Why would so many entries be indexed without a first name and can this problem be addressed?
The latest release of "New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch" includes additional records relating to an existing / ongoing project - https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/4439317.
I have performed random searches on last names and found an unusually high number of records do not include the first name of the primary person in the record, although most include the first name of the father.
It is difficult to believe this relates to an issue involving illegibility, as there are so many different names / parishes involved. Is there any way this matter can be examined, with the possibility of having these records re-indexed, as it is currently very difficult to attach them to IDs in Family Tree, to which they relate?
Alternatively, does anyone have any suggestions as to how this situation has arisen - discounting (il)legibility.
See https://www.familysearch.org/search/record/results?count=20&offset=20&q.anyDate.from=1600&q.anyDate.to=1700&q.anyPlace=yorkshire&q.anyPlace.exact=on&q.givenName=charles&q.surname=wright&q.surname.exact=on&f.collectionId=4439317 (pages 2-15) for examples involving the WRIGHT surname. (Note my search was for a Charles Wright - not "Exact" for the first name. This produced 21 results for a Charles / Carolus Wright, the remaining 261 results being for a (no first name) Wright.)
Please advise if this post is more appropriate to the "Search" category, rather than "Indexing". Perhaps these records were indexed with a first name, but this has been omitted somewhere further down the line.
Melissa S Himes ✭✭✭✭✭
Yes, I have a suggestion. When we index records and there is no first name, we create a blank entry. The first three I could see images on were parish records where the child was not named (2) and the page was damaged and illegible (1). It is not unusual on parish records that babes who died at or shortly after birth were not named. Without seeing the records, or looking at the 261 results, I can't be sure but would guess these are mostly deaths and burials in the same year as reflected in the first two search pages. If you find an image and can see that it is otherwise, please share the link.
I will add that these records have been indexed more than once in some cases. So, there could also be duplicate entries of the same Wright's in those 261 results. I have never fully understood why we index a collection more than once as I am "a touch the paper once and move on" worker. More than once is wasting time.1
Paul W ✭✭✭✭✭
Thank you for your response, Melissa.
I agree that this could largely be a case of a combination of children being unnamed in the burial event or their names being illegible. I have often seen images that have been copied from an open book, whereby the name of the child is obscured by its being so close to the left side of the right hand page - i.e. in the fold between the two pages. I admit, I had not noticed that so many of these were for burial events. Also, that a "Yorkshire" placename input would include a considerable amount of parishes, so perhaps these 261 records would probably represent many thousands of (named) children born to a father named Wright, during the time period inputted.
Obviously, this does illustrate the problem (for me) in not having access to the images. I did take out a short-term subscription to Find My Past last year and was able to discover so much material that is unavailable to me from home - i.e. without my having to visit a Family History Centre, or library (with free access to FMP).
In summary, it does now seem plausible that there were no first names that could be indexed in these examples. Thank you again for your checks and advice.1