Try the Powerful Search Features available at

The new search engine at provides some great search options.

Do you know how to do each of the following searches in the Historical Records collection at

    • Search given-names only, based on a very localized area or narrowed time-frame:
    • Search just the surname, with a localized town or parish
    • Search on just a year of birth and a small place
    • Search with one wildcard (*) in just the surname, using a place-name
    • Search by using two or more wildcards (?) in a surname
    • Search using only the father’s name or both father and mother’s name (i.e. a parent search for children). Click on Parents in the Search by Relationship area.  Hint:  when I do a parent search I usually give the first and last name of the father but only the first name of the mother. Also search to determine some of the illegitimate children born to a person.  You do this by only putting in the mother’s name.
    • Search when you don’t know or are unsure of the spelling of the prefix or a large portion of the beginning of a surname

For more details find the article “Nine Powerful Search Features in the FamilySearch Search Engine” by P B Dunn in the Blog link at (dated 8 April 2011 – search the blog for “search”)

Phil says “New and current search features in FamilySearch’s search engine makes it one of the most powerful on the Worldwide Web. From my genealogical experiences in searching on the Web, few other search engines allow such easy search parameters and criteria to be set by users. Kudos to engineers and programmers for these enhancements!”

Please use Feedback to let the engineers hear about your requests for future features.

I tried most of these searches and was very impressed!
So . . . try each of these searches – apply filters to the results – have some fun!

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