Sunday, June 08, 2008 offers new search features

Looks like our friend Steve Morse has been busy making life easier for online genealogy researchers, as these changes indicate.

New Features on the One-Step website

Phonetic Name Matching
Steve Morse, together with Alexander Beider, has developed a method of phonetic name matching that has advantages over soundex name matching. Soundex matching considers the way the name is spelled whereas phonetic matching considers the way the name is pronounced. The pronunciation is language specific, and a determination of the language is made from the spelling of the name. As a consequence, a soundex search will result an a large number of false hits that the researcher needs to examine whereas a phonetic search will give relatively few false hits.

The phonetic name matching has been or is about to be included on several existing One-Step search forms. These include the gold form for searching for passengers in the Ellis Island database (coming soon) as well as the One-Step Dachau Concentration Camp search form. In addition, the two new search forms described below (Searching Naturalization Records and Searching Reference Books) also include phonetic name matching.

Searching Naturalization Records in One Step
A commercial website,, has collections of Naturalization Records for several states. There are currently about 2 million records in this collection. However the search facility for finding people in these collections is very limited in its abilities. A new One-Step form has been developed to provide flexible searches through these records. This new form appears in the Vital Records section of the One-Step site.

Searching Reference Books
There are several reference books containing Jewish surnames in various countries. Most of these books have been written by Alexander Beider and one by Lars Menk. A new One-Step form has been developed for searching for names in these books. This new form appears in the Holocaust and Eastern Europe section of the One-Step site.

New Orleans Ship Records
A commercial website,, has the ship records for the major US ports These include the Ports of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Galveston, and San Francisco. The One-Step website already had a trio of search forms for each of those ports -- one to simplify the searching for passengers, the second to provide for direct access to the manifest microfilms if you know the roll and frame number, and the third to determine the roll and frame number for any ship arrival. Now the One-Step site has added such tools for the Port of New Orleans as well. These new forms appear in the Other Ports section of the One-Step site.

French Revolutionary Calendar Converter and Muslim Calendar Converter
The One-Step site has had a Jewish Calendar Converter for some time. Now two more calendar converters were added to the One-Step site -- one for the French Revolutionary Calendar and the other for the Muslim Calendar. The French Revolutionary calendar is unique in that it takes decimalization to the extreme, and the Muslim calendar is purely lunar with no synchronization to the seasons. These appear in the Calendar section of the One-Step site.

Arabic Transliterator
The One-Step site already had transliterators between Hebrew and English, between Cyrillic and English, and between Greek and English. Recently a transliterator for Arabic has been added. This appears in the Foreign Language section of the One-Step site.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

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