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Research Help

Tips for Searching an Index


What to do if you can’t find your individual in an index:

  • Some online indexes do not include all counties for all years. Your person's birth record may exist but not in the index you are searching.Check all possible indexes available.
  • Some online indexes require exact spelling to get a result. Try different ways of spelling the person's first or last name.
  • If you did not get results, type in less information about the person. Try only search for the first and last name of the person.
  • If you have too many hits, try adding information including approximate birth date and the county
  • Try a different index. Different indexes use different search parameters and your ancestor may be located in one but not the other.


Tips for Searching Beyond the Index

What if I still can't find my person? The birth of your ancestor may not have been recorded.  Use substitute records to find birth information.