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Sex Fact Now Missing From Census Records?

Sex Fact Now Missing From Census Records?

Posted: 1 Aug 2013 6:30PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 1 Aug 2013 6:32PM GMT
Until this morning when I merged a Census record, the source citation and associated media was copied to the sex fact. Now it's not. It is still being copied to the name and birth fact along with the new data such as age, race, etc. where available. Have we lost the sex fact when they started including the other data?

Also since this morning in the Search Result Detail Pane I get doubling up of names althought they do not double in the merge.

Re: Sex Fact Now Missing From Census Records?

Posted: 2 Aug 2013 12:19AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 2 Aug 2013 12:20AM GMT
No, the sex fact is still brought over, just the source is dropped.

This is good news as far I'm concerned. That was extraneous info that really wasn't needed. In those few instances where the sex of a child is in question (often because it changed from one census to another), we looked (and look) to other records to firm up their actual sex.

However, if the sex in a record doesn't agree with the sex of what we have in our files - I would think we should be alerted about that.

Re: Sex Fact Now Missing From Census Records?

Posted: 2 Aug 2013 12:55AM GMT
Classification: Query
I'm not sure I'm understanding your point. Why not use a census records as an indication of sex? I know it's not definitive but it's probably more often right than wrong. In the absence of other records what would you put as the sex? For example this morning I found a child named Jessie. If several census records had not indicated she was a female I might have assumed she was a he. Do I just put "?" on an individual until I find a birth certificate, for example? I think it's a loss of important information.

Re: Sex Fact Now Missing From Census Records?

Posted: 2 Aug 2013 3:11AM GMT
Classification: Query
There is nothing wrong with using a source like the census for any fact, if you find something better at a later time that source can be your primary source and the census as the secondary. Notes can be used to say that the source is questionable, such as a quote from Aunt Betsy about the date of a birth for some distant cousin. The citation actually has a place to note the quality of the source for that fact, I use this regularly for interviews and information from questionable books, or 3rd party documents.

Re: Sex Fact Now Missing From Census Records?

Posted: 2 Aug 2013 4:38AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 2 Aug 2013 4:44AM GMT
The reason not to use the census as an indication of sex is to avoid tens of thousands of source entries in your files to document sex for thousands of individuals - when all they are doing is duplicating each other.

When the occasional question comes along because one record in 1850 says Jesse was a boy and Jessie in 1860 was a girl means I just have to wait for more information when they are older to get their sex right. Although, as a general rule, I would think the sex indicated for a person is more reliable when they are older - but there could be lots of exceptions to that. The census taker may have never even seen that child.

So, I will generally show the sex for those folks as unknown until I know it. And then use my Note fact "1850 census showed male, 1860 census showed female." I WOULD give the source of the 1850 and 1860 census for that note fact - NOT the Sex Fact.

Note that FTM can only have one sex for a person, not two, so it really shouldn't be adding sources on top of sources for facts that contradict each other, adding the 1850 and 1860 census source that contradict to each other to the Sex fact, when it can only show one sex. (You can't add a second Sex Fact at the "add facts" button of the Person screen.)

Most of my cases are pre-1900, when birth certificates didn't exist - so I just have to wait to see if I catch them as an adult, and better yet, married, to finalize their sex. Otherwise, it just remains an open question.

Re: Sex Fact Now Missing From Census Records?

Posted: 2 Aug 2013 11:26AM GMT
Classification: Query
I understand the questionable nature of data in any source. My question is why did Ancestry drop the inclusion of the sex fact from the merge and start to include other more questionable data like age?

Re: Sex Fact Now Missing From Census Records?

Posted: 2 Aug 2013 11:55AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 2 Aug 2013 5:08PM GMT
jnye042

I just tested in FTM 2012 and in the AMT online tree, using both the vintage merge/attach and the new/beta.

I confirm that the sex is NOT importing from the census into FTM, but is importing into the online tree in both attach processes.

I tested in that manner to try to determine if the error was caused by the change in merge process in FTM, which has been discussed in this thread: http://boards.ancestry.com/topics.software.famtreemaker/9886...

Snip attached of a small family group, illustrating the issue. William was manually entered in the test tree, as male. I then did a merge of the family from the 1900 census. I manually changed his sister Catherine's sex, after the merge. The remaining children living at the 1900 census show the "?" in the sex column, as imported from the census.

This appears to be a glitch created with the changes to the merge process and should be reported to Tech Support, IMO.

Edit: A 2nd test with the new merge process in an online tree duplicated the failure to import from the sex field.

I have submitted to Support.

I also saw several comments about the same problem on ancestry's Facebook page.
Attachments:

Re: Sex Fact Now Missing From Census Records?

Posted: 2 Aug 2013 5:09PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 2 Aug 2013 5:19PM GMT

I just noticed this behavior this morning. However, it is not consistent. I have seen

1) some records with the sex fact merged, but no source (a behavior that I mentioned before is ok with me). I saw this behavior yesterday and this morning; and

2) some records this morning where the census record and the ancestry transcription both gave the sex and it was not imported / merged into the FTM database.

This second behavior is a real problem and needs to be fixed.
_____________

I have also noticed that in 1880 and later records, where families can be merged, the wife's info doesn't merge; and in some case, there are duplicate birth records for the wife to be merged. Very frustrating.

It also may, or may not be, worth noting that glitches like this often happen starting on a Friday morning - suggesting that ancestry does some kind of weekly update on Thursdays that causes these glitches.

Re: Sex Fact Now Missing From Census Records?

Posted: 2 Aug 2013 5:29PM GMT
Classification: Query
Agreed silverfox; in fact, I made a similar comment about the Thursday night code rollout on another board.

Since there was an outage this morning, I was hoping they were fixing the issue with the non-import of the sex field, but no such luck.

Re: Sex Fact Now Missing From Census Records?

Posted: 2 Aug 2013 5:54PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you, gentlemen. And thank you for reporting the issue, Burgess.
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