When you search FamilySearch Memories, you can often find what you want with a simple search. You can also focus your search results using advanced options, also called Boolean operators.
Note: These advanced operators work when you use the Find option in FamilySearch Memories. They may not work as described in other parts of the FamilySearch site, such as Historical Records or Family Tree.
You can search using words only.
|Search terms||Example||Explanation and Result|
Not case sensitive
Looks for each search word independently of the others
|WWII registration card|
Searched for: WWII OR Registration OR Card
Result: You will find "WWII Registration Card” and “Birth Registration,” “Christmas Card,” and numerous other results. It finds everything that contains the word "WWII" or "registration" or "card." Results are ordered with better matches at the top, so “WWII Registration Card” would be listed before “Birth Registration.”
You can use the search terms or symbols separately or in combinations.
|Search term and symbol||Text Entered and Meaning||Explanation and Result|
|Phrase ("phrase")||"WWII Registration Card"|
Meaning: The phrase "WWII Registration Card"
|All words appear in the exact order; punctuation is ignored.|
Result: WWII Registration Card
Meaning: All words starting with the letters "hand"
|Finds spelling variations or related words; the asterisk may be used anywhere in the word.|
Result: hand, hands, handsome, handmaiden, and so forth, but not chandelier
|AND||William AND Pratt|
Meaning: William and Pratt
|Requires both words to be found.|
Result: William Pratt, William Orson Pratt, Pratt William, William T Pratt, etc.
|NOT||William NOT Pratt|
Meaning: William but not Pratt
|Excludes a word from the search|
Result: William Smith, William Johnson, William Joseph Blackshaw, and so forth. (It would not find William Pratt or William Henry Pratt, for example.)
|OR||William OR Henry|
Meaning: Either William or Henry
Finds either word.
Note: FamilySearch Memories uses OR by default. You do not have to type OR between words to get this result. However, using OR with a grouping, as described next, often makes your search query more readable.
|Grouping ()||(William OR Pratt) AND Orson|
Meaning: William and Orson OR Pratt and Orson
|Parentheses group words into subexpressions.|
Result: William Orson, Pratt Orson, William Orson Pratt. Any combination of Orson with either William or Pratt