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"The only problem with this site is the search engine it will only produce a result
of the exact spelling of names on the actual certificate. So to find your couple you have
to put into the John Mcallister, and Janet Mckean, year 1864. Ayr, Stevenston."
Yes, but if you are unsure what the spelling on the certificate is (and there are
occasions when it may even have been mis-indexed - this system doesn't always work in
that case), you can use the wildcard or, less reliably, the soundex feature to narrow it
down. If you already have the exact year already that is very helpful as you could use a
wider name search ie j* m*ke* wich will allow for all alternative spellings of Janet,
Jannet, Jennet; and McKean, MacKeane etc (but also a lot of other unrelated names). Thre
are oher wildcard symbols you can use, eg % to indicate a single unknown letter in a name.
When using the search feature it is worth going wide first then narrowing your search down
until you get a page-worth of results (if possible - some of my names are so common that
even with a year you get many results) - you never know, you may spot a relative in the
The ScolandsPeople site really is excellent value for money - I have managed to trace back
to the 1750s using just SP. Not everyone is this lucky - it depends on whether the parish
records exist at all, and whether your family paid to be entered in the OPRs at various
points. But it's well worth giving it a shot!
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