A Census Quirk on Ancestry.com

While researching the 1910 Census on Ancestry.com, I came across an unusual error.  Since others may find similar issues with their research, I thought I’d share my way to “get around” the error.  My search was for some families in Philadelphia, PA with the surnames Miller and Mach.  When I click on the census image for the correct individual, they are nowhere to be found on the page itself.  That is when I noticed the Enumeration District numbers.  At the top of the page, it says “You are here” with the location of the record.  In this case, the end reads “Philadelphia > Philadelphia Ward 19 > District 328.”  However, the image located on that page shows an ED of 294.  By clicking on the hyperlink for Ward 19 in the “you are here” address, you can see the list of all EDs in the ward, or ED 291 through 332.  Guessing that perhaps the sequencing of the images got messed up, I went to District 294 instead.  Sure enough, what is supposed to be ED 294 is ED 328 instead.  I also found some of ED 328 in 295.  I alerted Ancestry about the problem months ago, but it still is not fixed.

Moral of the story for users of Ancestry.com:  For Philadelphia researchers – take note if you have relatives living in Ward 19 in 1910!  For all researchers –  if the ED on the image does not match the ED on the index, try the batch of images from the incorrect ED.  If you are lucky they will be from the ED you are looking for!  I would be curious to know if anyone else has encountered this indexing problem where the index itself is correct, but the images are loaded incorrectly.

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4 thoughts on “A Census Quirk on Ancestry.com

  1. You’re being generous by using the word “quirk”. It’s what we used to call an error (aka mistake).

  2. Randolph,

    You’re right – they screwed up and still haven’t fixed it. I was in a bit of a hurry when I wrote the post, so I guess I was kinder than necessary!

    Donna

  3. Thanks for the suggestion. My “irritation” with Ancestry is when you fill in your search parameters and get results than could not possibly be your ancestor. Hey the guy DIED in 1883, why list six million results from the 1910 Census?
    I had read that this would be fixed, but I still get hundreds of pages of results that do not fit the info in my search boxes. Arrrrghhhh…….

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