Just a short entry today, to make note of a worthwhile tool... a free worthwhile tool (of course).
If you're searching your family history back more than just a generation or two, chances are there are a lot of spelling variations in both the first names and surnames used by your family members.
Even a simple, old (and by old, I mean Biblical) and pretty standard name like David, has about 100 common spelling variants, including Daevid, Dahvid, Daivid, Davide, Dayvid, and so on.
A Rose is a Rhoze by any other name...
The NameThesaurus is a terrific tool for identifying the most common variants for both first names (forenames) and last names. With alternative spellings in hand, you can do more thorough searches of ancestry databases. The system will also return alternative names (William, for Bill; Rosalind for Rose), which can also be important clues to better searching.
The NameThesaurus has a reputation as being more accurate and focused than sounds-like name-matching tools, like Soundex or Metaphone. But even if it isn't, it's fun to play with.
See you soon.
Visit the main page of Free Genealogical Tools for more, umm, free genealogical tools.
And don't forget to also check for your family history at Ancestry.com and NewspaperArchive.com.These are subscription databases, but they are among the most powerful research tools available for looking into family roots.