Record Search Tool Inadequate

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TMcGuire-p40
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Record Search Tool Inadequate

#1

Post by TMcGuire-p40 »

Ladies and Gentlemen:

With the Pilot / Labs website, the search tool is inadequate. There is very little control for limiting the location. As a result, a great deal of time can be wasted trying to find a record that can be readily or more easily found on Ancestry.com or HeritageQuest.

Let me explain -

If I am searching for an individual that I know was located in Berrien County, Michigan, I may or may not care when and/or where he was born. I just want to be able to review all records within that location for the name entered.

This is almost impossible to easily accomplish with the current search tool.

Regards,
T. McGuire
russellhltn
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#2

Post by russellhltn »

TMcGuire wrote:If I am searching for an individual that I know was located in Berrien County, Michigan, I may or may not care when and/or where he was born. I just want to be able to review all records within that location for the name entered.
The site is too slow right now for me to test that, but it doesn't sound like that should be an issue. Why can't you do exactly what you are asking? I don't remember any date field being mandatory but there were some recent changes.
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TMcGuire-p40
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#3

Post by TMcGuire-p40 »

RussellHltn wrote:I don't remember any date field being mandatory but there were some recent changes.
The date field is not relevant. It is the fact that you cannot search by location for an individual. Under the present scheme, you search for the individual and the individual is found solely by values associated to the individual's record.

Instead, the desire is to search a specific place (location) for all individuals with a specific name and additional criteria related to those individuals.

For example: if I want to search all of Cook Co., Illinois for anyone named McGuire, I cannot do so under the present scheme.

In addition, the way that Flash fills/completes the place (location) field is annoying beyond belief.

Regards,
T. McGuire
russellhltn
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#4

Post by russellhltn »

TMcGuire wrote:For example: if I want to search all of Cook Co., Illinois for anyone named McGuire, I cannot do so under the present scheme.
It was quite happy to execute the following:

Image

or if you prefer,

Image


All 97 pages worth. What am I missing?

Given how many pages of results you get, you probably would want to filter it down a bit. Perhaps using the years to narrow it to the expected lifespan of the generation of interest.
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TMcGuire-p40
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#5

Post by TMcGuire-p40 »

What you are missing is that the results pages are not for people named "McGuire" living just in Cook Co., Illinois. The results page contains anyone and everyone named McGuire "maybe" having some association to Cook Co., Illinois. For some census records, this works for the residence, for others it does not. Try this search for the 1850, 1860, or 1870 census. Try it from the search box on the "home" page. You will see what I mean.

The desire, as I stated, is to limit the search FIRST by location of the data, SECOND by the name or names within that location, THIRD any other criteria entered, i.e. date(s).

Regards,
T. McGuire
russellhltn
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#6

Post by russellhltn »

Where you see a problem, I see a feature. As it's constructed now, the search will work by name/place/time and search across all records. That can turn up things that you want but might have not thought to search for - For example someone born there but now living somewhere else.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

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TMcGuire-p40
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#7

Post by TMcGuire-p40 »

TMcGuire wrote:... the desire is to search a specific place (location) for all individuals with a specific name and additional criteria related to those individuals.
I guess you missed my original premise.:) I know exactly where I wish to search. The drawback is that there is no tool with which to do so with the Pilot / Labs Pilot website. If this website is to be part of the future, then there needs to be greater flexibility with the search algorithm.

Regards,
T. McGuire
scion-p40
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#8

Post by scion-p40 »

TMcGuire wrote:I guess you missed my original premise.:) I know exactly where I wish to search. The drawback is that there is no tool with which to do so with the Pilot / Labs Pilot website. If this website is to be part of the future, then there needs to be greater flexibility with the search algorithm.

Regards,
T. McGuire

I understand *exactly* what you wish to find and have reported that in the past, though less eloquently I am sure.

When I include a full name in a search, then the results find every Mary (as opposed to every Mary McGuire or whatever the full name is) living in the county in some century, or maybe even those in Australia and England too, it's just absurd. This is even more frustrating when I'm just trying to piece together bits of records submitted by me over the last 20 years give or take a few. I know where they were, who they were, and when they were. However, the search "feature" returns a bunch of junk to sift through needlessly.
russellhltn
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#9

Post by russellhltn »

Out of curiosity, have you tried out any of the FamilySearch Partners software?

Family Insight, Rootsmagic and Ancestral Quest are the three that immediately spring to mind. They all have free trials and are available to FHCs (however, not all FHCs may have installed them).

I haven't played with them much, but I know that PAF Insight, the predecessor of Family Insight, was very good at picking over the whole bunch of "junk" the old FamilySearch used to deliver and pick out the likely ones.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.
steph.younger
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#10

Post by steph.younger »

TMcGuire wrote:The desire, as I stated, is to limit the search FIRST by location of the data, SECOND by the name or names within that location, THIRD any other criteria entered, i.e. date(s).

I have to agree, that (and please understand I don't know how the back end of this thing works) it doesn't seem terribly unreasonable to create a search that allows you to incrementally filter your results until you get down to a manageable level.

Here's what I just experienced using the search:

1850 Census
- Search Criterion: Last Name: "McGuire"
- - Exact and close matches: 4,700 - which is the same number I get if I don't specify a database and just type "McGuire" into the search box (I find that odd)
- Narrow by: Place: "Illinois, United States" (from the list across the top of the page)
- - Exact and close matches: 256 (not all of whom lived in Illinois, but may have been born there and lived somewhere else during the census)
- Narrowed by Gender: 108 Female, 148 Male

I find it more than a bit goofy that if I put any criteria in the original search beyond the name, I lose the ability to narrow by place and get other narrowing options instead.

- Stephen
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