Problems with Relationship to Me Feature -- Inaccurate/Unexplainable Discrepancies within Same Line

+2 votes
139 views
Hi -- I sometimes get weird results using the find relationship tool; for example, Sir Walter Blount (Blount-119) is my 18th great-grandfather (through Anne Marbury); his son, Thomas Blount (Blount-161) is my 17th great-grandfather.  When I run the relationship to me search for Thomas, everything is accurately listed.  Then, when I run the relationship to me search for Thomas's father, Walter, it does not show the correct line at all, but shows another line, that is undocumented and incorrect, and indicates that Walter is my 19th great-grandfather.  This makes no sense to me and is frustrating.  Has anyone else had this issue, and is there a fix?  Many thanks for your help and stay safe!
in WikiTree Tech by Richard Batchelder G2G Crew (490 points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

5 Answers

+4 votes
It sounds like someone has connected a child to Walter who is, as you say, undocumented and unproven. So, the only way to "correct" this would be to either prove or disprove that undocumented child. If the child can be proven, leave him or her in place and celebrate that you connect to Walter through two paths from two of his children. If the child cannot be proven, he or she can be disconnected from Walter so that path not only does not show up for you but also does not show up for hundreds of other people who currently are descended from that incorrectly connected child. This is, of course, a case in which you will probably have to work with other PMs or with a project.
by Nelda Spires G2G6 Pilot (338k points)
+4 votes
I'm wondering whether this has something to do with the algorithm that the relationship finder uses. Obviously it stops once it finds one relationship (otherwise it would have listed at least two relationships between you and Blount-119), so I wonder in what order it tests for relationships. I note that the relationship from you to Blount-161 is through your [private] mother, while the (incorrect) relationship it finds to Blount-119 is through your father. So does the algorithm search the familytree by first looking at paternal ancestors and only then (if it has not found any in the paternal ancestors) at maternal ancestors?

What the algorithm obviously does NOT do (at least beyond the 15th generation) is to search all relationships and then select the shortest path. Perhaps that would require too many system resources.
by Anonymous Geschwind G2G6 Mach 8 (81.9k points)
+5 votes
This is normal.  For instance, trace your line to King Edward I.

If you then trace to his father Henry III, and his father John, and his father Henry II, it won't just show you the same line extended.  You get 4 different lines.

Of course it knows nothing about the quality of the lines.  You have better lines than the ones it's showing.
by Anonymous Horace G2G6 Pilot (568k points)
+5 votes
The relationship finder is being reworked so hopefully this will no longer be an issue.
by Jamie Nelson G2G6 Pilot (360k points)
+2 votes

As others have noted, Relationship Finder currently only shows one of possibly many lines of descent from an ancestor. If you want to see all lines of descent from a particular ancestor, you can use the ancestral lines feature of Ancestor Listmaker. Just use the app to generate a list of all ancestors back as far as you need to go to include the ancestor in question, and click on the relationship finder/ancestral lines icon next to the ancestor's name. In your particular case, the app shows that you currently have 3 lines of descent from Walter Blount - one each through his children Constance, Thomas and Anne.

by Chase Ashley G2G6 Pilot (217k points)

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