Biographical Database of Australia

Help : Searching Tips

Help Me Search

There are many ways to search the BDA Database. A search can be on an exact first and/or surname, partial names using wildcards, or phonetic equivalents of surname.

 •   Names being searched can be entered in either upper or lower case.

 •   Numbers and punctuation are ignored.

 •   Hyphens are be converted to spaces.

 

A search for O’CONNOR will return details for OCONNOR and O’CONNOR.

A search for smith or SMITH will return the same list of persons.

A search for Ann-Marie or Ann Marie will return the same list of persons.

A search for Alexander McDonald will NOT return a result for Alexander Macdonald.

A search for William Wentworth will NOT return a result for William Charles Wentworth (to call up the entries under William Charles Wentworth you need to enter both given names or a wildcard symbol * for the second name: William *.

 

You can start your search with either a surname or a first name (given name) or both.

If there are too many results, it might be helpful to do one or more of the following 

      • If you searched just on surname, then try to search on both urname and given name
      • If you searched just on given name, then try to search on both surname and given name

 

If the initial search is unsuccessful or you have ended up with too many results, then it is best to use the following search guidelines.

  

Search Guidelines : Wildcards

The wildcard * will allow any number of characters where the * is placed, and can be used in either or both of the given and surname.

      • add an ‘*’ to the end of a given name. For example if you were searching for surname John and given name King, you would find lost of entries for KING, John but would not find the entries  for  KING, John Steward or KING, John M.  
      • add an ‘*’ to the end of the Surname. For example if you were searching for surname FIGGIN, but were unaware that the Surname was actually recorded as FIGGINS.  
      • add an ‘*’ to the end of a Given name. For example if you were searching for surname COX and first name Ann,  by searching or Given Name Ann*, you will also see results for Anna Cox and Anna Cox .  

 

More examples:

 

Searching on surname SMALL* will return all entries that start with SMALL, eg SMALL, SMALLBONE, SMALLEY, SMALLWOOD and SMALLY etc

 

Searching on surname S*LL will return entries for all surnames starting with S and ending with LL eg SMALL, SHEILL, SHERWILL, SHOLL, SHORTALL, SNELL, SOMERALL, SOMERELL, STYGALL etc.

 

Searching on Surname SM*LL* will return entries for all surnames starting with SM and having LL anywhere in the rest of the name eg SMALL, SMALLBONE, SMALLEY, SMALLWOOD, SMALLY as well as SMELL, SMELLIE etc.

 

Searching on Surname *BONE will return entries for all Surnames ending in BONE eg ALLIBONE, BONE, HARBONE, RADBONE, SMALLBONE, WHALEBONE etc.

 

  *** Searching on *-* in surname returns all surnames which have two names separated by a – or a blank.

 

 

Search Guidelines : Soundex

Soundex is used to find a list of surnames with a phonetically similar sound.

 

For example, if you search for SMALLWOOD and tick the ‘Soundex’ box, you will have the choice to view entries for SMALLWOOD and SMALWOOD.

 

For example, if you search for BUTLER and tick the ‘Soundex’ box, you will have the choice to view entries for BEUTLER, BOWDLER, BUTLER and BUTTLER.

 

A search can use soundex for the surname and wildcards in the given name.

 

Wildcards and soundex for a surname can not be used.