So your Civil War ancestor has gotten religious, eh?
Tip version: 08.1
Revision date: 11 May 2001
Generations versions: Not applicable
The historical databases included with Generations Grand Suite are useful additions to the package, but as with all secondary sources, you need to watch out for the occasional problem. Sierra is to a certain extent at the mercy of the database vendors, though if they find that there are too many problems, they may well go elsewhere in the future.
For example - the Civil War Soldiers database
I only have one direct ancestor who fought in the Civil War and only one other reasonably close relation who did so. So when I was beta testing they were the first two I checked. A great-granduncle who entered the service and left the service as a corporal was listed as a CHAPLAIN!!! So I checked a couple of other corporals for whom I had data, and they were listed as chaplains too! Somebody was getting rather careless in their data extraction and entry. As it turned out, the first three of some eight corporals I checked were listed as chaplains, and the others were ok. All the privates I had data on were entered correctly, and this was a pretty good number.
The other "gotcha" is finding someone when their name is creatively misspelled in the muster rolls. I've had problems with finding my great-great-grandfather because of this, though I know that his company and regiment are in there as others in his unit show up.
When I talked to Sierra about this they said that they are working on a better (i.e. not literal) indexing scheme for a future update. It would also be useful if they were to add a unit search function. That data is in the database, and it would help with some of the more extreme misspellings. It is also useful to see who served together as during my research on my great-granduncle I spotted that there were two other Danes who had served in the same company with him who moved with him from Wisconsin to Minnesota after the Civil War and settled in the same township. When I got this great-granduncle's pension packet it turned out that one of these companions had known him since childhood.
Regards, Mike Hobart
Copyright © 1999-2001 Michael A. Hobart, commercial reuse restricted.