searching records

7 Tips for Searching Records

There is nothing better than understanding one’s history and to understand one’s history you have to start searching records. The sense of pride associated with discovering who we are and where we came from is what makes us the people that we have grown to become today. Granted, digging, through the history books is no easy task, especially when searching records across the country. To ensure that you find useful and reliable information, here are top 7 tips that should guide your record search:

Establish Your Family Tree

Even before embarking on a country-wide search, it is important to first establish your family tree. Record all vital memories that may pertain to parents, grandparents, siblings, uncles, aunts and all other members of the extended family.

Ask for individual details and gather useful information about the lives of your family members. Everything including nicknames, places they live, marriage and death dates will play a role when finding information. If you need professional help searching records? Click Here

Embrace Browsing

When searching records across the country, it is vital to conduct wide research. Browse through general and specific search pages and, also, using indexable terms to better search results. Do not only search through one or two pages of information only as you will most likely fail to find the family history and relations that you are looking for.

Search by Address

To get the best results when researching house history, search using a specific address or addresses. This can be done by switching from the person tab to the address tab. For instance, by searching through any street in England, you will be shown a list of houses in that street in 1940. However, if you want to broaden your search, focus on all addresses in a particular district, county or country.

Search by Birth Date

When searching for information in the years 1940, information on full birth dates can easily be found. This will allow you to pinpoint the specific person that you are searching for quite easily. In cases where you do not have the full birth information, search by birth year or include usual research parameters that are between zero and forty years. Different methods of search and browsing may heed different results. Therefore, it is important to embrace browsing.

Look for Ethnic Name Spellings

It was common for many immigrants to Americanize their names after moving to the United States or other countries of choice. For instance, the name Johann may have become John and Frerk may have become Fred. When searching through country-wide records, look for the ethnic spelling of the names.

Familiarize with Foreign Languages

When searching records, do not expect to find German records written in English. Germans kept their records in German, Russians in Russian and so forth. Understanding the foreign language and knowing some key genealogical terms in the homeland’s primary language is helpful in sorting through records.

Know the Naming Patterns

Different countries had different traditions for naming children for both first and last names. While there were names derived from locations others were derived from culture. Sometimes, names change from generation to generation. Before beginning your online search, determine the naming patterns that were used during the time period your family lived in a specific country.

Searching Records Use Wildcards

When conducting any kind of searching, wildcards should also be used in countrywide searches. For instance, a question mark for one character or an asterisk for more than one character will help to broaden your search. This is also helpful in finding misspellings or alternating the spellings of your ancestor’s name.

Searching Through Census Records

If you live in the United States and your family is originally from the country, the U.S Federal census is the largest resource for family history. This is solid place for examining your family tree. The census is a good way to trace parents and grandparents. This is because census records contain names, immigration details, occupations and even residences.


When searching for records, the best places to conduct a countrywide record search for family history is through state vital records, newspapers and the Wonders of Trove, National Archives, State Libraries and genealogical societies. There are also a number of online platforms that will give you the answers that you are seeking. If you do not know where to start, these tips and tricks will lead you to the right information.