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MBrockway

Ancestry MIC dataset - where have all the Beards gone?!

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MBrockway

No - not a comment on a fading fashion for hipster chinwear :lol: ...

 

An afternoon spent trying to chase down an image for the MIC for BEARD, 4607, Thomas Edward, Rifle Brigade, has revealed that there is a contiguous block of 833 MIC's in the National Archive catalogue that are missing from Ancestry's equivalent.

 

The missing records run ...

 

WO 372/2/58701 - 'BEARD, John Stanley Coombe'
WO 372/2/58702 - 'BEARD, James T'
..
WO 372/2/59534 - 'BEARDSALL, Benjamin'
WO 372/2/59535 - 'BEARDSALL, Bernard L'

 

... with the first and last present on both, but the intervening 833 records only present on TNA.

 

So if you're looking for an MIC for another 'BEARD' or similar surname on Ancestry, be aware of this gap.

 

Note also that the WO 372 data is not 100% in Surname/Forename sequence - as demonstrated by James T Beard following after John Stanley Coombe Beard.

 

Anyone else spotted similar MIC blocks missing on Ancestry?

 

Life's never easy eh?

 

Mark

 

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ss002d6252
6 minutes ago, MBrockway said:

No - not a comment on a fading fashion for hipster chinwear :lol: ...

 

An afternoon spent trying to chase down an image for the MIC for BEARD, 4607, Thomas Edward, Rifle Brigade, has revealed that there is a contiguous block of 833 MIC's in the National Archive catalogue that are missing from Ancestry's equivalent.

 

The missing records run ...

 

WO 372/2/58701 - 'BEARD, John Stanley Coombe'
WO 372/2/58702 - 'BEARD, James T'
..
WO 372/2/59534 - 'BEARDSALL, Benjamin'
WO 372/2/59535 - 'BEARDSALL, Bernard L'

 

... with the first and last present on both, but the intervening 833 records only present on TNA.

 

So if you're looking for an MIC for another 'BEARD' or similar surname on Ancestry, be aware of this gap.

 

Note also that the WO 372 data is not 100% in Surname/Forename sequence - as demonstrated by James T Beard following after John Stanley Coombe Beard.

 

Anyone else spotted similar MIC blocks missing on Ancestry?

 

Life's never easy eh?

 

Mark

 

Not seen blocks missing but certainly individual records.

I've been sure whether they were lost after the NA scanned them, and thus never scanned by Ancestry, or whether Ancestry has them but for some reason they're not coming up in searches.

Craig

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RussT

I recall this discussion which concluded that an Ancestry MIC block was missing with surname PUGH:

 

 

 

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MBrockway

I wasn't Beard hunting using searches, but rather going through the records sequentially longhand.

 

When I know an MIC exists/existed from the TNA catalogue, but cannot find it on Ancestry, it's usually because of some daftness in the Ancestry transcribing used to build their index - e.g. H.R.Rif.C for K.R.Rif.C etc. compounded by errors on service number or name.

 

My last throw of the dice in finding it is then to work stepwise through Discovery and Ancestry in parallel.  It often finds the elusive MIC, but is VERY laborious.

 

These 833 missing records are definitely in a single missing block.

 

Mark

 

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ss002d6252
3 minutes ago, RussT said:

I recall this discussion which concluded that an Ancestry MIC block was missing with surname PUGH:

 

 

 

I'd forgotten about that, obviously I was wrong when I said I'd not seen anything before with blocks missing.


So it would appear that there are now at least 2 blocks of missing men.

Craig

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DavidOwen

I guess you have complained to Ancestry?

(not currently a subscriber)

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MBrockway

Yes - I have a "case" running.  I won't be holding my breath, and I'll keep you informed of its progress.

 

I'm not a paid subscriber at the moment either, but the MIC part is free to access.

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Loader

Seems there was a discussion on here or another forum that the Ancestry had no MICs for nurses of any organization.

There certainly seem to be massive gaps, misfiles, poor spellings etc. but guess they are to be expected in a work of this size. However, whey does it always have to be what we are looking for that seems to be missing?!?

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stiletto_33853

Disturbing,

Some Ancestry Diaries are not complete either. I did bring this up at TNA sometime ago re. MIC's and Diaries. The response I got was that Ancestry had everything the TNA had which to be honest I am not 100% convinced about.

It would seem there is a distinct lack of quality control and communication somewhere along the line. Also one has to wonder regarding contractual obligations.

 

Andy

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hazelclark

The Ancestry diaries have all kinds of stuff missfiled. I have found strange things in the middle of searches through different Regiment Diaries.

Hazel C.

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MBrockway

You may have gathered I'm working through a list of elusive MICs.

 

Guess what I've found further down this list?

 

PUGH, Z/1876, Rfn Edward G, Rifle Brigade.

 

Darn it!!  :o

 

Luckily I think I can get what we need from the TNA part-obscured image.

 

Mark

 

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MBrockway
On 15/02/2018 at 18:40, DavidOwen said:

I guess you have complained to Ancestry?

(not currently a subscriber)

 

On 15/02/2018 at 21:19, MBrockway said:

Yes - I have a "case" running.  I won't be holding my breath, and I'll keep you informed of its progress.

 

I'm not a paid subscriber at the moment either, but the MIC part is free to access.

 

 

Pals,

Here's the report I submitted to Ancestry.  It was raised as an Issue hanging off the MIC image immediately before the start of the missing block ...

Quote

There are more than 800 Medal Index Card images missing which should follow immediately after this image.

 

In the UK National Archive (TNA) catalogue, the Medal Index Card for 'BEARD, John Stanley Coombe' has TNA Ref: WO 372/2/58701.  Here, this record is the final record in the Ancestry Surname Sub-range 'BEAN, Edgar to BEARD, John Stanley Coombe'.

 

The next entry in the TNA catalogue is for 'BEARD, James T' (Ref: WO 372/2/58702) and this should be the next record in your sequence here.  However the next record in your data is in fact for 'BEARDSALL, Bernard L', which is also the first record in the new Ancestry Surname Sub-range 'BEARDSALL, Bernard L to BEATTIE, Arthur W'.  

 

On TNA, this record for 'BEARDSALL, Bernard L' has Ref: WO 372/2/59535.

 

The Ancestry records are missing a contiguous block of 833 records that are present in the TNA catalogue running from 'BEARD, James T' (TNA Ref: WO 372/2/58702) to 'BEARDSALL, Benjamin' (TNA Ref: WO 372/2/59534).

 

It looks like a complete Surname Sub-range has gone missing from your data.


Please investigate what has happened to these missing records and report back.

My thanks.
Yours,
Mark Brockway

 

 

You'll all no doubt be as thrilled as I was to read Ancestry's response, which I received earlier today ....

 

Quote

New Picture.png

 

 

Dear Mark, 

Thank you for contacting Ancestry in regards to WWI records.

It is true, that our collection around WWI records is limited. If your main focus of research is WWI records we do recommend the website www.fold3.com . They provide a free trial and specialise in war records. 
 

If you need additional assistance, reply to this email or feel free to contact us by phone at 0-800-783-1340 from 9 AM to 10 PM GMT, Monday through Friday or from 9 AM - 8 PM GMT, Saturday and Sunday.  If you're calling from outside of the UK, please click here for numbers and hours in your region.

 

Kind regards,

 

Nadine

Customer Solutions Associate

Ancestry

 

For more information regarding our products, please follow the links listed below.

 

 

 

 

I am lost for words!

 

Mark

 

Edited by MBrockway

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

"Customer Solutions Associate"?????

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stiletto_33853

British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards

This collection is the most complete listing of people who fought in the British Army in WWI. Nearly all soldiers who served abroad were awarded at least one medal; at 4.8 million people strong, this collection contains 90% of British soldiers’ names. Records in this index can be searched by first and last name and by corps, unit, or regiment. Various card forms were used, so the type of information found on each card varies.

 

 

Does not seem to be in keeping with their advertising blurb does it if they are telling you to go to another site "This collection is the most complete" they state.

 

Andy

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ss002d6252

The Ancestry response smacks of someone not actually having read the initial email or simply not caring.

 

Craig

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keithmroberts

I had this reply to a query last week. The MIC is apparently available at the National Archives but as I will be visiting shortly I will save my cash until then and download it free.

Capture.JPG

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ss002d6252
4 minutes ago, keithmroberts said:

I had this reply to a query last week. The MIC is apparently available at the National Archives but as I will be visiting shortly I will save my cash until then and download it free.

Capture.JPG

So Ancestry are suggesting they don't have the record as it wasn't made available to them ? That raises a question - did Ancestry just scan what they were handed and some boxes weren't handed to them for some reason ?, or, are they just avoiding the issue ?

 

Craig

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keithmroberts

I have replied asking for details so that I can take this up with  Kew and the WFA.  I' doubt very much the quality and accuracy of the reply, but won't let it go. My recollection is that the WFA were involved in the process, or am I suffering from a scrambled brain?

 

Keith

 

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rolt968
On ‎15‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 22:35, Loader said:

Seems there was a discussion on here or another forum that the Ancestry had no MICs for nurses of any organization.

This is correct, but not an error. There are no cards for nurses or any civilian workers such the Red Cross or various huts and canteens workers. Curiously there are medal rolls in ancestry for them.

 

Has anyone checked to see if the missing people are in the transcript sets in other sources, eg Findmypast?

RM

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ss002d6252
12 minutes ago, keithmroberts said:

I have replied asking for details so that I can take this up with  Kew and the WFA.  I' doubt very much the quality and accuracy of the reply, but won't let it go. My recollection is that the WFA were involved in the process, or am I suffering from a scrambled brain?

 

Keith

 

Keith, I think you're right - aren't they the current custodians of the record set. Does this perhaps mean that some records have gone missing between the N/A copying them and the WFA getting the cards ? I'm sure the WFA would be able to confirm if they hold the missing ranges or not.

Craig

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rolt968

I have managed to persuade thegenealogist site to let me see what they have. I had assumed that they were only transcriptions, but in there are copies of the cards. The copies look very like the TNA versions - gray scale and only the front of the card. Also they look to me as if they have been cropped from a larger document.

 

Anyway there certainly are Beards among them.

RM

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ss002d6252
14 minutes ago, rolt968 said:

This is correct, but not an error. There are no cards for nurses or any civilian workers such the Red Cross or various huts and canteens workers. Curiously there are medal rolls in ancestry for them.

 

Has anyone checked to see if the missing people are in the transcript sets in other sources, eg Findmypast?

RM

I think FMP use the N/A record index as they give a link to the N/A for each MIC so it should be the same whereas Ancestry created their own record set.

Craig

Edited by ss002d6252

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MBrockway

I remember the legend going something along the lines of some WFA stalwarts serendipitously came across the MICs being chucked in a skip and rescued them?

 

Mark

 

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rolt968
3 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

Keith, I think you're right - aren't they the current custodians of the record set. Does this perhaps mean that some records have gone missing between the N/A copying them and the WFA getting the cards ? I'm sure the WFA would be able to confirm if they hold the missing ranges or not.

Craig

That would explain it. At the back of my mind I had a feeling that the ancestry Medal Cards  did not come from the TNA set. They did but not directly from TNA.

RM

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rolt968
2 minutes ago, MBrockway said:

I remember the legend going something along the lines of some WFA stalwarts serendipitously came across the MICs being chucked in a skip and rescued them?

 

Mark

 

That would not surprise me. There used to be a set of file cards for RFC men which had been microfilmed or microfiched. Unfortunately the copy of my grandfather's card was blurred as were all those around it. When I asked about the originals I found that they had been destroyed after photographing.

 

RM

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