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Use these keyboard shortcuts at any time when you’re searching and viewing results.
• r: refine the current search
• n: start a new search
• p: show first record preview
• <: show previous record preview
• >: show next record preview
These wildcards can be used after a minimum of three letters.
• ? substitutes for one letter
• * substitutes for zero or more letters
• Start with a broad search, then refine it by adding information and clicking Exact.
• Refine your search methodically, changing one search term at a time and tracking your searches.
• Search without the name (or some other detail, such as residence).
• Try odd spellings and unusual nicknames.
• Search within an individual database.
• Browse records you think were filed with your ancestor’s.
• Find the original records in a library or on microfilm.
• See if the records are missing or don’t cover your ancestor’s lifetime or area.
Ancestry.com makes its free content hard to find. Try going to the Card Catalog and typing free into the keyword search field. (You’ll still need a free registration to view the records.) But note that after a couple of pages of free databases, results show paid content for which free occurs in the database description (such as the Detroit Free Press historical newspapers).
Click here to search knowledgebase articles, browse FAQs, watch online demonstrations and e-mail Ancestry support; or call (800) 262-3787.