Name search results not ordered correctly
edited September 28, 2020 in Suggest an Idea
dbhoskisson said: I am search George A Walters 1902 England. I don't know what A stands for. The results give George A Walters at the top, but then I have to sift through 100's of pages of garbage records to find George Walters with middle names that start with A. Is there not a way to bring all the George Allen's, George Augustus' etc,. to the top of the pile? Why do I need to look at George Stanley first?
Please consider fixing this.
Please consider fixing this.
Paul said: The simple - though perhaps not obvious - solution is to add a wildcard (*) after the A, as shown below. That will, as you see see, reduce your results list considerably.
Also, remember to check the "Exact search" boxes. However, unchecking the one against the Walters surname gives two further results:
A search on the FreeBMD website produced the same three names for birth registrations. (Search for 1902 births in England using "George A Walters" - phonetic surnames)0
dbhoskisson said: Ok, It would be nice if that was documented somewhere. Is there a help page that tells all the secrets of searching that they don't want people to know?
Also, why not make the * at the end the default search method? It is far more often I want to search like this than the other way - which is never.0
Lundgren said: The records are ordered by much more than just the Names.
All of the fields you search on are used to determine the order with weights. All of the fields you search on go into the order with weights.
The values you supply are NOT filters. Those are down in the lower left side of the website.
Make sure you fully understand the implications to using exact before you do it always. It will cause MANY records to not be returned.0
Paul said: Obviously, I can't disagree with your last point, Lundgren. However, this example proves the importance of having the Exact option available. I did not use any filters, yet still managed to make all those undesired results disappear.
I am disappointed no one has ever thought it important to add a small note on the Search page, explaining the availability of wildcards. Also, perhaps a note to say, "Try your search by both using "Exact match" and by NOT checking these boxes, and compare your results".
Inexperience users could be given some excellent advice on making searches by just a couple of sentences being added to https://www.familysearch.org/search/ pages. Otherwise, a direct link to a Help article on the subject could be added there.
Without getting advice from using this forum my search results would have been nowhere near as productive.0
Adrian Bruce said: "Make sure you fully understand the implications to using exact before you do it always"
Well, I can't argue with that - "buyer beware" and all that.
"It will cause MANY records to not be returned."
The issue with this is that if not using "exact" causes many, many to be returned then it doesn't matter if there are "correct" records in the extra answers - it's just too much to deal with.
For instance, if I search for "Name: Jack Bruce, Country: England, Record Type: Census, Residence, and Lists" and set name to exact - I get 13 (including the 2 entries for my grandpa)
If I don't set name to exact, I get 3,675 returned. A useless total because it's simply impossible to deal with - I cannot say things like "And these are the only ones returned, so, assuming he wasn't missed, he must be one of this list."
Regrettably the FS Record Search algorithms seem to prize not missing stuff over actually being able to identify the correct returns.0