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Search Advice

Searching can be a challenge because of the different languages that appear in Poland (including Polish, Russian, German, Hebrew, and Yiddish), the great variety of different spellings used for names (for example, Zylberberg, Silberberg, Zylberg, Zylber, etc.), and the messiness of handwriting in original documents. Here are tools to help:

Search advice for the “Surname” field

  • Zylberberg Goldberg finds records that include both names.
  • Zylberberg/Goldberg finds records that include either name.
  • Zyl[b]erberg finds only records that include b, to avoid false positives (that is, results that are not relevant to your search). [Z]ylberberg finds only records that begin with Z.
  • Zylber* finds any name beginning with Zylber (* represents any number of characters).
  • Z*berg finds Zylberg, Zylberberg, etc. (* represents any number of characters).
  • *berg finds Goldberg, Zylberberg, etc. (* represents any number of characters).

“Sounds like” search is Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex with refinements to reduce false positives (that is, results that are not relevant to your search).

Results automatically include adjacent related records. Example: in books of residents, records from the same house number are displayed.

“Sounds like” search drops Slavic name endings like -ow, -owna, -aja, -iego, and -skich. Examples:
    A search for Goldberg includes Goldbergow & Goldbergowna.
    A search for Krakowskaja includes Krakowskaja.
    A search for Lublinskiego includes Lublinska.
    A search for Poznanska includes Poznanskich.

"Sounds like" search works for Roman letters (like the ones you are reading now), Hebrew and Cyrillic scripts, and even Chinese and Korean and other scripts.

Search advice for the “Any text” field

Search for more than one name or word.

  • tailor butcher finds records that list both professions.
  • tailor OR butcher finds records that list either profession.
  • (tailor OR butcher) Radomsko finds records that list either profession, but also list Radomsko.
  • "Izrael Kifer" finds that exact phrase.
  • "Goldberg butcher"~ finds approximate phrase matches. Examples: “Goldberg was a butcher” and “Goldberg the butcher.”

Search for specific projects.

  • table_name:Zarki finds material for which the table (project) name includes Zarki (as exact match).

Search for exact text.

  • {butcher} searches for the exact spelling butcher, even when doing a “sounds like” search.

Exclude certain words.

  • NOT butcher excludes material that includes the word butcher.

Use wildcards for unknown characters.

  • Zylber* finds any name beginning with Zylber (* represents any number of characters).
  • Z*berg finds Zylberg, Zylberberg, etc. (* represents any number of characters).
  • Z?lber finds Zylber, Zilber, Zolber, etc. (? represents a single character).
  • Kifer~ allows for possible misspellings or typos in the original document or the transcription of the document. Examples: Kiter or Kier.

Limit your search by year.

  • year:[1840 TO 1890] finds anything in that range of years.
  • year:<1862 finds anything before 1862.
  • year:>=1862 finds anything after/including 1862.

Searches automatically handle such things as plurals. For example, a search for butcher will also yield results for butchers, and vice versa. Irrelevant search terms (like “the”) are ignored.

Even for exact searches, CRARG searches will treat ss and ß as equivalent, as well as ue and ü (e.g, Duesseldorf  & Düsseldorf).

Learn more about CRARG search capabilities here.

Learn about your family…

Begin by trying our search engine for Holocaust-era records.

Home | Holocaust-Era Records | Pre-Holocaust Records | Story Project | About CRARG

Thinking of joining CRARG? Feel free to write to me (danielkazez@crarg.org) to ask if we have records for your family! —Daniel Kazez, CRARG President (a volunteer/unpaid position)