Search Problem with "UNKNOWN"

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I think I've just found a gen-u-wine bug! :-)

While searching for matches for the profiles I manage, I did a search on Catherine Boyer formerly UNKNOWN.  It told me there were no matches.  I thought it might be searching for Catherine UNKNOWN, so I tried the regular Wikitree search on Catherine Boyer.  Sure enough, it came up with 10 matches!  To make things even more interesting, one of the results was my Catherine Boyer formerly UNKNOWN.

Clearly, the little magnifier icon search is not working the same way as the regular WikiTree search.  I think it should, because one of those Catherine Boyers the magnifier didn't find could be a match.

in Genealogy Help by Fred Remus G2G6 Mach 4 (41.0k points)

1 Answer

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Hmm, interesting. As far as I know, the main difference between the two searches is that the magnifying glass is looking for matching dates as well, which makes it come up with way less results, but ones that should be more likely to be matches.

As for one of the results being your Catherine Boyer formerly UNKNOWN, the magnifying glass search wouldn't find that one because it's the same profile, so of course it's not a match.smiley


by Liander Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (430k points)
Thanks, that explains it somewhat.  The date matching is not an entirely bad idea, but it has its shortcomings.

Particularly with older ancestors, DOB and DOD are often unknown.  There are also frequently conflicting dates from various sources.

Two of the results from the general search have no dates.  The magnifier does not find these.  I also wonder whether the search algorithm is accepting "near" dates as possible matches.  I do think it should show results for near dates and no dates.
That's a good point. Things can get a little more difficult when dates are left blank. I'm not sure what the exact algorithm is for how it decides which dates are "close enough".

Thanks for bringing this up, Fred!

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