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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum

Re: North Carolina Birth Records at Ancestry

Sheila;

Don't give up, yet my dear. Did you try a WILDCARD search on Ancestry? That's one of the BEST features available at Ancestry.com. Rather than trying to figure out how the transcriber understood the name to be, enter at least the first three characters of the surname, followed by an asterisk (i.e. CAR*). I've found far more responses using this method ... remember that the information contained within Ancestry.com (and any online database) is fraught with errors, sometimes because the original handwriting was hard to read, or maybe the transcriber was on drugs.

I remember one time I was doing a search for someone on my son's side of the family (CRAWLEY) and I found a really odd first name in the response list ... "Samatman." Huh? "That's an odd name," I thought, so I decided to take a look at the original census record to see if this man's first name was really Samatman. I browsed that page again and again, finding nothing, but based on the rest of the family members listed in the index, I was able to pinpoint that reference to a man whose first name was actually GILBERT. Somehow, in the process of transcribing the names, Gilbert was changed to Samatman. Go figure.

I said all that to show that the indices are not perfect. If only the Ancestry database would let you BROWSE the pages in that database, like you can with the Census.

Good luck in your search, my sweet.

- Lisa B. Lee
Oakland, CA


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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