A Facebook follower asked for additional clarification about the entry for the Smith-Kile family’s 1870 census entry that was discussed in “What Did Ancestry.com Add and Automate to this 1870 Census Entry?” and wondered if somewhere on the census page there was a notation that Ancestry.com used to “break” the census entry apart.
The entire census page is below. There is no notation that there is more than one family in the household.
It’s not up to the transcriber to interpret family structure from a census entry that does not specify relationships (this is a pre-1880 census after all). The transcriber’s prime directive is to render the information faithfully. Period. Full stop. It is the researcher’s job to interpret and analyze the information–preferably combined with other information obtained from other sources.
Ancestry.com has enough to to with transcribing things correctly, making certain their website is operational, and fixing Rootsweb. Just help me find the actual records that are on the site and I can go from there.
Actually in this case the two women in the household are sisters, the head of the household is the husband of the oldest one, and all the children are his.
But that’s another blog post.
And a conclusion that certainly is not supported solely by this one census enumeration.