search function similar names needs some adjustments

+11 votes
58 views
I've just been searching for a Jean Coutu in the tree.  The search function as it now stands with recent changes gave me nearly a hundred possibilities, which were mostly of the name Cote/Côté, with Caouette also thrown in.  Not at all the same name, the variations on Coutu would be Cottu or Couture or Costu.  Can somebody review what gets taken as similar names on here?  Rather time consuming to try and sort out otherwise.
in WikiTree Tech by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (303k points)

Just to show how wildly off the algorithm is for the new function, I just ran search on possible matches for my profiles, and this is what came out for just one person.  This is a sample, I could have picked the one where Brunet as a last name got Brown proposed, really, the two are translatable as each other, but one does not normally translate names.

Took a look, they need massive help, I took a look at what they suggest for Coutu,  totally ridiculous.  They should go back to Soundex, it at least has fewer proposals.  Although, come to think of it, they might want to ask Drouin Institute for their list of related/similar names in French.  Much saner list.  Of course, limited to French names mostly.
WeRelate accepts user input on their name matches -- for both addition of other variants and removal of names that aren't plausible variants. The list of variants for Coutu is at http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Special:Names?type=s&name=Coutu and the Desmarais list is http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Special:Names?type=s&name=desmarais . Go to the site, register, and make suggestions.

Variant lists for French names include names that aren't valid French names because names often get modified when people migrate to areas with different languages. For that reason, Marsh seems like a very plausible variant of Desmarais (and probably was added at WeRelate because of documentation of families who made that name change) and it's easy to imagine Coutu morphing into names like Catto and Cato, but some of the names on the "Coutu" list seem rather far-fetched.
Thanks Ellen, but I'm already taken up with Wikitree and other things, so not going to go spend time over there on top of it.  

As far as variants when somebody moves to a different country, I agree they can be valid, I've seen McFarland become Maquefarlin here (true case).  But when you are looking for matches inside Wikitree, we need to draw the line somehow.  I can see having Desmarais and its variants Desmarets, Marais and Marets to look at, since those are valid and known variants, but Marsh has gone someplace else,   Translating names is a no-no in my book unless a person emigrates and wants to pass as what he is not.  Or his name gets messed up like mine does.  But right now this is not workable nor useful.
I don't even look at what gets found anymore, just go down below the list & tell it "no" on the variants & then run several searches for partials based on date (e.g., Sa* Payton b 1711 +/-12 years & again with Peyton if I'm looking for possible duplicates of Sarah/Sally Payton or Peyton).

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