Casefile Clues

01 December 2011

But It Is Not Working...

I've been getting comments, public and private, about my recent post about the searches at Ancestry.com not working and the fact that I am getting too many hits--hits that don't match my search terms. I've even been told that I shouldn't complain because I'm getting something. I've also been told that I don't understand how exact searches work. Ancestry.com has confirmed that (as of the time this post is being written) that the searches are working incorrectly.

There's a problem with being told that I shouldn't complain. Actually more than one problem.

The first is that the search is not working the way it is supposed to. That makes it difficult (impossible?) to construct effective searches and troubleshoot. If I don't know the way a search is working, how am I to construct my search?

Secondly if the search is not working and I get "no results" for "my person" how do I really know anything? I realize names can be spelled/written incorrectly, transcribed in a wrong way, etc. But IF the name is in the database correctly, my search (if constructed correctly) should locate the reference.

I'm a big fan of manual searches when necessary. However, if I'm searching an entire state in a census year manual searches are not practical.

I also don't buy the "I should be happy I'm getting something" line of thought either. I should be getting what I searched for--I don't think that is unreasonable.

And I'm not even going to get started on the concept that I shouldn't complain.

Now back to other work ;-)

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I forgot to have comments turned on when I originally posted this. The new blogger has it slightly hidden and I forgot to turn them on. Sorry about that.
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