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Hot Matches - broken, non existant

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


ChrisinBrisbane Report 1 Nov 2012 22:25

I have just read some of the issues that have been raised of late relating to trees not being able to be viewed and/or printed. Let me just say, I know what you guys mean as I have been having some of these issues myself (and my tree is only 1170 people big!!).

My main issue with this site is the hot matches. This is not the first time that I have had to contact the "support team" about this issue. In the past week I have added approx 70 people to my tree, almost exclusively from other peoples trees. There was a hot match run done (amazingly only a week after the last one - NEVER seen that before) and I cannot believe that the system could not locate even 1 hot match. It beggers belief that this should be the case.


I have been a member of this site for quite some time and the help and assistance I have gotten from other members has been staggering and at times overwhelming. Since the new onwers have taken over the administration of the site though, my experience with 'technical difficulties' has incresed exponentially, the longer I continue to be a member. At times I have had to threaten to discontinue my membership in order to get things done, but it doesn't last.

It really does make wonder, like many others, if this site is worth the money. Having said that though, it is the cheapest subscription site around. Perhaps that's the problem - pay peanuts, get monkeys.


Kense Report 1 Nov 2012 22:40

The hot match program, when run, takes 50 random entries from your tree and looks for hot matches.

So the number of new people in that batch in your case will be around 50*70/1170 which is about 3. So it is not that likely that those three will have matches.

Of course your old entries may throw up hot matches if new people have added your relatives to their trees but again I wouldn't expect it to be many if any.


ChrisinBrisbane Report 1 Nov 2012 23:16


Thanks for the stats on that issue. I knew it was limited but I thought that it just took the flat 50 or so. It still make the Hot Matches facility next to useless.


RolloTheRed Report 1 Nov 2012 23:21

There is another way of getting the functionality of "Hot Matches" which I have always preferred ( I have HM disabled). It is possible to search on a given surname for people added within the last 14 days. If the surname is uncommon this can be enough otherwise you can filter for date range, location etc.


ChrisinBrisbane Report 1 Nov 2012 23:29


thanks for the tip. I'll give that a go and see how it works out.

Bloody silly that hot matches is no longer of any use. Now seriously considering not renewing my subscription. I think that if more people opted out of the site, they may take a bit more notice.


RolloTheRed Report 3 Nov 2012 07:24

Lot's of people have let their membership lapse to free status. In fact most of the "millions of members" are free. The only advantage of paying is (a) you can post on these boards (b) you can access the census records (except Scotland) (c) you can access trees shared with you. Otherwise all of the functionality is free.

As regards (c) for the last month it has been impossible to look at any tree with much over 3 000 people, your own or shared, in full / ancestor / descendant mode as the system times out. GenesRU are "aware" of the problem and "the team" is looking into it ... Estelle has also claimed that this bug is fixed (wrong). They also claim to have a team member who checks that updates work before release .... no comment.

GRU / FMP have become highly dysfunctional such that member concerns are not very far up the list.

Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius



ChrisinBrisbane Report 3 Nov 2012 12:55

Hi Rollo,

I have read the other posts, so I am 'aware' (sorry, no pun intended) of the issue you speak about. The ability to see other peoples trees is why I pay the fee. As that facility is also broken, then yes, I will let my subscription lapse. Shame really, as I have grown my tree considerably with a certain degree of accuracy since becoming a paid up member. If it ever gets fixed before my subs become due (March) I MAY reconsider. I will keep an eye on the situation.


LadyScozz Report 4 Nov 2012 02:17

I get HotMatches, but they're usually matched with members I'm already in contact with.

I won't disable the function, because I live in hope ;-)

The last message re Hotmatches I received was on 17 October ~

We couldn't find any hotmatches, try adding more names to your tree.

Good advice......... I must add more to my 19,408 names!!!!



Cynthia Report 4 Nov 2012 07:57


It looks as though you have exhausted your list of contacts on here for the moment.

You'll get more as and when new people connected to you join GR and enter their names on their tree. Don't give up hope.


LadyScozz Report 4 Nov 2012 10:15


I know that Cynthia.



DazedConfused Report 4 Nov 2012 11:55

I am firmly of the belief that after about 1 or 2 years unless some new members join who have some connection, Hot Matches will run out.

And also in the main most of my Hot Matches were for 1 person, and invariably were not a match (on the old system).


GinN Report 4 Nov 2012 15:08

I wish I had known more about this site before I subscribed, as I did so on impulse. I am already a member of that "other" more costly site, which has unlimited access to the majority of records, and easy access to other trees. Haven't found any advantages of this site, though I do enjoy the threads. Don't think I will be renewing after this first year. I was hoping to take my family tree further back, but this does'nt look likely. Never mind, I'll just enjoy those threads!


Cynthia Report 5 Nov 2012 08:21

From the Help page. FAQ

Hot Matches randomly takes 50 names from your tree, excluding common names such as Smith and Jones, and matches them with names on other members' trees. We also match the year and place of birth. You can then contact the member to see if you might possibly be related.

Super Hot Matches are a way of providing you with closer matches for names in your tree. Super Hot Matches match relations in other members' trees whose name, year of birth and parents match relations in your tree, providing a stronger match than normal hot matches. Occasionally you will find that there are no Super Hot Matches when you know there should be. It is simply because they haven't been picked up by our system. However, you will probably find that the Super Hot Match will be picked up in the future.

When you view your Hot Matches, you'll see a column that says 'In my contacts?'. If it says 'yes' then it means you have already been in touch with this member. To check your correspondence with them you just need to go to Messages and look at your contacts. You should see them listed and copies of all the emails you have sent to each other.

If there aren't any matches for you, you won't get any, but you should see a message on your homepage to let you know that we haven't been able to find you any matches this time.

If you decide you don't like Hot Matches at all you can just unsubscribe from them on the My Account - Email preferences page.

I must admit that I rarely look at my Hot Matches these days. When I first started to build my tree I was all over them like a rash but only look at them occasionally now.

We can build our trees for free but it's the boards which are the big bonus for this site. Lots of help available and many new friends made. :-D


InspectorGreenPen Report 5 Nov 2012 12:18

I am of the strong belief that the fundamental issues with HM's stem from the decision to introduce Place of Birth into the match algorithm.

The change was made, I believe, as a result of continual lobbying from a relatively small number of vocal members to these boards. Unfortunately those of us who had experience of name matching programs professionally and better understood their shortcomings thought differently but our pleas to leave things as they were fell on deaf ears.

The result was threefold:-

A huge performance issue for GR resulting in HM's not running for months on end, a reduction from 100 to 50 of the number of names checked at each run, and perhaps even more importantly to members, the number of matches found reduced to an almost non-existent trickle.

That said, I have always found it far more satisfying to do my own searching, as Rollo suggests, and over the past 10 years I have been a member have made over 600 contacts with other members this way. HM's, perhaps, accounting for no more than 5% of new potential matches for me.


ChrisinBrisbane Report 5 Nov 2012 22:23

To everyone who has had input to my 'suggestion',

Many thanks for your input. I have been a member for about 7 or 8 years now and as one correspondant has said, initially I was "all over the hot matches like a rash". Then they changed the system and yes, the HM function was down for an extended period. I had thought that when it came back, there would be a veritable flood of HM's for me to follow up, but of course that was not the case. Since that change and the subsequent 'fixes', my HM's have dried up to a point where it is useless. In the past two or three weeks I have added about 100 names to my tree (as a result of a new members HM's) with the expectation that it would generate a few HM's for me as well.

Due to the limitations of the search algorithm, the HM function (which ran twice, a week apart) still didn't pick anything up. The fact that it ran this quickly surely indicates that it had recognised that I had added names to my tree, yet returned no results.

With regard to tree access, until I read the posts by others regarding the issue, I thought that it was my computer that was causing the problem as I was using an older, slower machine at the time. As this evidently was not the case, and by the looks of the most recent posts, still an issue for most members, it seems that the 'powers that be' on this site simply don't know what to do to fix it.

As I have said above, my subs are due in March. If these issues are still unresolved at that time (which will have given them approx 12 months for get these things fixed, properly), then yes, I will regretably let my subscription lapse.

That will be a damn shame as I have met, initially some family members I didn't know existed (2nd cousins) specifically through the HM function, as well as some lovely people who have helped in many many ways to guide my research.


wisechild Report 6 Nov 2012 07:15

The only hot matches I´ve had in the past 18 months have been with people already in my contacts, & there have only been 8 of them last July. I know for a fact that several relatives have added their trees to Genes in that time, but have not been matched with mine. It doesn´t really matter because I know about them, but what about ones that have been added that I don´t know about.
I too over the years have been put in contact with other family members who have been quite closely related, but previously unknown & very much regret the loss of this facility.

Chris in Sussex

Chris in Sussex Report 7 Nov 2012 17:50

I did receive HMs on a regular basis.....But no longer.

I am of the firm belief that because I import from a Gedcom and my FTM tree does not include 'England' in the place name, for any event ,then it will not match with anyone having 'England' in the birth place field on here.

Not a big problem for me as I can always use 'Search Trees' but in a funny way I miss all those 'Mismatches' :-D



Kense Report 7 Nov 2012 18:51

The country name doesn't seem to be essential. Chris. I have had two recent hot matches where it wasn't given on the other person's tree.


InspectorGreenPen Report 7 Nov 2012 20:05

I believe there is an element of what at work we used to call "Fuzzy Logic" in the matching of place names.

For example, from my own hot matches:-

Staffs / Staffordshire
Staffs / Staffordshire, England
Burton-on-Trent / Burton on Trent
Moorland, North Petherton, Bridgewater / Bridgewater
Pontypridd Glamorgan Wales / Llanwynno, Glamorgan

all report as a match

Perhaps a member of GR could confirm what actually happens - it would certainly remove any speculation


ChrisinBrisbane Report 8 Nov 2012 23:00

Hi there,

Wisechild - totally agree with you. The ones we know about is not so much of an issue (although it's nice to see the matches - gives confidence in the system that it does actually work), but the ones we don't know about is extremely frustrating. It's a bit like finding the 'missing link' - vital to extend our trees potentially back a few more generations.

Chris in Sussex - I agree with you also. I knda miss those mismatches, if only to disprove a link. You can then say 'well, that is definately not a match' rather than just wondering is it, or isn't it.

KenSE - honestly, who knows what is 'essential' for a match. I've tried not putting anything in that field and still no matches. Same with 'unknown' or 'London'.

IGP - I remember 'fuzzy logic'. turned out not to be very logical at all, as evidenced by the current HM facility.

Do we know how many people actually use HM's (apart from me). It might be interesting to see some stats.