General Search Help

Why can’t I find my ancestor?/Help with searching

Can you give me more help?

Why can’t I find my ancestor?/Help with searching

A possible reason is that they are not in the index. It could be that we have not yet indexed the relevant prison or year. Click here to see the current coverage of our online indexes.

It could be, though, that we may have what you are looking for. We have given a number of search boxes but you don’t have to fill them all in. Less is more. If there are no results try reducing the amount of information you give. You could just try the surname or even just first name.

Use wildcards: The wildcard * can represent any series of characters, and the wildcard ? can represent any single character.

Both can be used in any field. Let’s say your ancestor’s surname was Blyth. In Victorian records spellings were very inconsistent, and the surname may have appeared with our without a final ‘e’. To get around this, try a search of Blyth* and this will bring up all Blyths, with or without the final ‘e’.

Perhaps a first name is causing some difficulty, for the same reason. Helen, for example might be ‘Hellen’, ‘Helen’, ‘Ellen’, ‘Elen’, ‘Elinor’ or ‘Eleanor’. Searching for *el*n* will bring almost all variations of the name up.

Can you give me more help?

If you have an obstacle in your family tree and you need some help, contact us directly, explain your problem and we will try to assist. Often with our experience and the resources we have to hand, it is possible to solve your problem in an hour or two. We will look at your problem for about half an hour with no obligation. We will then then tell you if we can solve the problem and how much it will cost you, and it will be up to you to decide if you would like to proceed.

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