Searching for Popular Students

Ancestry.com recently released an update to their “U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990” database.

There are popular students in high school and Ancestry.com has them in their index of these yearbooks. An unexact search for “popular student” resulted in 252 hits. Of course not all of them were named “popular student.” I’m not certain how many of the students were actually popular. Names included:

  • Miss Ole Student
  • Deb Golden Student
  • Mrs. United Way Student
  • President Bearer Stretcher Student
  • President Body Student
  • etc.

It’s a good time to remember that indexes at Ancestry.com usually get created in one of three ways:

  • volunteers–these are normally indexes that Ancestry.com uses via an agreement from FamilySearch
  • paid indexers–contracted by Ancestry.com
  • OCR technology–the computer scans the text (used for typed records)

The OCR technology often picks up as names phrases that are not names at all (search for Potatoe Head and see what you find).  That’s actually a small research price to pay for indexes that include tens of thousands of pages and certainly beats manual searching.

Knowing how an index is created helps researchers to use those indexes more effectively.

Whether or not it makes them popular is another question.

Share

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Your email address will not be published.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>