blindly copying FamilySearch collections
#genealogy #Ancestry #hot #warning #FamilySearch
After two hyperbolic press releases extolling agreements between and FamilySearch, we are experiencing what the agreements really mean: is blindly copying FamilySearch databases, regardless of quality, and not even performing sanity checks.

Dutch genealogist +Yvette Hoitink noticed that Ancestry had added a few collections from FamilySearch, purportedly containing a few million Dutch records, to wit:
■ Netherlands, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1910 (in Dutch) [6.2 million records]
■ Netherlands, Select Marriages, 1565-1892 (in Dutch) [1.4 million records]
■ Netherlands, Select Deaths and Burials, 1668-1945 (in Dutch) [0.6 million records]

Her blog post Major problems with new Dutch records on enumerates all the obvious issues with these collections and then some, including an issue few people but Dutch speakers would notice: "Burgelijke Stand" isn't a placename, it is Dutch for "Civil Registration".

Now, her blog post discusses the issues with these databases on, but it is not very likely that these issues are unique to, as a copied database should be identical to the original. Sure, errors may be introduced by an erroneous copy process, but I did a quick check, and it does seem the issues originate with the FamilySearch databases:

The image below is the same record used as an example in Yvonne's blog  post, but the FamilySearch original instead of the copy. According to FamilySearch, Gerrit Hendrik Aal was born in "Burgelijke Stand"...

That issues originate with FamilySearch does not mean doesn't deserve any blame. Subscribers who pay hundreds of dollars per year should be able rely on some minimum level of quality control.
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