"First of all, I always use exact search . . . ."
Jerry, while your search advice is sound, my initial search was for a tree person, and it was the initial results I was referring to in the OP.
To search from a tree person one has absolutely no option as to what is searched or in what manner when you click "search records" under the individual person's main name/vitals box on the overview page (except as to whether your default is in NewSearch or OldSearch, which is not selectable from a tree individual display either).
One must do the initial junk-global search before getting access to the ~database group filters list~ and the ~search form~ that allows selecting search parameters.