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Ask Ancestry Anne: Search Tip #13 - Wildcards

Try wildcards with Restrict to Exact selected (see Search Tip #11 - Name Filters) to find unusual spellings of names.

There are two wildcard characters:

  • ? (question mark) : matches one character which can be anything
  • * (asterisk) : matches 0 to N characters

So if you enter Sm?th* you can match Smith, Smyth, Smithe and Smythe

Ann* will match Ann, Anne, Anna, and Annabelle

My maiden name is Gillespie, and it is very often spelled: Gillaspie, Gillispie or Gillespie or even Gillespy.

I can use wildcards to match a variety of combinations.

Look for Search #14: Limit Your Scope  or review yesterday’s tip: Search Tip #12 : Location Filters

Happy Searching!

Ancestry Anne