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Can anyone inform me how to get corrections made to Ancestry's assumed counties attributions, which are clearly incorrectly listed at present?

There appear to me to be very large numbers of entries on Ancestry in which the assumed county, certainly in UK is clearly incorrect. Such as 'Hereford, Shropshire', whereas the correct county is in fact 'Hereford, Herefordshire'. However there appears to be no way to draw attention to these this type of error which appear at present to effect hundreds or even thousands of entries with the same error, in order to get the error corrected and thereby to give the correct county. Which would clearly be of a great benefit to these attempting to use the system. By allowing them to research the correct County as required by them.

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I suspect you are referring mainly to the GRO indexes for England & Wales. If so, the wrong county attributions have been there for years, probably close to a decade, and no attempts been made to correct it.

I believe the errors occurred because when the database was originally set up, the volume numbers were used to predict the county. Hereford Registration District was contained in volume 6A from 1852 to 1946. It so happens that volume 6A also contained Shropshire and Gloucestershire. So for some obscure reason Hereford was assigned to Shropshire for many records.

However, it has to be pointed out that in many cases the county cannot be determined from the registration district. For example, Hereford Registration District actually contained a couple of parishes in Monmouthshire. So direct district to county mapping is not possible in this data set.

There is little, if any, point in trying to correct individual entries. Long ago I sent multiple emails to them about this, and received stock replies. But I think the only way to get this corrected is for us to keep contacting them about this, until they pay attention.


I would encourage you to use FreeBMD or the New GRO Indexes for your searches of the GRO indexes, rather than Ancestry. FreeBMD has excellent search capabilities, including accurate searching by county.

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  • No, I have tried FreeBMD. It is hopeless, I gave up on it. No, the original problem appears to be that people do not understand the difference between the County of Herefordshire and the diocese of Hereford.
    – sean007
    Feb 27 '18 at 23:55
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    @sean007 If you're not referring to the counties associated with registration districts, I'm not quite sure where you have identified the problem. Do you think you could give an example (perhaps edit the question and include a screenshot?). I'll happily delete this answer if I have misunderstood your question. Also, I would encourage you to persist with FreeBMD; yes it can take a bit to get used to but the search capabilities for this dataset are (in my opinion) far superior to any other site.
    – Harry V.
    Feb 28 '18 at 3:33
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    I second the recommendation for non-Ancestry BMD sources. I was wondering why Ancestry didn't suggest a death register entry for someone, and found that their 1913/Q2 register image set for "H" surnames is missing eight pages out of 77!
    – AndyW
    Feb 28 '18 at 13:57
  • That is interesting. I was not aware of it. Is there a way of to establishing. If this is due to a dead link ? The thing to do would be to report this as a broken link and see what comes of it? Is there a way to contact one of there signor people to see if some of these matters might be resolved. Large numbers these error to be corrected very straightforwardly if the will was there to do so. From Ancestry. Rather then treating the matter and their users with the current total contempt which appears to be the case. If they were aware of these matters they might to try to resolve these issues.
    – sean007
    Mar 2 '18 at 22:23

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