Geography “Lessons” in Ancestry.com’s Yearbook Collection

Ancestry.com announced an update of their yearbook collection. A quick search of the database indicated two things:

  • my high school yearbook is not yet included–good.
  • they do not read this blog–bad.

Ancestry.com is also have geographic issues with this collection.

I wrote a while back that  their yearbook collection has incorrectly placed the yearbook from Bowen High School in the Chicago, Illinois, area as being in Bowen, Hancock County, Illinois. That error is still there.

A quick search indicated two additional geographical errors that perhaps were always there but unnoticed until today. The 1955 Western Illinois State College (now Western Illinois University) Sequel is indicated as being from Peoria, Illinois–it’s actually in Macomb. The 1959 University of Illinois Illio is indicated as being from Chicago. It’s not. It’s in Champaign-Urbana. There is a reference to “Chicago administration” in the table of contents, but images are from the Champaign-Urbana campus. I could not easily tell why the Sequel was shown as being in Macomb.

Lesson: Be careful using narrow geographic searches on the yearbooks.

Advice: When searching these materials be as specific as the state and no more. Seems like Ancestry.com has a little trouble with locations in the yearbook collection.

This is a neat collection of records. Like any database, be aware of it’s limitations when using it.

 

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One thought on “Geography “Lessons” in Ancestry.com’s Yearbook Collection

  1. Ha! ancestry has a lot of problems with locations everywhere in the world! Check. Then check again. Then make sure you are getting returns for the place you are looking for. Add/subtract details and search multiple times on multiple days. I guarantee you will get different results.

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