Sunday, March 6, 2011


Hi Ancestry,

I have a question about the logic behind your search results...

Let's say I did a search where I entered the following parameters:

First name = Grace
Last name = Snyder
Birth year = 1887
Birthplace = Tompkins County, NY

...and left everything default (i.e., not making things exact).

Can you, Ancestry, explain to me then why, if you actually have a Grace Snyder, b. 1887 in Tompkins County, NY in your database, then WHY is she the 2nd relevant search result after some Grace living waaaaaay over in some other county? Shouldn't she be the FIRST??? What am I missing? Are you mad at me? Am I doing the search wrongly? Does this stuff happen to your other users too?

Anyway, love you for all your other stuff, just don't always like the way your searches work.



P.S. Also, if you could please come up with a way to speed up time so that the release of the 1940 census gets here sooner, I'd really be appreciative. Thx!!


  1. I ALWAYS use search with the "Exact matches only" option ticked, and then use wild cards to vary names/places, otherwise I am never sure whether I'm getting everything relevant. I don't know how to predict the way the search algorithms are working with the box unticked, so I'd prefer not to use it.

  2. Yeah, I've seen this. Once, I was searching in the Minnesota births and had to go FIVE pages down to find a mother's maiden name that I KNEW was there. We need to know what algorithms they've coded in their search plane.

    BTW, don't forget to check your messages. You have (2). ;->

  3. LoL! You're funny. And it would be funny if it weren't so true!

  4. I've often been baffled by the order of the search results too. So, it's not just me being dense :-) Jo

  5. I do what Brett does. And I stay far away from New Search.