Sort by Birth Date doesn't seem to be accurate

+12 votes
145 views
I was just searching for some duplicates and did a Sort by Birthdate on a list, and I'm confused by the results.

If I put in a name -- e.g., Elizabeth Cox -- and then sort by birth date, the sort works fine.

If I put in a name with a birthdate -- e.g., Elizabeth Cox, birthdate 3/27/1898 -- and then sort by birth date, the sort returns a somewhat random result with profiles that don't have birth dates intermixed with those that do, and the dates that are shown aren't in ascending order.
in WikiTree Tech by Julie Ricketts G2G6 Pilot (395k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

Odd things happen when the number of search results exceeds 100. See:

And I've also observed that when the results list is restricted by date, undated profiles get tossed into the mix.

1 Answer

+2 votes
Hi Julie,

You know to use the "exclude matches without dates" option, right?

Regarding including a date in a search, the ideal would probably be to sort by dates closest to that date. Is that what you're asking for? Otherwise, the sort by date isn't really useful when including a date in the search. Right?

Chris
by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
My view on it:

+/- option should act only as a filter to limit results, with the resulting list in ascending order by birth date by default

Chris, in the situation I described at http://www.wikitree.com/g2g/241854/unexpected-behavior-of-wikitree-search-function I was trying to corral a bunch of profiles for 17th-century women named Mary Hall (with at least two completely different birthdates) that were duplicated or had become conflated.

I wanted to sort the results by birthdate, because that's the best way to cluster profiles that have similar names and similar birthdates.

Because Mary Hall is a common name with many more than 100 hits, I ended up needing to use the birthdate filter (+/- 30 years) to select a list that would not exclude some of the women I was interested in. But I still really wanted to sort the resulting list by birthdate because I wanted to see these confusing profiles in logical order and I wanted to see the birthdate clusters.

Mikey and Ellen pretty much hit the nail on the head. :-)

I didn't want to exclude matches without dates because I was trying to identify all of the potential duplicates within a date range as well as undated possibilities. I wanted to be able to sort the results to have the dated profiles in ascending order w/ the undated profiles grouped together instead of intermixed with the rest.

Sorry Chris ... I know you've been busy. :-/

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