If youre not familiar with him, Steve Morse is a kind of genealogical folk hero who creates handy Web tools including highly flexible search forms for third-party genealogical databases.
His newest database search tools include phonetic name matching, which finds variant surname spellings based on how a name is pronounced rather than how its spelled, so you get fewer false hits. Dardashti says Morse’s Ellis Island Gold form passenger search and the Dachau concentration camp search will soon feature phonetic matching.
Morse has a long list of tools on his home page, so here, I’m linking directly to several of the new ones:
- Search of naturalization records on the subscription site Footnote. (You need a Footnote subscription to view matching records, or you can use Footnote free at most Family History Centers.)
- Search of New Orleans passenger lists on the subscription site Ancestry.com (You need a subscription to see matching records here, too, or see if your public library offers Ancestry Library edition.)
- Search of four Jewish Surname dictionaries by Alexander Beider. According to Dardashti, you get the title of the book containing the name, but not the full dictionary entry.
- French Revolutionary Calendar converter, whichas explained in our July 2008 article on French researchFrance used from 1793 to 1805 (fans of the calendar with nature-inspired names tried unsuccessfully to reinstate it in 1871).
Stop by the One-Step site to see more database searches, language transliterators, date converters and other goodies. You can learn more about the tools and how to use them in the February 2007 Family Tree Magazine, and see FamilyTreeMagazine.com for some of our interview with Morse.