Saturday, June 9, 2012
Frustrated with Ancestry.com
Okay, I have lots of relatives who were in New York, and New York City in particular, so I dove in. I started looking for dozens of names. I actually found several. But in the 1892 census, I wasn't anywhere near as successful. No matter what permutations of a name I tried, I wasn't finding the people I was looking for.
Then I noticed that none of the results was for Manhattan. Hmmm. I decided to search just for New York County -- no names, dates, nothing. And what did I get? Zip. Zilch. Zero. Bupkus. The big bagel.
Ancestry.com put the 1892 New York census up without bothering to note that Manhattan isn't there.
Now, I can understand that it isn't done. Ancestry has plenty of record sets it's working on, and they really wanted to get 1940 New York finished before FamilySearch.org did. That's fine.
But one of the things that has always annoyed me about Ancestry is that it doesn't tell you up front what isn't there. And unless you do a search the way I did and confirm the missing parts, you might think your people weren't there after all, or maybe the census taker missed them. I also know that the description below the search fields says that New York County is not there. My point is that the come-on teaser is misleading and misrepresentative.
I'm so glad I don't pay Ancestry for a subscription. If Lexis-Nexis ran a subscription service this way they'd have been out of business years ago.