Global Searches

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Terms and Definitions

Database (skip database)
"Databases" here are specific family-tree files. Submitters choose a unique user code to identify each family tree submitted.

Exact Search
Any matches will use your spelling exactly, including spaces.

Fuzzy Search
All name and location fields in WorldConnect will be searched for Soundex matches, with the exception of the main surname field which has its own option menu.

Metaphone Search
Surnames will be searched for Metaphone (consonant-sound) matches. Metaphone is similar to Soundex, but gives somewhat different results; try both.

Soundex Search
Soundex searches will result in names with similar sounds, based on a coding first used for U. S. census indexes. Do not enter the Soundex code: the program will do the conversion internally and give you appropriate matches.

Surname and Given Name
"Surname" is another term for last name; "given name" is a first or middle name.

User Code
The person submitting a family tree chooses a unique user code to identify each family tree submitted.

Wildcard Searches
Wildcard searches enable you to enter three or more letters, then an asterisk, and ask for any matches beginning with that sequence of letters. For instance, Har* would result in matches of Harold, Harry, Harriett, etc.

More Terms and Definitions



Related FAQs:
Search a specific family tree
Exclude family tree from search
WorldConnect Search Results
Submitting Your Family Tree
User Codes
Country & State Abbreviations



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column WorldConnect's global search form can be used for both basic searches and advanced searches. You must enter search criteria in at least one field; you decide how many fields you wish to specify.

Global Search Form
To Global Search Form -- use back button to return


Hints for successful searches
  • You must enter information in at least one field.
  • Try filling in fewer fields if you want more matches.
  • Try variant spellings and nicknames -- each submitter has control over his/her data, so variant spellings/formats are common.
  • Use wildcard options where available.
Fields on search form
Surname | Given Name | Birth Place | Omit Blanks | Birth Year | Death Place | Death Year | Father, Mother, Spouse | Skip Database | Updated Within | Fuzzy Search
 
Surname (Last Name) and search options
If using this field, enter a surname and select a search format. Try spelling variants, including spacing variants if applicable (van Horn and vanHorn, or O'Brien and OBrien, for example). Soundex or Metaphone searches will give you similar-sounding matches. Use maiden (birth) names for women instead of married names. You can do a wildcard search by entering at least the first three letters followed by an asterisk. For example, Peter* will give you results including Peter, Peters, Peterson, Peterman, etc.
 
Given Name (first name)
Enter a name or an initial for this field; leave the field blank if you are not looking for a specific person or want to broaden your research. If you enter a first and middle name, matches will include both names but not necessarily in that order. For example, a search for Mary Jane will result in matches for those named Mary Jane, and those named Jane Mary. You can do a wildcard search by entering at least the first three letters followed by an asterisk. For example, Har* will give you results including Harold, Harry, Harriett, etc.
 
Birth or Death Place
You can search for any word appearing in this field (town, township, county, state, country, province, etc.). If you are doing a search for a location in the United States, you can enter the state name or the two-letter abbreviation (Tennessee or TN, for example) and get the same matches. Your search won't, however, pull matches where the submitters have misspellings such as Tenessee or if the abbreviation is inaccurate; when you hit a brick wall, consider common misspellings. If the location's name includes a space, such as San Diego, do searches both with and without the space. If the location includes a word such as St./Saint, remember to try both spellings (the period is not important). If you are entering a country, try searching by the name and by the standard abbreviation for the country.

Need help identifying standard abbreviations? Click here or see the side panel of this page.
 
Omit Blanks (Birth or Death Place option)
This option will remove any matches where this field is blank or empty. This option may not always be available.
 
Birth or Death Year (and range options)
You can search by a specific year by using the "Exact" option, or you may select a range of dates by using one of the choices on the drop-down menu. Entering 1900 for a year, and a range of "+ or - 2 Years", will result in matches from 1898 through 1902.
 
Father, Mother, Spouse fields
In these three fields you can enter a surname, a given name, or both. You can also use wildcards. Be sure you use maiden names for any women you are researching. Hints mentioned for the Surname and Given Name fields apply here also.
 
Skip Database
This feature is especially convenient if you wish to search all files except your own. Just enter the database name (user code) in this field. If you wish to skip more than one database, put a space between each user code. For example: jsmith adamsg myfile yourfile. Do not use commas or enter URLs (addresses) in this field.

Need help identifying the user code (database name)? Click here or follow the link from the index of FAQs.
 
Updated Within
If you often use the WorldConnect Project for your research, you can restrict your search to files which have been recently submitted, modified, or updated. If this is your first search within the WorldConnect Project, you should select "Forever" so you search through all databases available.
 
Fuzzy Search
All name and location fields in WorldConnect will be searched using Soundex matching, with the exception of the main surname field which has its own option menu.

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