23 January 2016

Sorting Saturday: Ancestry.com not always accurate

Genealogy blasphemy alert! Records on Ancestry.com are not always accurate! There I said it. My tree did not burn down or crumble at its roots. My laptop did not blow up and Ancestry.com did not fold. What did happen is that … wait for it … I had to sort through the information and determine what is accurate and what is not.

Between Ancestry.com dropping Family Tree Maker and this Blizzard of 2016 on the East Coast, it seemed like a perfect day to continue sorting through files and database and such. It is almost 2 p.m. and I have been at this for almost nearly eight hours and I am still just on my father.

Daddy is still living (and God willing, will be for many more!) so I won’t be including too many specifics. Since he was born after 1940, there are not too many records available on Ancestry anyway (due to the 72 year privacy rule for US Census records).  One often overlooked record is the US Public Records Index and similar databases. They can be found under “Schools, Directories, & Church Histories” if you search the Card Catalog (which of course you should be doing).

Short story – I found Daddy. Elaborated version – not all the information was correct. His birth date and name are correct. Two phone numbers are listed. One is correct and one is mine from when I got married and moved out in 1992! Neither include an area code and to be honest I am not sure that others have or have not so this may be one way to protect those still living or it simply may not be available. Three addresses are given. The first is his current address. The second one was our address from when we moved there in 1976. It is the same physical location but the post office changed our addresses several times those first few years. The third address was my address from 1992 after I married and moved out. Hence, Ancestry.com records are not always accurate. Close. Right family just not specific to just Daddy.

Another word of warning … Ancestry.com is often (at least for me) like falling down a rabbit hole. While I searched the public records, I thought of how I have Daddy’s yearbook. That led me to other yearbooks from Scoot High School in Coatesville which led me to my Uncle Pete in 1950! I then found that he graduated with a cousin Tillie Kurenda and two people I know from church. The year before that I found two aunts!

A nice way to spend a snowed in day naturally but I did admittedly get a bit sidetracked! I think tomorrow may have to be another sorting day.

Sorting Saturday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2016
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.