Casefile Clues

09 July 2013

Ancestry.com's Suggesting My Mother Was Born in 1695

To create a 5-generation chart for publication on my site, I replaced with names of my Dad and Mom with "Michael's Father" and "Michael's Mother" as they are still living.

Ancestry.com then proceeded to find matches for "Michael's Mother." This is a screen shot of the first match.

Screen shot current as of 10:00 AM 9 July 2013 from Ancestry.com. 

The details in my database indicate that my mother's parents died in 2003 and 2008. What parameter is set so loosely on Ancestry.com that someone being born in 1695 is a potential match as a child for someone who died in 2003?

Also, the dates of birth for my brother and me are still in the database (I just erased them from the screen shot) . We were born within the last fifty years. Ancestry.com thinks we have a mother who could be born in 1695?

There's been talk of "new search" at Ancestry.com versus "old search." We won't get into that here.

Matches like this one--clearly off--are too off to be helpful. Why do these matches concern me? Of course,  anyone can see that this match is not a real match. It's not the obvious incorrect suggestions that are truly bothersome. It is the ones that are not so obviously incorrect. They concern me because, without having any idea how the search query at Ancestry.com works and with seeing "results" like these, I have to wonder about other search results I get. If search parameters can't eliminate a woman born in 1695 as the child of someone who died in 2008 or can't see that someone born in 1695 cannot have children born in the later 20th century, what other "interesting" search results may be appearing?