Search WikiTree's help pages:

Categories: WikiTree Help

Click here to search WikiTree. The following are tips for usage.


Searching for People

The main tool on the search page, section 1, searches person profiles on WikiTree.

A first name and last name are required for searches. If you just enter a last name it will jump you to the surname index page for that last name (the same as section 2 on the search page).

Entering or selecting anything else on the search form is optional. Here are more details on those options.

Date range

The default is to match years, e.g. if you enter 20 Aug 1920 as a birth date it will include all matches born in 1920. If you select "match exact date" it will only match with others born on 20 Aug 1920.

You can expand the matches to plus or minus two years, e.g. 1920 will match with anyone born between 1918 and 1922. There are also options for plus or minus 12 years and plus or minus 30 years.

Note that date status indicators on profiles are not taken into account. For example, about 1920, before 1920, and after 1920 are all just treated as 1920.

Surname variants

Our search engine includes alternate last names from the variant names project.

The "surname variants" option can be turned off.

Matches without dates

The default it to include matches without dates. For example, if you're searching for John Smith, born 1920, the search results will include John Smiths who have no birth date on WikiTree.

The "include matches without dates" option can be turned off.

Century typos

If this option is selected, the century is ignored. For example, 1 June 1801 would match with 1 June 1701 or 1 June 1901.

Not all the date range options can be used in conjunction with this option. For example, you can have a date range of +/- 30 years and include century typos at the same time.

Search your Watchlist

Rather than searching all the profiles on WikiTree you can opt to just search the profiles on your Watchlist. You could also exclude profiles on your Watchlist.

Other Search Tools

There are a few other search forms and links on the search page.

Section 2, "Search for a Surname," simply jumps you to the surname index page.

Section 3, "Search for Ancestor Matches" is an option for logged-in members. This initiates our Find Matches tool. It searches for matches for everyone in your Watchlist without you having to enter the names and dates manually in section 1.

Optionally, you can limit this to one person in your Watchlist or one surname in your Watchlist, e.g. you could search for matches for everyone in your Watchlist named Smith.

Section 4 is a full-text search using Google. It's the same as going to and including "" in your search so that results are limited to pages on

At the bottom of the search page are tools for searching Categories, Free-Space Profiles, and images on WikiTree. These use Google as well.

See RootsSearch for a convenient tool for searching other genealogy websites for a person on WikiTree.

Notes for Advanced Users

Delay for new profiles

When you add a new profile to WikiTree it will not appear in search results immediately. We use what's called a "search index" to speed up searches. The index is fully updated once a day.

What is searched

All these name fields are indexed:

  1. Prefix
  2. Proper First Name
  3. Preferred First Name
  4. Middle Name
  5. Nicknames
  6. Current Last Name
  7. Last Name at Birth
  8. Other Last Names

However, in order to return better matches, we have a two-stage search system. Essentially, some potential matches based on the fields above are eliminated before you see them.

Language: en | nl

This page was last modified 13:49, 28 June 2018. This page has been accessed 13,151 times.