08 October 2013

New at Ancestry.com-HOW?

The Ancestry.com home page is indicating that the "1870 United States Federal Census" is "new."

Now I know the 1870 census is not a "new" at Ancestry.com. It's been on their site for years. The question is: "how is it new?"

  • Has the index been updated?
  • Has the interface been changed?
  • Has the image viewer been changed?
  • Have the images been enhanced?
  • Have incorrect locations been fixed?
I cannot tell from reading the search page for the 1870 census. There is NO list of changes or updates there.

It would be nice if the search page included a history of "changes" to the 1870 census that made it "new."

Then I could know if those changes mean that I should try and search for my missing Ira Sargent and John Ufkes again. Changes to the index mean that I should search again. Other changes mean I probably do not have to search again.

And that would really, really be nice to know. That would enhance my user experience. And I don't need another Iphone/Ipad App. I need to know what changes have been made to databases that are "new." 

But that's just me. 

And I really doubt that Ancestry.com is listening. And sometimes I wonder how much genealogical research the decision makers actually do.


bgwiehle said...

I've noticed similar notices of census "updates" in the past and found that corrections I've added were then "live" on the record pages. (The 1940 Census is still being updated fairly frequently and doesn't always appear on the New and Updated list). Similarly, they re-index external websites (eg. Find-a-Grave), to add all the new and changed entries. (Ancestry has not updated the International entries since 3/20/2013!)
The second item on today's list, California, Death Index, 1905-1939, is new to Ancestry (yeah!) - FamilySearch has had browsable images for several years but no name index even now. I had been waiting to search for a woman whose death date I had but not the surname she died under.

Unknown said...

Also after reading this post I went to ancestry.com to take a look at this myself one of the things I noticed is that if you click on view all new records it then tells you that the 1870 United States Federal Census has been updated and if you hover over updated it tells you that this item has been recently updated due to corrections, additions, or other alterations. Now i would say that this would be great if that was on the home page instead of having to jump through hoops to find this out.