Refine your search

From the Family Tree Forum Reference Library

Why Refine Search Options?

You may need to refine your search if you have difficulties finding a relative in the census.
To refine a search is simplicity itself. There are several options available. The easiest way is to use a "less is more" approach. Just because you can enter information in every search criteria doesn't mean you have to.

Suggested search criteria

Experiment with leaving different boxes blank, include (or exclude) the name of a spouse or parent for example or perhaps the place of birth.

There is an illustrated guide below and also a case study with an illustrated search and results screens and an example of a wildcard search at Finding Martha

Wildcard Searches

To use a wildcard search there must be at least three characters before any wildcard.

Use more characters before the wildcard. For example, use Able* instead of Abl*.

Specify both a first and last name or a partial first and last name.

Try using the single-character wildcard "?" rather than the multiple-character wildcard "*".

(e.g., using "Hans?n" matches both "Hansen" and "Hanson" rather than using "Hans*").

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