I was pleased, in your posting, to see such uncommon good-sense applied to a rather irritating problem. You will note from my note appended below that I was complaining a year before you, and never got a reply from Ancestry that even approached any recognition of the problem.
With your recognition of the problem, perhaps awareness will spread. For your convenience my earlier post is appended below.
Re: Y, Somme, Picardie, France?
FarrisGP Posted: 0 04 Sep 2009 3:19AM
The "Y, Somme, Picardie" anomaly is one that I have repeatedly encountered for more than a year. However, I only found this Board today. Since my discovery I've scoured the 30-some postings and have been impressed by the creative thought contained there.
As for the suppositions offered on the "Y, Somme, Picardie" anomaly I will readily concede that there exists a modicum of just plain sloppy work in not checking on auto fill features, and perhaps more likely, downloading entries without paying much attention to them. In that regard, the "error" will be compounded overtime — hampered only by those amongst us who, like myself, delete the offending entry when we find it in the Place of Death field.
Alarmingly, when returning to individual records upon which I was working I have found the "Y, Somme, Picardie" anomaly in Place of Death field where previously the field was blank. Yes, the anomaly could have been entered by another member. However, I don't recall reading of a single instance where someone intentionally recorded "Y, Somme, Picardie, France" in a Place of Death field.
Why don't we also find a certain number of instances of "Y, Somme, Picardie, France" in Place of Birth fields? After all there must have been some support in this obscure village to service to the deluges of tubercular patients streaming like lemmings, or the legion of fallen soldiers? Both possibilities suggested by well-intentioned members groping for an explanation to this troubling anomaly.
We are finding this inexplicable anomaly across the board. From medieval Britons, to colonial Virginians, rural Kentuckians, and merchants in China! What I've learned on this Board only confirms my conclusions. While I am unable to compile empirical data to support these conclusions we are faced with a seemingly random pattern where "Y, Somme, Picardie, France" is entered only in the Place of Death field, not Place of Birth, or Place of Marriage fields.
There would seem to be only two alternatives which would fit the "Y, Somme, Picardie" anomaly. Either there is a bug in Ancestry's software, or someone has hacked their code and planted the anomaly. What was it that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's greatest character told us? "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."
It is difficult for us to completely eliminate the impossible. That is the responsibility of Ancestry. If someone has hacked-in and planted this anomaly, however irritating, it points to a weakness in system security that could be exploited by a hacker who is less playful and more destructive. In this scenario subscribers data could be compromised, or deleted.
With Ancestry's system security at stake I find their banal and benign responses reported on this Board to be recklessly cavalier. Come on people, subscribers are going to have to wake-up and smell the coffee! We need to write Ancestry and hold them to a higher standard of care and responsiveness. I'm registering my concern tonight.