Historic Pittsburgh
.
Texts Maps Images Finding Aids Census Chronology Videos .
.
Census Help
.
Name Search | Street Search | Advanced Search | Census Help | Contact Us
.

The following list of help topics will link you to the appropriate section. To return to the list, click the back button on your navigation toolbar or scroll to the top of the page. For questions about the history and accuracy of the census data, visit the Census Project Description page.



How to Use the Wildcard Character

(%) can be used when the spelling of a name is uncertain. The % stands in for an unknown letter or group of letters in a name.

Example of using the wildcard at the end of a word:
If you were unsure whether a last name was spelled Blanchett or Blanchette you could enter the search blanchett%into the Last Name field, and entries for both names would be returned. You would also receive entries for the name Blanchettes or Blanchetteux.

Example of using the wildcard at the beginning of a word:
If you were unsure whether a last name may have been entered as Crary or McCrary, you could enter a search for %crary in the Last Name field. This search would return records of people with the last names of Crary and McCrary as well as Vicrary.

Example of using the wildcard in the middle of a word:
If you were unsure whether a woman's first name was Biddy or Betsy, you could enter b%y into the search box for First Name. This search would return records for anyone with the first name Biddy or Betsy as well as Betty, Barney, or Bobby.

Using the wildcard in the middle of a word can also help if you are unsure whether a given letter in a name is single or double. For example, the search reil%y would return entries containing both Reily and Reilly. This type of search can also help if you are unsure of a vowel in a word. For example, the search jens%n would return records containing the names Jensan, Jensen, and Jenson.



How Does Using Uppercase or Lowercase Affect the Search?

It does not matter whether you use upper or lower case letters when entering names. Entering williams or Williams or WILLIAMS or WiLLiAms returns the same results.



Tips for Using the Name Search

The Name Search page only allows you to search by name (first and last).

This is a good search to perform if you know the name of a person you are trying to locate but do not have any additional information. The search will return entries that include first and last name for all individuals who match the search terms. If you want all the census information available for a particular person, you can then select Full Record, which appears next to his/her name.

Leaving a field empty is the same as inserting only a wildcard character into the field. For example, if you entered Dumas into the Last Name field, the search would retrieve all entries for the last name Dumas regardless of the first name.

Also note: If middle initials were given they are included within the First Name field in the data on this site. For example, if a name was given as Mary J. Smith it will appear in the data as MARYJ. in the First Name field and Smith in the Last Name field. Therefore, it might be useful to add the wildcard character at the end of first names to include those entries that have middle initials.



Tips for Using the Advanced Search

The Advanced Search page allows you to limit your search if you have more informtaion about the individual you are searching for than just their name.

Currently, the additional fields that can be specified are sex, place of birth, and occupation. Any combination of fields can be specified in this search. You do not have to specify a name. For example, you could search for men who were barbers, or you could search for women who were born in Kentucky, or anyone with a last name starting with SM who was a teacher.



Contact Us with feedback and questions.
Historic Pittsburgh is hosted by the University of Pittsburgh's Digital Research Library.