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Correcting Errors in Historical Records
Instructions for Area Support


Transcription Error: the recorder/transcriber of the document did not record/transcribe the information correctly. e.g., James J. Larsen should be James I. Larsen

Addition: to add – e.g., alternative spelling of name, adding a middle name, or initial.

Corrections to the Indexed Records:

If the patron is requesting a correction is to an indexed record, please follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that the phrase “Record Correction” or “Transcription Error” is included in the case title.
  2. Change category 1 to Research Assistance, and category 2 to Historical Records--Transcription Error.
  3. Open the link embedded in the case, if one exists, and verify the indexed record to be corrected. Sometimes, the patron provides the URL to the image; however, to implement a correction the URL to the record index is needed.
  4. Add the following information to the internal notes so that those making the corrections have a synopsis of the correction request:

  • Title of the Collection

  • URL to the indexed record details. 

  • Patron’s request for correction. (Specify the detailed correction to the transcription error e.g. Merrie Wright should be Maria Wright).

If any of the above information is missing, please contact the patron to obtain the correct information (see bulleted list above). It is important that we have complete information so that a correction can be made appropriately.

When all of the pertinent information has been obtained, respond to the patron using the Answer (Resolution) section below.

Corrections to United States Censuses -- please see KD 115427 "Correcting Errors in the United States Census Records"

Corrections to Social Security Death Index – please see KD 102166 "How to make corrections to Social Security Death Index"

Corrections to a Historical Records Collections - please use KD 112103 "What to Include in a JIRA Request in Historical Records"  The following are NOT transcription errors but errors within the collection.   A JIRA request must be made to make the following engineering changes:  

  • Images that are missing, incorrect, skipped
  • Incorrect geographic location
  • Incorrect or incomplete Collection Description
  • Incorrect source data e.g., film number
  • Mismatched images (e.g., Mary Evan’s record detail page links to John Smith’s image) Problems with waypoints

Corrections to BillionGraves Index - please see KD 114038 "Corrections to BillionGraves Index"

Symptoms (Problems)
  • Can a name that has been indexed incorrectly, or was spelled wrong in the record, or due to poor handwriting, be corrected?
  • Can I add an alternate spelling to an indexed record?
  • Can I correct the life event date that has been indexed incorrectly? e.g., 7 May 1860 should be 7 Mar 1860.
Answer (Resolution)

Thank you for contacting FamilySearch requesting that a transcription error in our indexed records be corrected. Errors occur in the indexed records for a variety of reasons, sometimes by the recorder/transcriber, and other times by those who created the original record.


FamilySearch is currently making corrections to indexed records with transcription errors, and will add your request to our list. However, it may be some time before you will see the correction as we have a large backlog.


When reporting an error in indexed records, please include the following information:

  • Title of the Collection

  • URL (web address - select and copy the address in the Address bar) to the indexed record details.

  • Information to be corrected

Thank you for taking the time to report this error.  We appreciate our patrons reporting transcription errors that they find.  This assistance helps FamilySearch improve the quality and accuracy of its online records. 


We wish you success in searching for your ancestors.

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