Casefile Clues

25 September 2008

Exact matches on what is not there


Mark me down as confused, at least partially. And mark me fully down as irritated.
I searched on Ancestry.com in their new search for John Ufkes. I used a year of birth as 1838, plus or minus two years. The screen shot is as shown.



I did have the death year of 1924 listed as exact. Apparently that is why no census results were returned for John. When I searched for John Ufkes with only a year of birth as 1838, plus or minus two years, I obtained several results (mostly from census records)--as shown below.









I understand that my original search required the death year of 1924 to match. However, census records (sans mortality schedules) typically do not have a year of death with which to match. It seems to me that census results that match the year of birth should be included, regardless of whether an "exact" match on the death date is indicated.

It must be necessary to leave the death date blank to bring up census records. Urgh...now I have to search several different ways for one person. I thought new searches were supposed to be improved. (sometimes I think they should take a lesson from the "new Coke").


It seems logical to me that a search of records that do not include any death dates should not require the death date to match, even if I indicate a matched date in my searches. But then it has been nearly two decades since I had "sets and logic." Maybe the rules for logical have changed.

I still like the old search better.