Things like this are why I wonder about the search algorithms at Ancestry.com that generate search suggestions.
In 1870 and 1880, Irish native Joseph Neill is living in Saint Albans Township in Hancock County, Illinois.
His enumerations are fairly consistent and Ancestry.com has transcribed them faithfully.
- 1870-Joseph Neil, aged 27 (born about 1843), native of Ireland
- 1880-Joseph Neill, aged 37 (born about 1843), native of Ireland.
And yet on Ancestry.com when I pull up the “individual record,” there are no suggested records for either entry. It would seem that given the consistency of these two entries (living in same location, same year of birth, same nativity) that each one would be suggested on the other.
The places of residence are actually entered in differently (based on how they are on the actual census record). In 1880 the location is “Saint Albans” and in 1870 the location is “St. Albans.” But both are correctly located in Hancock County, Illinois. It would seem that the automatic matching process at Ancestry.com should catch these as suggested records for the other.
Joseph is also enumerated in the 1900 US federal census, again in Saint Albans Township. His age is off by ten years, but the other details are the same.
Ancestry.com still doesn’t suggest the 1870 and 1880 enumerations (which would be for a Joseph Neill in the same place, born in the same place, but born about eight years earlier).
It is “automatic” search results like this that make me question how the search algorithm is programmed.
It’s also why I don’t rely on the automatic searches at Ancestry.com.