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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Service Records on Ancestry


shinglma
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Hi

I was under the impression that the service records for surnames A-H were complete on Ancestry; indeed their website seems to suggest as much when it states "With the second release, this database now contains records for surnames beginning A-H."

That being the case I can only five service records to the surname Hudson when the NA catalogue lists over 30 microfilms in WO 363 to that name. The five I get back are all ones where Hudson has been entered as an alternative name/transcription error.

I wonder if I should be informing anyone?

I would be interested to hear if others have noticed such anomalies.

Regards

Mike Shingleton

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Mike

From your observations, it would seem that the statement "With the second release, this database now contains records for surnames beginning A-H." should be taken literally, ie it doesn't say "contains all records for surnames beginning A-H". They could have expressed themselves a little better, maybe.

Alternatively, the notorious Ancestry indexing just got a whole lot worse... B)

Jim

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Mike

You may well be right. I've been looking for quite a few in the A - H range over the last couple of weeks and seem to have had a remarkably low level of successes (less than 10% when I think might have expected around 30%).

John

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Chaps

I think Jim might be right. I wonder how many people think that a service record has not survived when in fact Ancestry have yet to upload it.

I'm coming to the conclusion it would be better to wait until they say they are complete before searching for any of the records I am interested in. Apart from any omissions there is the positive benefit of the large number of misfiles coming to light. Presumably this will be true of the rest of the alphabet.

Regards

Mike S

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MIke

I take it that the uploading is still going ahead?

I'm sure I read recently that a "major project" with Siemens (?) and Ancestry had fallen through meaning that whatever it was was indefinately delayed. Not "our" project I hope.

John

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No, I think that was the GRO project to issue new indexes of birth & marriage registrations including mother's maiden name for births, and name of spouse for marriages, for pre-1912 events.

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Yep, the groundbreaking, bells & whistles, sooper new GRO system - for which GRO (ie, thee and me) paid a large wodge to the contractor to not produce the goods... no refund due - they did some of the work.

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Ah. So that'll be another failed major government IT project to add to the long list. Private sector runs rings round them every time. Pay peanuts - get monkeys.

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Worse than that John, its, pay loads of money to private sector contractors for very little.

The peanuts/monkeys element mostly applies to the fact that the government used less skilled, and much less well paid negotiators to deal with the contracts. And that applies especially to the legal part of the contracts - in relative terms the government uses salaried lawyers who have never cut it in private practice, and major firms use the best contract law teams they can afford. Result - just hand over the dosh. In the days when some departments had their own IT resources, the risk and the outcomes used to be much better handled.

Keith

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I believe that Agencies now try to get around the problem by employing on contract the employees of the firms they're negotiating with to carry out the negotiations and, of course, paying them several times the rate they would expect to pay their own employees to do the job.

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The peanuts/monkeys element mostly applies to the fact that the government used less skilled, and much less well paid negotiators to deal with the contracts.

Agreed, Keith. On both counts. And I speak as an ex government procurement manager. Salary differentials, at all levels, were immense and we tended to be generalists rather than having specific industry knowledge. Not a recipe for success.

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Oh well. As it happens, I asked Ancestry about the service records a couple of days ago. This is what I said:

Please could you give me some idea when you may upload the remaining WWI service records. How many more batches do you expect there to be, and approximately when can we expect to see them.

I'm not asking for subscription reasons! I have every intention of renewing my annual membership next spring, whether or not all the records have come online, as I use Ancestry's other databases a lot. But I'm working on a local history project about our War Memorial which is otherwise close to completion, and it would be useful to know whether it's worth waiting for any outstanding records that may appear.

Hope you can give me a bit more information on this.

Kind regards

Just got this back:

Thank you for your email.

I wish I could as well. Unfortunately while our developers are working to ready these records for the web site, we have no release date as of yet.

Kind regards

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Hi,

I think you better had Pete otherwise you might just keel over!

Like Grace, I will continue to renew my subscription and use the other resources they have and just hope that the finger is pulled out pretty sharpish.

Cheers,

Nigel

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