Stephen Morse's One-Step is Non-Stop #general
Diane Jacobs <thegenie@...>
First of all, consider yourself lucky because you knew the town and
age of the person and were able to find the right person. There are
a lot of people out there not so lucky.
Secondly, there are many errors when people transcribe >from microfilm
to an online database like EIDB. There are handwriting problems,
unfamiliarity with the ethnic group by the transcriber and just plain
errors. For instance, C, S and L are often confused and many common
Jewish names have different first letters ie. Shapiro, Sapiro, Zapiro
Czapira. I could go on and on.
Did you know that on a large ship's passenger manifest, the handwriting
changes every few pages as they grouped people by ethnicity so that a crew
member who was versed in a certain language could get the information
correctly on the manifests, which were done in Europe.
Thirdly, Steve Morse has provided a most excellent means to search the
database that no one else came up with. He has helped untold numbers of
People find passenger manifests including myself. Just because you think
you know how a person spelled there name has no bearing on how the person's
Name was spelt on the manifest page. Steve and his crew were not there to
go through every entry to the EIDB and find errors. What he did was a
create a way for people to find the unfindable.
Stephen Morse's web site allows you to access the EIDB. The EIDBtoggle quoted messageShow quoted text
transcribers, not Morse entered the information >from the passenger
lists. It is the EIDB treanscribers who didn't get all the names
right. This particular topic has been discussed on this forum many
times before. See the JewishGen Discussion Group Archives.
I read all the hurrahs about Stephen Morse's website. I first tried the
EIDB. I input my cousin's name, "Michal" and surname. Result: no such
name on the list. I tried the Morse one-step with the same results. I then
insert only the last name, "Luft", in the EIDB. Up came over 200 names.
One of the names intrigued me, "Sinabab", because it had the right shtetl,
Janowa, and age 2. I then searched for the manifest. Lo and behold, the
manifest showed this 2 year old with his mother Freda, brother Harry, and
uncle Mendel, all of whom I am quite familiar with. Looking at the
handwriting, it certainly was spelled "Michal". My question is how did the
EIDB come up with Sinabab. And how did the meticulous Morse crew manage to
overlook this one? Neither website had a Michal Luft (later called Max).
How many others have they skipped over? I have other Lufts whom I have been
unable to locate. There were 4 brothers, including Mendel, and 2 sisters.
Only Freda's husband appears on the list of Lufts
Apopka, FL USA
Researching: LUFT, LIEBERMAN, STEINKLEPPER, BLUSZTEIN, GOODMAN, GROSSMAN,
WEISMAN; Janow Podlaski, Konstantynow Nad Bugiem, Miedzyrzec Podlaski,
Siedlce, Radzin, Zamosc, Poland
Yehudh bn Shlmo
In answer to the posting below. I looked at the
manifest, and I can see where someone might confuse
the name on the manifest with sinabab. Maybe it only
looks that way for old people with trifocals, but
people make mistakes and after staring at badly
written names by people for hours, who only try to
match what the people said in their native tongue with
English, it could end up as a best guess.
What I want to say is that I have used commercial
sites available at my local library and at the NARA
for Census reports for a long time. I found that they
are as accurate on indexing as Steve Morse's Site
which is free of charge. And the Census reports were
written by Americans. Also Steve Morse is not just a
name on the site. I contacted the site three times in
the past year when I could not locate who I was
looking for. Twice I was contacted by Steve himself
and helped with the problem. What more can I say.
Yehudah ben Shlomo
*** budblaher wrote:
I read all the hurrahs about Stephen Morse's website.
I first tried the EIDB. I input my cousin's name,
Michal" and surname. Result: no such name on the
list. I tried the Morse one-step with the same
results. I then insert only the last name, "Luft", in
the EIDB. Up came over 200 names. One of the names
intrigued me, "Sinabab", because it had the right
shtetl, Janowa, and age 2. I then searched for the
manifest. Lo and behold, the manifest showed this 2
year old with his mother Freda, brother Harry, and
uncle Mendel, all of whom I am quite familiar with.
Looking at the handwriting, it certainly was spelled
"Michal". My question is how did the EIDB come up
with Sinabab. And how did the meticulous Morse crew
manage to overlook this one?
D. Abrams <dabrams1@...>
Hi Morris and all,
I can attest to the difficulty transcribing microfilmed manifests for a
database as I was a volunteer on one such project. There were many names
that I couldn't make out with certainty because of the handwriting, or the
faded ink or both. It didn't help that many names were unknown to me. I
made every effort to give each name my best shot before I entered it in my
spreadsheet, in some cases searching existing databases to see if a name
that seemed very odd had been recorded anywhere else and/or consulting
others before I committed it to the database I was helping create. It was a
slow, daunting process and I know "my best shot" in some cases was probably
After my humbling experience I had new respect for the volunteers who
created the EIDB. I'm sure they did their best too. At stevemorse.org the
One-Step process allows family researchers to search the imperfect EIDB as
it exists, one might say, warts and all, using many filters at once. In the
search for LUFT passengers, for example, one could search for Jewish
passengers (Blue Form) named "LUFT" who hailed >from "Janowa". Such
a search will result with a list of 4 names, including Sinabab/Michal), not
288 that a global search on name alone delivers. Not bad most would say.
I think it proves that "all the hurrahs" for One-Step are well deserved.
I urge all Genners to carefully review the FAQs on stevemorse.org to make
sure they understand what the One-Step EIDB process is (and what it's not)
in order to take advantage of its full potential. Also, while searching try
to think kindly about the volunteer transcribers who create databases for us
and faltered along the way. Finally, when you find an obvious mistake on
the EIDB, such as Sinabab for Michal, let the Ellis Island website know. I
found this handy note in Steve's FAQs #111 at
I found the link to which Steve refers on the "Passenger Record" page. It
might be elsewhere too. It would be interesting to hear if anyone has used
this method and if a correction resulted.
Best wishes to all searching for elusive passengers!