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April 02, 2008


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Great information!

In addition, most of Ancestry.com databases have a "Soundex" search option which displays spelling variances as well as "*" wildcard searches.

I've also had much luck searching the census using only the given name, date of birth + or minus 2, and county of residence (when known).

Many times using given names of spouses and children will yield results.

Thanks very much for pointing out this site, I'm sure this will soon become an old favourite. I don't know if this is the same data that is used by Ancestry et al for their soundex search options, but it certainly seems very extensive. It still wouldn't have found my ancestor though...
I came across a person in the census who was named as 'Gilson'. When I tried to search for them in previous census records, I got no results, even with soundex switched on. I made my own educated guess and typed in Gibbon. Sure enough they appeared. Then for another decade back in the census and they appeared as Gileson.
I think sometimes you almost have to switch letters and make names up in your searches. I knew that Gilson was not a common sounding name and could have been mistaken for Gibbon, but also that 'l' 's' and 'b' can get mixed up. Switching for letters that look alike can also get you results you want. When you really want to get hold of the enumerator and give him a good rattle is when he calls your ancesor Simon Philips when his name was actually Frederick Vickers - no amount of soundex and name switching is going to help you then!

I have just tried out the latest update for Legacy Charting. You now have the correct people in my descendants charts but now they are not in order. You have my youngest sibling as the oldest and I (the eldest) is number 8 followed by the sibling that comes after me. I have been using Family Tree Maker and Legacy since they have come out. I use Legacy for some things and FTM for others. Would that be a problem. I have been moving files from one program to the other.

Allaine, the child order fix will be in the next update....

Thank you for the new Legacy Charting program. I do require complex charts, i.e. siblings, etc, and other type of information on some charts I create. Is there an easy way of doing this or is it a case creating individual charts and then copying and pasting?

Surnames can change for many reasons. One reason not discussed in this article is changes to not only make a name pronounceable, but to make the name conform to the same name in another language. In Poland, and I am sure in other countries, the Germans who lived there for centuries often, but not always, changed their German names to the Polish equivalent. This was somewhat easy to do since many German names are the same as an occupation or a feature in the land. Thus, names like Schwarz became Czarnecki (both mean black), Rode became Czerwinski (both mean red), Schattschneider became Cholowinska (both mean head in some form). This concept of complete name change is a real eye opener when one considers looking at records for your ancestor in a different language. For a more complete list of German names that changed to Polish names, see http://www.sggee.org/AlternateSurnamesDatabase-substantiated.pdf

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