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Fergus Smith

Fergus Smith

Nov 24
16 tweets

So @ScotlandsPeople have just revamped their website. It doesn't seem to be going well. #Genealogy #Scotland #Twitterstorians /thread

These three searches should all return the same result, but no. So deaths with two surnames are not working properly. #Genealogy #Scotland /1
I searched for Smith in OPR deaths/burials 1701-1710. This is what the system returned. It automatically added 1 January to both dates, so for deaths in 1710 it only shows the burial on 1 January 1710 (note the date sort order). #Genealogy #Scotland /2
The same thing happens with OPR births and baptisms. #Genealogy #Scotland /3
And bans and marriages. Note that this search doesn't return a single entry for 1710. #Genealogy #Scotland /4
If you search for deaths in Coupar Angus from 1855-1890, the server returns zero matches. #Genealogy #Scotland /5
But if you remove the date range, the results are there. #Genealogy #Scotland /6
As an aside, this is curious - last time I checked, Auchterarder and Perth are not Coupar Angus. #Genealogy #Scotland /7
The data for Coupar Angus has long been problematic. I reported it when the new version of the site was launched *in 2016*. I even had a meeting in Register House to discuss this (and other problems). Yet, 6 years on, here we are.… #Genealogy #Scotland /8
The links to other record sets on the search results pages are *all* broken - systematically in fact, by the automatic insertion of "sibling-search" into the URL. #Genealogy #Scotland /9
The Catholic Register searches have ghost entries in the drop down that generate no results. #Genealogy #Scotland /10
Also the Catholic Register searches are no longer sortable by date or parish.
The census results no longer show the page number, so grouping results by family is no longer possible. #Genealogy #Scotland /11
It took me about half an hour playing around with the updated website to find these issues. I'm fairly confident there are others. Most of these problems would have been picked up by any properly designed testing regime. #Genealogy #Scotland /12
I've previously offered my time free of charge to help test updates before they go live (I'm pretty good at finding issues like this), but was told in-house testing was more than adequate. I'm less convinced that's true than I was previously. #Genealogy #Scotland /13
Of course, if @NatRecordsScot had a properly functioning user group, that may have helped flag up some of these problems in advance. There does however seem to be no recognition in the higher echelons of NRS that there's any problem. This is not okay. #Genealogy #Scotland /end
Fergus Smith

Fergus Smith

Historical data geek, professional genealogist, systems designer, erstwhile translator/antiquarian bookdealer. History, genealogy.
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