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Remembered Today:

SDGW on Ancestry


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Now thats a bit much

Well I take it as a slight to MY relatives' memories. I pay a substantial fee to Ancestry, and whilst I have got a lot of useful information I have found the most ludicrous errors on there, eg someone indexed as aged 140 with a baby. Common sense on the part of the transcribers often has much room for improvement. I have lost count of the number of corrections I have submitted. Spelling mistakes, mis-readings etc I can understand but to get something like Theatre of War so fundamentally wrong on such a scale must point to lack of care - how could this go online without proper checking? In my email to Ancestry I suggested they should concentrate on improving quality of information, rather than rushing to add more & more databases which show such glaring inaccuracies. They are misleading new researchers, who may never come back to find corrections, and who will be totally confused about their grandfathers, great uncles etc.

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And how do you get the message to all those who have accessed Ancestry and believe great grandad was killed in action in Aldershot?

Mick

I am wary of doing things publicly about the memory of individuals, but if we look at the collective "half million who died at Aldershot", we might get a spoof story started about "the most dangerous and yet secret theatre of war", combined with persuading someone notable (Boris Johnson?) to support a campaign for a special investigation into the cover-up of deaths at Aldershot. Then debunk it (with much fanfare) as another example of the danger of holding information about people in databases? Make the mistake famous (and embarrasing to Ancestry).

Start with a posting on a BBC comment site? Mind you, I notice that Google indexes this forum within hours of some posts appearing, so perhaps we do not need to do anything!

David

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Brough is also a place near Hull. Terrible place. The Germans overlooked you. :lol:

:lol: Don't let Charles (joseph) here you slating Hull, it is his speciality and his home.

Anyway, I was in Brough the other day (well, visiting Ferriby United FC for a well earned beer) and it seemed rather posh and friendly.

I had a look at the Ancestry SDGW section to compare notes. According to this source, all of my collection of Lincolnshire, East Yorkshire, and NF medals original recients, would have met their ends in Aldershot and then been transported to France & Flanders for burial. What a waste of resources ;)

Then there are the ones that went missing in action - IN ALDERSHOT!

It does seem an awful lot to pay for duff info.

Bingo

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auchonvillerssomme

If it had been this current government, I would have believed every word.

I think its Hampshire Council trying to get some of the battlefield tourists in.

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I know others have pointed out the errors on SDGW to Ancestry. But another moan won't hurt 'em, so I pointed it out as well. Got their reply today, see below:

"Dear Jim,

Thank you for your email.

We appreciate your error report about the theatre of war data in this database. The problem has been reported to our developers. Feedback from you, our valued customer, helps us correct errors and improve the website. Your patience and efforts to assist us in this matter are appreciated.

Please understand that fixes to errors on Ancestry are posted firstly in the order of those which affect the greatest number of users, and thereafter in the order in which they are reported. For this reason, fixes for some errors may take longer than others to be posted. We appreciate your patience.

Kind regards,

Nancy

Member Solutions

Ancestry.co.uk"

So they know and will be fixing it - some time :)

Jim

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The problem is that it's not just the Theatre c**k-up. Look carefully at the comparison posted above.

They've transposed the enlisted and resided entries too- only 700,000+ to change then. I've also seen some where the birthplace has been transposed as well. They should really pull this database until they've got it fixed- it's probably misleading quite a number of their subscribers who aren't aware of the other sources for SDGW.

Having had my moan, it's still a vast improvement over the Findmypast version where you can't search by regiment.

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..Not much use being able to search by regiment, if it's going to give you the wrong information

Grant

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..Not much use being able to search by regiment, if it's going to give you the wrong information

Grant

You're correct, and there is always going to be the nagging feeling with this database whether they've fixed it or not- but if you have a subscription to both sites then you can play them off against each other and get the information needed ;) .

I'd give up my Findmypast subscription but as they're the ones who have WO97 and the WW1 Officers Files for digitizing I think most of us are going to have to have dual subscriptions in future if we can't get to NA.

Matthew

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They should really pull this database until they've got it fixed- it's probably misleading quite a number of their subscribers who aren't aware of the other sources for SDGW.

Couldn't agree more.

Neil

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i sent a error report to SDGW after getting the CD ages ago ,MY G GRANDFATHER PTE FREDERICK RODAWAY 5015 AND 307255 KINGS LIVERPOOL ON MEDAL CARDS K.I.A 18-8-1916 SDGW had him as FRANK after getting in touch with them i was told all there info was from the CWGC WHO JUST HAD PTE F RODAWAY,

and seeing ancestry with the same info i pointed this out to them and they are correcting it,

reply from ancestry Thank you for your email.

Thank you for theses details. Just to be clear, you would like the name PTE FREDERICK RODAWAY stated in our records?

answer was of couse yes,

i wasted good money for the sdgw CD just for them to pass the buck on to the cwgc who's records are correct

sdgw need to get there act together first , tony

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i was told all their info was from the CWGC WHO JUST HAD PTE F RODAWAY

SDGW has nothing to do with the CWGC, it is an entirely seperate roll. The CWGC details in this case will have been supplied by the Army.

The Ancestry info is taken from the SDGW info which originated in the Rolls released by, I think the War Office, for each unit after the war.

If they are giving the details from SDGW I suspect that is what they should be showing, not a modern day edited entry.

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I'm really glad I found this thread, my ancestors are recorded at Antwerp and Aldershot instead of Gallipoli and F&F. I'd assumed that the theatre of war referred to where they were first stationed (although even that doesn't make much sense!) so it's good to have it cleared up.

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SDGW has nothing to do with the CWGC, it is an entirely seperate roll. The CWGC details in this case will have been supplied by the Army.

The Ancestry info is taken from the SDGW info which originated in the Rolls released by, I think the War Office, for each unit after the war.

If they are giving the details from SDGW I suspect that is what they should be showing, not a modern day edited entry.

jas , this is the reply i got back in april from sdgw regarding my g-grandfather,,

militarygenealogy_info <info@military-genealogy.com> wrote:

Hi Tony,

Unfortunately we do not know the answer to this. It is probably advisable to take it up with the CWGC as the information we have is taken from their records.

Support Department

Military Genealogy

www.military-genealogy.com

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  • 1 month later...
Couldn't agree more.

Neil

Well, I put in a comment about one entry which was mutually contradictory and Ancestry have accepted it as a correction to the name (rather than reading behind my slightly sarky comment that this record must refer to someone else, and realising that they have scrambled Residence and Enlistment Place and got the Theatre wrong (which CWGC would have confirmed) plus one odd bit of info)!

At least the casual browser will see what has been screwed up!

David

Name: James Motherwell [something Different]

Residence: Chelsea, Middlesex - no, place of enlistment

Death Date: 18 Nov 1917 - yes

Enlistment Location: Wealdstone, Middlesex - no, residence

Rank: Private - yes

Regiment: Dorsetshire Regiment - yes

Battalion: 1/4th Battalion. - yes

Number: 202542 - yes

Type of Casualty: Died - yes

Theater of War: British Expeditionary Force - no, Mesopotamia

Comments: Formerly 1875, London Regiment.- not if he was born 1876-8

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Isn't that his previous regiment and number?

Now why didn't I think of that? (Too annoyed by the other errors?)

But ..., pre war I believe he worked for David Allen & Co at their Harrow works (might he have done a short spell in the army well before the war?)

If during the war he had originally enlisted in the London Regiment (which might make sense of his enlisting at Chelsea?), wouldn't the London Regiment be on his Medal Card? (He only got War and Victory medals).

Only Service Records on Ancestry for a James Motherwell are for his nephew, and an unrelated JM.

David

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Are you sure he didn't get a Star? Sometimes they are on a separate MIC. I think there are still some more to be added on Ancestry.

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Are you sure he didn't get a Star? Sometimes they are on a separate MIC. I think there are still some more to be added on Ancestry.

Thanks, that (Stars on separate MiCs) is news to me.

OK, So, I check all 6 James Motherwells on the National Archives Medal Index Cards (the most complete source?), looking for a suitably numbered member of the London Regiment? None,

Check for J Motherwell, or even G/Gemmell Motherwell (Gemmell being his second name)? No.

So do I now need to check medal rolls next time I am at Kew?

David

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David,

In my research (mainly lowland Scots regiments), I have often found that territorial numbers starting 203*** or 242*** etc. were quite often allocated to home service territorial men from other regiments who transferred into their new regiment immediately before being posted overseas. Probably not explaining myself clearly, so hypothesizing:

#1875 James Motherwell, pre-war/early enlistment territorial with the London Regiment. Doesn't sign the Imperial Service form and spends the next three years in various home service units, coastal defence etc. In summer 1917, no longer with any opt-out, he is transferred to the 4th Dorsetshire Regiment and posted to the 1/4th Bn. in Mesopotamia.

Stuart

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Isn't that his previous regiment and number?

He enlisted in London Regt. as 1875, but never made it abroad, so no MIC with that number. Transferred to Dorsetshire post 1916 and then went overseas to earn his pair.

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He enlisted in London Regt. as 1875, but never made it abroad, so no MIC with that number. Transferred to Dorsetshire post 1916 and then went overseas to earn his pair.

WK,

From your sig, do I gather that you are not hypothesising as Stuart was, but actually quoting from a source? If so I would be interested in details.

Thanks

David

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David,

I think Stuart and I were typing at the same time. Stuart's hypothesis is quite plausible, although Motherwell may just have been kept back to help train recruits or was fit only for Home Service until the needs of the Army became too great and he fell into a category that was liable to go overseas.

Unfortunately I don't have a source but a brief check of all the #1875 London MICs indicates that he couldn't have enlisted in the following battalions (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, 16, 19, 21, 22, 23, 25) which still leaves (3, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 24, 28).

The key may be working out which battalion signed on recruits at Chelsea, as such a relatively low number is probably a pre-war enlistment (1913-14). I know 18th (London Irish) were headquartered at Duke of York's Headquarters, Chelsea so that may be the answer.

Best regards,

Matthew

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>><<

Unfortunately I don't have a source but a brief check of all the #1875 London MICs indicates that he couldn't have enlisted in the following battalions (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, 16, 19, 21, 22, 23, 25) which still leaves (3, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 24, 28).

The key may be working out which battalion signed on recruits at Chelsea, as such a relatively low number is probably a pre-war enlistment (1913-14). I know 18th (London Irish) were headquartered at Duke of York's Headquarters, Chelsea so that may be the answer.

>><<

Matthew,

Thanks, given that he was Scots-Irish (Born in Ireland - not yet sure exactly where, of parents born in Scotland), and I have been puzzled by his "choice" of the Dorsetshires, your last sentence looks as if it is a good place to start. (His nephews were associated with the Royal Irish Rifles - he appears in this thread at posting 21).

Given that his service file does not appear to have survived, I presumably have to hope that there will be battalion or regimental based documentation. Any suggestions; Kew, London Irish Rifles Museum? And any document title or name for which I should be searching?

Message duplicated on to a previous thread about the Motherwells (where this discussion more properly lives).

Thanks

David

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