Re: Need suggestions for how to search for misspelled family names #records

Mashiach L. Bjorklund

Wildcard searching

It’s important to remember that names are often misspelled or mis-transcribed, so doing “fuzzy” searching on names can often help you find a good match, even though the name may look wrong. In the name and keyword fields, you can do extremely fuzzy searches by using wildcards. Wildcards are special symbols (the asterisk "*" and the question mark "?") that are used in searching to represent some number of unknown letters in a word. Wildcards can be effective search tools if you are searching for words or names with alternate spellings:

An asterisk "*" represents zero or more characters (e.g., a search for "john*" might return "john, johnson, johnsen, johnathon, johns", etc.).

  • Any use of the asterisk requires at least two non-wildcard characters (you cannot search for "S*", but could use "Sm*").
  • A single character is represented by question mark "?" (e.g., "Sm?th" equals both "Smith" and Smyth").

I clipped that from It's a good description of how to use wild card searching.

It also helps to understand soundex and how the database you are using applies it.

If you have an account try this link:

Mash Bjorklund
Clearwater, FL

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