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Tips on Searching the
East Trent Genealogy Collections

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General Search Tips

Start with a fairly general search, perhaps only including a last name, and add more information to refine your search if the number of results is too large.

The spelling of names may not be as you expect as they could be written in a number of ways. For example, the name Catherine may have been written as Catharine or Katharine. Thomas may have been shortened to Tom. If entering a particular name doesn't bring up the results you're expecting, try using a Wildcard search, described below.

Bear in mind that results will not be returned unless they match your search terms exactly. So for example, if you search for someone born in 1890 and married in 1920, a marriage entry for that person may exist but will not be found unless the age was given in the entry. Try removing search terms to increase the number of results returned.

Filling in the Form Fields

You must enter a search term in at least one of the Name fields or the Year fields.

Characters which you can use in the Name fields include letters of the English alphabet in either upper or lower case (A to Z, a to z), single quotes or apostrophes ('), hyphens or dashes (-), spaces, and the wildcard characters * and ? (see "Using Wildcards" below).

The Year fields can only contain numbers (0 to 9).

Selecting a value in the Year Range (+/-) fields will search for matches in the selected range before and after the specified year. For example, entering 1900 in the Year field and selecting "+/- 2 years" will match all results in the year range 1898 to 1902. Selecting "+/- exact" will only match results for the specific year entered in the Year field.

Using Wildcards

You can use wildcards in any of the Name fields, but they must be used together with at least one other valid non-wildcard character as described in "Filling in the Form Fields" above.

There are two wildcard characters: the asterisk (*) which can be used to represent zero or more characters, and the query or question mark (?) which can be used to represent a single character. For example, searching for Ma*y would match May, Mary or Marjory, and searching for Ma?y would match Mary but not May or Marjory. Likewise, searching for *Anna* would match Anna, Hannah or Hanna, and searching for ?Anna? would match Hannah but not Anna or Hanna.

Simply entering * or ? into a Name field will not work, and neither will entering a wildcard in place of a whole name where two or more names are entered in the same field. For example, searching for "William * Charles" would not create a valid search term, but "William Fred* Charles" is valid.

If the individual should be there but isn't....

If you can't find the person you're looking for after trying as many different ways of searching for them as you can think of, there is the possibility that the relevant records have not yet been transcribed or are not available for transcription. Please also note that if the person you are looking for was born less than 100 years ago, any entries relating to them will not be put on the website. Have a look at the section called "Privacy Policy" in the left hand menu of the East Trent Genealogy website for more information.