Why don't Find A Grave records always appear in Research Help?
Here's a system/technical question. Much of the time, when I add a new record in FamilySearch, or when I add the birth and death dates, the Find A Grave record INSTANTLY pops up in Research Help, allowing me to link it. But many times, the Find A Grave record never pops up, even though the name, date of birth and date of death exactly match a Find A Grave record, and I have to enter it as a source manually. It happens with both men and women (although I understand the matching is more difficult for women because of their married name vs. their maiden name). Here's the latest example I have encountered today. (I have dozens more.) Charles E. Thompson KJPX-XJ1, born 2 May 1873, died 22 May 1954 in Plumville, Indiana, Pennsylvania. There is a Find A Grave record for him, (Charles E. Thompson, b. 1873, d. 1954, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/42807886/charles-e.-thompson, buried in Plumville, Indiana, Pennsylvania), but FamilySearch didn't find it. Why not? It couldn't match any more exactly. I have more examples, if you need them. Thanks.
As you probably know, Find a Grave is a "an index courtesy of Find A Grave, an expansive family history database of records and images from the world's cemeteries. The index covers the years 1500-2018. This collection is being published as information becomes available from Find A Grave." Find a Grave is owned by Ancestry, What is posted in FamilySearch record hints depends on the information that Find a Grave shares with FamilySearch. They apparently send updates to FamilySearch every few months. Hopefully you will be able to find more research hints in the future when more data is available.0
Thank you, Craig. I was not aware that Find A Grave only transmits a subset of their database to FamilySearch. This record is in their database, as I was easily able to find it on their website. Is there a reason why they would only give FS some but not all of their records?0
Here is another example. William Alexander Hamilton KC4J-WFB. There is a record on the Find A Grave website where the name, date of birth, and date of death match FS exactly. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/72246111/william-alexander-hamilton However, FamilySearch could not find it. This is very frustrating to me. According to Find A Grave, this record was added to their database on 30 June 2011, over 10 years ago, so it's not a timing issue. Is this another case where Find A Grave did not send this record to FamilySearch? Why do they send some but not all records to FS? (I thought FS had a direct link to read the Find A Grave DB, but Craig says that Find A Grave sends FS a file periodically.)0
I think the data structure on Find a Grave has changed occasionally, and some of the variants did not transfer well. I say this based on the fact that a few years ago, my grandparents came up in FS's Find a Grave index without their given names. (They're correct now.) Perhaps your William's memorial is old enough that while things look correct on Find a Grave, they're nevertheless not in the right data fields for the FS index to find them?
(I'm reminded of another relative who was difficult to match up with his grave record: the stone [in western Pennsylvania] is in Hungarian, and whoever made the memorial didn't know about Hungarian names being backwards, so the surname was entered as the given name.)0
the above discussion implies that Findagrave is only sending new records to FS - and that somewhere in the past - there was a gap in what was transferred.
BUT wouldn't FINDAGRAVE be sending their ENTIRE database records - on any periodic transfer?
(this, so that any updates/corrections to existing Findagrave records would then be reflected correctly in FS. and any items removed from Findagrave would also be removed in FS)
Im going to try and remember any Findagrave records I may have updated in recent months - and see what shows in FS
also note that the Findagrave collection (inside FS ) shows the following stats:
205,405,464 records last updated June 11 20210
It would be interesting to see a Findagrave entry - that FS indeed did know about - as far as its index - but nonetheless - for whatever reason - didnt end up as a record hint on the corresponding entry and why.0
Thank you, Julia and Dennis. I think this is a question for the FS programmers. Do these questions get to them? (There used to be a technical support team, but I think the link to them was taken down and replaced with the Community link.) They need to check 1) if these two records are on the latest Find A Grave file. If not, why not? And 2) if these records ARE on the file, why didn't FS find them? Is there a data mapping issue, or a defect in the query?
getting info from a real programmer at FS - is like finding the Holy Grail (sometimes at least).0
This record shows that Charles E Thompson is part of the Findagrave Load to FS
so in this specific case - its just a matter of the hint not showing up.
also note Findagrave does not have an exact birth and death - a factor which surely could effect matching/hints.0
also be aware that you can restrict your FS search - to just the Findagrave Index (within FS)0
Thank you, Dennis, for giving me the FS link to the Find A Grave Index. I didn't know about that. I see it also allows me to attach the Find A Grave record instead of manually entering it.
I looked up Charles E. Thompson on the Find A Grave file on FS, and there is one and only one record for Charles E. Thompson b. 1873 d. 1954. So the question is now, why didn't FS find it and put it in Research Help?
I also looked up William Alexander Hamilton on the Find A Grave file on FS, and there is only one record for William Alexander Hamilton d. 1930 on the file, but no birth date, and he was buried in Australia, so that's not him. I did find the Find A Grave record under Alex Hamilton. It displays on the Find A Grave website as William Alexander “Alex” Hamilton, which might explain why FS couldn't find it. But the weblink is https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/72246111/william-alexander-hamilton so I don't understand why Find A Grave mapped the record as Alex Hamilton.
Now that I know about the FS Find A Grave Index, I will research more instances as they come up and see if I can identify the defect. Thanks.0
you can locate any INDEX by using this page:0
Here's another example. Elizabeth “Libby” Hamilton GMLX-B5V, maiden name Zeller, b. 9 February 1913, d. 29 December 1992, buried in Park View Cemetery, Manteca, San Joaquin, California, United States. Here is the Find A Grave record on the FS file:
Name Elizabeth Zeller
Death or Burial Place Manteca, San Joaquin, California, United States of America
Cemetery Park View Cemetery
Death Date 29 Dec 1992
Birth Date 09 Feb 1913
Could it be any more of an exact match? Yet FS didn't find it. Looks like a problem with the FS matching logic.0
one would tend to think that should indeed result in a match
but you and I don't know the exact complex set of criteria that generate the hint
note that Findagrave entry was just created in Feb 2021 - but it has been loaded to FS as you point out - I dont know how, and how often the hints are generated - or if they are generated "on the fly".0
Thanks, Dennis. My experience has been that if FS finds a match, it immediately loads it to Research Help. It appears to be real time, not a batch process. Maybe I will get lucky, and a FS programmer will tell us what the matching logic is, and why it's not working as I expect (like when there is an exact match).0
I just did some testing and created a new record (G87C-1KV)
it now shows a Findagrave match - - so yes - it would seem evident it is a real time match.0
Here's another example. James Alexander Work K87T-R3P b. 4 June 1862 d. 26 June 1934 , buried 1934 in North Platte Cemetery, North Platte, Lincoln, Nebraska, United States. Here is the Find A Grave record on the FS file:
Name James A. Work
Death or Burial Date 1934
Death or Burial Place North Platte, Lincoln, Nebraska, United States of America
Death or Burial Place (Original) North Platte, Lincoln, Nebraska, United States of America
Cemetery North Platte Cemetery
Death Date 26 Jun 1934
Birth Date 04 Jun 1862
Photograph Included Y
Note Contains Biography
As you can see, it's an exact match, except for a middle initial instead of the full middle name. Yet FS didn't find it. Why? Looks like a problem with the FS matching logic.0