Don’t Match Exactly!

Avoid setting your search at any site to “match exactly.” Names get spelled incorrectly, places of birth are incorrect, ages are off, etc. There There are times where exact matches will get you what you want, but many times it can limit your search to the point where the desired item is not returned.

This is especially true for any name that is in a foreign language or the informant does not speak the local language. 


3 thoughts on “Don’t Match Exactly!

  1. Harriott Lomax

    Excellent tip, I would have missed my paternal grandfather completely in the 1870, 1880 and 1910 US census. In the 1870 & 1880 census he is listed with his step-father’s surname and in the 1910 census the family name is incorrect, I was able to identify the family by doing a search of their neighbors, the given names of my grandparents, uncles and father were all there in the LOOMIS household, the family name is LOMAX.

  2. Karen Farwell

    A 1910 census record in Iowa used the HOH’s given name as the surname for the family, thus Mr. Bailey appeared to be Mr. Samuel. All the names were correct, but with the surname and given names mixed.

  3. Patty

    I have run into this realization with a gentleman whose name is Isaac or Isaac or Isaac or Isaac . I got so confused with all the different spelling. Of course only one was correct.


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