Family Names

Friday, 21 October 2016

Researchers beware Ancestry incorrect filing can lead to equally incorrect conclusions

Frustratingly I have spent several hours trying to confirm a finding that I had made on Ancestry only to realise that the original records had been misfiled/labelled on the Ancestry website.  

Recently while reviewing records for Convict relatives I discovered what I thought was an original find.  I had located potential evidence that William Carbis the younger had applied to bring his wife out from England to join him in Australia in the dataset entitled “All New South Wales, Australia, Convict Records, 1810-1891”

Find 1

Name:  William Carbis the younger indexed incorrectly on Ancestry as Wm. Carby
Date:     1837-1843
Place:    New South Wales, Australia
Category: Families of Convicts
Title:      Wives and Families of Convicts on Bounty Ships, 1837-1843
Volume Number: 4/4492

Source:- Ancestry, Index entry for William Carbis the younger 59, State Records Authority of New South Wales; Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia; Title: Wives and Families of Convicts on Bounty Ships, 1837-1843; Volume: 4/4492. Accessed 22 October 2016.
(image 4 of 89)

Find 2
Name    William Carbis the younger (as found on page 59) indexed incorrectly on Ancestry as Wm. Carby
Date      6 Nov 1839
Place     New South Wales, Australia
Category Families of Convicts
Title Wives and Families of Convicts on Bounty Ships, 1837-1843
Volume Number  4/4492
(Image 80 of 122)

Source:- Ancestry, Entry for William Carbis the younger page 59, State Records Authority of New South Wales; Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia; Title: Wives and Families of Convicts on Bounty Ships, 1837-1843; Volume: 4/4492. Accessed 22 October 2016.  [note this entry is not for William Carbis’ wife coming over to Australia as a Bounty Passenger as the dataset title would suggest but instead is a listing of Conditional Pardons that have been given Approval by the Secretary of State in Despatch 33]

So what is this database entitled “Wives and Families of Convicts on Bounty Ships, 1837-1843”  made up of?

It would appear that the type of records in the dataset alternate between the following:-
1.       A list of convicts who have applied to have their wives and families brought out to Australia, and looks to be a very rich source of information for any researcher who locates their ancestry amongst the listing.  It is important to note that only the convicts are indexed not their wives (who are listed by the first and maiden names).  The record also gives details of where they are living in England at the time the application was made.
2.       Conditional Pardons that have been given Approval by the Secretary of State organised by year and then Despatch number

The record that I had located was in the list of approved pardons. So back it’s back to the drawing board. 

At this stage I think is quite unlikely that Grace Carbis nee Martins came out to Australia to join her husband.  There are several theories about who she remarried and where she died but nothing as yet has been substantiated.


The moral of the story, take nothing for granted and double check everything!

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