Frequently Asked Questions

This is intended to be a list of helpful ideas on using the website
Please feel free to suggest items to discuss here, share your discoveries and pass on helpful tips.

Q: Can I use wildcards in name searches?

A:Yes, in the name search boxes you can use * to match any text, and ? to match a single character. Note that searches are NOT case SEnSitiVE.

For example:
yas* will match Yasmin and Yasmine
Mill* will match Milly and Millie
?illia* will match Lillian, Gillian and Milliam
j?m* will match jim, jimmy, james

Be sure to check all pages of your filter results.

When searching – less is more

When searching – less is more. If searching for Johnnie, a search for Johnny will not find the target. If you search for John, you will still miss the entry because it wants “John” as a full word exactly. However, a search for John* will show you all Johns, Johnnies and Johnnys.

How do I know if a record is available to update and claim for my family tree? You can see who has last updated the record and also, if the record has any further detail besides the basic name, then it is likely to be “owned” by another user. However, the most reliable indicator that a record is owned is its use in existing triangles. So once you add a new person, you should add some identifying information as soon as possible and include in its place in a triangle for maximum stability. Missing or estimated details may be updated in future when the correct information is available.

How does a heuristic or wiki system work? The idea is that the combined knowledge of many contributors is harnessed in an orderly way. Ultimately, the data becomes very accurate as the last modifier will usually have the most reliable information. Also, the system records all changes and who made them, so audit trails are used to protect the integrity of the data. In the event of hostile editing or hacking, the system has the power to “back out” or nullify all such changes and return the data to the level of integrity enjoyed before the attack.