Annie/Amy Taylor b abt 1869 Coleford (Parish Records)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Saturday, November 30, 2019, 22:05 (54 days ago) @ cassandra

Hi again Cass, thanks for that 1891 census info. I guess the reason I couldn't find her is I'd maybe ? told the FamilySearch site she was still in the Forest area, altho I'm still a little surprised I didn't find her eventually as you'd already mentioned Cheltenham, and while browsing thro the pages of offered possible hits I would have eventually found myself looking at Cheltenham area records. In fact I see there's 3 different Annie Taylors born a bt 1867 all in Cheltenham in the 1891 census, two in service. Clearly with such a commonplace name (with mulitple possible spelling variants..), despite my best efforts with the search engine filters, trying to be methodical using several search repetitions but with slightly-tweaked input data and filter settings, sometimes things still slip past us. But as you've said. it's not meant to be easy !

I think this may help explain why you didn't find the 1871 workhouse census info that Mike found. Indeed, when I found it last night and almost by accident while using FamilySearch at first I'd forgotten he'd already posted it.

I've used Ancestry several times over the last 8 years, and as good as it is I've also on occasion found it very frustrating indeed. Sometimes I've taken ages to relocate a record that I'd found easily and almost accidentally a few days before. Sometimes it's better to switch the search onto a different member of the same household/family. Some of Ancestry's transcriptions are SO very wrong, for no good reason at all when you view the original image - I'm told these were first done in by American prison inmates, so not people with the best motivation for detail or local knowledge of UK names, trades and places. eg I was surprised but delighted to find one of my ancestors near Longhope was a ship's steward - until I read the image which very clearly stated "shepherd" ... Whether these same people were used for the transcriptions of the ostensibly British websites like FMP I'm not sure. And even when these errors have been corrected by well-meaning folk like you or I, the Ancestry search engine still seems baised towards the old, incorrect, data.
When I started this hobby the text books all said beware LDS (now FamilySearch) for poor transcripts, but I think that's unfair and their site is excellent, so user-friendly, and it's free !. Ancestry also seems to be baised towards offering highly unlikely records when pages later it gives much more likely hits, often offering very unlikely Parish Records from distant parts of the UK when the basic BMD data (which they get from FreeBMD), is often nearer the mark; and this despite all my search input data correctly pointing towards the correct local area. I think they're trying to promote their paid-for datasets instead of the free access ones. Some of their hints are ridiculous if not impossible, pointing towards records for people I've already told the site wern't alive at that time, or in that country. I share the views of others who believe Ancestry has got worse in this respect in recent years, since it was "improved", yet it is now less of a tool for serious researchers. We've had these discussions on this forum in the past.

In short, yes of course Ancestry is excellent in many ways, it's also cheaper than many of the competitors, or even free at librairies. I like FindMyPast as it offers different record sets, but I dislike using the site, finding it less user-friendly than Ancestry. I'm about to start a free trial with The Genealogist, which many reviews say is best of the lot.... we'll see.

In my engineering career it's proven best to use as many sources of reference as possible, to get a full,rounded and unbiased knowledge of a given subject. I recommend you try to use different websites and not just one. Even when I have an Ancestry sub, perhaps one of their free weekends, I will still use the FreeBMD, GlosBMD and FamilySearch sites as well. In fact I'd probably start with these before logging into Ancestry. They all have their pros & cons, but best to use them all rather than place all ones research eggs in one basket.

Hoping this helps,
Jeff.

PS: Oh and yes !, well-done again to the two Mikes for their brilliant finds, without which I'd still be floundering. My motto in my working life seems to have transferred to my efforts on this forum - I'm keen, cheap and available. Trouble is sometimes that's not enough and we need proper researchers like the two Mikes !
Thanks guys !


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