Be advised!

Discussion in 'Church Records' started by Findem, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    If you are searching Ancestry's Essex Parish Register Index (EPRI) for a name with a double s in it and can't find it, try substituting a ff in place of the ss.

    An example is some I found today, I was searching for Classon/Classun children at Good Easter in the EPRI, unsuccessfully, I had already found them and viewed the PR entry images on Family Search, so just carrying out a cross check. Then I thought I wonder if someone has taken the ff at face value, I put in Claffun and up they came.

    I will get in touch with Ancestry tomorrow and advise them.

    Classon and Classun are variations of Claxton I've found in some Essex PRs, ie one of my ancestors baptised in Good Easter as Classon, married in Widford as Classon, his children baptised in Roxwell as Claxon and Claxton.
     
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  2. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    Some years ago I had a frank and open discussion with them about this very subject. Their reply was that they transcribed what was seen, not what it was meant to be.

    But a very good reminder Derek. Thank you. :)

    Edited to add: in my case CROSS had been transcribed as CROFS.
     
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  3. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    With transcribing ff as ss I can't see what the problem is unless they come up against a surname such as Wiffen and hadn't any idea how that name was supposed to be spelled. It wouldn't give me a problem having had carpentry teacher named Wiffen but I suppose there are surnames with a ff in that I haven't come across.

    Perhaps Ancestry should have a note on the Search details page advising that names with a ss etc in the name, the ss will appear as ff.

    Having seen quite a few mangled transcriptions and compared them against PR images, to be frank, I do wonder what genealogical experience the Transcribers had.

    I think in the future any surnames I look for on Ancestry which are likely to have a ss in or start with a Fs, I'll use the asterisk wild card.

    I suppose Wiffen wasn't Wissen way back. ;) :D

    PS I won't waste my time contacting Ancestry now, I can see from Jan's post it will be like talking to a brick wall.
     
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  4. TonyV

    TonyV He who cleans up after his ancestors...

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    It was standard spelling way back to make double look like ff. I too have Cross in my family and I've come across examples of that spelling a few times. If you are transcribing surely you must write what you see, however odd it might appear.
     
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  5. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    I agree really that they should write what they see but for someone unaware of what the ff means, searching the EPRI could be frustrating, it frustrated me until I twigged what's the problem might be.

    I suppose the easiest solution would be to have the search engine recognise ff as ss etc, of course I say that without knowing what technical reasons might prevent that. To be honest, now that I've thought about it, I cannot understand why the search engines don't already recognise ff as ss, it's not as though, it's some new phenomenon, I mean, for Donkey's years people have been tracing their family history.
     
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  6. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Except if your last name is Triffet/Triffit or Truffle or the like. Lots of Triffets in Australia mostly from one Triffet convict in Tasmania. I’m not sure if they started a couple of centuries ago in England as Trisset though. Maybe they did. :headbang:
     
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  7. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    I was thinking that the search engine would recognise ff as ss and would bring up both in the results, then it is up to us, as it would be if we looked at the actual PR image, to sort the wheat from the chaff.
     
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  8. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    Don't even get me on S for L (and vice versa) or H for M.

    I just now search for both - or either... :confused:
     
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  9. MollyMay

    MollyMay Knows where to find the answers!

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    I will add in - F and T too :eek:
     
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  10. Libby

    Libby Well-Known Member

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    And T versus S. Was he a tailor or a sailor? ;)
     
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  11. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    .....lawyer or sawyer :rolleyes:
     
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  12. Londoner

    Londoner Will always roll up her sleeves and dig around

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    Not to mention J . Jailer or Tailor?
     
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  13. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Oh heck, please allott yourselves a like,all are worthy. ;)
     
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  14. TonyV

    TonyV He who cleans up after his ancestors...

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    Abbreviated first names also cause problems for searches. In the 1841 census an ancestor of mine was recorded in the enumerator's document as "Jo~h", an abbreviation for Joseph (other examples on the same page included "Wm" and "E'beth" so all the clues were there to be seen). But someone much more recently transcribed it as Josh. The age given in the enumerator's record was wrong so the transcriber invented a new ancestor called Josh with a birth year calculated from the census, despite the fact that there was no other evidence of such person either before or after 1841. Furthermore because, as far as he or she was concerned, there was no-one called Joseph at home in 1841 all evidence of the Joseph was expunged from his/her family tree.

    The tree was then added to Ancestry and being a public tree the inevitable happened and numerous other people then copied it faithfully into their own trees. Poor old Joseph!

    The relevance is that you could not find, until more recently, Joseph in a search but Josh was easily found if you knew that there was such a fictional person.

    I am pleased to note that Joseph has descendants alive today but Josh never got married or became a father, so he left no trace of his phantom existence (except for the imaginary Ancestry one). Is that a happy or sad ending? Not sure.:nailbiting:
     
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  15. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    Found an ancestor yesterday who eluded me on previous searches.

    I had searched in vain for a Hannah Marriage who married John Theobald in 1741 at Little Tey, Essex. Previously I had found a Hannah Marriage baptised in 1712 at Markshall but she died in 1720, Markshall is close to the Teys

    Yesterday I tried a search using Ma* just in case I hadn't done so before, up she came, Hannah Marridge baptised 25 Aug 1717 daughter of John and Susan in nearby (to Lt Tey) Marks Tey, along with 3 Siblings 1709 to 1717. This time I feel sure it would not be down to the transcribers for the name variation because I found that same spelling in a couple of other parishes.

    And where do you think I found the marriage of Hannah's parents, the answer is the same old story, nowhere. :headbang: :headbang: :mad:

    I'm beginning to wonder if there is, or was, a secret village somewhere in Essex or an adjoining county where some of my ancestors slipped away to get married on the quiet. :confused: :D
     
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  16. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    Along with a load of mine... :sceptical:
     
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  17. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Are you sure the parents were of Essex? So many of mine from various ' London / Surrey' areas scooted over to Essex. maybe yours did also?
     
  18. Schnurrbart

    Schnurrbart Well-Known Member

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    On the premise that Sarah and Susan are interchangeable, what about
    John Marriage and Sarah Wood, 2nd October 1707, St Edmund, Abbess Roding ? John was from Norton, which I admit looks to be the wrong side of Chelmsford.
     
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  19. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

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    If Ancestry won't change the transcriptions (ff for ss is not a spelling issue but a handwriting one, and strikes me as foolish in the extreme, do they insist on retaining all the old style forms of letters when transcribing wills in secretary hand? they do not) you can of course add your own corrections, which I frequently do, you can add your own explanation of such corrections, which I do less frequently, User-submitted comments aren't always correct of course
     
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  20. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    Yes I have considered the possibility of outside of Essex marriages even for those who descend from a line of Essex people.

    I did a count this morning and there are 35 missing marriages from confirmed ancestor families, some that I've stalled at that family, others I've gone back past them even a few generations past. Of those 35 there are 7 Searles marriages that are pre 1715 and most likely at Great Saling so they will never be found, the Great Saling pre 1715 Registers apparently no longer exist, never been able to find out why. I often wonder if they are missing having been destroyed or damaged, or are they in someone's private library in a big house. :)

    I also have a John Hinton to Mary marriage that most likely will never be found, they probably would have married circa 1740 at Sandon, the entries for around 1740 are missing from the PR.

    I will at some stage be giving them another try because I'm not sure which I haven't tried using the * wild card search for.

    I haven't counted any missing marriages from my Possible Ancestors folder even though most are I feel sure bets, mind you as someone who is notable for his pathetic gambling prowess on the Grand National when I lived in Essex, I'm not sure how much weight my "sure bets" carries. :rolleyes: :D
     
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