Casefile Clues

18 July 2013

Ancestry--St. Albans Township is in Hancock County, IL not Iroquois County

I have mentioned the errors in the collection before at Ancestry.com , but apparently my concerns have fallen on deaf ears. "Us, Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918" at Ancestry.com continues to have materials that are incorrectly classified. All screen shots are current as of 6:45 PM central time on 18 July 2013.


The map shown is from Hancock County, Illinois---not Iroquois as indicated at Ancestry.com.

Even the search results indicates that St.Albans Township is in Iroquois County--not Hancock. If any of my searches of this database included Hancock County as a location this result would not appear--because Ancestry.com has tagged this image as being from Iroquois County instead of Hancock County.

It is stated that the map is from 1904. I'm not certain of that. What I am certain of is that this map shows property owned by Samuel Neill which was owned by him from the 1870s/1880s until 1913 when it was purchased by his son.

There are other location errors in this database as well. I love being able to access these images and search them by name, but if I'm looking for common names I need the locations to be tagged correctly or searching is difficult and that negatively impacts my customer experience.

I have mentioned these errors repeatedly and Ancestry.com still refuses to make the correction.

Here's problem number one: I continue to subscribe to Ancestry.com despite these issues. And they know this. Note: I do not have a complimentary Ancestry.com subscription--I purchase it myself. Problem number two is that many people are not aware of these occasional digitization issues and just assume everything is correct.

And as a reminder--these sorts of errors are different from errors in user-submitted trees. I don't blame Ancestry.com for those--any more than I blame a library for what is in books that are on the shelf. It is when there are problems with digital images or search features that I get frustrated--justt like I would get frustrated at a brick and mortar library if materials were not organized in any way that made sense or books were in the wrong order on the shelf.