Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Another Ancestry.com Slider Quirk - Orpha Hildreth

I received an email from Genea-Musings reader, Glenn in Kentucky, and he had a quirk happen with one of his searches using the Ancestry.com sliders.  He permitted me to post about it:

Glenn's search terms on the Ancestry.com "Search" tab were:

*  Check the "Match all terms exactly" box
*  Given name:  Orpha
*  Last name: [blank]
*  Event: Birth [select from dropdown menu]
*  Birth date:  1889 +/- 1 year [select from dropdown menu]
*  Birth location:  Kentucky, USA [select from dropdown menu]
*  Family member:  Spouse [select from dropdown menu]
*  Spouse's last name:  Hildreth

The search screen looks like this:

The Search Results look like this:

Glenn started tweaking the sliders without changing the data.  He changed the "Born" slider to plus or minus 5 years, and saw:

No matches!  He didn't change the birth year, yet br broadening the range to 1884-1894, he got no matches.  We can see that there is a 1930 U.s. census record in screen two above.  Why is this?

I changed the slider to plus or minus 10 years, and the one match appears:

When I did the search above, I noted that the Slider for given name was initially set at the third setting, meaning "Exact, sound alike, and similar."  I wondered if there would be more matches if I moved the slider to the next setting ("Exact, similar, sound alike and initials"), so I did that, and saw:

Another match appeared for the right person...and all I supposedly added was the initials.

I tried to duplicate Glenn's quirk with several of my own ancestors, and could not duplicate this particular problem.  Glenn said in an email that he had seen comments about similar problems on the Ancestry message boards also.

It appears to me that Ancestry.com has a few coding problems in their slider feature.  I imagine that they will sort it out and fix it in the next week or two.  We all want to have confidence that we receive the results that reflect our search field entries.

Thank you to Glenn for providing this quirk example.  It led me to research and write the previous post about An Ancestry.com Search Quirk, and Slider Numbers.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/03/another-ancestrycom-slider-quirk-orpha.html

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver


Lynn David said...

People have been saying bad things about the new search, so I tried to replicate the search which found the info that proved an immigrant ancestor's Belgian parentage. It worked. But then I went back the next day and tried it again with the same parameters. And I got some rather strange results that did not have any meaning to my ancestor. I tried it agian the next day and got a whole different set of results. When one cannot get reproducible results something is seriously wrong.

Russ Worthington said...


Michael John Neil had a conversation on his blog about this.

I think the answer to this issue is the Check Mark in the Exact box on that first screen.

I was able to duplicate the his issue and on my screen the Check Mark in Exact let the Sliders played nicely.

See if that works for you.

Thank you,