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US Census search - Inconsistent behavior re birth locations

Replies: 12

US Census search - Inconsistent behavior re birth locations

Posted: 1334181579000
Classification: Query
If I search the 1850 census for people with last name Porter, born 1818 in 'New York' (default settings, but location field having exactly "New York"), then at least the first 50 responses were born in NY. That's good.
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However, if I change 'New York' to 'Florida', the first 60 or so responses were not born in Florida. That's bad.
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If I change 'Florida' to 'Florida, USA', then the first responses are born in Florida.
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If I change the birth location to "Florida" (ie, 'Florida' and specify exact match), ancestry.com fails to find any matches. If I use "Florida, USA", it finds the matches.
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I expect this issue has to do with ancestry.com knowing that there was no state of Florida in 1818. But I think it is being "too smart" and causing worse results.
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A possibly related issue is that if I search the 1870 census for "Anderson" "Smith", living in Ohio, born in West Virginia in 1840, I find him. If I then search for him with a birth location of Virginia (or Virginia, USA), I don't find him. I'd say this is a case where Ancestry.com could be smarter in its searches.
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Does Ancestry.com document this behavior anywhere? (I haven't found it) Maybe they don't even realize they are causing problems with whatever they are doing to that field. I haven't yet found how to report this behavior.

SubjectAuthorDate Posted
_M_T_ 1334181579000 
meekernj 1334186767000 
tripthrutime 1334252153000 
AGHatchett3rd 1334255296000 
tripthrutime 1334255913000 
AGHatchett3rd 1334263077000 
frostfreedet 1334261884000 
tripthrutime 1334261987000 
ludlowbaylive 1334262440000 
_M_T_ 1334263693000 
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