Caution: "broken" links in gedcom junk

+4 votes

I was just looking at this page about cleaning up gedcom junk:

It says broken links to Ancestry trees can be removed, but links that aren't broken should be kept if no better source for the referencing information can be found.  

Then at the bottom in subsection "Badly-Formatted Sources", second paragraph, it gives this link

as an example of one that should be kept if no other source is available.  However, when I click the link, it appears just to be a broken link.  But I'm not an Ancestry member, so maybe this would should me something less like an error message if I were?  Seems unlikely to me.  Perhaps the link led somewhere when the help page was written, but it no longer does...

If that truly is a bad example of the type of link that should be kept, I would appreciate it if someone would replace it with a true example so Ancestry nonmembers will know what it looks like when a link is taking me to some Ancestry source that maybe should be kept.

in Policy and Style by Barry Smith G2G6 Pilot (237k points)
edited by Barry Smith

1 Answer

+8 votes
Best answer
So the equivalent working link would be

Just substitute whatever comes after db= and h= in the old link into the new link, and it will lead to an indexed record.

Edit: And this ^^^ should probably be on that help page.
by Jamie Nelson G2G6 Pilot (474k points)
selected by Barry Smith
Thanks.  The new link takes me to a page asking me to signup for Ancestry,  which is more what I expected.  So now my concern is this: it sounds from your post like Ancestry changed their URL schema at some point.  So if older links are now broken, they might be fixable, i.e., should not be deleted, but rather should be corrected.  Is that what you are getting at when you write "this ^^^ should probably be on that help page"?
Yes, Ancestry has a habit of changing their links and breaking the old ones. A lot of them are good sources, and just need the link updated. So I think there probably should be a warning on the help page that lets people know that a broken link doesn't necessarily mean the source should be deleted.
I have an Ancestry account, and the new link went to a record about Ezekiel Scoville (and Ancestry immediately said I would be better off at! LOL)

I never delete Ancestry links.  But I always check them - and if they're broken, I tuck them away in a little section at the bottom of the Biography in case they provide a clue to someone else who can fix them!

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