Casefile Clues

18 January 2014

Ancestry.com Gets "Too Many" When FamilySearch Correctly Gets None

Here we go again with "too many matches" on  Ancestry.com. I've written about this before, but my level of web traffic probably is why  Ancestry.com doesn't really seem to take notice. It continues to be frustrating when searches do not work the way they should.

"Too many matches" rears its ugly head again and always when it's someone I am actually interested in trying to find.

This is the result screen when I performed a search for 

first name: hab*
last name: ag*

"Too many matches." 

The same search on FamilySearch's 1880 census. No results.


I'm not surprised there were no matches. The name combination is unusual. I searched for other first and last name combinations using wildcards at FamilySearch--and I got the expeted results. Their search is working. If Habbe Agena is enumerated in the 1880 census I will have to try another variant for his first or last name.

Thanks to FamilySearch for an interface that works.

But the question still remains:

Why can't  Ancestry.com make it work?

Note added 19 January 2014: A reader correctly pointed out that I neglected to use the three letter minimum before a wildcard on the search. When that was done (and I followed directions), I got no results. The results screen that Ancestry.com returned to my initial search indicating there were too many matches needs to be revised. There weren't "too many matches" at all--I didn't follow directions.