Suggested profiles

+10 votes
70 views

This is just ONE example. When entering a sibling profile for Eliza (Wilder) Waters born 20 Mar 1804 I get as suggestions (1) Eliza Waters b 1805, (2) Eliza E. (Tate) Waters 1805, and (3) Eliza Baldwin (Waters) Giddens. As Wilder was the maiden name then options 3 and 3 are obviously superfluous.  Can the parameters of this "search" be revised to correctly search for an individual's maiden name or am I missing something here.  This is not the first time this has happened, it is the first time that I have chosen to act.

First Name at Birth: Eliza, Last Name at Birth: Wilder, Current/Married Last Name: Waters .

asked in WikiTree Help by Patricia Tidwell G2G4 (4.2k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
Hi Patricia,

Improvements to suggested profiles is already on the to-do list :)

1 Answer

+1 vote
The name search algorithm in WikiTree isn't nearly as smart about this stuff as a human -- it can't make informed judgments, so it simply tosses up a list of possible matches for a human to evaluate. In your example, I think it looked for anybody with the name Eliza in a first name or middle name field (but it doesn't look for Elizabeth), coupled with a name of Waters or Wilder (or variant spelling) in any last name field, born between 1802 and 1806. Because (for a variety of reasons) some profiles have been created with married names in the LNAB field, it's helpful for the algorithm to check all of the last name fields. When the algorithm suggests people that are obviously not a match, we can -- and should -- simply ignore those suggestions.
answered by Ellen Smith G2G6 Pilot (866k points)
I guess what I am asking is for a modification to the "search algorithm".  Is this not possible?

At times I have resorted to opening up a new tab , so I can do a search independently.  Especially, when the results number exceeds the number displayed, and I know there are more closely aligned profiles out there.

@Ellen: Actually in my humble opinion the algorithm is brain dead and dangerous as lists are sometimes so large and so completely irrelevant that they become TLDR.

Example: First Name at Birth: Helen
Last Name at Birth: Johnston
Current/Married Last Name: Duguid
Death Date: 1779

Of 100 lines presented 60 were born after the death date. Most of the rest had badly matched names.

I won't bother to list them but I have preserved the list. To a newcomer this wall of names would be very off-putting

This is an old thread.

The search algorithms have been improved recently,  AND the name search results can be sorted. I almost always sort by date to home in on the approximate time period of the person or people I'm looking for.

Obviously from my results today they have not been improved that much. This is suggested profiles i.e. close matches that already exist we are talking about not searches. These cannot be sorted and are frequently abysmally long, off putting and mostly completely irrelevant.

I agree. There is a difference on the results when you do a search using the boxes for first and last name at the top of the page. There has been improvement in this feature with the addition of search options.

BUT when you create a new profile using add a sibling, child, parent, or spouse the results are obnoxious.  You and name and birth and/or death date and the first factor in the algorithm after the last name, be it birth or current, is the birth day. Very frustrating to see an extensive list of names that obviously don't meet the criteria and have to scroll  down just to get to the next field that requires entry.

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