FamilySearch Users Can Now Correct Name Indexing Errors

FamilySearch has added a much-anticipated innovation that now enables users to make name corrections to its indexes.

FamilySearch has added a much-anticipated innovation that now enables users to make name corrections to its indexes

Salt Lake City, Utah (31 July 2019), FamilySearch has added a much-anticipated innovation that now enables users to make name corrections to its indexes. Corrections made by users increase the likelihood of success for researchers to find the records of their ancestors. (Find and share this announcement online in the FamilySearch Newsroom).

FamilySearch has added a much-anticipated innovation that now enables users to make name corrections to its indexes.

If you have ever searched for ancestors online in indexed records, you inevitably find collections where your ancestor’s name was indexed incorrectly. Sometimes it was indexed correctly according to what was written on the source document, but that name may not be an alternative spelling of the name used by your family.

The reasons for incorrect entries of indexed names are many and valid—difficult-to-read handwriting, faded ink, document damage, errors in the original documents, uncommon names, language barriers, and unexpected spellings are among them. When entries are indexed incorrectly from valuable historic records, it is difficult for family researchers to find the ancestor and the accompanying information they are seeking.

People can now correct the spelling on the index and leave a brief explanation. Corrections will appear along with the original index entries—making both searchable online. Only indexes referring to images can be corrected, meaning that not all index entries are editable. A user can check the image and compare it to the index entry. An icon of a page and a camera at the side of the index entry indicate that an image is available.

FamilySearch product manager John Alexander recommends that users take the time to use the new tool as needed when they run across indexed records that they know are in error. “Adding corrections to an index when the information does not match the names as written in the original document or if the document was recorded wrong will increase the quality of the index and usefulness to other searchers,” said Alexander. For example, if “Johnathan”—spelled with an H—was indexed as “Jonathan,” a user who recognizes the error can add to the index to show the actual spelling as written in the document.

Alexander reported that users will soon have the ability to correct additional types of indexing errors besides names.

FamilySearch Indexing Editing Made Easy

Editing an index entry on FamilySearch is simple. When searching for an ancestor on the site, users can look through the results for a likely record and click the ancestor’s name. A box will pop up with the indexed information on the left and a clickable image on the right. If the index is editable, the word “Edit” will appear in blue to the right of the name.

To enter the desired correction, click Edit, and follow the prompts. A space is included for other comments or explanations. User corrections will not override the information already on FamilySearch but adds an alternative. Multiple corrections can be added to a record. All will be searchable.

RELATED

Editing Names on Indexed Records—FamilySearch Update

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About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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About the Author

Thomas MacEntee
Genealogy educator and author Thomas MacEntee has been researching his family history for more than 40 years and is the creator of Abundant Genealogy, Genealogy Bargains, DNA Bargains, The Genealogy Do-Over and numerous other web-based genealogy and family history properties.

1 Comment on "FamilySearch Users Can Now Correct Name Indexing Errors"

  1. Carol Jushka | 31 July 2019 at 5:01 pm |

    Thank you for the information, Thomas. I can think of a few documents on which to try this.

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