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Archiver > GENIRE > 2003-03 > 1046606337

From: Don Moody <>
Subject: Re: Genealogy - what and where is it?
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2003 11:58:57 +0000
References: <005401c2df88$fc53eca0$d4a1a5c2@computer><> <b3qdvm$rgr$><><b3s6hk$2at$>

In message <b3s6hk$2at$>, Dennis Ahern
<> writes
>In the case of the death notices, the indexing is comprehensive in that
>every death, including ones mentioned in news stories as opposed to
>obituaries, are indexed using the standard formatting of the Obituary
>Daily Times website. The newspaper abstracts are a separate project. The
>items that get transcribed are ones that I think are interesting, or have
>a fair number of names associated with specific locations, such as
>subscribers to a fund from a single parish. The birth, death and marriage
>excerpts, where they are transcribed, represent the full text of that
>heading for that day's paper. I sometimes choose those where someone has
>died in another country, such as Australia, or North America, but it gives
>their place of origin in Ireland, because that is often the toughest thing
>to determine in Irish genealogy. A complete, full-text transcription of
>all BDM notices in even a single newspaper like the Cork Examiner, is far
>beyond the capabilities of a single volunteer, or even a small group of

I'm not disagreeing with your right to choose to extract whatever you
choose. But you imply several times in the above paragraph that a search
on your extracts which does NOT give a 'hit' does NOT prove that a
person or event was unnoticed. It could have been unnoticed. Or it could
have been excluded by your idiosyncratic choice even though it was
noticed. 'Noticed' meaning recorded in any way by the paper you are

Your extracts ought to carry two warnings about 'non-hits'. First that
there were individuals who were not noticed (probably the large majority
of the population at any one time) because they did nothing noticeable
or were not incidentally caught up in an event which was noticeable.
Second that there were individuals who were noticed at the time but who
you did not find interesting enough by your personal criteria to include
in the extract.

Then anybody who searches the extracts knows that a 'hit' means
something, and should be grateful for you making a searchable extract.
And also knows that a 'non-hit' means nothing. The person sought in a
place at a time may indeed have been there. Unnoticed and/or
unextracted. The searcher would then know not to give up but - if they
thought the effort worth it - to look at other sources, probably in
their original unextracted form.

Dr D P Moody, Ashwood, Exeter Cross, Liverton, Newton Abbot, Devon,
England TQ12 6EY
Tel: +44(0) 1626 821725 Fax: +44(0) 1626 824912

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