Journal Search Tips

Researchers are encouraged to review the search tips provided below.
Examples provided in the various tips use quotation marks to specify a name or other search term.
You do not need to use quotation marks in your search.

General Search Tips
To search, simply type in your search term in the field to the right of “Search:”. To reset the table, just remove the search term.

After a search runs, the total number of records retrieved will be displayed at the lower left below the table, e.g., “Showing 1 to 10 of 177 entries”.
Pagination is at the lower right below the table. Click on a page number to go to that page, or use the < and > symbols to move through the pages one by one. Use the << symbol to go all the way back to the first page and the >> symbol to go to the last page.

The term entered in the Search box looks in all fields and finds all records that contain the combination of letters entered. So typing in “Smith” would also return “Smithfield” as one of the results, as well as records in which the first name contains “Smith”.

In some search engines you might use an asterisk as a wild card, e.g., Smith*, to find all records that begin with “Smith”, which would include names such as “Smithfield”.
There is no need to use wild card symbols such as this to search this table.

The table displays a default of 10 rows. You can adjust this using the “Show # entries” dropdown at the top of the table.
Important! If you change “Show # Entries” to show “All Entries”, be sure to change it back to show the default 10 entries before doing another search. Failure to do so will most likely result in an error message.
In general, it is good practice in any case to return to the default prior to doing a new search.

It is important to note that names of groups are also included, for example “Quakers”.
Military units fall into this category, both numbered and non-numbered.
Examples of non-numbered units are “Catawba Boys” and “Rowan Militia”.

The names of numbered units generally use basic military abbreviations, e.g., Regt (regiment), Bn (battalion) and Cav (cavalry). For example, “1st Regt (NC)”. “Artillery” and “Reserves” are usually spelled out.
There is also a separate table just for numbered units.

In the Places Index, “County” is abbreviated as “Co.” and “District” is abbreviated as “Dist.” Most other identifiers are spelled out. For example “Parish”, “Church”, “River”, etc.

Use of the Asterisk * to Denote People of Color
An asterisk following a name denotes a black or mulatto as shown in the records, or otherwise identified with terms such as “negroe” or “colored”.
Researchers will have to look in the original Volume/Issue to see whether the person was slave or free, and if the surname given was that of a slave owner. It is important to note that the custom of using the asterisk is not consistent over the years – lack of an asterisk does not necessarily mean the person named was Caucasian.

You can search for these records specifically by typing a single asterisk in the Search box.
The asterisk is not used here as a “wild card” search tool.

Special Characters and Alphabetization
Partial, unknown or uncertain surnames are also indexed. Partial names with the beginning letters unknown, e.g., “[__]ades, Wm.”, will be found in this list, as well as those with completely unknown last names, e.g., “[__], Wm.”. Names of many slaves will fall in this category.
By default, prior to any searching or filtering, these names appear at the top of the list.
You may also search by partial names, e.g. “ades”, which would return “[__]ades, Wm.” with others.

Special characters, such as an asterisk or apostrophe, will affect the alphabetization, and therefore the order, of names on the list. Square brackets, parentheses and question marks are used to denote a ‘best guess,’ as in the name “[__]liams, Stephen”.

Search terms are literal. For example, if you type in “Williams” in the Search box, it will not return “[__]liams, Stephen”.
However, if you type in “iams” in the Search box, the name at the top of the list will be “[__]liams, Stephen”.
As an example use case, in a search for Stephen Williams you could type “iams” in the Search box, then type in “Stephen”, or even just “Step”, in the First Name filter box. (The Last Name field is an ‘exact’ search, not partial. Please see the “Filtering Initial Results” section for an expanded explanation.)

There are some partial place names that use a set of brackets, but not many.

Name Special Cases
Always take into account possible spelling variations.

Royalty will generally be listed by their given name, e.g., “Edward I”

In some indexes, a woman’s maiden name was included, in parentheses, as a middle name. We have left these as they are, but in many cases, there will be two entries for that particular woman – once under her maiden name, and once under her married name.

Mc and Mac. In many instances, “Mc” or “Mac” may have been written with an apostrophe following the “M” in the original document. For example “M’Adams” for “McAdams”. In keeping with transcription guidelines, the original spelling was kept where it appears in the Journal, and likewise (usually) in the printed Journal index.

Use of the apostrophe in a table such as this interferes with proper sorting, so we have replaced the apostrophe with the letter “c” (although it is unknown whether it should be “Mc” or “Mac”) to keep these names together for easier researching. If you should find, for example, “McAdams” in your search, be aware it may be spelled in the Journal as “M’Adams”.

This only applies to this group of last names, not other names that typically use an apostrophe, such as “O’Brian”. You may still use an apostrophe in your search term for last names of this type.

Many place names have been transcribed from older documents, and spelling is not always consistent, or modern. Transcribers have a duty to spell it out as it was orginally written.
Where possible, editors and indexers have tried to also include the proper, modern spelling, or at least a best guess as to what the place was supposed to be. This is not always done, or even possible, so the searcher may need to be more creative.
For example, early documenters may have come up with a variety of ways to write down “Pasquotank”, and it may not always be supplemented with the correct spelling. Using a search term like “pasq” might yield some interesting results.

Filtering Initial Results
The main Search box will return all results with that string of letters, so you get both exact matches and partial matches.
The Last Name filter box is exact – that is, results will only match what is typed in. No partial matches.
By default, each table (Names Index, Places Index, List of Articles, etc.) is sorted by the first column, which will show a green background.

The first column of the Names Index – Name – is sortable, but does not have a filter. This is accomplished with the use of the Last Name and/or First Name filters.

An initial search based will probably return a great many results.
For example, typing “smith” in the main Search box will return results in which “smith” appears anywhere in the record.
In this case, the first result may be “Abbernatha, Smith”. Obviously, the person’s first name is “Smith”.

This could provide some results of interest, but you may wish to further refine this list to only show the last name “Smith”.
Filter boxes, if they are present, lie between the column heading and the first record.
For example, between the column heading of Last Name and the first result in the table is a filter text field displaying Last Name in a grayed out font.
To refine that to only last name “smith”, use the Last Name filter. (This is an ‘exact’ filter, and will not return any results other than what you type in.)
The first record returned is probably just “Smith”, with no first name.

To further refine, use the First Name filter. This is not an ‘exact’ filter, so returned results will include both exact and partial matches.
For example, you are looking for “William Smith”. Typing in “w” may return “Andrew” as the first result because “Andrew” contains the letter “w”.
Typing in “wi” will return results with that particular letter combination, for example “DeWitt” and “Edwin”.
To get “William” you will need to type in the entire word. Don’t forget, often “William” may be abbreviated “Wm”, so use that letter combination as well.
“Will” will return “Will” as well as “William”.

These search tips hold true for any name. And always remember some First Names may be abbreviated.

All other fields showing a text box with the column title repeated in grayed out text below the column title may be used for further filtering.
These filters are not ‘exact match’, so all records that even partially match what you type in will be returned.

First names are not necessarily in alphabetical order, but you can further sort the list by first name.
While holding down the Shift key on your keyboard, click on the column heading “First Name”. The column heading will now turn green, and results will appear in last name-first name order.
(Using the Shift key in this manner will work on all of the searchable tables.)

Identical place names may be found in multiple counties and/or states, and county names may be found in multiple states.
Typing in a particular place in the Search box will return all entries that contain that place name.
These search results can be further refined by using the Filter fields immediately below the column name.

States may have the same county names, for example Greene Co., which in this index occurs in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama (and possibly others).
A search for “Greene” will return all of these. To further refine, type in the two-letter state abbreviation in the filter field at the top of the Place column.
For example, typing in “TN” will refine the search to only entries for Greene Co., TN.
To further refine those results you may filter by Journal. For example, you only want to concentrate on one volume at a time, say Volume 3 (1977).
Simply type in “1977” in the filter field at the top of the Journal column.

Use of a filter is slower to return results than the main Search box.

The ‘Clear filters’ link in the Table Tools bar above the table will remove any filters you have typed in.
This will not clear your search. To completely reset, remove the name you typed in the Search box earlier.

Table Tools for Exporting
The export tools only use the visible rows. If you have more records than are shown in the default 10 visible rows, you can sequence through each page and repeat the export operation, or you can adjust the number of rows shown using the “Show entries” dropdown above the table.
If you have considerably more than 100 records, it is recommended you only select 100 from the dropdown, export that, then move to the next page and export again.
Important! If you change “Show # Entries” to show “All Entries”, be sure to change it back to show the default 10 entries before doing another search. Failure to do so will most likely result in an error message.
In general, it is good practice in any case to return to the default prior to doing a new search.

Print – Hides all the elements on the page except for the table. The results may look weird for some themes, but it will work correctly for most, and make the view of the page “printable”.

Excel export – Generates an Excel file (not customizable) with the visible table data.

CSV export – Generates a new file that can be opened in a browser or third party spreadsheet editing software. If it is opened in a browser, the file will be in the “Comma-Separated-Values” format out of the table and calls the browser’s “Save as …” dialog so you can choose a path for your file. All the values from your table will be exported including the headers. The cells will be separated by commas, and rows will be separated by line breaks.

Copy to clipboard – Copies all the rows that exist in the page to your OS clipboard, and you can later paste it into some other software. Once you click it, you get a popup with a notification on how many rows were copied to the clipboard, e.g., “Copied 20 rows to the clipboard”. All the rows are copied to the clipboard, including the tab-separated headings. You can then paste it to MS Excel, for example.

PDF export – Generates a new PDF document from the table and calls the browser’s “Save as …” dialog so you can choose a path for your file. It is a very basic PDF document, with the page title, and the table with simple formatting.