Get More From A Web­site’s ‘Fuzzy’ Logic

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - CENSUS TIPS -

To help you with your search, most of the main sub­scrip­tion web­sites have de­vel­oped al­go­rithms that aim to cast the net wider. This ap­proach is called ‘fuzzy logic’, and means that the search en­gine will not re­ject a ‘Harry Thom­son’ just be­cause you were look­ing for ‘Harold Thomp­son’. If you’ve had no luck with known dif­fer­ent spellings, try ad­just­ing the op­tions of­fered by the site. For ex­am­ple, thege­neal­o­ lets you pick ‘Pho­netic’, ‘Stan­dard’ or ‘Ex­act’, as well as ‘In­clude Nick­names’ for first names, while find­my­ just has a box you can tick to in­clude ‘Name vari­ants’, and an­ces­ lets you choose ‘Ex­act’ or add ‘Sounds like’, ‘Sim­i­lar’ or ‘Soundex’. Try tick­ing some or all of the boxes and see what the search en­gine throws up.

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