“Disappearing” Projects

Due to the backlog of arbitration and review image sets, and the amount of time these projects have been available we have decided to move 3 projects ahead to the processing stage without completing the review process.  What does this mean?  The review or arbitration image sets will disappear from the queue and the records that have been keyed will be accepted and move forward as if they had been reviewed.

As we work on transitioning the following projects you will see them disappear from the Available list and appear in the In Processing list.

We appreciate the efforts of all of the contributors who have worked on these projects – Thank you!!



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Reader Comments

What will happen with outstanding review sets?

Is it too late to submit them? Will the review still replace the keying, or will the keying still stand?

What a shame regarding the African American Newspapers project as at least 6 enthusiastic reviewers that I’m aware of had just started doing this project in the last week or so.

Please don’t pull projects without at least giving us a chance.
That is really an obnoxious thing to do.Particularly with the African American Newspapers.You could have put up a request for all reviewers who could to focus on that project until it was turned in.
We could have gotten it done.
What you’ve gained in time,you’ve lost in good will.
My enthusiasm for the WAP is pretty well drained right now.

I have been one of few the people starting to review the African American Newspapers. Are you aware of just how much keying of names is missing in these newspapers? A really bad move to not even review these.

We went from arbitrating all images sets to reviewing some arbitrating some. Arbitration is and always will be a much better way of getting all records listed and keyed. Have found in review that you are just basically a second keyer.

We worked for 30 months on the New South Wales Police Gazettes, and the end result will be a great product to view and find people. Lots of hard work and effort.

I personally feel that the African American Newspapers deserve the same effort and to have great search engine, that is in keeping with Ancestry’s profile, not a half hearted effort just to get it on the net.

WAP are losing the plot, looking at numbers instead of quality. I find quality (mostly) on Ancestry, that is what I pay for, we can get junk on other sites.

Come on WAP, look at the quality of just what you are letting loose on Ancestry first, do not just look at numbers, please.

I have been volunteering here since 2008 and have been gone for quite a while and just recently came back a few weeks ago. When I left I had been working on the Italian records and when I came back was surprised that so many were still here to be keyed (Pavia) as well as reviewed/arbitrated (Pavia and Varese). So I jumped right back in and started reviewing/arbitrating the Varese, Lombardia, Italia: Registri di Matrimonio, and Varese, Lombardia, Italia: Registri di Morte records. On June 13th there were 1290 and 1264 more of each to review/arbitrate when I finished for the day. To my surprise when I came back on Friday the 15th they were gone. I knew there was no way they had been finished and wrote to support on Saturday asking about them. (I still have not gotten a reply.) Well now I know.

It is too bad that this has happened because there was quite a few errors in these. I believe that by adding these records as if they were reviewed is a really bad move. It has become quantity over quality and is just adding to more of the misinformation out on the web.

I have to agree with Gail. Ancestry should not be putting out anything that is just a half hearted effort just to get it out there.

Dear Ancestry – please don’t add records wothout them being thoroughly checked. When I go onto your website, I have felt that the records were as accurate as possible. But now it feels that I won’t be able to trust it – and it may well be misleading and send people into false family histories. As a keyer, I check and check my keying again and again because I believe in accuracy. I am so dissapointed at your decision. What’s the point of searching records if you can’t trust them? Even worse is when the general public are unaware of the inaccuracies. It’s a betrayal of trust.
As the previous commentator said – why not send out an emergency message asking for people to focus on certain records?

That is just sad. How are we supposed to trust Ancestry content now?

I have to agree with everyone. I haven’t worked on this project because I was arbitrating a project that was 97% complete. If I’d known you were under a time crunch, I’d have happily changed what I was doing. It’s going to be hard to have faith in projects that haven’t been double checked.

When I first started keying a few months ago, I was appalled to see a contest being run to see who could key the most records by a certain date…no mention of accuracy.

Based on the number of transcription errors I’ve found while researching my own ancestors, I think a review of all keyed entries is essential.

It’s such a gift to be able to preserve our history in this way. We need to get it right!

This decision is a total disregard for history!I agree with everyone’s comments and suggestions.

I think the credibility of your records will be questionable and the high stand we all expect from this site will be compromised.

Why? Dowe not haveenough contributors? Is there a timeline that the projects MUST be done?

We need to review the projects. It would be a shame to push WAP projects aside after so much by those of us who care about the projects. Be a shame to dash the enthusiasm!

This is a shame and will reflect really badly on WAP and all contributors if the published projects are not of a good standard. Shame too, with regard Gail’s comment, for all the records that may now never be found by family researchers.

Could a challenge not have been started or publicity used to increase the number of reviewers on the African American Newspaper project?

I wonder if this action might not even indicate a beginning of the end? I do hope not.

I can only agree with the comments here – had I known that Ancestry wanted African American newspapers done by a certain date, would happily have focussed on them.
Allowing projects to go through unchecked makes a mockery of all our hard (volunteer) work, and makes Ancestry records untrustworthy. It will do nothing for WAP’s credibilty, yet again.

I too am one of the people who just recently began reviewing the African American Newspapers. I agree with what the others here have said. It would be a shame to release them in their current incomplete state. There were alot of names missed by some of the keyers.

First the 1940 census being outsourced to China, now this!

Anna, is there any way to prioritize projects? We would rally to those projects if we only knew. Please let us have that option.

We keyers/reviewers feel a responsibility to do our best, and we really get attached to one or more projects. We feel much satisfaction when a project is completed and goes on to the processing step. However, if a project is yanked without warning we feel defeated in a way.

By the way, I don’t understand what the “Feature Projects” mean. It would make sense if that became a “Priority Projects” category. I know we would all come forth and key/review those first. You’d be surprised by our response!

Now there are so many projects to key/review, I find myself flittering around not knowing which are more critical to key/review first.

Please consider what I’ve said. We’d much rather key/review than have it go to process or have a machine finish our work. I think we are better than machines! Just let us know! We’d love to help key/review the projects which need help if we only knew!

Thanks for listening!


Type your comment here.
I have offered my services as an arbitrator/reviewer on other projects and no one ever accepted my offer. If you need more people working on this, please, just ask. We are here and ready to work for free to keep a quality product available for all future researchers. Don’t discriminate against the African American newspaper project because it is too time consuming. Likewise with the Italian records. We have all the time in the world. Use the valuable resource available. We may not speak Mandarin or Cantonese, but we work for NO money whatsoever. Don’t hate us because we are free. And right before the Juneteenth Holiday – which celebrates the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Perfect…perfectly rotten timing, I must say. Ask for help before you give up.
Your ancestors didn’t quit; neither should you. thank you

I had offered my services as a reviewer/arbitrator but no one ever responded to my offer to work for free. There are tons of us here willing to do this work for you, please just ask us for help. It seems like poor timing to put this African American newspaper project out for view without it being checked properly as the decision seems to coincide with the Juneteenth Holiday, which is important to African Americans. We should strive for a quality product to future researchers will have accurate/complete information.

Type your comment here.
I am appalled that records can be allowed to go on line without being checked.
If this is permissible why have I spent hours and hours arbitrating and reviewing keying? I dread to think what would now be available to research if many of these had not been checked.
Think again WAP

This is not a wise decision. If I did not have a verrrry sloooow internet connection I would be active in indexing. Initial keying errors are just too abundant to accept without review. Please reconsider this.

Really, WAP? Really? What made you possibly think it was a good idea to let unreviewed image sets go online? Of all the decisions Ancestry has made, this is by far one of the worst. The LEAST you could have done is put a deadline on the projects so we would at least have had a chance to mobilize. But you couldn’t even do that??? Congratulations on abandoning the thousands of people that give up their time to help you out.

Attention everyone:
Kansas, Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Post Records, ca 1878-1945
has been up since about 2010 (according to the wiki) and is available for reviewing but not keying. Let’s save this project from another damaging decision like this.

I had noticed that the African American Newspapers project had become rather stuck; months after the keying was finished there were still thousands of image sets awaiting review and their number was diminishing very slowly.
I can understand why WAP feel bound to act if a project either never really gets going or gets becalmed like this. However, I agree with other contributors that it would be more helpful if some kind of advance notice could be given that a project is giving cause for concern and likely to receive unwelcome special action if things don’t change. An alternative would be an indication on the downloads menu of each project’s priority as well as it’s difficulty.
Unless and until that happens, I suppose we can only monitor progress ourselves and target our contributions where they seem to be most needed.

This is really disappointing and, to be frank, very concerning! Where is your commitment to providing people with the best chance of finding their ancestors in an accurate index? Isn’t this a fundamental criterium we should be able to expect? Or is it ALL about making money for ancestry? As one of your millions of researchers relying upon Ancestry for reliable indexes, I find this decision extremely worrying. An absence/omission/mis-spelling of a name/detail can be as incredibly significant in people’s search of a record collection as its presence. Surely you must know this and yet have made this decision with no regard to it. If speed over accuracy is acceptable, why should anyone bother giving their time for free to review or arbitrate any of the projects? That’d be quicker – so what if it’s a loads of rubbish! This decision seriously devalues all of the millions of hours your volunteer arbitrators have contributed. A great way to thank them.

I can’t help remembering the Peanuts comic strip.
It’s just like the football trick.
Lucy Van Pelt holds the football for Charlie Brown so he can kick it.He runs up and….she yanks it away.He yells Auugh!,and falls on his back.It was a running gag in the strip.
We’re Charlie Brown,and Ancestry is Lucy.

Well this explains a lot of the poor indexing I’ve run into while researching my family lines. I’m sure the Chinese really are familiar with the various writing styles of the American people! I’ve avoided doing any but the US projects because I’m not familiar with the languages and writing styles of the other countries. Fortunately there is another site doing a much better job of indexing and publishing the 1940 Federal Census than Ancestry per a recent article I read.

GIGO. Garbage In, Garbage Out.

I agree with everyone that has commented. I am new to the WAP, and have never done reviews or arbitration. But I have seen my share of poorly indexed records. Some of the City Directories, for example, are HORRIBLE, and obviously done by machine. I’ve spent hours making corrections as I find them, in addition to keying records for the WAP. I am working on the Cuyahoga County, Ohio Tax Lists, and according to the Project Instructions page, only 48.2% of these records are being keyed correctly. And that’s for a project rated Easy. A review process here is essential. This is a no-brainer.

Has anyone noticed that after 28 comments, the volunteers are still being stonewalled and ignored? This will only get worse.
Maybe the response should be that when you find an incorrectly indexed record you should just not correct it.
As original documents are eliminated from view, these problems will make these records unusable. The result will be chaos, and require a “do-over” if Ancestry wants to salvage its reputation and justify its fees. But at this point, it appears they simply don’t care.

If any of you want to email Fecter directly it’s afechter@ancestry.com
I don’t know who’s actually in charge of this project.If it’s her making these decisions,or someone else.
I want to know who’s running the show because they’re fouling it up.
I really enjoy working on old records.But I just don’t trust Ancestry any more.

Since I joined Ancestry last October, I have only worked on one project (USHMM Eure et Loir,) so I don;t have a particular attachment to the two projects that have been pulled, but I totally agree with the other reviewers’ comments.I was especially struck by #29, who asked why no one got any feedback. I ran into the same thing when I tried to find out where I was making errors, after doing 200 and getting a rating of ‘Needs improvement. Eventually my rating did go up, but it was so disheartening to receive no reply at all. From this I might conclude that accuracy is not a praticular value. Now I just go on doing the best I can, and don;t pay any attention to the ratings, or the supposedly helpful online articles that I was referred to. It seems to me that Ancestry ought to have a meeting of the governing board and go over all their procedures so that the volunteers feel their work is valued..