26 November 2012

Fourth Quarter Does Not Guarantee October

This is a screen shot of the entry for Eleanor Rowell the "England & Wales, FreeBMD Death Index 1837-1915" at Ancestry.com. Eleanor's death information is taken from the entry for her which appears in the fourth quarter of 1887. The fourth quarter index encompasses entries from the fourth quarter of the year--so there is no knowing which month in which Eleanor died, unless one looks at the actual record
Yet if one clicks on the "save" button in order to save this information to a person in their database or (as I've done below) to use it to create a new person, the default is to show that Eleanor has a death date of October of 1887. That's not what the index says. She didn't necessarily die in October. In fact, there's an almost 67% chance that she did not die in October.

Why can't Ancestry.com simply have the year come up automatically in the box?

That would be correct and I wouldn't have to remember to change it every time.

This isn't a difficult fix and automating data entry is desirable--when it is done accurately.

Here's hoping Ancestry.com makes the fix, so that we don't have to.