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Friday, March 1, 2013

Let's Be Honest FamilySearch!

Dear FamilySearch,

I have a complaint. But first, let me just say that I love, love, love, love, what you are doing by putting all the original records now digitized up on the web. This has radically changed the profession in so many good ways. I love it so much, that in fact I probably check your website almost every day to see what is new or updated. Okay, so that sounds a bit crazy.

Now my complaint. Yesterday, you updated a lot of databases and a few image collections, 41 by my count.  That is terrific! Most, if not all, seem to be updates to collections, because I believe the total number of collections was the same the day before. So here is where my complaint comes in: I wish you would describe how these collections were updated! New information added? Corrections made? What????  I feel like I need to go back and search any of those collections I might have looked at already for the same people again.

This seriously undermines any attempt at an exhaustive search for something. When do I know if all the Michigan Death Records 1867-1897 are online? Will I ever? Is is possible that a death record I need is floating somewhere on a hard drive or lying on a microfilm undigitized somewhere in one of your vaults? The possibilities keep me up at night.  And I really need my sleep.

I realize it may be impossible to detail the exact updates for a collection, especially with time constraints. To be honest, I'm not sure if Ancestry provides any information on their updates either. However, for people wanting some semblance of certainty in their research, these updates to unknown information within data collections are very troubling.

FamilySearch, can we get any clarity?


FamilySearch, I still love you.

Copyright © 2013 Matt Mapes

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