[APG Public List] Assigned township or locality names

Richard A. Pence richardpence at pipeline.com
Mon Oct 5 12:01:50 MDT 2009

Everyone seems to be losing sight of the essential point here. What you are 
talking about is an INDEX not a literal transcription. If an attempt is made 
to assist you in finding the family you are looking for by adding a township 
when one is not actually listed on the page, so much the better.

Also, didn't I notice somewhere that the indexes now being used by 
Ancestry.com are, at least in some cases, not the ones Ancestry.com had 
prepared overseas, but ones that were created by the LDS church. The church 
indexes often try to add pointers to assist users.

And Michael, while I am never too astonished by what I see some 
"genealogists" do, I would presume that ALL professionals would create their 
citations from the actual images and NEVER rely on what is in the indexes 
they use to find those images.

Richard A. Pence
3211 Adams Ct, Fairfax, VA  22030-1900
Voice 703-591-4243 / Fax 703-352-3560
Pence Family History <www.pipeline.com/~richardpence/>

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael Hait" <michael.hait at hotmail.com>
To: "Rondina Muncy" <rondina.muncy at gmail.com>; <apgpubliclist at apgen.org>
Sent: Monday, October 05, 2009 11:36 AM
Subject: Re: [APG Public List] Assigned township or locality names

In my experience, Ancestry tries to assign township names for all of its 
censuses, even when they may only appear on the first page, or not at all. 
Where they do not have a township name, in the later censuses they will use 
the enumeration district, but in earlier censuses, they may use the election 
district.  They call both simply "District" which leaves much to be desired 
in terms of specificity.

Personally, when citing Ancestry's images, I identify the locality exactly 
as it appears *on that page* and never identify the enumeration district as 
anything but an enumeration district, or an election district as anything 
but an election district.

I have also noticed that lately, Ancestry itself has been providing short 
descriptions for some districts, but they do not cite the sources of these 
descriptions.  This has just started since they instituted the new image 
viewer.  So far, I have only seen it in Baltimore city (which they 
erroneously identify as being part of Baltimore County - big problem if you 
try to look for the city records there - but that is another story 
entirely), but wonder if they have also done this with other urban areas or 
even rural areas.

Michael Hait
Author, The Family History Research Toolkit
Instructor, "African-American Genealogy", GenClass
African-American Genealogy Examiner

From: rondina.muncy at gmail.com
Date: Mon, 5 Oct 2009 10:02:40 -0500
To: apgpubliclist at apgen.org
Subject: Re: [APG Public List] Assigned township or locality names


I believe the description may be an anomaly, however, I'm wondering if the 
practice of assigning township names when none is specified on the return by 
Ancestry is. From reading your article, I suspect it is more common than I 
previously thought. The 1810 census page with the description can be found 

The image shows two pages. The description is on the lower portion (page 
104, lower right corner). I went back to the image on HeritageQuest and ran 
through several images for this county. I noted that they had an image 
mislabeled also. I depend on the image to give me the information I need for 
the location. If I don't find the information I need, I begin the hunt 
backwards and forwards to find the location. If I still have problems I 
access the NARA publication. My surprise may be due to the fact that all my 
census images up until about January 2006 originally came from NARA 
microfilm publications. I was in the habit of looking at the images and 
relying solely on them for my information. I'm behind the curve in noticing 

Rondina P. Muncy
Ancestral Analysis
2960 Trail Lake Drive
Grapevine, Texas 76051
rondina.muncy at gmail.com

On Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 5:38 AM, <hhsh at earthlink.net> wrote:

Rondina --

Is that land description a little-noticed common fact, or a gift of that
enumerator (much like the 1850 US census returns for Edgar County, Illinois,
which give counties of birth)?

Not sure this is on point, but I wrote up a botched township assignment in 
Ancestry.com rendition of the 1865 Illinois state census for Kane County, in
the summer Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly. (Now also at
http://www.midwestroots.net/?page_id=729 thanks to the kind permission of 

> Whilewe are discussing web site images, I would like to bring up something 
> I

> caught this week. Michael John Neill writes a newsletter called *Casefile
> Clues.* This past week he discussed a census record from 1810. 
> Ancestry.com
> clearly labels the record as being from a specific township. If I go over 
> to
> the image on HeritageQuest, no such township is cited. *No Twp Listed* I
> clicked on the browse feature and the enumerator gave a description of the 
> land
> on the first page (which I have never seen before). The land description 
> itself
> did not match with the topography of the area, but this is beside the 
> point.
> What I was concerned about was the assignment of a fictitious *township* 
> name
> based on this description. I'm wondering if anyone else has taken note of 
> such
> cases.
> Rondina________________________
> Rondina P. Muncy
> Ancestral Analysis
> 2960 Trail Lake Drive
> Grapevine, Texas 76051
> 817.481.5902
> rondina.muncy at gmail.com
> www.ancestralanalysis.com

Harold Henderson
Research and Writing from Northwest Indiana
hhsh at earthlink.net
home office 219/324-2620

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