Cooper-12541 and Cooper-380. Whoever proposed this merge, did you not notice they were born in different continents?

+7 votes

I just saw that someone had initiated a merge for my relative, Eliza Fox-7576 b1846, Whissendine, Rutland into Eliza S Fox-5129 b 1846 Ireland but thankfully someone had rejected it. I was a little surprised that the person proposing it had not noticed that my Whissendine relative has census records to back up the birthplace which is most emphatically NOT Ireland and the siblings were different in names and number thereof and the profile is managed (by me). I then checked the rest of my watchlist and I found another proposed merge, this time between someone in my hubby's family tree George Henry Cooper-12541 b Hugglescote, Leicestershire, England and Henry JF Cooper-380 b1879, Alabama, USA. I am at a loss how anybody can imagine that two people with different forenames born in two different continents can constitute a match. I work hard on my family tree and am not happy that someone has not even bothered to look at the citations before proposing these merges. What exactly is the point in trying to merge non-matching profiles?


in Policy and Style by Gillian Causier G2G6 Pilot (261k points)

Proposed merges are always suggestions whether made by machine or human. They should always be reviewed, and rejected if incorrect.

yes and when you are adding someone named Smith and you get a list of a hundred different names from different continents, it's a right pain. I think this bot needs significant improvement if it is to be fit for purpose.
Wow, I am reviewing the G2G community comments and was quiet startled by comments inferring  folks may need to really pay attention.  Which I agree.  Thankfully,  a kind persn explained Bot,so it did appear the bot seemed to be responsible, not human error . lol..Thank you for explaining as it is a real benefit to have the Bot assist and human eyes double check, as well.  I appreciate botbot!!
Also, I have heard so much about the rudeness of genealogy ppl , sometimes kindness is helpful.  I tend to avoid Wikitree because of that. Hopefully, things will fall together as I enjoy it ,but I make errors!! So I avoid upsetting the apple cart with the pros here!! Keep up the good work ! And Be Kind!
I hope that you do not find people here rude, Lana. I certainly find most people helpful.

Personally I get frustrated with MatchBot making ridiculous matches, but that is another matter.

3 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer
Hi Gillian,

That merge was proposed by our Matchbot tool. See:

It might be time for us to tweak it again. I'll pass this on to the tech folks.

by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (2.0m points)
selected by Gillian Causier
P.S. There is also an explanation about how MatchBot works here:
thanks for the explanation and the link. I've made my feelings clear on it's profile.
There was another G2G discussion recently about MatchBot's excesses.

I recall that I suggested that MatchBot possibly could be converted to simply generate lists of matches that would be reviewed by humans, and that the humans would then propose those merges that look appropriate. If I remember correctly, Robin Lee offered that the Arborist team could volunteer to take on the assignment of reviewing MatchBot's output.
I agree. I wouldn't balk so much at a suggested match but a proposed merge based on none of the evidence is a waste of everybody's time.

I don't think there's much we could do to tweak MatchBot right now. Its settings are fairly conservative.

We do want to add consideration of family members to our search tool. When we do that we can think about including that in MatchBot. But we wouldn't want its settings to be so conservative that legitimate duplicates are missed. Family members won't always match.

Maybe Arborists would want to review MatchBot's proposed merges from the night before. I'm sure that would catch most bad ones before they're completed.

To emphasize Sandi's point above, proposed merges are not merges. I don't think many bad merges get completed. People often just worry because they see the proposals, but a proposal is just that. It's a request that someone look at the two profiles and decide if they should be merged.

If MatchBot's bad proposals are getting completed we could consider changing the wording in the proposal messages that people receive.

If one of you have time you could do a study of MatchBot's history and see how many bad merges are getting completed because of it. If it's more than a handful we'll figure out something.

+3 votes

That someone appears to be 'MatchBot'    It seems as if it just focuses on some of the info in the profile (date and surname)  rather than the other info such as forename and parents.  I don't know whether it would have matched them if US had been on the one profile and England on the other, maybe not though according to the comments on it's page 

by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (390k points)
0 votes
The same matches will show up in other places where matches are suggested.  If you reject them, that will stop them showing up anywhere else.  Otherwise they keep popping up.

I suppose ideally we get to a point where every pair of profiles that matches on name and date is merged or flagged as rejected, and only new ones are in the works.

When looking for duplicates, it's not a bad idea to reject any false matches in passing, without waiting for them to be proposed.

There was a mention of relationships being taken into account in matching.  Seems to me like that would be difficult.
by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (572k points)
How about place of birth? seems to me that would be a start.
I vet every single suggested match and it is a real chore. If the bot could look at place of birth, it would cut out a lot of spurious matches.

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