Where can I add suggestion for 'search'?

+9 votes
As a fairly new user I'm often frustrated by the lack of options when trying to search for specific profiles and believe the search page could benefit by offering other options beyond just first and last name and birth or death years!!  I work with a very common name and to read thru a long list of John Jacksons just doesn't do the job for me.  Or perhaps there is a better way to search and I just haven't found it yet.  I'm using the search window that is available from my profile page/find/search.

But here are the options I'd use if available:

(1) a drop down list to select either a person OR A FAMILY.  It is much easier to find a John Jackson m to Sarah Doty than to read thru all the John Jacksons especially if the wife's name is known but no dates are known. Most genealogy sites allow for searching by both individual and individual with spouse and that would appear to be a desirable feature.

(2) I know the WikiTree ID of the John Jackson I'm looking for, but there is no window on the search page to search for him by his ID.  Or what am I missing?  I'm using the search window that is available from my profile page/find/search and it ought to be basic to be able to search by ID.

Surely there is a better way to search than what I'm currently doing.  If not, can the tech folks work toward making this available??  (Example of a wiki search page: [https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Special:Search/Person])
WikiTree profile: Janie Kimble
in WikiTree Tech by Janie Kimble G2G6 Mach 2 (28.2k points)
Janie, Your suggestion would absolutely make searching a lot easier, but - and it's a VERY big "but", I'm afraid ...

There are also many other options that would also be very helpful to have available in the search function.  Unfortunately, any additional complications added to the search operation would require very significant changes to the software that represent a major development effort and WikiTree just doesn't have the luxury of available software development time.  In addition, there would be a negative aspect to adding any complexity to the search process - that is the additional processing time to produce the resulting list.  Depending on the degree of complexity, it might even impact WikiTree's response time to all requests while the search is processing, not just the single search request.

Bottom line - I agree that the search feature here leaves a whole lot to be desired, but I understand that the price (in both development effort and resource usage) is probably way too high for it to ever be considered.
That is disappointing.  Seems like the ability to search on a genealogy site is pretty basic and without the ability to search easily, a lot of newbies will be discouraged and leave.  This site does have a pretty large learning curve and searching shouldn't be the first puzzle a newbie has to wade into.  I would have thought searching should be an easy introduction.

Nevertheless, I will keep trying to learn to navigate and use this site.
If I'm looking for John Jackson married to Sarah Doty, I search for Sarah Doty. In the list I look for any woman named Sarah (Doty) Jackson. If I see profiles for Sarah Doty that don't show a married name (in the current last name field) I edit each of them, and add their married name as their current last name. That will help the next person looking for a married Sarah Doty.

Another suggestion: If the John Jackson I'm looking for has a sibling with an unusual name, like Hezekiah, Ebenezer, or Ichabod, etc. I look for that sibling instead. If the whole family has already been entered in WikiTree, you may be able to spot the John Jackson you're looking for.
Search improvements are coming soon. The ablility to search by spouses isn't going to be available during this round of changes, but filtering by the names of parents, birth and death locations, and a few other things are being added.
Thanks, Jamie! That's great news!

1 Answer

+7 votes
Best answer
I second your suggestion of searching by spouse.  That would make things so much easier for me!  I would also add searching by parent, child, and sibling!

If you know the Wikitree ID for a specific profile, you can type it into the URL.  


for example, if you know you're looking for Jackson-100, the URL would be


adding an additional field on the search page for a specific ID is not a bad idea either.  I mean if it can exist, why not let it?
by Living Botkin G2G6 Mach 4 (40.5k points)
selected by Pip Sheppard
This is the very solution I don’t think of. Thank You, DB!!
That would make searching considerably easier, but we may be hoping for too much.

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