28 October 2013

A Young Crabbe

Comments after the jump.

 Blanche M Crabbe Young
 B: 29 Jul 1893 in Georgia, USA
 D: 20 Sep 1971 in Montgomery, Alabama, USA

 Alexander Jonathan "AJ" Burgess Sr (1867-1944)
 Married 19 May 1910 in Oglethorpe, Georgia
 ✿ Mabel Burgess Varner (1910-1986)
 ✿ Fred Waddell Burgess (1912-1998)
 ✿ Henry Edward Burgess (1915-1999)
 ✿ Alexander John Burgess Jr (1918-1954)

 William Samuel Eldred (1883-1956)

 Charles D "Charlie" Young (1887-1961)
 ✿ Ruby Lenora Young (1912-1983)
 ✿ Julia May Young (1925- )
 ✿ Frances Marlene Young (1934-1992)

 Harold William Young (1898-1976)
 ✿ 5 private
 ✿ Ruby Lenora Young (1912-1983)

 Harold C. Crabb (1912-1975)

 CHILDREN with Unknown Spouse
 ✿ 8 private
 ✿ Mollie Young (1875- )
 ✿ Glady Margaret Crabbe (1892-1973)
 ✿ William Walter Crabbe (1900- )
 ✿ Pearl Mae Young (1902-1989)
 ✿ Cleo Young (1906- )
 ✿ Vernon R Young (1907-1994)
 ✿ Harold Clifford Gossman (1907-1953)
 ✿ Ira Belle Summer Young (1927-2007)
 ✿ Charles George Ellis YOUNG (1935-1987)

25 October 2013

Photo Friday: The Coven

Title: A little bear on a broom
Uploaded to: Mary Lovett
Born 1 Jan 1651 in Massachusetts
Died 3 Mar 1732 in Connecticut
Attached to: 2 other trees

A Creddy Bears Halloween Image

Title: Cute Halloween witch with bats
Uploaded to: Johanna Tyler
Born 1681 in Massachusetts
Died 1728 in Connecticut
Attached to: 1 other tree

 Halloween wallpaper available from various sources

Title: cute little witch
Uploaded to: Martha Tyler
Born 1676 in Massachusetts
Died 1734 in Connecticut

Witch in the anime style

Thanks to Kristin for helping me with this post!
If you have a photo to suggest please send a link to buwtree(at)gmail(dot)com.

PREVIOUS POST: All Betts Are Off
NEXT POST: A Young Crabbe

21 October 2013

All Betts Are Off

Comments after the jump.

 Nicholas Camp
 B: 10 Jan 1606 in Nazing, Essex, England
 D: 1654 in Milford, New Haven, Connecticut, United States

 Sarah Elliott (1598-1645) m. 1621 in Essex, England
 ✿ John Betts (1601-1638)
 ✿ Mary Marie Betts (1610-1638)
 ✿ Robert Betts (1612- )
 ✿ Mary Camp (Mar 1622-1651) Born in Nazeing, Essex, England
 ✿ Edward Camp (1622-1659) Born in Hertfordshire, England
 ✿ Nicholas Camp (7 Apr 1627-1706)
 ✿ Sarah Camp (5 Aug 1627-1676)
 ✿ Deacon Samuel Camp (2 Sep 1645-1736)
 ✿ John Camp (2 Sep 1645-1710)
 ✿ William Camp (1660-1713)

 Edith Eady Tilley (1603-1652) m. 1646 in Milford, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
 ✿ Abigail Camp (1647- )

 Katherine Thompson (1623-1652) m. 1652 in New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States

18 October 2013

New DNA Results

AncestryDNA released their updated ethnicity results yesterday!
Of course the DNA portion of Ancestry.com promptly crashed.
I know, you're shocked.
Here is the new list of the possible results:
Africa North
Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers
Africa Southeastern Bantu
Ivory Coast/Ghana

Native American

Asia Central
Asia East
Asia South

Europe East
Europe West
European Jewish
Finnish/Northern Russia
Great Britain
Iberian Peninsula

Pacific Islander

West Asia
Near East
I was able to get the results for all five of my tests open in separate windows in one of the short functional periods. After making all these screen caps I was going to see how this change was shown in matches and explore some of the other changes. Unfortunately the AncestryDNA site was no longer available so for today I just have images of the results to compare.
After the jump the images are side by side so you don't have to scroll up and down to see what changed for each person.
Here are the original results for (top) Dad, Mom, Mom's Aunt, (bottom) me and Baby Brother.

Here are the new results without "trace regions":

New results with "trace regions" (Dad, Mom, Mom's Aunt, Me, Brother):

After the jump: Side by side comparison

14 October 2013

Top Ten

Celebrating 200 posts!
Well this is actually #202. I'm a little late :-P
Thanks to all of you for reading my blog!
Here are the most popular posts from the first 200.

10. A Must Read Book for 'Newbies'

9. Social Disgrace: Photo Edition

8. Another WDYTYA? Rant

7. Social Disgrace

6. AncestryDNA Site Tools

5. Fixing What's Not Broken

4. You might be a clickophile

3. Free Gen Websites

2. My DNA Results

1. Apologies Only Go So Far

Here are a few of my favorites that didn't make the top ten:

You Did WHAT?!!? and The Sequel

The Time Travelers

Multiple Birth World Record 

If you have a favorite please share it with your gen friends and groups.
On to the next 100 :-)

PREVIOUS POST: Scottish Lass
NEXT POST: New DNA Results

11 October 2013

Scottish Lass

As always I'll just ask, why?

Title: _____
Uploaded: 6 times
1. Gillebride MacGille Argyll MacGille (1080-1164)
2. Somerled Northern Isles MacGillebride (1114-1164)
3. Donald I Maldwin Earrl Lennox Ragnaldsson (1196-1250)
4. Lord Donald Grammac Macdonald (1359-1449)
5. Andrew Alexander (1460-1526)
6. Samuel Alexander (1787-1861)
Attached to: 5 other trees

If you have a photo to suggest please send a link to buwtree(at)gmail(dot)com.

PREVIOUS POST: Apologies Only Go So Far II
NEXT POST: Coming Monday

09 October 2013

Apologies Only Go So Far II

Scott Sorenson, Ancestry.com's Chief Technology Officer, has written another blog post. It was posted late Monday afternoon just as a new wave of complaints were posted to the Ancestry.com Facebook page. Oh the irony!
The one thing that stood out for me in Scott's most recent post was, "...we can’t shut the site down while we make these fundamental changes." You can't or you won't? What is wrong with sending an email to all members a month before saying, "Starting on X date our website will be down for X number of days/weeks while we do some necessary upgrades to our system. Subscribers will have their accounts extended by the same number of days/weeks."? ALE subscribers could be sent placards to display to inform their users. The marketing modal for the month prior to the shutdown could tell users of the plan. Or maybe Ancestry just prefers to inconvenience us for months while taking our money and doesn't care if we get fed up and cancel. Of course I could be the only one that would prefer a temporary shutdown. What do you think? Please take the poll that is on the right side of the page.
UPDATE: The poll is now closed. 87% of respondents preferred a complete shutdown, with prior notice, over the constant slowdowns and outages with no warning.
The comments for Scott's blog post are an interesting read too. My favorite is from Karen. [Full disclosure: Karen is a friend of mine but we did not discuss the post before she commented on it.]
It's hard to feel sorry for the issues facing Ancestry.com as most of them are self-inflicted and ultimately lay on the shoulders of the man who has remained remarkably quiet in recent months. That man is -Tim Sullivan-CEO.
-out of date/unstable infrastructure
-marketing beyond infrastructure capabilities
-advertising that misleads the customer as to ease of use of product or over exaggerates results (DNA)
-poor training of customer service personnel
-poor utilization of customer contact channels
-release of products before major bugs worked out (FTM 2014)
-failure to provide 24 hour customer service for a world wide 24 hour business
-spelling, grammar, syntax, and flat out factual errors on company website, blogs, Facebook pages, support pages, advertising e-mails
-failure to provide timely, open and honest communication with subscriber base
There are issues across technology, marketing, product and customer service. The one person in common for all those departments is Tim Sullivan. Despite that he chooses to publicly let department heads and front line customer service personnel take the heat from the upset customers.

We are told he is hearing us but why won’t he speak to us? Why is Tim Sullivan refusing to address the issues plaguing his company with the subscriber base that provides 100% of his company’s revenues?
 After the jump: What YOU can do

07 October 2013

Apologies Only Go So Far

From poor spelling to a complete system-wide crash, Ancestry.com seems to be failing on many fronts.

Basic proofreading skills seem to be lacking in just about every department. Here is a "pricess" example from their corporate mission statement.

It was corrected only after it was joked about by fans on the company's Facebook page.
There seems to be some discrepancy about the hours that help is available by phone. This is from a recent email (25 Sep 2013) about getting started on your family history with Ancestry.

This is from the "contact us" link in the help section of the website.

I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt on the difference in phone numbers and assume the number in the email bypasses the options menu and goes directly to subscriptions. But why the difference in times?
If there are site issues between 11 p.m. and 9 a.m. ET then you are definitely out of luck. In this day and age how does a website that is accessible 24/7 (theoretically, though that hasn't been the case lately) not have 24/7 customer service? If you don't want to call for customer service be prepared to wait, possibly days, for a response. This customer posted this to Ancestry's Facebook page on a Friday.

I decided to see what kind of response I'd get from the different addresses, support@ancestry.com and socialsupport@ancestry.com. A few weeks ago I reported a help page that had erroneous, outdated information and copied the email to both addresses. I received a reply from the social address within 24 hours simply saying they passed the information on. The day after that the help page had been deleted. Four days after the initial email I finally received a reply from support@ancestry.com asking me to explain the problem because the link I sent them wasn't working. [heavy sigh] I told them it had already been taken care of. I still do not know what the difference is between those addresses except that one will respond in half the time.
Are there other web-based companies who do not have a live chat option for customer service or is Ancestry the last dinosaur? Here is an example of excellent customer service from a web-based company with live chat.

This customer was so pleased she posted the screen cap on Facebook to share with her friends. My friends and I share Ancestry customer service experiences but for completely different reasons.
James' initial question asked when we could expect photo tagging to return. It disappeared when global commenting on photos changed.

The admin probably decided she didn't want to be fired and edited her comment.

She also posted some revealing comments.

Thanks to Kristin for getting that screen cap of the edited comment. Seconds after I posted this comment:
Let's see...
Customer service and social media reps don't consider learning about the website to be part of their job.
Hiding threads is not just censoring fans but is used to CYA. (This thread is now hidden.)
Admins don't know that everyone can see their previous (rude) remarks just by clicking the word "edited" under their comment.
They also don't realize that screen caps can be sent to bosses. And I don't mean KW.
...the entire thread, and NF, disappeared.

After the jump:  The Crash

04 October 2013

Royal Obsession II

The admins on the FamilySearch Facebook page are most likely volunteers. Unfortunately one of them has a royal fixation. If you go to the original threads you'll see that these posts brought out the clickophiles.

The original post the September 27th is here with the caption,
"Admit it… you're actually from a royal bloodline. 
Which royal family have you found in your ancestry?"

The original post from September 25th is here with the caption,
"Do you have a #familycrest? Share it with us!"

It is incredibly disappointing that FamilySearch, a genealogical icon, is perpetuating myths rather than educating its users.

PREVIOUS POST: Bizarro Genealogy World
NEXT POST: Apologies Only Go So Far
RELATED POST: Royal Obsession, Downward Spiral

02 October 2013

Bizarro Genealogy World

One thing that really sets me off is getting facts wrong. You can ask any of my friends. If anything they post on Facebook is urban legend or just a flat out lie I'm there with the link to the Snopes.com article.
Sadly last Monday's episode of Genealogy Roadshow (PBS) continued the spread of a common genealogical myth. You can view the episode here. The following starts at about the 32:30 mark.
D. Joshua Taylor, Roadshow genealogist, speaking:
This is something, as a genealogist, we get asked all the time. People say, "My name was changed at Ellis Island." That's partially true. It wasn't necessarily a case of you saying, "My name is Abraham Blechmann" [pronouncing it as Bleekman] and we say, "Okay your new name is John Smith." Didn't exactly happen like that. When you arrived you were basically taken to a room and they asked you what your name was. The person sitting behind the table might not speak German. Might not speak Russian, or Italian or whichever country they are dealing with. They are literally processing thousands of immigrants. They would spell the name how they heard it. So in this case we don't know how Abraham pronounced his name. What we know is that the person who wrote down the name spelled it b-l-e-c-h-m-a-n-n.
If you aren't familiar with this particular myth here is an explanation from Megan Smolenyak's book Who Do You Think You Are? The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History.
Our name was changed at Ellis Island. No, it wasn't. Your ancestor changed it after the fact, probably Americanizing it by lopping off a couple of syllables (Villapiano becomes Villa), translating (Weiss becomes White), dropping accents or "extra" letters (Smolenyak used to begin with Szm), picking an Anglo-sounding version (Lewinsky becomes Lewis), and so forth. Ellis Island was staffed with people who spoke dozens of languages and were mostly checking names against lists generated at the port of departure. In spite of what you might have seen in The Godfather, they didn't substitute village names for surnames or arbitrarily assign "more American" names to immigrants.
Is it possible someone changed their name before getting on the boat? Yes, but whatever name they gave for the ship's manifest before it set sail was the name they had when they left Ellis Island. 
To Mr. Taylor's credit he published a correction on his blog on Tuesday. Unfortunately the average viewer isn't going to ask, "Is that really true?" They saw it on television, on PBS even, so it must be true and so the myth will live on. A great opportunity to dispel the myth and it's gone.
This episode had another genealogical Bizarro World moment. Not only did Ellis Island intake agents just write down what they heard but census enumerators were completely accurate. Josh Taylor again:
It isn't until the 1910 census he delivers his name as Blackman. [Census image is shown on the screen.]
Really? So that's it? The census shows "Blackman" so their name is Blackman? Census takers rarely asked for the spelling of someone's name. They really did just write down what they heard. My ancestors are on two censuses as Galespy and Gilaspie. That doesn't make either of those the definitive spelling of my surname.
On Monday I'm hoping to just sit back and enjoy the show. We'll see.

PREVIOUS POST: For Fouques Sake
NEXT POST: Royal Obsession II
Your Ancestor's Immigration Experience and the Ellis Island Myth from the Genealogy Insider Blog
Why Your Family Name Was Not Changed at Ellis Island (and one that was) from the New York Public Library Blog