Thursday, September 13, 2007

FamilySearch Indexing Hint: Lookup List

Let's use the surname to the right as an example. If you weren't quite sure what the name was, you could use the Lookup ability of FamilySearch Indexing (FSI).

The Field Help explains you can click on the Down Arrow (circled in red in the illustration) to select surnames from the Lookup List.

Click on the down arrow and then click Lookup.... Or if you like to remember and use keyboard shortcuts, just press Ctrl-F.

Either way, FSI shows the Authorities Lookup popup window for surnames.

Type a few characters in at the top and FSI shows all the names that start with those characters.

FSI also has advanced Search Criteria for times when you can clearly read some of the characters but still can't figure out the name. 

Check the box next to Use search criteria. Then fill in the letters you are confident about in the Starts with, Contains and Ends with boxes.

If no names match, then the Authorities Lookup may not contain the surname you're looking for. Or maybe you're mistaken about one or more letters. In our example, "Her" may not be the first letters.

Try experimenting with other possibilities. In our example, we've set Starts with to "H" and Contains to "lbu".

If you find the correct name, click on it and then click Accept Selected. If you don't find it, click Cancel and enter as much of the name as you can read, using "*" where there are 2 or more letters you can't read and "?" for 1 letter. 

Another Example

Here's an example using the given name. Clearly the name begins with "Cl" and ends with "ra", but the name seems to have too many bumps to be "Clara". Is there another name that the name Authority Lookup knows about that fits this pattern?

Yes! "Cleora" is a given name that fits the search criteria. Going back to the census image, we can see that Cleora does indeed match.

Do you have tips of your own? Add a comment below and share them.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to be taking 5 years to post a comment here....

    Google led me here - I'm trying to find an online version of the "Lookup List" for the column for Relationship to Head for the 1940 Census.

    For some reasons the Macintosh indexing software doesn't have the Lookup facility built in to it, so there's no way to find out, short of being corrected in Arbitration, that the expected string for say

    Mother in Law

    is actually


    So do you Mr Insider have any inside scoop on where such a list might be found so that Macintosh users might be able to avail themselves of it?




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