Monday, September 2, 2013

Not Everything You Read Is True

     I located my mother's obituary on Ancestry last year, not that I really needed to since I am the one who wrote it, but I was doing a search and it came up.  I was shocked to learn that Mother was "killed in action"!  Of course she wasn't, but there it was on the Ancestry website.  I wrote to them telling them the cause of death was in error, Mother passed away in a nursing home after a long illness.  Did they correct it?  No, they did not.  This is what it still looks like today, a year later:
Name of Deceased: Lois C. Warner
Gender: F (Female)
Age at Death: 84
Death Date: 15 Apr 2011
Cause of Death: killed in action
Obituary Date: 17 Apr 2011
Newspaper Title: MPNnow
Newspaper Location: Rochester, NY, USA
Birth Date: 17 Dec 1926
Birth Place: USA

Parents' Names: Lewis and Grace (Galloway) Lash
Childrens' Names: Ellen and Michael
Siblings' Names: Kenneth and Llewellyn; Marion Smith of Colorado; Robert Lash of Phelps and Leslie Lash of Red Creek, N.Y; Winona

      You will notice the phrase, "User-submitted-comment", under Mother's name.  At least they allowed me to point out for other researchers how ludicrous it was to maintain that an 84 year old woman died in action.  It makes me wonder, how many other records are wrong and never get corrected, even when pointed out?  And this wasn't submitted by an individual, the following citation appears underneath the above entry:
"Source Information: United States Obituary Collection [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006. Original data: See newspaper information provided with each entry."

     Looks pretty official huh?  But incorrect.  By the way, the newspaper title is not MPNow, nor is it published in Rochester, the paper the obit appeared in was The Daily Messenger which is published in Canandaigua, NY.  Pretty sloppy work guys.


  1. Ellie,

    Wow! I don't understand why Ancestry doesn't just correct your mom's obituary.

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thanks very much Jana. I wonder why they don't change it too?

  2. I've seen other things on ancestry, too. Not as close to me as yours but I found a church record with a list of people who lived in Butler County, Pennsylvania. Ancestry said it came from some other county on the other side of Penna. I'm pleased to find the information there but do often wonder about the accuracy of the source. And from now on, I'll wonder about the accuracy of the indexing!

    1. Frustrating isn't it? And unfortunate for researchers who don't realize the data is wrong.

  3. An awful error on many levels: you personally to have that listed for your Mom & for all those using the site and wondering how accurate the findings are.

    1. I was pretty annoyed when I first saw it a year ago, but they aren't going to change it apparently. Just proves the need to verify info found online I guess.