Friday, April 24, 2009

Have you checked Databases?

While pursuing my seemingly never-ending search for Lam/Lanphere/phear/phier/fear/fire/fier/etc. people, especially in northern New York, I ran across the web site, which has user-contributed data.

The Search of the databases can be started from (two screens here):

The search can be performed for all of the records from the Search box above the "More USGenNet Site Searches" line, or the user can choose a state to search in. In the Search box above, I entered "Lamph*" as the search parameter. The results showed:

There are 43 results for Lamph*. The top of the screen shows the name variations that the site found in the 43 matches. I like knowing what variations it found.

I entered "Lanf*" in the Search box and got 30 matches, including the list of surnames that start with Lanf.

The user can look at the variations and get ideas for name searches on other sites that don't permit wild cards. Note that the names are not from a Soundex or similar algorithm. If they had been, the first search would have found Lanfear and other names that Soundex the same.

The site has grown in recent years, to the point that there are over 68,000 documents accessed by a search of the site (I used "joh*" as a search parameter). Once you are in a document you have to read it or use the Edit>Find menu to find your search term.

Doing a "reasonably exhaustive search" requires looking in every database site possible. I always check this one!

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