Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Ancestry updates Chicago Irish families 1875-1920

Ancestry says it has updated its Irish in Chicago 1875-1920 collection. I guess we'll just have to believe them!

As is typical of these 'updates', no detail is provided to explain what, exactly, has been updated. The news listing gives a figure of 8916 records, but no indication as to whether this is the number of updated records or the total number of records within the collection.

The main description doesn't help very much, either. It reads as follows:

Source Information
Cook, Tom. Chicago Irish Families, 1875-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000.

About Chicago Irish Families, 1875-1925
Perhaps as important a destination as Boston or New York for Irish immigrants, Chicago was the destination for many immigrants from the Emerald Isle in the 19th and 20th Century. This database is a collection of records regarding many of the Irish families who made their home in this city between 1875 and 1925. Newly updated to add over 5,000 entries, information provided includes births, marriages, and deaths, often including names of relatives. Taken from a wide variety of sources, including local histories, parish records, local newspapers, and cemetery inscriptions, this can be an extremely helpful database for those researching Irish-American ancestors.

So now we have mention of 'over 5000' newly updated entries. But is this an updated description?

It gets even less clear if you then venture into the records. After making a search, the results page will include a little note 'about this collection' (see right), which states that there are 12,500 records....

Come on Ancestry. If it's worth highlighting an update to an existing collection, give your customers a clearer indication of what's improved.