Make Your Wildcard List

Before searching at any site that allows wildcards, make a list of all the search variations you will be using. It’s easy to overlook one if the list is “in your head.”


5 thoughts on “Make Your Wildcard List

  1. Paula Perry

    “Late in Life Computer User” here. I had to go read about Wildcard Searches. I thought I understood, but then I come back and look at the list and I still can’t figure out where Buc and Bru come in (might have sounded like Bieger to someone?).

    1. Meredith

      I think perhaps they come from how a transcriptionist might interpret the handwriting. If you have a transcriptionist who sees a “Bie” as “Bu” you need to account for them typing this variation into the database you’re searching.

  2. michaeljohnneill Post author

    It comes from my list of spelling variants for this name. Sometimes it gets heard as Pickert, Picker, Pigar, Bucker, Bugger, etc.

  3. Suzanne

    And even reporting from relatives can be inaccurate. Only yesterday, I discovered that my husband’s grandfather reported information of his recently deceased wife, for the death cert. , and gave her Italian maiden name as Panza, but it was actually Pauza. I can only imagine his grief from losing his 25 yr old wife who had emigrated with him and was the mother of his 2 small children. It’s a wonder he remembered anything.


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