Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Getting Around Those Missing Ancestry.com Locations


So far, in my own research I have found several locations that are in the census transcription at Ancestry.com, but are not in the "dropdown" list:

  • Walker Township, Hancock County, Illinois
  • St. Albans Township, Hancock County, Illinois
  • Bear Creek Township, Hancock County, Illinois
There have to be others. Of course these locations are small enough that manual searches of them can be easily conducted--I did it long before we had everyname indexes. However, there are times when I might want to search just for people in these specific locations. That can't be done now with the drop down menu not listing them as a geographic location. 

It is really easy to do. I choose "Hancock County, Illinois" as my location and enter the name of the township in my search box as shown below:
Really easy.

The key is making certain I have the name of the township spelled correctly. In this case, I searched for a last name I KNEW should be there in 1900: Goldenstein. 

This indicated that the township was entered in the 1900 census index of "homes" in Ancestry.com as "Bear Creek." Matching it exactly is crucial.

It always pays to check the spelling of the location as well, particularly if a word in the place name could have been abbreviated. In 1900 Saint Albans Township in Hancock is in the Ancestry.com index as "Saint Albans." 

In 1910 Saint Albans Township in Hancock County is in the Ancestry.com index as "St. Albans." 


Since Saint Albans in Hancock County, Illinois, does not appear in the drop down list of locations at Ancestry.com, I'll have to enter it in the keyword box as "saint albans" for 1900 and "st albans" for 1910. Something to add to my personal list of locations for later searching.

I am not certain why it is one way in 1900 and another in 1910. The census forms themselves from 1900 and 1900 are shown below, both indicating "St. Albans." 

At this point, why Ancestry.com has them entered this way is not my concern. I have a workaround--that's what matters.

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