02 November 2009

If these are hints....

I actually like using the hints at Ancestry.com, especially when I'm using it for people I have already located in records and want to "tie" everything together.

However, in this case (and in others I won't post here), I just cannot figure this out. Keep in mind, I have no degree in computer programming, but I do have two mathematics degrees so I did have to take a just a little bit of logic.

The tree I entered included a Mary Liddell, born in 1820 in Haltwhistle, England to Robert and Jane Cowing Liddell. These are the suggestions I received for Robert:
  • Some dude "compiled" from member trees who was born in 1866 and died in 1622. What code allowed for that to be a compilation into one person?
  • Some dude born ca. 1862 who was living in 1901 (hence the census listing). Even if the age of Mary is off by 20 years (meaning she was born in 1840), her father would still have to be born in the early 1830s at least.
  • A third dude born in Pennsylvania about 1874.

If you want me to use the "leaves" and the matches at Ancestry.com seriously, you gotta do better than that. Did they accidentally program things in some funny modulo arithmetic or some number base I happened to miss?

Don't get me wrong, I like the actual records Ancestry.com has and their indexes, I use them on a very very regular basis and have made great inroads with their actual indexes (including breaking down on twenty year brick wall). But this automatically compiled stuff and generated list of "leaves" as matches leaves me cold and wishing for trees without leaves.

Give me trees and I'll work on connecting the leaves myself.


Blogger Michael John Neill said...

Interestingly enough, Robert and Jane Liddell are enumerated in the 1841 and 1851 UK Census at Ancestry.com and those references did not pull up as matches. Interesting.

3:57 PM  

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