People::lastname = Notes::LastName
Your layout is based on Notes and you have a portal to people with this filter expression?
people::firstlast = notes::Firstlast or people::PreferredLast = notes::firstlast
Portal filters take the records returned by the relationship and then filter them down to a smaller set of records for which the filter expression evaluates as True. In your case, only Notes records where People::Lastname = Notes::lastName will appear in your portal, whether or not you filter it. The expression you use can only reduce this list, not add to it so records that for which the filter expression evalulate as true but do not have matching last name fields will not be shown in the portal due to the relationship used.
There could be other issues as you do not explain what values will be found in the firstlast fields referenced in the filter expression.
I suggest this relationship for your filtered portal if you want to look at all People records and then filter it down to a list of possible matches:
People::anyfield X Notes::anyfield
This will list all records in your portal until you apply a filter to reduce the records listed.
You might also whant to examine this demo file for enhanced methods of searching out records by name: http://www.4shared.com/file/plr_jbkk/EnhancedValueSelection.html
The values in the first last field: in all instances, it is a calculation of the first threeletters of first name and the last name.
We are using this interface to quickly find the matches so we do only want to see those who match on last name and first three letters of first or preferred first name (too many people records anyway). The relationship is last name to get all of those and then reduce it to the calculated firstlast or prefrerredlast.
Just found the probem and it is dumb but easy and already fixed. The user has many last names with a space at the end of the name. The field now has an auto calc of trim.
Have just downloaded the demo file and will look at it.
Thank you for your speedy response and the demo file.