Thursday, March 3, 2016

Ancestry.com's Hungarian Civil Registration Records

Ancestry.com has added a new database today called Hungary, Civil Registration, 1799-1978. I'd like to discuss some errors and issues I have with this database.

First off, I'm not entirely sure why the content is listed as beginning in 1799, since civil registration didn't begin in Hungary until October 1, 1895. From what I can see there are no images available for browsing and minimal indexes are available. The source information states the following for the database:

Original data: Hungary, Civil Registration, 1895-1980. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013.

These indexes came from FamilySearch, where they are easily browsable and searchable (for the sliver of what has been indexed so far). For Free. I began to wonder if the indexes were indeed one and the same from FamilySearch, so I did some searching. I know for a fact that I indexed and arbitrated the civil registration records for the town of Szentmihály in Szabolcs county, where my great-grandfather was born. I not only indexed his birth record, but those of his siblings. I searched only by the parent's surnames (Gombás and Tóth) and they immediately popped up. It's the same content from FamilySearch.


(Click for larger view)

I'm not particularly fond of spending my time indexing for an effort that I believed would always be available for free and then having Ancestry benefit from it monetarily. Had I known that FamilySearch would provide this content to Ancestry and that they would charge for it, I never would have spent my time indexing these records. I understand that FamilySearch can do whatever they wish with their content, but this doesn't sit well with me. I am officially done indexing for FamilySearch and Ancestry.

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