The records have been scanned in order to give high quality images of the original. These have been made word searchable using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) which is the recognition of printed or written text characters by a computer.
As several typefaces, characters and different fonts were used in producing the Parish registers and Trade Directories, OCR will not always recognise letters and words and finding a name may not be as straightforward as using a simple Search as used in other databases where all the names are indexed and only what you enter is found as an exact match.
If you are looking for "Richard" it will be found wherever it appears in the text including Richardson or a search for Good will also be found in Goodwin or Hopgood.
We recommend that you browse and view the original images, to do this search for a name and select "View Image" use the "Previous" and "Next" page viewing tools on the viewer to view more images.
We recommend that you also view the Contents, Preface and Introduction as these contain useful descriptions of the records. To do this search for any name view an image and enter 1 for page 1 in the box and press "Go" use the "Next" button to view additional images.
Phonetic Spelling, Abbreviations and Variations in Names
The entries are in English for the most part although those relating to the gentry and superior persons are in Latin. You will therefore find interesting phonetic spellings, Latin text and the spelling is often archaic or old English and transcribed as seen.
As a result of these inconsistencies we recommend that you use different spelling variations if a search produces no results.
As well as Latin and phonetic spellings some records are in a Welsh or Scottish dialect.
Many Names were abbreviated in the original registers for instance Thomas reads as Tho, William is Wm. Wife is Wyff. Poch or pishe is parish
SEARCH FEATURES - Parish Records, Military records and Trade Directories
New Search Features
New Search Features have been introduced to enable you to search and locate names more easily. These features are a Reverse, Proximity and Advanced Search.
The general search has two search boxes for the Forename and Surname. Enter the names you wish to search for and select either one of the following buttons for Reverse or Proximity.
Reverse Search - Some books list a name such as John Smith i.e. Forename followed by the Surname and others with the Surname first followed by the Forename i.e. Smith, John.
Therefore by typing say John Smith and selecting the Reverse button it will allow you to search for John Smith or Smith John at the same time.
Proximity search - some books list a forename which is separate to the surname for instance "Sarah daughter of John Haskar"
Therefore to locate Sarah Haskar use the Proximity button and using the "Within (select the number of words in the pull down menu 5, 10, 25, 50, 100) words of each other". The system will now locate the names required and highlight these in different colours on the image.
For the Forename and Surname general search there are two search boxes. Enter the names you wish to search and select None. Selecting the None button will avoid use of either of the Reverse or Proximity searches.
There are 4 types of search for the Advanced search as follows:
Start by leaving the Forename and Surname fields blank and enter one of the following search terms in the Advanced Search field;
1. Elizabeth Smith OR Elisabeth Smith
Allows you to search multiple possibilities i.e. Elizabeth (with a "z" or Elisabeth (with a "s")
2. Richard AND Smith
This will identify the words Richard and Smith on the same image or page
3. Richard Smith
This will identify an exact match of the name that you enter - in this case Richard Smith
4. Richard Smith ^5 of Mary Clay
The symbol ^ denotes within. This should be followed by the number of words within which you want to search for another word i.e. Richard Smith - within 5 words of the words - Mary Clay
The Search Features are available for use with OCRed Military records, Trade Directories and Parish records excludes Phillimore Parish records