Less gives More


Researchers are strongly advised to always carry out a preliminary search by specifying only the first two letters of the deceased personís forename (leaving all other boxes empty and the Surname choice set as "All").


This will inevitably cause a much larger number of results to be returned but will give a considerably better indication of the overall structure of the available records, thus suggesting the parameters to be specified for a second, more targeted, search.




It is generally unwise to search by specifying a second forename because such forenames are often either not recorded in the database or are merely represented by an initial, despite the fact that all entries contain an unabbreviated first forename.


This situation has arisen because great care was taken during the construction of the Gooderson Archive to ensure that entries in the database accurately reflect the information available in the original death index compiled by the General Register Office, which often recorded second and subsequent forenames as initials only.


Consequently, searches that specify a second forename will of course fail unless the second forename was actually recorded in full when the original GRO index was produced.


[N.B. If it does become necessary to use a second initial during a very large search, it is important to realise that following such an initial by a full stop will prevent the return of all entries that include the second name in full.]


Restricting searches to specific ranges of birthdates


The facility to restrict each death index search to a specific range of birthdates is rendered inoperative until a tick is placed in the smallest box on the search page (labelled "Restrict search for date of birth").


Age at death


The General Register Office for England and Wales did not include the deceased personís age at death in the national death index until the year 1866. Database searches that specify either a range of ages or a range of birthdates will therefore cause all records relating to the period before 1866 to be excluded from the results.


Registration dates


When specifying a range of dates as a search parameter, it should be borne in mind that entries in the G.R.O. (General Record Office) death index are listed under the date upon which the death was registered and NOT the date upon which it occurred. Thus the death of a person who died, for example, on the 26th December may not have been registered until 2nd January and so will be listed in the index for the following year.


Simultaneous searches


The Gooderson Archiveís search engines offer a facility whereby simultaneous searches may be carried out by specifying more than one parameter in each search field. This can be quite useful when it is required to compare the results of a search for alternative forms of a name (for example "Kate" or "Catherine"), or for different mothersí maiden names, or even for more than one registration district, at the same time.


All that is necessary to carry out such a search is to enter the required alternatives in the appropriate search box, separated by the horizontal line symbol, as shown in the notes on the search page. (N.B. The horizontal line symbol " | " is normally located above the backslash " \ " near the bottom left-hand corner of most computer keyboards.)


The forename Gooderson


All records in the database for people who have "Gooderson" (or similar) as their first forename may of course be viewed by simply entering "Gooderson" (or the similar name) in the forename box on the search-page and then conducting a search whilst leaving all of the other boxes empty and the choice of surname set to "All".


Records may also be viewed of people for whom the second forename "Gooderson" (or similar) has been listed in the database. This can only be done by inserting the character "*" followed by a space and then the name "Gooderson" (or "*" followed by a space and then the appropriate similar name) in the forename box. A search should then be carried out whilst leaving all other boxes empty and the choice of surname set to "All".




Since all entries in this Gooderson Archive death index database are meant to contain exact copies of the corresponding entries in the G.R.O. death index for England and Wales, it naturally follows that forenames shown with supersigns in the G.R.O. index will appear in exactly the same format within this database.


Searches for such names (for example André, François or Noël) will therefore fail unless their correct spellings (including supersigns) are specified when each search is attempted.


Back to Archives Home Page