Kansas Heritage Group] [image: KU

Beginning Genealogy Lessons
by Don B. Dale

Lessons To Help You Get Started & Sometimes To Keep Going

Lesson 5: Soundex System

Several approaches, the old way below; or use your 
genealogy program like Family Tree Maker (FTM) or go to

http://searches.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/Genea/soundex.sh   or to

Guide to the Soundex/ Miracode SystemSoundex/Miracode is an alpha-numeric
coding system designed to keeptogether names of the same and similar 
sounds but of different spellings. It uses only key letters and disregards
vowels and some other letters. To code a surname: Write down the first 
letter then code the key letters that follow according to the rules below.

CODE  KEY   LETTERS & EQUIVALENTS    To code your surname
1....b,  p,  f ,  v     
2....c,  s,  k,  g,  j,  q,  x ,  z
3....d,  t  
5....m,  n  
letter     3 numbers 0-6
1) Do not code the letters a, e, i, o, u, y, w, and h.
2) Every code must have 3 digits following the initial letter.  
   No more than three digits are used.  The remaining letters are    
   disrgarded.  (Ebelson = E142,  not  E1425)
3) Double letters and two letters which code the same and are not 
   separated by a vowel are coded only once. 
   (Kelly = K400,  Black  =  B420  
4) When there are no more letters to code, add zeros. (Lee = L000)
5) If the initial letter and the second letter would code the same 
   do not code the second letter.  (Schwab = S100,  Lloyd = L300) 

Soundex applies to census for:
1920 ---all states.
1910---for 21 states AL  AR  CA  FL  GA  IL  KS  KY  LA  MI    
                     MS  MO  NC  OH  OK  PA  SC  TN  TX  VA  WV.
1900---all states.
1880---for all states but only for households with children 10 
       years old or under. 

Soundex codes are also used as an indexing system for 
some other records.

Name          Letters coded           code no.
DuBois            b, s                 D 120
Eberhard          b, r, r              E 166
Engbrethson       n, g, b              E 521
Herman            r, m, n              H 655 
Kavanaugh         v, n, g              K 152
Lind, Van         n, d                 L 530
Lukaschowsky      k, s, s              L 222
McGee             c                    M 200
O'Brien           b, r, n              O 165
Scott             t                    S 300
Waggoner          g, n, r              W 256
Zita              t                    Z 300
Zitzmeinn         t, z, m              Z 325

ROOTS Surname search by Soundex is found here

Things to remember:
    Every Soundex code consists of a letter and three numbers.
    Soundex card provides the exact location of that family on the census schedule.
    Be alert for unexpected spellings of the name you are looking for
    Included on the card are:  name, age, location, birthday and relationship
    If surname has double letters, treat as one letter
    Letters side-by-side that have the same number - treat as one letter
    If you're nobility, name has prefix like "Von" code with and without - 
    Soundex is arranged by state - find your person - Go to State listing
    Note the COUNTY, volume number, enumeration district, sheet and line

Beginning Genealogy Lessons Parent Directory.
Return to Source List for Genealogy Research or to the Kansas Heritage Group.
Originally posted: 08-May-97. Update: 04 August 2005.