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
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.
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