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Searching for full names vs. partial names online.
User Rank: Online Genealogist
Joined: 5/10/2010
Posts: 10


Created By:David Lambert
It is always best advised to search for the bare minimum when searching and online database or Google.  For instance a reference to an ancestors may not appear with his or her full name.  A search on Google for "James Albert George Lambert" will give specific results.  However if someone has simply listed him as "James Albert Lambert" with one middle name, or by his middle initials "James A. G. Lambert" the search may not return a hit.  Starting basic search terms "James Lambert" and adding the other parts of his full name will greatly raise the chances of finding all online resources.
User Rank: Beginner
Joined: 8/9/2010
Posts: 1


Created By:Nora

One of my favorite topics! It is amazing how we can "trick" a search engine into finding just what we want. At ancestry.com, after searching the New York City 1870 US census for Patrick Dwyer b 1841 +/- 10 in Ireland  and not finding him (I knew he was living in Brooklyn), I searched for his son: Bart* b 1864 +/-1 in New York, residence Kings County. Up popped Bartholomew Doyle not Dwyer. This is absolutely the correct family--same parents and siblings, correct ages, etc. This example points out that less can yield more in search-engine strategies.

Multiple spelling variations of a name can cause a great deal of frustration when searching for people in electronic databases. Here is a challenge to readers: Using * as a wild card, how would you reduce the following spelling variations to a single search term?

Connelly

Conoly

Conaly

Connaley

Conelley

Coneley

Conley

Canelly

Canneley

etc.


User Rank: Beginner
Joined: 11/17/2010
Posts: 8


Created By:Mary Gilchrist

So how would I search for the parents, father b PA and mother b NY, of Thressa King, said born 8 Sep 1839 in Orange County NY near the present day Port Jervis and said married to Ralph Akers on 15 Feb 1855 in/near Greene, Pike County, PA by M.E. minister Ephraim Balesster.  

She/they immigrated to Johnson County Iowa before 1860, living next to an Elsy Oathout/Andrews/Latimer from New York who named her daughter Theressa.    The Akers' family moved west to Audubon County Iowa before 1870, with Thressa dying in childbirth in 1880.   Her sons referred to her as Thirsey.  Did they mistakenly remember her mother-in-law's surname, namely Experience King, as she outlived Thressa?


User Rank: Beginner
Joined: 12/3/2010
Posts: 8


Created By:Sholom Simon
Yep.  I was once stuck at a Sally Lampson.  Completely stymied.  Then, while researching another line, I saw a marriage into a Lamson line.  I had one of those "smack myself in the forehead" moments.  I tried searching for the parents of Sally Lamson, and ended up with five more generations.

User Rank: Online Genealogist
Joined: 5/10/2010
Posts: 10


Created By:David Lambert

Have you searched for King's in the 1840 Census of Orange County?  This will allow you to get a sense for the male heads of household to search in the 1850 Census. The 1850 Census should list her as a 10-11 year old in the household.  Knowing already the state in which each person was born will help narrow it down in the 1850 Census.

 

David Allen Lambert, NEHGS Online Genealogist


User Rank: Beginner
Joined: 8/9/2010
Posts: 2


Created By:Alan
I agree that sometimes less is better, although it may produce many results, you'll just have to sort through it all albeit tedious but the find my be well worth it. I have spent a long time trying to find information on my g g g grandfather, John Russell's wife Abigail P. (McAllister). I knew they were married in 1831 in Boston and she was born in Lovell, Me. and died in Boston between 1850 and 1855 but nothing else until when searching I minimized her name to just the letter "A" and found her death record, recorded as Abby. I also found birth records of John's grandchildren by entering just the last name, then painstakingly review each record.
User Rank: Beginner
Joined: 8/9/2010
Posts: 1


Created By:Jerilyn

When searching Google for names, if you do use quotation marks around the name, try reversing the order of the names for different results.  This is because quotation marks in Google will put the words in that order most of the time.  Sometimes the words will come up in a different order but they will be much farther down the list.

 

So, a search for "John Smith" will yield different results than a search for "Smith John" --- experimentation with different ways of searching is always good.

 


User Rank: Beginner
Joined: 8/9/2010
Posts: 1


Created By:Winifred
A marriage record in Tennessee showed the bride's given name as Ellis.  As too often happens, this is perpetuated in trees online, etc.  My slap upside the head in trying to track this "Ellis" got me to sounding it out as we are advised to do with surnames.  Goodness gracious, sounded like it might be Alice and so I found her with my gr-grandfather, her son, in 1870.  I also located a woman in California death records by resorting to a search on birth date and birth place.  Since she was married several times, I didn't know what surname might have been used on death certificate.  Got really lucky there.
User Rank: Contributor
Joined: 8/9/2010
Posts: 38


Created By:Dale H. Cook
This discussion illustrates why I have urged the inclusion of the printed indices for all works on the NEHGS site which are presented as page images. I can almost always find the information that I am looking for more quickly in a printed index than by multiple searches in an electronic index to look for spelling variants of a given name or surname. In many recent NEHGS database additions attempts have been made to include spelling variants in the electronic index, and while useful that is not infallible. Given the immense gap between the capabilities of computers and those of the human brain there are times when I much prefer to submit a printed index to the latter.

Dale H. Cook, Member, NEHGS and MA Society of Mayflower Descendants;
Plymouth Co. MA Coordinator for the USGenWeb Project
Administrator of http://plymouthcolony.net

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