Soundex Generator
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 Using Soundex
     Soundex turns your name into its corresponding phonetic code
     Use this code to research your name and spelling variations
     of it in passenger manifests and US census records
Soundex Explained
The Soundex code represents a word, such as a person's name, based on the way the word sounds rather than the way it is spelled. Words that are spelled differently but sound the same such as Stewart and Stuart have the same Soundex code. This was sometime called a Miracode when a computer generated the code.

The National Archives uses the Soundex system to index most of the census records from 1880 to 1930 and some of the passenger arrivals records. When these records were originally written many of the Americans were illiterate and did not know how to write their own last name. They would pronounce their name and the person writing the record would spell it according to how it sounded and often incorrectly.

Thus, the spelling of names varies in early records but these variations are phonetically identical and they have identical Soundex codes.

Soundex Coding Rules
1. Every Soundex code consists of a letter followed by three digits, such as D226.

2. The letter is always the first letter of the word being coded.

3. After the first letter disregard the letters A, E, H, I, O, U, Y and W.

4. Digits represent the remaining consonants according to the chart below.

5. If the resulting code is less than four characters zeros are add at the end. 6. Excess letters are ignored if they would produce a code longer that four characters.

 
Soundex Letter Codes
Number  Represents the Letter
1  B, F, P or V
2  C, G, J, K, Q, S, X or Z
3  D or T
4  L
5  M or N
6  R
   Soundex Code Generator
Enter Surname
      
Use without H & W rule
for 1910 census and before.
Without H & W Rule: 
Use with H & W rule
for 1920 census and later.
With the H & W Rule: 

Additional Soundex Rules
1. Adjacent Letters. Side by side letters with the same Soundex letter code number are treated as one letter. Jackson is coded: J250. (J, plus 2 for C, K is ignored, S is ignored, 5 for N, 0 added).

2. H or W Letters Separator. Letters separated by an h or w and with the same Soundex letter code are treated as one letter. Ashcraft is coded: A261. (A, plus 2 for S, C is ignored, 6 for R, 1 for F).

3. Vowel Letter Separator. Letters separated by a vowel (a, e, i, o, u, y) are both coded.

4. Name Prefix. Name prefixes such as Con, De, Di, La, Le or Van are not coded. Prefixes Mc and Mac are included in the code. Note: Coders sometimes missed this rule and a surname could be coded with or without the prefix. A through search should include the code from both forms.


Soundex Examples
Code  Surname Code  Surname
 A261  Ashcraft  H620  Harris
 B620  Burroughs  M263  McCarthy
 C150  Chavin  P532  Pontious
 C255  Cheesman  Q500  Quinn
 C552  Cummings  R000  Roe
 L360  DeLawter  S300  Scott
 D400  Dell  T651  Tremblay
 D152  Dobbins  W330  Whitehead
 F624  Fairchild  Z565  Zimmerman
Copyright © 2015 by: Jerry C. DeKeyser, All Rights Reserved