Names out of order & standardized locations incorrect in pre-1850 US Census indexes
Nearly every indexed pre-1850 US Census record I've ever viewed on FamilySearch lists the names in a different order than they appear on the actual census sheet. I assume that FamilySearch acquired their current index of names through some sort of licensing agreement, and that the exact order was not preserved on the original. In turn, that licensing agreement may prevent them from making certain changes to the indexed content, such as altering the order, even if it is to improve agreement with the original census sheet.
Because of the number of names on some of the early census sheets (like North Carolina in 1790, where there can be more than 200 names scribbled on the same sheet), it can be frustrating to find a specific entry, even once the correct sheet has been identified. When there are several people on a sheet with the same name, it can also be perplexing to know which record should be attached to which John Smith, etc., and to quickly determine which entry remains unattached.
On a mostly unrelated note, the standardized location assigned to many of the pre-1850 census records is often incorrect as well. For example, census records from Washington County, Pennsylvania may be incorrectly standardized to a Washington Township in a different county, a Washington County in a different state, or even to the state of Washington (which did not exist yet). Since search results filtered by location would exclude the intended search result, searching by film or batch number has to be used as an approximate substitute.
With the 1950 US census indexing now closing in on the home-stretch, has there been any discussion about making systemic improvements to the pre-1850 US census indexes?
@tyams Yes, we have been seeing image indexes messed up in several of the US census collections. If you can provide us with the URL of a specific example, we will include it in our report of this problem. Hopefully, attention will be given to finding a solution soon.0