestry members to let them know when you find
mistakes such as I did so they can be corrected.

You will help them, and help your fellow genealogy researchers as well

And thanks to all those who amswered my question on Facebook!


Wendy said...

The transcription errors at are such a pain. We always have to be so creative in researching... Last name only, first name only, etc.

I also make sure to submit corrections when I find errors, in hopes that anyone researching the same people will find it easier to locate them in census records.

Apple said...

Another benefit of submitting a correction or even just saving a record to your private member tree is that others that find the corrected record will know that you are interested in that person/family.

Tracy said...

I have done this countless times and always receive an email confirmation from letting me know the correction has been made. I agree with Apple that it's great to be able to see others who have linked that image to their trees. Submitting a correction is well worth the time.