Spelling variations and the SoundEx algorithm.

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Spelling variations and the SoundEx algorithm.

John W. Kitz-3

Hi,

 

I quite recently started using Gramps and while collecting data about fellow bearers of my last name I noticed that over time a number of variations seem to have come into being as the result of e.g. writing down what was assumed to be said with a foreign accent or a simple mistake. In some cases those variations are incorrectly attributed to belong to the same parental line and conversely it isn't unlikely to assume that in some cases people are no longer considered to be part of some parental line, but of another or even a new one, because of it.

 

Obviously I'm not the first to notice this, please see e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soundex and https://www.archives.gov/research/census/soundex.html.

 

But given the fact that my last name appears to be sharing the same SoundEx code (Kitz = K320) as last names such as KATZ | KAUTZ | KEDZIE | KETTWICH | KETTWIG | KITCH | KITTS | KUTZ | (according to http://resources.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/soundexconverter) and several more (according to my own findings thus far), I could see a benefit in e.g. being able to search data contained in a Gramps installation using a given SoundEx code.

 

In light of the above I thought it best to put this up for consideration among the developers of Gramps rather than raise a feature request.

 

Regards, Jk.


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Re: Spelling variations and the SoundEx algorithm.

prculley
Have you looked into the Soundex Gramplet for Gramps?  It calculates the Soundex code for a name.
https://gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=Gramps_4.2_Wiki_Manual_-_Gramplets#SoundEx

Additionally our 'find possible duplicate people' tool can use soundex codes to suggest possible duplicates.
https://gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=Gramps_4.2_Wiki_Manual_-_Tools#Find_Possible_Duplicate_People

Paul Culley

On Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 6:05 AM, John W. Kitz <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi,

 

I quite recently started using Gramps and while collecting data about fellow bearers of my last name I noticed that over time a number of variations seem to have come into being as the result of e.g. writing down what was assumed to be said with a foreign accent or a simple mistake. In some cases those variations are incorrectly attributed to belong to the same parental line and conversely it isn't unlikely to assume that in some cases people are no longer considered to be part of some parental line, but of another or even a new one, because of it.

 

Obviously I'm not the first to notice this, please see e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soundex and https://www.archives.gov/research/census/soundex.html.

 

But given the fact that my last name appears to be sharing the same SoundEx code (Kitz = K320) as last names such as KATZ | KAUTZ | KEDZIE | KETTWICH | KETTWIG | KITCH | KITTS | KUTZ | (according to http://resources.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/soundexconverter) and several more (according to my own findings thus far), I could see a benefit in e.g. being able to search data contained in a Gramps installation using a given SoundEx code.

 

In light of the above I thought it best to put this up for consideration among the developers of Gramps rather than raise a feature request.

 

Regards, Jk.


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Re: Spelling variations and the SoundEx algorithm.

John W. Kitz-3

Paul,

 

I wasn't aware it existed, so I had not, but given your reply I am going to.

 

Thanks for pointing it out.

 

Enjoy your weekend and regards, Jk.

 

From: Paul Culley [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Friday, 27 January, 2017 17:25
To: [hidden email]
Cc: Gramps Developers
Subject: Re: [Gramps-devel] Spelling variations and the SoundEx algorithm.

 

Have you looked into the Soundex Gramplet for Gramps?  It calculates the Soundex code for a name.
https://gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=Gramps_4.2_Wiki_Manual_-_Gramplets#SoundEx

Additionally our 'find possible duplicate people' tool can use soundex codes to suggest possible duplicates.
https://gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=Gramps_4.2_Wiki_Manual_-_Tools#Find_Possible_Duplicate_People

Paul Culley

 

On Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 6:05 AM, John W. Kitz <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi,

 

I quite recently started using Gramps and while collecting data about fellow bearers of my last name I noticed that over time a number of variations seem to have come into being as the result of e.g. writing down what was assumed to be said with a foreign accent or a simple mistake. In some cases those variations are incorrectly attributed to belong to the same parental line and conversely it isn't unlikely to assume that in some cases people are no longer considered to be part of some parental line, but of another or even a new one, because of it.

 

Obviously I'm not the first to notice this, please see e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soundex and https://www.archives.gov/research/census/soundex.html.

 

But given the fact that my last name appears to be sharing the same SoundEx code (Kitz = K320) as last names such as KATZ | KAUTZ | KEDZIE | KETTWICH | KETTWIG | KITCH | KITTS | KUTZ | (according to http://resources.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/soundexconverter) and several more (according to my own findings thus far), I could see a benefit in e.g. being able to search data contained in a Gramps installation using a given SoundEx code.

 

In light of the above I thought it best to put this up for consideration among the developers of Gramps rather than raise a feature request.

 

Regards, Jk.


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Re: Spelling variations and the SoundEx algorithm.

John W. Kitz-3
In reply to this post by prculley

Paul (or anybody else who'd like to jump in),

 

I had a look at https://gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=Gramps_4.2_Wiki_Manual_-_Gramplets#SoundEx, i.e. the first of two links you pointed me to.

 

It kinda answers my initial question in that I understand that there's a Gramplet available that generates SoundEx codes for names that are in a Gramps database. But what I had in mind when my initial question came to mind is this; let's assume way back when a settler and his family disembarked from a vessel at some US port of entry and as it happens their last name was (correctly spelled) 'Kitz'. If Mr. Kitz, his wife and children would have come from The Netherlands and a US customs official would have asked them to state their names, they would probably have stated their name in Dutch (or with an initial strong Dutch accent), which in English would probably have sounded something like 'Kits' or 'Kitts'. Likewise if they would have come from either Germany or France their names, when stated in German or French (or with an initial strong German or French accent), in English would probably have sounded something like 'Kiets'.

 

Consequently I wouldn't be surprised if a considerable number of names of settlers may have been incorrectly spelled in official documents, in particular those related to their initial immigration, not as the result of the English pronunciation of names as the SoundEx algorithm assumes, but as the result of the English interpretation of the foreign pronunciation of names or of the English pronunciation with a strong foreign accent of names. In fact these two examples are based on actual information I've seen to date.

 

I imagine the issue, to the extent that it existed, probably abated as time progressed and these settlers' command and pronunciation of the English language improved in proportion to the time that they had been in the country and interacted with native English speakers. However, by that time living with the fact that their name had already been misspelled so many times on official papers may have been the easier choice over attempting to get it corrected.

 

Whatever may be the case, looking ahead I expect that as I start adding information on Dutch, German and French settlers in the US to the information I'm gathering at my side of the big pond I may need to be able to find individuals with the same SoundEx code as the original name 'Kitz' in order to identify them as candidates whose name at some point may have been misspelled in some of the documents from which I have derived some of the information pertaining to these individuals. From the pages that the links that you sent me point to I understand (please correct me if I'm wrong) that at this time there is nothing that runs through the Gramps data, generates a SoundEx code for each name in the database, adds that SoundEx code as an attribute, like gender date of birth, to the information held for individuals in the data, thus allowing to search on SoundEx code for like sounding names in order to indentify candidates as mentioned above. Correct?

 

I hope the above makes sense.

 

Regards, Jk.


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Re: Spelling variations and the SoundEx algorithm.

jerome
In reply to this post by John W. Kitz-3
> when stated in German or French (or with an initial strong German or French
 accent)

This is already an issue when people move into most provinces in France!
From west to east and north to south, or just on the next village...

In the past, I looked at phonex[1] as an extension of soundex.


[1] https://gramps-project.org/bugs/view.php?id=4468

PS: I suppose that most of my typos in english are related to sounds...


J.


--------------------------------------------
En date de : Dim 29.1.17, John W. Kitz <[hidden email]> a écrit :

 Objet: Re: [Gramps-devel] Spelling variations and the SoundEx algorithm.
 À: "'Paul Culley'" <[hidden email]>
 Cc: "'Gramps Developers'" <[hidden email]>
 Date: Dimanche 29 janvier 2017, 13h02
 
 Paul (or anybody else who'd
 like to jump in),
  I had a look at https://gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=Gramps_4.2_Wiki_Manual_-_Gramplets#SoundEx, i.e. the first of two links you
 pointed me to.  It kinda answers my initial
 question in that I understand that there's a Gramplet
 available that generates SoundEx codes for names that are in
 a Gramps database. But what I had in mind when my initial
 question came to mind is this; let's assume way back
 when a settler and his family disembarked from a vessel at
 some US port of entry and as it happens their last name was
 (correctly spelled) 'Kitz'. If Mr. Kitz, his wife
 and children would have come from The Netherlands and a US
 customs official would have asked them to state their names,
 they would probably have stated their name in Dutch (or with
 an initial strong Dutch accent), which in English would
 probably have sounded something like 'Kits' or
 'Kitts'. Likewise if they would have come from
 either Germany or France their names, when stated in German
 or French (or with an initial strong German or French
 accent), in English would probably have sounded something
 like 'Kiets'.  Consequently I wouldn't be
 surprised if a considerable number of names of settlers may
 have been incorrectly spelled in official documents, in
 particular those related to their initial immigration, not
 as the result of the English pronunciation of names as the
 SoundEx algorithm assumes, but as the result of the English
 interpretation of the foreign pronunciation of names or of
 the English pronunciation with a strong foreign accent of
 names. In fact these two examples are based on actual
 information I've seen to date.  I imagine the issue, to the
 extent that it existed, probably abated as time progressed
 and these settlers' command and pronunciation of the
 English language improved in proportion to the time that
 they had been in the country and interacted with native
 English speakers. However, by that time living with the fact
 that their name had already been misspelled so many times on
 official papers may have been the easier choice over
 attempting to get it corrected.  Whatever may be the case,
 looking ahead I expect that as I start adding information on
 Dutch, German and French settlers in the US to the
 information I'm gathering at my side of the big pond I
 may need to be able to find individuals with the same
 SoundEx code as the original name 'Kitz' in order to
 identify them as candidates whose name at some point may
 have been misspelled in some of the documents from which I
 have derived some of the information pertaining to these
 individuals. From the pages that the links that you sent me
 point to I understand (please correct me if I'm wrong)
 that at this time there is nothing that runs through the
 Gramps data, generates a SoundEx code for each name in the
 database, adds that SoundEx code as an attribute, like
 gender date of birth, to the information held for
 individuals in the data, thus allowing to search on SoundEx
 code for like sounding names in order to indentify
 candidates as mentioned above. Correct?  I hope the above makes
 sense.
  Regards,
 Jk.
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Re: Spelling variations and the SoundEx algorithm.

enno
In reply to this post by prculley
John,

To summarize, I think that it makes sense to have a SoundEx option in
all person filters, so that I can search for Borgsteede, and find
Borgstede, Borgstedt, etc., wherever applicable. Catching all variations
with regular expressions is too difficult for this.

I'm hoping that our SoundEx code is fast enough to accomplish this, but
I haven't tried that yet.

regards,

Enno


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Re: Spelling variations and the SoundEx algorithm.

John W. Kitz-3
Enno,

On 2017-01-29 14:39, Enno Borgsteede wrote:

> John,
>
> To summarize, I think that it makes sense to have a SoundEx option in
> all person filters, so that I can search for Borgsteede, and find
> Borgstede, Borgstedt, etc., wherever applicable. Catching all
> variations
> with regular expressions is too difficult for this.
>
> I'm hoping that our SoundEx code is fast enough to accomplish this, but
> I haven't tried that yet.
>
> regards,
>
> Enno

In 'Tools -> Family Tree Processing -> Find Possible Duplicate People'
there is a SoundEx option that can be checked. However, in my initial
post I wasn't referring to the process of finding duplicates, which IMHO
can for the most part probably also be achieved by looking at an
individual's attributes, such as date and place of birth, gender,
paternal and maternal relationship, siblings, etc., but about the
process of finding candidates from data with a broader coverage that
would potentially fit in one's family tree. While looking into this I
also noticed that there are some that seem to have a use for 'Reverse
SoundEx'[1].

[1]
http://www.afrigeneas.com/forum-aarchive/index_2.cgi/md/read/id/34279/sbj/reverse-soundex/

Regards, Jk.

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Re: Spelling variations and the SoundEx algorithm.

enno
John,
> In 'Tools -> Family Tree Processing -> Find Possible Duplicate People'
> there is a SoundEx option that can be checked. However, in my initial
> post I wasn't referring to the process of finding duplicates,
Me neither. That's why I suggest that you put a feature request for
soundex based search on our bug tracker.

I often find myself browsing through several surnames when I get an
email from a site like find-a-grave (the Dutch variant), to figure out
whether I have the mentioned person, or not. A filter that accepts a
soundex option would be a great plus here.

regards,

Enno


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Re: Spelling variations and the SoundEx algorithm.

John W. Kitz-3
Enno,

On 2017-01-29 18:47, Enno Borgsteede wrote:

> John,
>> In 'Tools -> Family Tree Processing -> Find Possible Duplicate People'
>> there is a SoundEx option that can be checked. However, in my initial
>> post I wasn't referring to the process of finding duplicates,
> Me neither. That's why I suggest that you put a feature request for
> soundex based search on our bug tracker.
>
> I often find myself browsing through several surnames when I get an
> email from a site like find-a-grave (the Dutch variant), to figure out
> whether I have the mentioned person, or not. A filter that accepts a
> soundex option would be a great plus here.
>
> regards,
>
> Enno

Just curious, is there anything that prevents you from entering a
feature request yourself?

Regards, Jk.

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Re: Spelling variations and the SoundEx algorithm.

enno
Op 30-01-17 om 20:58 schreef John W. Kitz:

> Enno,
>
> On 2017-01-29 18:47, Enno Borgsteede wrote:
>> John,
>>> In 'Tools -> Family Tree Processing -> Find Possible Duplicate
>>> People' there is a SoundEx option that can be checked. However, in
>>> my initial post I wasn't referring to the process of finding
>>> duplicates,
>> Me neither. That's why I suggest that you put a feature request for
>> soundex based search on our bug tracker.
>>
>> I often find myself browsing through several surnames when I get an
>> email from a site like find-a-grave (the Dutch variant), to figure out
>> whether I have the mentioned person, or not. A filter that accepts a
>> soundex option would be a great plus here.
>>
>> regards,
>>
>> Enno
>
> Just curious, is there anything that prevents you from entering a
> feature request yourself?
Yes, time. There's a lot of things in my head, and I don't invest much
in Gramps 4.2 anyway.

cheers,

Enno


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Re: Spelling variations and the SoundEx algorithm.

John W. Kitz-3
Enno,

On 2017-01-30 21:37, Enno Borgsteede wrote:

> Op 30-01-17 om 20:58 schreef John W. Kitz:
>> Enno,
>>
>> On 2017-01-29 18:47, Enno Borgsteede wrote:
>>> John,
>>>> In 'Tools -> Family Tree Processing -> Find Possible Duplicate
>>>> People' there is a SoundEx option that can be checked. However, in
>>>> my initial post I wasn't referring to the process of finding
>>>> duplicates,
>>> Me neither. That's why I suggest that you put a feature request for
>>> soundex based search on our bug tracker.
>>>
>>> I often find myself browsing through several surnames when I get an
>>> email from a site like find-a-grave (the Dutch variant), to figure
>>> out
>>> whether I have the mentioned person, or not. A filter that accepts a
>>> soundex option would be a great plus here.
>>>
>>> regards,
>>>
>>> Enno
>>
>> Just curious, is there anything that prevents you from entering a
>> feature request yourself?
> Yes, time. There's a lot of things in my head, and I don't invest much
> in Gramps 4.2 anyway.
>
> cheers,
>
> Enno

OK, I was just wondering given that you stated above that you think that
having "A filter that accepts a soundex option would be a great plus
here.". Whatever may be the case, I was considering entering a feature
request for it anyway.

Regards, Jk.

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Re: Spelling variations and the SoundEx algorithm.

prculley
This filter seems to be what you want.  If you drop these files into the gramps/gen/filters sub-directory of your Gramps installation, and restart Gramps, you should be able to use the filter editor to create a custom filter.
It matches a typed in name with any of the more or less likely name sub fields of each person in the db (or previous filter).

Paul Culley

On Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 3:31 AM, John W. Kitz <[hidden email]> wrote:
Enno,

On 2017-01-30 21:37, Enno Borgsteede wrote:
> Op 30-01-17 om 20:58 schreef John W. Kitz:
>> Enno,
>>
>> On 2017-01-29 18:47, Enno Borgsteede wrote:
>>> John,
>>>> In 'Tools -> Family Tree Processing -> Find Possible Duplicate
>>>> People' there is a SoundEx option that can be checked. However, in
>>>> my initial post I wasn't referring to the process of finding
>>>> duplicates,
>>> Me neither. That's why I suggest that you put a feature request for
>>> soundex based search on our bug tracker.
>>>
>>> I often find myself browsing through several surnames when I get an
>>> email from a site like find-a-grave (the Dutch variant), to figure
>>> out
>>> whether I have the mentioned person, or not. A filter that accepts a
>>> soundex option would be a great plus here.
>>>
>>> regards,
>>>
>>> Enno
>>
>> Just curious, is there anything that prevents you from entering a
>> feature request yourself?
> Yes, time. There's a lot of things in my head, and I don't invest much
> in Gramps 4.2 anyway.
>
> cheers,
>
> Enno

OK, I was just wondering given that you stated above that you think that
having "A filter that accepts a soundex option would be a great plus
here.". Whatever may be the case, I was considering entering a feature
request for it anyway.

Regards, Jk.

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Re: Spelling variations and the SoundEx algorithm.

John W. Kitz-3
Paul,

On 2017-02-01 23:44, Paul Culley wrote:
> This filter seems to be what you want.  If you drop these files into
> the gramps/gen/filters sub-directory of your Gramps installation, and
> restart Gramps, you should be able to use the filter editor to create
> a custom filter.
> It matches a typed in name with any of the more or less likely name
> sub fields of each person in the db (or previous filter).
>
> Paul Culley

Thanks, I'll try these files in due course.

Is this filter going to be an integral part of the planned 5.0 or an
intermediate release?

Regards, Jk.

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Re: Spelling variations and the SoundEx algorithm.

prculley
At the moment it is a proposal (we call it a PR), if there is some interest and it seems to work correctly, these are usually accepted.  I generated this for the future 5.x versions, it is generally a policy that we don't add significant new functionality to older versions.

However, as I said, I see no reason why you cannot just put this into your 4.2.x installation and use it there, it should work fine.

Paul Culley

On Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 4:49 AM, John W. Kitz <[hidden email]> wrote:
Paul,

On 2017-02-01 23:44, Paul Culley wrote:
This filter seems to be what you want.  If you drop these files into
the gramps/gen/filters sub-directory of your Gramps installation, and
restart Gramps, you should be able to use the filter editor to create
a custom filter.
It matches a typed in name with any of the more or less likely name
sub fields of each person in the db (or previous filter).

Paul Culley

Thanks, I'll try these files in due course.

Is this filter going to be an integral part of the planned 5.0 or an intermediate release?

Regards, Jk.


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Re: Spelling variations and the SoundEx algorithm.

prculley
I forgot that this was already accepted into Gramps 5.x.  So it is available to ambitious persons that know how to run Gramps off of the bleeding edge 'master' branch from Github.

I don't know when we will have another alpha release of Gramps 5.0, so cannot say when it will be more generally available.

Paul Culley

On Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 8:32 AM, Paul Culley <[hidden email]> wrote:
At the moment it is a proposal (we call it a PR), if there is some interest and it seems to work correctly, these are usually accepted.  I generated this for the future 5.x versions, it is generally a policy that we don't add significant new functionality to older versions.

However, as I said, I see no reason why you cannot just put this into your 4.2.x installation and use it there, it should work fine.

Paul Culley

On Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 4:49 AM, John W. Kitz <[hidden email]> wrote:
Paul,

On 2017-02-01 23:44, Paul Culley wrote:
This filter seems to be what you want.  If you drop these files into
the gramps/gen/filters sub-directory of your Gramps installation, and
restart Gramps, you should be able to use the filter editor to create
a custom filter.
It matches a typed in name with any of the more or less likely name
sub fields of each person in the db (or previous filter).

Paul Culley

Thanks, I'll try these files in due course.

Is this filter going to be an integral part of the planned 5.0 or an intermediate release?

Regards, Jk.



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Re: Spelling variations and the SoundEx algorithm.

John W. Kitz-3
Paul,

> I forgot that this was already accepted into Gramps 5.x.  So it is
> available to ambitious persons that know how to run Gramps off of the
> bleeding edge 'master' branch from Github.
>
> I don't know when we will have another alpha release of Gramps 5.0, so
> cannot say when it will be more generally available.
>
> Paul Culley
>
> On Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 8:32 AM, Paul Culley <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> At the moment it is a proposal (we call it a PR), if there is some
>> interest and it seems to work correctly, these are usually accepted.
>> I generated this for the future 5.x versions, it is generally a
>> policy that we don't add significant new functionality to older
>> versions.
>>
>> However, as I said, I see no reason why you cannot just put this
>> into your 4.2.x installation and use it there, it should work fine.
>>
>> Paul Culley
>>
>> On Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 4:49 AM, John W. Kitz
>> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Paul,
>>
>> On 2017-02-01 23:44, Paul Culley wrote:
>> This filter seems to be what you want.  If you drop these files
>> into
>> the gramps/gen/filters sub-directory of your Gramps installation,
>> and
>> restart Gramps, you should be able to use the filter editor to
>> create
>> a custom filter.
>> It matches a typed in name with any of the more or less likely name
>> sub fields of each person in the db (or previous filter).
>>
>> Paul Culley
>>
>> Thanks, I'll try these files in due course.
>>
>> Is this filter going to be an integral part of the planned 5.0 or an
>> intermediate release?
>>
>> Regards, Jk.

I have a spare PC on which I can do tests, such as the one's with moving
data to another directory / volume (see one of the other recent posts).
Time permitting I'll drop the files you attached earlier into that
installation, should I run into any problems I'll let you know.

Thanks so far, enjoy your weekend and regards, Jk.

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