How do you deal with transcription errors?


johnfirr@...
 

This is not a software query as such, more of an interest in how others record certain issues in FH.

In my family history reserach I am dogged with transcription problems in both indexes and many original documents. Almost every individual seems to go missing from the timeline but turns up if you search for alternative spellings.
I,m not surprised by this I have gone through life spelling my surname (Firr) to people as its almost always mis- spelled.

So a case in point. I have been trying to follow the timeline of an Abraham Firr through the 1800s. He was born as Fir but adopted Firr later as did the whole family so we have a genuine variant and I use the "addirional names" field in FH to record these. However apart from one census which gives him as Fir I have encountered Fier, Burr, Lee, Tinn and Furze so far on other records ( carefully cross referenced and they are all him!). Do others just ignore these types of error and record in FH under the name intended or would you capture them as notes to the event or as alternative names?
I,m sure there are many different approaches so interested to see what others do?
with thanks
John


Andy Kennedy
 

I record all the variants as alternative names. Experience has taught me that over time it's easy to forget why you have a record that, on the face of it, doesn't match your individual. The variants come in useful when searching for other records too, as the permutations in many cases have been used more than once. It gets unwieldy when there are a lot of variations - I have names with 10 or 12, especially for Irish records - but at least the information is there at hand and saved for future reference.

Andy


Adrian Bruce
 

I have never seen the point of recording spelling variations or transcription errors against an individual. They are not facts about the individual but about the parish clerk or the transcriber. They are definitely important for finding further members of the family. I therefore try to have a Shared Note Record - except that I don't link it with anyone - that records the spelling variations and frequent transcription errors for a surname.

That's the theory.... Unfortunately....



Mike Tate
 

John, my approach varies depending on where the transcription error exists and the type of document.

I guess we are primarily discussing surnames, as forenames regularly vary from document to document especially in Census returns.

 

If the error is due to an online mistranscription of an original document, especially if fairly obvious, then I will report the error to Ancestry, FindMyPast, FreeBMD, or whatever. Usually, it eventually gets corrected so nothing needs to be adjusted in my data.

 

If the error is in a Census, probably due to the enumerator getting the name wrong, then I would make a Note in the Source record, but not use the Alternate Name field unless that name became a recurring theme.

 

If the error is in a GRO Index then I would treat it in much the same way as the Census case above.

I’m not sure if there is any way to correct such mistakes.

 

If the name is in a BMD Certificate or other formal document then I would probably use the Alternate Name field.

 


Victor Markham
 

John

If the error is in the census and you can check the census there is an option to report this. Also if the spelling in the cenus is wrong then again there is an option to report this. I have done this a number of times when looking at the census on Ancestry.

If the error is on the BMD index there is an option to report this. You can also see if it is recorded on YorkshireBMD. The transcribers of YorkshireBMD are from the local registration office looking at the original certificates on microfiche. The advantage of the marriage details on Yorkshire BMD is they add the location of where the marriage took place ..Register Office or name of church. When I note the spelling is wrong I would use the correct spelling and ad a note stating is was spelt...xxx on xxx

Victor

On 03/08/2020 8:25 am, johnfirr via groups.io wrote:
This is not a software query as such, more of an interest in how others record certain issues in FH.

In my family history reserach I am dogged with transcription problems in both indexes and many original documents. Almost every individual seems to go missing from the timeline but turns up if you search for alternative spellings.
I,m not surprised by this I have gone through life spelling my surname (Firr) to people as its almost always mis- spelled.

So a case in point. I have been trying to follow the timeline of an Abraham Firr through the 1800s. He was born as Fir but adopted Firr later as did the whole family so we have a genuine variant and I use the "addirional names" field in FH to record these. However apart from one census which gives him as Fir I have encountered Fier, Burr, Lee, Tinn and Furze so far on other records ( carefully cross referenced and they are all him!). Do others just ignore these types of error and record in FH under the name intended or would you capture them as notes to the event or as alternative names?
I,m sure there are many different approaches so interested to see what others do?
with thanks
John


Julia Vokes
 

John
I think that the key here, is to decide on a method and stick to it, consistency is the key.

I research the name ‘Shepherd’ which obviously has several different spellings (Literacy wasn’t their strong point) and if I find a discrepancy I note in in the source area, but keep the original spelling in the record property box

Julia


On 3 Aug 2020, at 10:39, Victor Markham <victor@...> wrote:



John

If the error is in the census and you can check the census there is an option to report this. Also if the spelling in the cenus is wrong then again there is an option to report this. I have done this a number of times when looking at the census on Ancestry.

If the error is on the BMD index there is an option to report this. You can also see if it is recorded on YorkshireBMD. The transcribers of YorkshireBMD are from the local registration office looking at the original certificates on microfiche. The advantage of the marriage details on Yorkshire BMD is they add the location of where the marriage took place ..Register Office or name of church. When I note the spelling is wrong I would use the correct spelling and ad a note stating is was spelt...xxx on xxx

Victor

On 03/08/2020 8:25 am, johnfirr via groups.io wrote:
This is not a software query as such, more of an interest in how others record certain issues in FH.

In my family history reserach I am dogged with transcription problems in both indexes and many original documents. Almost every individual seems to go missing from the timeline but turns up if you search for alternative spellings.
I,m not surprised by this I have gone through life spelling my surname (Firr) to people as its almost always mis- spelled.

So a case in point. I have been trying to follow the timeline of an Abraham Firr through the 1800s. He was born as Fir but adopted Firr later as did the whole family so we have a genuine variant and I use the "addirional names" field in FH to record these. However apart from one census which gives him as Fir I have encountered Fier, Burr, Lee, Tinn and Furze so far on other records ( carefully cross referenced and they are all him!). Do others just ignore these types of error and record in FH under the name intended or would you capture them as notes to the event or as alternative names?
I,m sure there are many different approaches so interested to see what others do?
with thanks
John


johnfirr@...
 

Thanks. That all makes a lot of sense. If the variant spelling is belonging to the person because thats how they have styled themselves then it belongs with the individual but a transcription error belongs with the source. thats the strategy I will adopt.
much obliged as usual for the swift and helpful responses.
John