20 December 2012

Do Ancestry.com Leaves Hide Gender?

Apparently gender is not a search term at Ancestry.com  when it comes to those "leaf hints." 

This screen shot contains a partial list of "Ancestry.com  hints" for Ehe Mennen Aden. Ehe is correctly identified as a female in my database. The online tree at Ancestry.com visually reminds me of this by the pink box which is highlighted in red. The first three matches as shown are not any cause for concern. Ehe's husband was L. U. Albers, easily explaining why the first three matches came up.

The hint from the Illinois Marriages, 1851-1900 was particularly interesting to me. I knew the couple who married in 1880 were not a match as "Runste F. Fammen" [Reenste F. Tammen] is my aunt. What perplexed me more than anything was the fact that Ehme was a male and is a male name. 

A look at the actual entry for this 1880 marriage in Ancestry.com 's Illinois Marriages, 1851-1900, confirmed that the entry was coded correctly in terms of gender. The screen show below confirms it.

I realize that based upon first name alone, Ehme and Ehe are similar. However, it is now apparent to me that Ancestry.com does not necessarily use gender to sift through your matches. Interesting.

I realize that getting more results is better and that this apparent genderless matching is intended to locate references that may have been incorrectly gender coded.

Ancestry.com let me "add" the Illinois marriage reference to Ehe's "file." There were no flags regarding gender and no new "spouse" was added. The adding process simply let me add the marriage record to Ehe's file. I immediately deleted the addition.

I'm just not certain yet how I feel about this apparently genderless matching. And I realize that Ostfriesen first names are confusing to those who are unfamiliar with them. But the names are not the problem here.

Did you know that the leaves don't care about gender at Ancestry.com?

[note--all screen shots are current as of 20 December 2012]

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