So a friend started a Twitter account called @WTFGenealogy where they point out some of the worst transcriptions, tree disasters, and unsourced speculations ever to cross someone’s computer screen.
I did share one almost disaster from when I was newbie and thought I found a goldmine.
However my story of one of the worst transcriptions I have ever seen won’t fit in just 180 characters, so to my rarely updated blog it goes.
So for the past few years my research has been primarily focused on my German ancestors from Duisburg, Randerath, Elsdorf and some other towns in North Rhine-Westphalia. This story relates my Levy ancestors from Duisburg.
Up until August of 2017 FamilySearch allowed you to take out their microfilms and in doing this I was able to acquire a good number of scans of records for my family. Sure they are hard to read but it can be done if you squint hard enough, tilt your head, and actually know what you are looking for.
So a few months ago Ancestry released additional records to a record set called Rhineland, Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1610-1925. Now you may be asking yourself – why are Jewish records contained in a Lutheran dataset. I wonder the same thing.
Anyway I began searching for my Levy ancestors and came across some very interesting transcriptions and misinformation.
The above image is for my second great grandmother Albertine Levy. The transcriptionist read it as Abraham. Her father’s name is Moses, not Moser. At least on this record the surname and her mother’s name is correct. But also I’ve got to ask, why did they add a Baptism date? Jews don’t get baptised. The second image is the original record left side second one down.
Above is another good example of a bad transcription. Same family – this is for the marriage record of Albertine’s parents – Moses Levy and Regina Mendel. However as you can see the transcriptionist managed to mess this one up as well. Who is Hempel? It’s not his French name since in Duisburg they didn’t have French names. He was known as Moses or Moshe. And then the names of his parents…Hompel and Cathar. That’s supposed to say Gompel and Esther. At least Regina’s information is correct, she was born Elisabeth Rachel and known as Regina. The third image is the original record and is the bottom entry.