"Mistakes" in original records

Items of general interest

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Russell
Posts: 2559
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2005 5:59 pm
Location: Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire
Contact:

Re: "Mistakes" in original records

Post by Russell » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:03 am

Hi Lindsay

If your skin was thick enough to deal with the public on a daily basis you would not have risked setting up such a fantastic resource in the first place. You would have been too wary of potential responses before you started :( The effort you must put into your site must be tremendous with constant updates and amendments. My only complaint is I can't pay a brief visit. There are so many vital bits of information, social comments, fascinating stories that an entire evening can be lost :lol: Please keep up the good work ('good' is an inadequate word to use :roll: ) Just about everyone on TalkingScot who has mining ancestors must have visited, not once, but many times without acknowledging their appreciation of the increased understanding they gained about their ancestors lives. May I offer my personal appreciation for increasing my understanding of my great uncles role as a GP in the Coatbridge/Motherwell area dealing with the results of mining accidents; my father's role as ambulance man with Ormiston Coal Company and my many Fife colliers ancestors. Your efforts made that info available to me.
Alan Sharp's comments are, as usual, detailed and helpful. The mechanisms behind the scenes on TS permit banning of an undesirable e-mail address but the mechanism of becoming a member before being able to post eliminates most of the unpleasant entries and permits removal of any that arise subsequently.
Having a site e-mail address rather than a personal one should give you detachment from any unpleasant, abusive communications, after all it is the site that folk complain to, and about, NOT you personally.
I now feel very remiss that I have not shown appreciation to you in the past (your site has too many fascinating distractions :? )

Russell
Working on: Oman, Brock, Miller/Millar, in Caithness.
Roan/Rowan, Hastings, Sharp, Lapraik in Ayr & Kirkcudbrightshire.
Johnston, Reside, Lyle all over the place !
McGilvray(spelt 26 different ways)
Watson, Morton, Anderson, Tawse, in Kilrenny

Lindsay
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:09 pm

Re: "Mistakes" in original records

Post by Lindsay » Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:39 pm

We’ve left our guestbook open so people can still contact us. This has the added advantage that any comment left is publishable so perhaps people will think twice about the tone of their message. Please don’t think we get lots of abuse, just one or two in a blue moon, but when it does happen it can hit you really hard. Our e-mail is/was hidden behind online forms so we can avoid the spammers, and it’s not a personal account, but even so the nasties still land up on my personal computer. We do state that we stay faithful to the original records, but people rarely read those parts of the site.

I am very appreciative that for recent relatives having details recorded correctly is important but the contentious records are 1914 and before. If the details are wrong, it’s not our fault. We once had an e-mail complaining that as the proud descendant of Irish miners, the correspondent was deeply offended by the racist views on our site. This complaint referenced an 1888 article! As an equally proud descendant of Irish miners, I just laughed and ignored it :roll:

Seriously thanks for your support – it confirms that we’re not the odd ones.
Lindsay

jgmills
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:40 pm
Location: Dumfries and Galloway

Re: "Mistakes" in original records

Post by jgmills » Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:13 am

Lindsay,

This may sound overkill but, I can tell that you have been very upset by the negative attitudes of one or two, if you can tell from their e-mail who their ISP is i.e. AOL, Yahoo, BT, etc.... you can report the abuse to the ISP and depending on the seriousness the abuser may get barred from the internet, or at least reprimanded by their ISP.

No one deserves to receive any abuse when they are providing valuable information.

John

Currie
Posts: 3850
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 am
Location: Australia

Re: "Mistakes" in original records

Post by Currie » Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:19 am

You’re going great Lindsay, keep up the good work.

Abraham Lincoln’s brother once said that you can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not please all of the people all of the time.

Direct the people you can’t please to the organisation that made the error. Tell them to contact the Glasgow Herald, or the Caledonian Mercury, or the Calathumpian Cryer, or whatever. Send them a stock standard copy and paste reply each time they enquire so that you don't have to think hard about it.

Should they contact the newspaper or whatever it will deal with their enquiry appropriately by binning it.

All the best,
Alan

Ann In the UK
Posts: 454
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:44 pm

Re: "Mistakes" in original records

Post by Ann In the UK » Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:32 am

makes us both want to shut up shop
I'd just like to agree with all that's been said so far.

I think it's worth bearing in mind that this is the world wide web. The 'public' from all over the world have access to it. So you're always going to get negative feedback from a tiny minority, whatever you do - you can't please all of the people all of the time and, human nature being what it is, some will always want to have a good old moan about it just because they're that way inclined.

What you have to consider is how many people actually access your site overall, the majority of whom don't give you any feedback whatsover - simply because their experience of it was, in one way or another, positive.

To shut up shop over the moans and groans of a vociferous (and seemingly spiteful) minority, wouldn't be fair on the silent majority - who sometimes forget to say thanks for how great something is. You can include me in that - so thanks, your site is great.

Best wishes,
Ann

Lindsay
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:09 pm

Re: "Mistakes" in original records

Post by Lindsay » Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:00 am

Ann In the UK wrote: What you have to consider is how many people actually access your site overall, the majority of whom don't give you any feedback whatsover - simply because their experience of it was, in one way or another, positive.

To shut up shop over the moans and groans of a vociferous (and seemingly spiteful) minority, wouldn't be fair on the silent majority - who sometimes forget to say thanks for how great something is.
Just to clarify we have in no way shut up shop - the site continues but without any opportunity for public contributions. We are more than happy to keep it up for that silent majority, who can still continue to appreciate the website :)
Lindsay

Montrose Budie
Posts: 713
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 11:37 pm

Re: "Mistakes" in original records

Post by Montrose Budie » Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:18 am

Hi Lindsay

Sadly, the reality is that there'll always be an "awkward minority" out there, - I'm being untypically polite as regards my choice of words !

In this case this minority obviously totally fail to appreciate two basics of genealogical research, - (a) transcribing, and (b) name spelling.

As regards (a) the Golden Rule is to transcribe as is, i.e. exactly what appears in the record, no more, no less. OK, sometimes the hand or the copy quality may cause difficulties, in which case some appropriate comment is required.

But if great-uncle Frederick McHOUGHMAGANDY appears in the mining record as Fred MacHOCHMAGANDy, then that's the way that it has to be transcribed.

Some very well funded and better resourced databases have the time and money to add alternative spellings when descendants can demonstrate that there were valid alternatives, but to expect you to do so is a load of utter nonsense; and people should appreciate that. Most do. I'm one, part of the great silent majority out here who cannot state just how much your tremendous efforts over the years are very greatly appreciated.

That you have to put up with occasional abuse is quite unacceptable.

See the earlier comments about reporting the posters to their ISPs.

I'm not very famliar with your set up, but there may be provision in your software for locking out such posters by including their email addresses and/or individual ISP addresses on a list that are no longer permitted to access the website. Andrew P here on TS may be able to advise.


And then we come to spelling variations....... up to the UK National Insurance Act of 1911 most folk had no reason to be consistent in the spelling of their names.

My mother's youngest sister always insisted that their McLENNAN side had ONLY EVER USED ONE SPELLING. It was with tongue in cheek that I enjoyed pointing out to her that her grandfather George McLENNAN could be shown to have used at least 5 different spellings during his lifetime, and he was well educated, having butled for minor Scottish nobility.

The 1911 NI act created an ongoing national database, still going strong 100 years later; and, back in the first couple of decades, if you couldn't recall your NI number (hands up how many can recall it without having to consult a wage/salary slip, or a tax document?), and you were bit uncertain about your exact date of birth (in the early decades of the 20th century many older folk wouldn't have a state birth certificate), then variant spellings of your name only created more difficulties in getting any benefits due under the act.

As a result, from 1911 onwards surnames tended to become regularised as regards spellings.

Note that the 1841 onwards decennial censuses were just 'snapshots' of the population at 10 year intervals, and were not continuing databases.

I'd put money on the situation that were I to research the tree of one or more of your abusers, I would be readily be able to demonstrate that, over several generations, a range of different surname spellings were used.

We once had an e-mail complaining that as the proud descendant of Irish miners, the correspondent was deeply offended by the racist views on our site. This complaint referenced an 1888 article! As an equally proud descendant of Irish miners, I just laughed and ignored it

To many people this will be verging on the unbelievable, but based on 25 years of experience of bulletin boards etc. it very sadly doesn't surprise me.

Yesterday we got another quite rather upsetting one (we are disrespecting the memory of their G grandfather by not correcting “our” mistake)

Similarly unbelievable. Just where is the logic in their claim that you are 'disrespecting' their ggf ?
which on top of a few negative ones in recent weeks makes us both want to shut up shop. I would appreciate any more neutral views (positive or negative) on whether our non-correction/non-annotation policy is valid.
Please, please, please don't even begin to let these numpties get to you.

The silent majority out here, in their 1,000s, probably 10,000s or more, only want you to continue with this magnificent website

mb

Alan SHARP
Posts: 611
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:41 pm
Location: Waikato, New Zealand

Re: "Mistakes" in original records

Post by Alan SHARP » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:57 am

Greetings & thanks MONTROSE BUDIE

Colourful you may be, but I find your notes very enlightening, and highlights the ramifications that a simple act of parliament, can have on the course of a nation's written history. The implications of the Act, as set out, being a point I was ignorant of until your post. As I said above 'ignorance is not bliss' and by going off half cocked, one can cause much anguish.

Alan SHARP.

mallog
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:41 am
Location: Ayrshire Coast

Re: "Mistakes" in original records

Post by mallog » Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:21 pm

Just want to add my appreciation of this site. I had cause only recently to use this and was delighted with the information avaiable on it. If you are able to count the number of visitors to your site then I would conclude they were all positive apart from the very few who contacted you to complain. Unbelievable !
Anderson, McAlpine, Blue - Argyll
Dunn Fife /ML
Coutts, McGregor - Perth/Govan
Glen, Crow, Imrie - Angus
Scott & Pick ML
Mason - Co Down

steiner
Posts: 185
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:27 pm

Re: "Mistakes" in original records

Post by steiner » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:10 pm

I too have used the site. Great detail, great help and wonderful effort on your part. Keep up the good work.

Don't even give the moaners a thought. They are not worth it.

all the best

Drew

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