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"Editing" census records: a rant

Replies: 14

"Editing" census records: a rant

Posted: 1385179460000
Classification: Census
OK, consider this a rant.

The ability to edit transcriptions on census records is a nice feature when used properly -- for example, to correct a transcriptionist's misreading. Unfortunately, there are way too many people running around abusing the tool to "correct" spellings and to add additional information that's not in the record.

For example, I have an ancestor named Robert Sutcliffe. He is often referred to in family history as Robert "John" Sutcliffe, and so some kind soul has taken it upon himself to edit all the census records to add "John" to his name when it doesn't appear on the original form (in fact, there is no reliable support for the tradition anywhere).

One of his descendants, also surnamed Sutcliffe, appears on one census with a surname of "Sutter". The same or another kind-but-misguided personage has corrected the spelling to "Sutcliffe" when in fact the original census document clearly reads "Sutter".

Please, folks! The editing feature is not a for adding supplemental information. It should only ever be used to correct transcription errors in cases where the transcriptionist clearly misread what was on the original form. It should not be used to "correct" the original, add married names, or do anything that goes beyond what is on the original form. Please resist the urge to do so.

/rant
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
calvinculver 1385179460000 
RobinBMc 1385226632000 
calvinculver 1385271402000 
RobinBMc 1385290458000 
calvinculver 1392646257000 
deeflint01 1392655920000 
keithnuttle 1401887287000 
calvinculver 1501296206000 
deeflint01 1392655730000 
meekernj 1385251508000 
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