Census on Ancestry, Part 2


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More detailed discussion of searches in this database

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Census on Ancestry, Part 2

  1. 1. Ancestry Census Searching: Part II<br /> Your search terms = <br /> FILTER through which all the possibilities pass--if you filter out too much you may not find your target person<br />Types of Searches<br />All Years vs. Year-by-year<br />Exact Name: Exact spelling vs. Soundex<br />Non-exact Name –> Let Ancestry find possibilities <br />Wildcard -> You identify where spelling could vary<br />Manual entry of spelling variations<br />First name only: use most unusual name in family<br /> + specific location<br />
  2. 2. Types of Ancestry Census Searches:<br />Name Box<br />Exact search ~ exact <br />Exact search ~ Soundex<br />“Regular” ~ spelling variations<br />Wildcard ~ variations in chosen <br /> spot in name<br />Manual <br />Year<br /><ul><li>All years 1790-1930
  3. 3. Single year</li></ul>All types of searches can be done <br />as “all years” or single year searches<br />
  4. 4. EXACT SEARCH<br />Opinions differ. Some recommend you do exact search first. <br /> In doing this, you are betting that all the stars aligned and your target is indexed “correctly.”<br />It could happen. It is (my opinion) more likely to happen for <br />people in modern censuses, <br />people living in small towns or rural areas, <br />people with easily understood names, <br />people with unique names. <br /> <br />
  5. 5. EXACT SEARCH: All Years<br />Gives you very focused, limited results<br />
  6. 6. Results of exact, all-years search:<br />
  7. 7. “Soundex” Another kind of exact search<br />
  8. 8. Soundex search, all years - Gives many more results<br />Exact searches can also be done for single census years.<br />
  9. 9. SOUNDEX gives results varying from exact name by sound<br />It doesn’t give variations by spelling which seem obvious and natural:<br /><ul><li> Mackie
  10. 10. Macky
  11. 11. Mackay
  12. 12. McKay</li></ul>Regular (Non-exact) search gives spelling variations <br />
  13. 13. Exact search ~ exact <br />Exact search ~ Soundex<br />“Regular” (non-exact) ~ spelling variations<br />Wildcard ~ variations in chosen spot in name<br />Manual <br />
  14. 14. Ancestry “Regular” (non-exact)Search:<br /> Leave unchecked<br />State - Yes!<br />County - not necessary<br />Town - helpful<br />Add Name & Location<br />Add Age if name is common<br />
  15. 15. In“regular” (non-exact) searches, it’s probably better to searchsingle years:<br />Click on the census year you want to search<br />Remember to start with what you know, and go from recent backwards to the past. <br />
  16. 16. Exact search ~ exact <br />Exact search ~ Soundex<br />“Regular” (non-exact) ~ spelling variations<br />Wildcard ~ variations in chosen spot in name<br /> Manual <br />
  17. 17. Wildcard Searching:brings up spelling variants<br />Wildcardscan be inserted between letters or at the beginning or the end of a name.<br />Can be used for first or last names <br />? Stands for one letter<br />* Stands for multiple letters<br />?ose Perez – finds Jose or Rose<br />Jose*rezfinds Alvarez, Gutierez, Ramirez, etc.<br />John Fran*finds Frances, Francisco, Franchi, etc. <br />
  18. 18. An ALL-YEARS <br />WILDCARDsearch will bring up a confusing and infinite variety of results<br />
  19. 19. Manual Searching<br />This involves entering variations in the name box, based on <br />possible letter-confusions due to bad handwriting: n, v, m, and r, for example, or a, o, and u. <br />your experience with how the name is sometimes misspelled<br />For example, in searching for Michael Burns (in a certain place and time, <br /> Ancestry’s regular search will find Burnes, Barns, Barnes, and even Beirne, and so on; <br />wildcards may expand the results too much.<br /> “Bruns” and “Bunce,” two actual index errors for Burns, could only be found by a manual search <br />
  20. 20. Exact search ~ exact <br />Exact search ~ Soundex<br />“Regular” (non-exact) ~ spelling variations<br />Wildcard ~ variations in chosen spot in name<br />Manual<br />If (or–most of the time– when) <br />your person does not appear after an exact search,<br />your strategy will be determined <br />by the name you seek.<br />
  21. 21. TARGET NAME Considerations<br />The target name will affect how you search:<br /> Davis, a very common name: <br /><ul><li> Filter out a lot or get too many results:</li></ul>Filter by age, birthplace, unusual first name <br />Smigrodski, an uncommon name: <br /><ul><li> Don’t filter much because you are not going to get many results.
  22. 22. Try non-exact search hoping Ancestry will find misspellings, mistranscriptions, or wild variations such as Snigrodski . . . Smynodski . . . Smigrubshi . . . even Linigrodski or Frngudski.</li></li></ul><li>Ancestry Search: General Recommendations <br />Search one census at a time, most recent to earlier<br />Start with Name + Location + other possible filters if needed <br />If name is common: <br /> + Approx. birth year (without +/- which severely filter results)<br /> + Birthplace: can filter out similarly named people<br />First names matter as to what comes up in results. Also search on variant spellings, nicknames, middle names, & initials if person doesn’t come up <br />Middle initials do not usually constrain results but will affect order <br />Try different family member first names + surname <br /> <br />Don’t fill in every blank—Each additional bit of info could cause filtering of your person. <br />Even though your information is correct, errors in the index could hide your person if you put too much in the search fields <br />
  23. 23. The First-Name-Only Search:a “quick fire” solution to botched surname indexing<br />Requirement: Unusual name in the family<br /> Not George, John, Elizabeth, Mary – names in common in the time and place<br /> But Herman, Josiah, Phoebe, Carolyn – any name which is in minor use in that place and time<br />Use: first name + exact location (and maybe + age )<br />Leave off surname!<br />Results: Every person in the town with that first name <br />You then scan the results for a name close to the one you seek<br />
  24. 24. Full Name Search<br />
  25. 25. Results: Honora Blake not found in NY County,* NY in 1850<br />*Manhattan<br />
  26. 26. First Name search for Honora in NY, NY, b. about 1825 <br />Blank<br />
  27. 27. Results: A Possible Match <br />“HonoraBadke”<br />Is this unusual last name a mis-transcription of Blake?<br />Check it out . . . <br />
  28. 28. Ink blotch caused indexing error:<br />Here she is!<br />