• Important Update: Our New Email Domain

    Please note: We've updated our email domain to familyhistory.email. All our emails will be from this domain.

  • Do you love Genealogy? Why not write for us? we're looking for volunteers to write articles for Family history. Please contact us for further information.

Bit of a moan - Errors in Ancestry 2011-2018 electoral registers

Gherkin6

New member
Location
England
From
England
I've used the Ancestry 2003-2010 electoral registers quite successfully, but am encountering severe errors in the 2013-2018 set.
The errors incude partially or completely wrong " Residence address"; partially or completely wrong "Residence Place" (mixed towns and counties); completely wrong "Postal Code" (and annoyingly they are not shown in the correct format - they have lower case letters house names and flat numbers shown in the "Institution" field.
The worrying thing is, that I can only identify these portions of the records are wrong because I have already found the person at the correct address in 2003-2010, or have found their spouse or children at the correct address.
It is impossible to search easily for a whole family in 2013-2018 by address. I have reported this on many occasions to Ancestry but have had absolutely no response apart from standard email replies, and have not see any improvement in the records.
 
That's what happens when Ancestry use OCR readers, instead of humans to read text. Also pointless complaining, all you get is fobbed of with the same generic 'fixes'.
Now they trying to push AI, Yet another load of rubbish.
If they spent more time and energy trying to fix what's been broken for the last few years, instead of adding pointless 'features' to 'enhance' our 'enjoyment' of using their website.
 
I am not sure that this is a problem of transcription errors when computers read text (as there definitely is in the London electoral registers 1832-1965).
The current errors include chunks of information that relate to a different place that does exist, being inserted in the 4 fields, so for example a house number and a town may not relate to the street and postcode. The combination of correct and incorrect imformation measn I have to check, check and check again making various long-winded searches to establish the truth, and use the Royal mail address finder too.
And, this problem may occur only for some members of a family who were actually living at the same address. There are only 2 fields in the 2003-2010 set, which I have found to be correct the vast majority of the time. Splitting the residence information into 4 separate fields is a disaster as far as I am concerned.
I spent 45 minutes on the phone to Ancestry yesterday, explaining the errors and being put on hold. I was told that there is a way I can sort it, and was told to keep reporting the problem using the "Report a Problem page". Told her at least three times that this is what I had been doing, but with no response apart from an automated email. She just kept repeating that I should use the "Report a Problem", and keep checking to see what has happened. So frustrating!
I asked if a member of the technical team could phone me (as they have done before, and in the past I have demonstrated exactly what the problem is and they can watch what I am doing. while I am tallking to them), but was told that this does not happen, that no-one could phone me back, that it's all dealt with internally.
I pointed out that this problem affects the current reputation of Ancestry, and if not identified it could impact upon future programs they devise. No response.
In general I find Ancestry to be a good site, but problems like this do detract from the experience.
 
There are hundreds of errors on the Australian Electoral Rolls 1903 - 1980. There are the usually expected errors with transcriptions of names, addresses and occupations. But the most annoying errors are the ones that OCR could not make so they are due to human error.
A situation similar to the errors made with the Folio number that often appears on alternate pages on English Census records.

There are examples on this site so I'll try to find one. This is the format of the records. In this case Macquarie is the Division and St Marys the Sub-Division. The Sub-Divisions are printed at the top of alternate pages and too often the wrong one is used in the transcrition.

1943 NSW Electoral Roll - Macquarie - St Marys
NOBLE Alice, Greylea, Ropers Creek road, Colyton, home duties
 
Back
Top