Can OLN be searchable?

+6 votes
Not long ago I was adding Russian Cosmonauts. I added the Cyrillic versions of their names to LNAB/CLN. Now I have to look up two versions of their names to make sure I don’t create duplicates or too check which ones are already added. I have to copy their Cyrillic names from elsewhere because I don’t speak or understand Russian and it’s a real hassle if nothing shows up searching the English spelling. Maybe there could be a tick box next to the search that would include other names as potential matches? Or should I add the English versions of their surnames as CLN even though that’s probably not what they went by?
in WikiTree Help by Antonia Reuvers G2G6 Mach 3 (35.4k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

Unless the person in question migrated to a country that doesn't use Cyrillic, everybody should be using Cyrillic to refer to that person, so in theory you shouldn't have to search with the Latin alphabet version of their name.  Some letters don't translate easily, meaning multiple searches might be necessary. For instance, does the Cyrillic 'и' become 'i' 'y' or a combination of vowels?


"We aim to use the names that people themselves would have known and that would have been recognized in their own time and place.

This is true for the "official name fields", Proper First Name and Last Name at Birth, and it's also true for the "preferred name fields", Preferred First Name and Current Last Name. These are meant to be the names they would prefer, not the names we prefer to call them.


This applies for names with accented characters, and even for languages with non-Latin alphabets. WikiTree can accept most character sets, such as Cyrillic, Chinese, and Arabic."

I understand many people don't know Cyrillic and would have trouble with that.  Many of us mono-lingual English speakers don't even know how to create those characters from our keyboard.

For instance, I see Ю́рий Гага́рин (Yuri Gagarin) is written in Latin script, but all of his family members are in Cyrillic script.  So Wikitree has Gagarin-1 for Yuri, and Гагарин-1 for his father.  Not exactly ideal.

To your original point, filling in the Other Last Name with the Latin-script equivalent and TPTB at WikiTree making it searchable would definitely help.

Yeah that\s what I was thinking, they should all have Cyrillic names, but that makes it hard for us non Cyrillic people to help out with these profiles.

OLNs should already be searchable. There may be an issue with Cyrillic text, I'll have to do some testing.

I think they are searchable, for example a search for "Ella Kagan" (though that is not how she is best known) will get this profile. (Kagan is only in the OLN field).

That's great that it works!

WikiTree+ also searches OLN item, so Elsa is found there too.

Note that Cyrillic text only gets no hits there, and mixing Latin and Cyrillic searches on Latin only (ignores Cyrillic part).

Other Last Names are searchable, but there are limitations. A couple of weeks back, I discovered and  reported that when last names that include spaces are in the OLN field, they are overlooked by the search utility. The same sort of thing might be occurring with non-Latin alphabets.

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