How do I fix indexing or transcription errors in historical records?

You can edit incorrectly indexed names, dates, and places on some record collections.

For name corrections, after you make the correction, both the incorrect name and the corrected name appear in future search results. This feature is not meant for adding name variations, nicknames, or aliases, which can be entered in the Other Information section of an ancestor's person page. 
                 
In certain cases, editable fields will vary depending on the location and language of the user, and any restrictions associated with the collection. Only the corrected date or place appear in future search results. 

When submitting corrections, please follow these guidelines:

  • Enter the information as written on the image.
    • If the image contains a misspelling, enter the misspelling as it was written.
    • If the image contains initials, enter the initials.
  • If information on the image is wrong, you can add another correction to provide the correct information.

Steps (website)

  1. Find the incorrectly indexed record. 
  2. Display the indexed content (not the image).
  3. Click Edit or View/Edit to the right of the incorrect name, date, or place. If you do not see Edit or View/Edit, the information is not available for editing.  
  4. If a correction history shows, review it, and click New Edit.
  5. Make your correction:
    • In the corresponding fields, enter the data as it shows on the image. 
      • Note: Enter another correction only if the handwriting or image quality makes it hard to accurately read the original record. 
    • Select a reason for making the change.
    • (Optional) Enter a note to explain your change.
  6. On the image, click and drag to create a box over the location where the changed infomation appears. This box helps make it clear which portion of the document you corrected.
  7. Click Save.

Tip: To edit or delete a correction that you made, click (the Edit icon).

Steps (mobile app)

The Family Tree mobile app currently does not allow you to correct indexing transcription errors.

Steps (Family Tree Lite)

Family Tree Lite currently does not allow you to correct indexing transcription errors.

Results

The correction shows on the details page right away. In most cases, corrections are searchable within a few minutes, though the process can take longer depending on the load our system is currently experiencing.

If the record was used previously to add a person to Family Tree, check the name in Family Tree, and make corrections as needed.

After you make the correction, you can also attach the document to the record of your ancestor in Family Tree. It might also be helpful to keep a personal list of indexing errors you are not yet able to correct so that you can correct them when more correction options become available. Thank you for your patience as we work to resolve this challenge.

Related articles

How do I edit or delete a correction that I made to an indexed historical record?
How do I attach a historical record to a person in Family Tree?
Why can't I fix indexing or transcription errors?
Can I correct indexing errors that affect all or most of a collection?
How do I add nicknames to Family Tree?

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