Family history and 
one name study 
Guidelines for searching

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Getting the most from your search
Some guidelines on getting the most from your search
  • Check spelling
  • Use appropriate capitalisation
  • Use quotation marks
  • Use plus (+) or minus (-)
  • Use wildcards
Check spelling

Make sure your search terms are spelled correctly. The search engine will attempt to find words that sound similar to your search terms, but it is always best to try to spell the search terms correctly.

Use appropriate capitalization

Capitalize proper nouns. Lowercase letter you type will match any case, while uppercase letters you type  will match only uppercase. For example, typing search will return all documents containing the words search, Search and SEARCH. However, typing Search will only return documents containing Search or SEARCH

Use quotation marks

Use quotation marks to find words which must appear adjacent to each other, for example, "Church Street." Otherwise, the search results will include the word Church and the word Street, but not necessarily in that order. The words may appear anywhere, and in any order, within the document.

Note: if you are using the radio buttons for "any," "all," and "phrase," then quotes can only be used when the "any" radio button is selected. Quotes are ignored if the "all" or "phrase" radio button is selected.

Use plus (+) or minus (-)

Use a plus sign when your search term or phrase must appear in the search results. Use a minus sign to indicate undesirable term(s). The plus sign tells the search engine that a certain word or phrase is required in the search results, and a minus sign indicates that a word or phrase must be absent in the search results.

Note: A phrase must be contained within quotation marks. Leave no spaces between the plus or minus sign and the term.

Note: plus and minus can only be used when the "any" radio button is selected. Plus and minus are ignored if the "all" or "phrase" radio button is selected.

Use wildcards

Wildcard searches can expand the number of matches for a particular request. The * character is used as the wildcard character.
For instance, searching for wh* will find the words what, why, when, whether, and any other word that starts with wh.
Searching for *her* will find the words here, whether, together, gathering, and any other word that contains her anywhere in the word.

Wildcards may be combined with the standard plus (+) and minus (-) modifiers, as well as quoted phrases.

+wh* -se*ch will find all pages which have a word that starts with wh and which does not contain a word that starts with se and ends with ch.
"wh* are" will find the phrases where are, what are, why are, etc

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Last modified 2021 Mar 01 12:00:00