I’m looking for a woman named Wilhelmina Senf who immigrated to the United States between 1846 and 1852. Sometimes her first name is rendered as Mina and sometimes her last name is spelled Senf, Serf, Senft, Serft, Zenf, Zerf, Zenft, Zerft, etc. I need to make certain that my searches are covering all these possible variations of her name.
To do that I made a chart with the name variants spelled out. The problem is that soundex and “sounds like” options for Senf may not catch all the variants that begin with an “S.” The same thing is true for the variants that start with a “Z.” The “n” being read as an “r” creates that problem.
I also need to make certain that while she’s usually listed with a first name of Wilhelmina/Wilhelmine, she did use the first name of Mina as well. My list of names to search for needs to reflect that. Based on the three variations for her first name and the eight variations listed for her last name, there are twenty-four possible name combinations. Using search options (based on sounds-like choices and wildcards) means that each of the twenty-four choices does not have to be performed as a separate search.
But we do need to make certain that the searches we enter will catch all the variants we have.
Do you always do that?