UK census "event place" errors, how to get rectified? No suitable feedback mechanism to ask what goi
The 1861 census transcripts for inner east London have become riddled with very recent errors relating to decription of "Event Place". E.g., this residence that is given as being in the City of London, which it was (and is) not.
I have noticed that there have now been, very recent, corrections to the very absurd description of "Whitechapel" (same census, 10 mins up the road) as Altab Ali Park. The modern day site of the church of St Mary's Whitechapel is now Altab Ali Park, appropriately commemorating an appalling C20th racist murder however in C19th St Mary's was still standing and as an area description (civil parish?) covered far more than the church itself! (Damaged too badly 1940/1 to be rebuilt.)
Very frustrating that no "error feedback" possible.
Paul said: This kind of problem has proved frustrating to many of us over the years. There appears no direct interest in FamiySearch correcting these and other "metadata" errors, even though they are inclined to involve the records of thousands of individuals.
I see in your example that the place reads, "City of London, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom". As you imply, there has never been such a place - the City of London being as much apart from any county in England as Washington D.C., I believe, is from any state in the U.S.A.
The using of modern day place locations - as opposed to the correct, historical ones - is quite common in FamilySearch records, although the responsibility for this does sometimes lie in how records come across from websites such as Find My Past and Find A Grave.
Yes, a link to report such errors (as can be found against items in the FamilySearch "Catalog") would be great - but only if this did lead to the corrections being made, of course.0
Paul said: BTW - I do realise that St George in the East parish was in Middlesex, not the City of London.0
Gerry Matthews said: Yes that came across thanks (CoL and Middx).
This is possibly a FMP error but it seems strange that this has been happening v recently as these mad entries are new the transcripts. Somehow feedback is getting through to get the matter corrected to the now absurd extra field "event place" (the mad entries) plus "(orginal) event place" (the original ED transcription that was the FS entry upto a few weeks? back).
1st sentence 3rd para should have read, (see I can't do C+I for italics for the quote),
"I have noticed that there have now been, very recent, corrections to the very absurd description of "Whitechapel" (same census, 10 mins up the road) as "Altab Ali Park" ".
It's the name that commemorates the victim - the park on the old church site dates from earlier...0
Adrian Bruce said: Gerry - as far as I understand, "Event Place (Original)" represents what comes out of the manual part of the indexing process - a combination of someone typing and the "meta data" that's set up for a group of records.
"Event Place" then comes out of an automatic, background process that attempts to standardise "Event Place (Original)". This automatic process is somewhat opaque but I definitely believe that the year of the event comes into play. If you go to the https://www.familysearch.org/research... and enter Margaret Flynn's Event Place (Original) of "St Georges East, London, Middlesex, England" then the first date appropriate place-name in the standards suggested is "City of London, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom".
That choice is the best of a bad bunch as there are lots of St. Georges across England!
However, there is already a standard place-name of "Saint George in the East, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom". So why did the background routine not pick up that and instead picked up "City of London, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom"? (And let's not go into whether that's even a sensible name in the first place!)
I suspect that it did so because the Event Place (Original) of "St Georges East, London, Middlesex, England" is just that bit too removed from "Saint George in the East, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom". Note the missing "in the", for starters, and the extra "s". (If you feel like a rant here about why people are indexing with place-names that aren't in the standards list, feel free to do so. )
How to fix this one? I think that you need to go to the entry for "Saint George in the East, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom" on https://www.familysearch.org/research...
Then click on "Improve this place" and request a change to the Alternate Name (see drop down list) and ask for "St Georges East" to be made an alternate name of "Saint George in the East"
I have no idea how long it will be before Margaret's index record will be corrected to pick up "Saint George in the East, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom" but it will, eventually, happen. (The automatic background runs are repeated but not very often, to avoid shifting values.)0
Hi Adrian. Sorry about the gap in reply!
I don't think this is the issue. It seems that there is a fundamental misunderstanding amongst the CLDS about the description of "London".
A recap and update.
I spent a very long time in 2020, possibly into 2021, communicating with and trying to explain to FamilySearch staff in Utah and then in London that the "City of London" was a very specific place and was not a synonym for "London" and that they should stop the "volunteer" who was busy rewriting all the "London, Middlesex" census locations to "City of London" as the locations so described had not only not been in the City of London in various historic census years but were not in the City of London in C21st. (In fact were in the locations described on the census citations.)
I realised that my educative attempts to explain the problem were a waste of my time when Utah passed me to a staff member in London who supposedly had many years working in the London FamilySearch centre and was clearly completely ignorant on the location of the City of London and the structure of London. I ran through St Georges in the East 1881, then Stepney and now within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and was corrected to, "but if it says the City of London that's where that is now". I might as well have spoken to that proverbial brick wall.
This is also where the theocracy comes into play. That I might have insight into a problem on their website was not going to be catered for. They are not historians, they are primarily fundamendalists to whom discourse, at any level, is a problem. Look at the website, no obvious access to meaningful feedback.
A friend who I consulted in 2020 who is a demographic historian who advises various organisations said that advice had been given to the Church of Latter Day Saints on the Registration Districts for the successive UK census so it was difficult to understand why they had got themselves into such a pickle as the RD descriptions were clearly what should be used to describe the location of the census household.
I haven't used FS since then but on returning recently I see the situation has got worse as more census years have been captured by this inaccurate redescription. Here we have the example of the Registration District of Camberwell (subdistrict St George) in the 1901 census relocated to the "City of London". "Event Place City of London, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom; Event Place (Original) Camberwell, London, Middlesex, England Sub-District St George Registration District Camberwell
And this extends to the citation, which we are expected to quote as,
"England and Wales Census, 1901," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X988-CQC : 20 May 2019), JosephT Matthews, City of London, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom; from "1901 England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : n.d.); citing St George subdistrict, PRO RG 13, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey.
This is factually inaccurate and is a nonsense. This organisation should not be allowed to have access to UK public records. I am hoping that there is a contract stipulation within the franchise agreement between the National Archives and Find My Past and between FMP and CLDS that goes to this matter of citation accuracy as dealing with representatives of the owners of this website is a waste of time and effort. (The FS deal with FMP is presumably to "capture" a revenue source from FS for FMP.)
To those who don't know London Camberwell is in south London, in the modern borough of the London Borough of Southwark. Prior to 1889 it was in the county of Surrey and not in London. In 1901 Camberwell was in the Metropolitan Borough of Camberwell. The City of London however, is a very specific, and small, area in the centre of London that covers the location of the old Roman and medieval city and is colloquially referred to as the "Square Mile" or "the City". It is the UK financial centre. It is not a London borough but is administered by the extremely wealthy (and politically powerful) City of London Corporation https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/about-us/about-the-city-of-london-corporation/our-role-in-london. (This usefully describes London's strucure.)
It is an absolute absurdity to suppose that the large number of residences described in all these rewritten London census citations could fit into the area of the City of London, even in the C19th (and C20th?) when the City residential population was greater than in the modern era. If staff at CLDS cannot get their head around the chronology of the historic administrative and government structure of London they surely should be able to grapple with the maths?0