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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

National Archives Documents Online Mistranscriptions of WO/372


kathleen donaldson

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I don't know if anyone on this Forum is aware of the Transcription error for soldiers whose first name is John and Surname starts with A B and C. It would appear that whomever carried out the transcribing of these cards in order for them to be made available to download mistakenly recorded them all as Jonathan.

For Example:-

Private John W Comstive King's Liverpool Regiment number 13792. He is recorded as Jonathan W Comstive (see link)

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D1902268

Also Private John Comstive, Welsh Regiment, number 291268. recorded as Jonathan Comstive.

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D1902267

I have been keeping a note of surnames that have this error and here are some of the Surnames affected.

BROUGHTON COOP COOPE BIRCHALL COWAN BAGLEY CONLAN CONDER BOURNE COWLEY

I have made the Documents online team aware of this error and while I can send in any that I come across from the Liverpool & South West Lancs Area. I can't filter out those for the rest of the British Isles. So if anyone is researching a Soldier called John Broughton he will be recorded on Documents Online under Jonathan Broughton.

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They're riddled with clerical errors throughout - not only in naming, but also in numbering and unit order. The most accurate records to go by are infact the Medal Rolls, but even within those you can come across clerical errors - mainly surname spelling and as time goes on the later Rolls seem to have less care about them.

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nice spot Kathy.

Both the Comstive chaps in your post are transcribed as John on Ancestry, matching the data on the index cards.

John or Johnny (but definitely not Jonathan)

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Rare that Ancestry get it right whereas TNA get it wrong.

John (but I've been called worse).

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nice spot Kathy.

Both the Comstive chaps in your post are transcribed as John on Ancestry, matching the data on the index cards.

John or Johnny (but definitely not Jonathan)

I have sent in the two Comistive Johns to be corrected, but as for the other Johns affected by this error it would take me hours. What annoys me is 2014 is the Centenary of the start of WW1 and there will be more relatives looking for their solider ancestor and the first site they may search will be the National Archives and if their soldier is called John Brown? well.

I have just searched the National Archives and they have entries for 49 soldiers called Jonathan Brown. A search on Ancestry has 18 Jonathan Browns, so if I am correct 31 entries are incorrect on the National Archives.

I will be going to London in February, and i am hoping to get the the NA and I will kick up a fuss.

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