Clashing over Clasha Rampley

Transcriptions like this make me wonder about (We’ve discussed this before in “How does See?“)

I’ve seen the last name of Rampley written quite a few ways. I don’t ever remember it looking like does in this 1810 census from Connecticut. If I had to throw out a quick guess, I would say that the last name was Humphry or something close to that.

“Transcriptions” like this lead me to wonder if the transcribers working on these indexes enter in a few letters they can read and “the system” suggests matches from sort of drop-down menu from which the transcriber chooses. I don’t know this for certain, but I’m trying to think of how someone would see this as Rampley. It’s not the most common last name in the world. This transcription just gets me to wondering exactly how the transcriptions are performed.

Usually when one “guesses” at a name, the guess is a name that’s a little more common or a name with which they are familiar. Rampley certainly doesn’t meet the common threshold and I can’t say whether the transcriber was familiar with it or not.

Of course, this does not explain how they arrived at the first name of Clasha. It looks like Elisha to me. The name right above it is in the index at as Clasha Palmer. If anything at least the transcriber was consistent.

I’ve never gotten an answer from on my musings about how the transcriptions at  are done. I’m not holding my breath this time either.

screen shot from of page 582 (handwritten, right hand side), 1810 US Federal Census, Windham, Windham, Connecticut–taken 28 August 2018.


4 thoughts on “Clashing over Clasha Rampley

  1. It’s easier to get it right if you know the person’s name. Otherwise, it’s just a wild guess. I’ve been able to read unreadable names of relatives whose names I already knew, when the transcriber was miles away from the real name

  2. Arleigh Neunzert says:

    After indexing a few records myself, I have concluded that I would never incorporate any information from an index without taking a look at the original record. It is just too easy to make errors.

  3. Transcriptionists are usually volunteers. Unless the handwriting is impeccable, it is difficult at best.
    Ancestry allows one to make corrections.

    • Ancestry’s transcribers are not volunteers. Ancestry databases that originate from FamilySearch are created by those volunteers. Databases that originate with Ancestry are transcribed by their employees and/or contract workers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.