Search results will offer facets that you can use to further narrow your results.
- Entering the following in the search box:
- Results in:
- Single keyword searches will return results with any instance of text containing the word Train, including Trains and Training and Strain. Keywords searches are naturally “fuzzy,” but you can specify *how* fuzzy on the advanced search screen (see below).
- Train VIA
- Multiple Keywords will get you the same results as searching Train and VIA as separate keywords (see AND). It will not treat Train VIA as a phrase.
- "Trains and Boats"
- Phrase searching will contain results with the phrase Trains and Boats. Putting double-quotations around a phrase will find whatever is inside the quotes. You can also use Advanced Search to select the "phrase" button from the "Logic between keywords" list. This setting works a bit differently: it only recognizes the most common words, so words like of and in may be ignored.
- Train OR Locomotive
- OR helps you broaden your search to include synonyms or variants, such as Train and Locomotive. The OR must be capitalized. Results will be all text that contain the words Train or Locomotive. You can also use Advanced Search to insert "OR" from the "Logic between keywords" list.
- Train AND Locomotive
- AND will provide results containing the word Train and the word Locomotive, but not selections containing just one of those words. The AND must be capitalized. You can also use Advanced Search to insert "AND" from the "Logic between keywords" list.
- Train AND NOT Locomotive
- AND NOT results will contain the word Train but not the word Locomotive. The words AND NOT must be capitalized.
- Use the Asterisk * for results with anything that begins with the letters Train and ends with an S, such as Trains, Traintracks, and Trainers. The asterisk is called a wildcard. You can't use the wildcard at the beginning (for example, *rains will not work). You might want to use it for spelling variations such as harb*r (for both harbour and harbor). Wildcard searches are case-sensitive, meaning you will get results containing "Trains" with a capital T but not "trains" - the other searches here are not case-sensitive.
The Fuzzy search will broaden your search by looking for similarly-spelled words as the ones you entered. This is why a Fuzzy search on Macdonald also finds McDonald and Macdonalds. Going even Fuzzier will return "Donald" as well. It's a good setting to use if you're not sure you have the correct spelling of a given term, or if you're researching a name that may have changed its spelling over time.
Fuzzy Dates allow you to set a date range instead of searching a specific year. You can enter 1905 and set the range to look for "within five years," which will return anything tagged from 1900 to 1910. Some records may not have a year set, only a decade, or its own range - from earliest to latest guess. If your range (1900-1910) intersects with a record's range (for example, 1909-1925) it will be returned, to give you the broadest possible results.
The Geographic Location limits your search to records tagged with that specific place name. Some of the records in the index may not be indexed by place, and would not appear in the results. Sometimes, places are contained by other places (a bay in a lake, or a village in a township, or a "harbor" in a town). You will need to search each term separately. It is a powerful way to narrow results but use it with caution.
For those who wish to analyze their search results more in-depth using mapping software, we offer the download of KML files on any search results page. By clicking this, you are downloading a Keyhole Markup Language (KML) file, which delivers location-based information. KML files are read by tools such as Google Earth to display points and data on a map or 3D model. Each place located by the KML file gives at least a longitude and latitude. The first step to using a KML file is to have an application like Google Earth or another application on your computer that is capable of handling this file format. There are excellent Google Earth Help files and documentation available. You may also wish to search for browser plug-ins that will generate maps using KML files.