New Search Tips and Tricks
I've been experimenting to find ways to get the new engine to return better results, and now I can understand why the hint keeps popping up saying "sometimes less is more"
Example: The events of interest occur in Bethnal Green, which was in Middlesex, but is now absorbed into the metropolis known as London which itself has had district boundary changes over time. In many records, the Town and County are reversed i.e Middlesex, Bethnal Green, in more they are abbreviated, Middx. or B.G. The standarised place name also varies significantly as the matching algorithm evaluates a probable match.
How to find the records of interest ? - No problem, here are thousands of results, sift through them. - Not ideal.
Using 'Exact' ? - Nope, that only returns the exact match. Not all of the records of interest contain that exact whole phrase.
Solution - Wildcards as well as Exact ! This is what less is more means. Find the most unique few letters that are likely to be in the name, and then bracket those letters with asterisks.
In the above example, putting asteriskBethasterisk (tish! it won't let me use a real asterisk ) in the search field and then turning on exact will pull up results that contain Beth, which includes Bethlehem, but that's less liklely to have the surname were seeking. Simlarly, using asteriskHolboasterisk will work for all the variations of place names containing Holbo, regardless of whether it's Holborn, London London, Holborn Middx. Holborn etc.
It's taken a while, but I can now get 'some' work done.