Casefile Clues

29 May 2013

Is It Really Too Much, It Must Be.

I've been complaining about searches similar to this one for some time and the only answer I get is to modify my search.

I should not have to modify my search. I cannot be the only researcher with several relatives for whom I have quite a few variants and no precise date of immigration.

I am trying to find an immigrant, Wilhelmina Trautvetter, who likely came to the United States between 1848-1851. I don't know what port and would like to search all the immigration materials for an immigrant as follows:

  • first name: wil*
  • last name: tra*
  • year 1849 +/- 2
As with other similar searches, this generates too many matches. I still am not convinced that there was a mass wave of people named Wilhelm Trautman, Wilhelmina Travers, Wilhelm Trautvetter, etc. coming to the United States between 1847-1851

The last time I mentioned this problem, I was told I needed to search one port at a time. Then why have global searches? 

The last time I mentioned this problem, I got a lecture on how Boolean searching works. With all due respect, I have a master's degree in mathematics, I understand how Boolean searching works.

What I do not understand is why this problem cannot be fixed.  What good are global searches if they are not truly global?