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Indexes and Data Extraction
Posted by: Tim Gruber (ID *****3460) Date: May 10, 2013 at 00:46:25
  of 4315

If you have ever been frustrated using a search engine trying to find a particular person such as on Ancestry.com this may help to explain why you could not find them.

When the indexing is done it is sometimes done in some rather peculiar ways. Here is an example from a ships passenger list of what I mean:

John Schmidt
Maria
Henry
Anna Maria
John
John Peter
William
George

Rather than the indexer seeing this as one family with the surname Schmidt they indexed it this way:

John Schmidt
Maria Schmidt
Henry Schmidt
Anna Maria
John Maria
John Peter
William Peter
George Peter

No, I'm not kidding. Rather than see Maria or Peter as a middle name they took it as the person's surname and assumed it was also the surname of the persons listed below. So far I have literally found hundreds indexed like this.

Many are easy to find as they will often be listed with the surname like Maria, Peter, etc. I have found a ton listed with the first name of Maria with a surname also of Maria.


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