Monday, January 4, 2010 adds Wild Card Search Flexibility

Anne Mitchell posted Ancestry Search: Improved Wildcard flexibility on the blog today.

Researchers can now use the "*" (up to six letters) and "?" (for one letter) wild cards anywhere in the name fields. The rules include:

* Now you can put a wildcard first, such as *son or ?atthew to catch all of those crazy spellings and variations that our ancestors came up with.

* Either the first or last character must be a non-wildcard character. For example, Han* and *son are okay, but not *anso*

* Names must contain at least three non-wildcard characters. For example, Ha*n is okay, but not Ha*

Read all of Anne's post for more examples and contribute your own to the comments on the post.

This is an excellent improvement to the search capability. Of course, it won't find those hopelessly mangled names, or the hopelessly messed-up indexed entries, but it will help!

1 comment:

Abba-Dad said...

Not sure if this is really working. I tried a general search for *rightmire and got a "Wildcard Error – *rightmire. The wildcard query resulted in too many matches."

How could that be? How would I be able to search for all the Wrightmire and Rightmire folks in the same search? Confusing, to say the least.