Searching with special search characters
On these pages, you can learn how to limit or expand your search by using special search characters. In addition, you can learn how to use wildcard and other types of searches to find people or places which may have a number of spelling variations.
Asterisk is a wildcard character. It can be used at the front, middle or back of a search string, or in the front and back simultaneously.
- A search for first name like "ann*", will return all first names that begin with "ann-", like Anne, Anna, Anni, Anette etc.
- A search for first name like *ristine will return all first names which end with "-ristine", such as Christine and Kristine
- A search for surname like "*risto*", will return all surnames which contain "-risto", such as Kristoffersen, Kristoffersdatter, Kristophersen/-datter, Christoffersen/-datter, Christophersen/-datter etc.
- A search for first name like like "fri*jof" will return all first names which begin with "fri", and end with "jof", such as Fritjof, Fridthjof, Fridtjof etc.
? (question mark)
A question mark is used to search for words with a specific number of unknown characters, where each question mark is used for each character that is unknown. It can be used at the front, middle or back of a search string, or in the front and back simultaneously.
- A search for first name like "fri?jof" will return all first names which start with "fri", end with "jof", but have an unknown character between these parts.
- A search for first name like "fri???jof", will return all first names which start with "fri", end with "jof", but have three unknown characters between these parts. In this case you will get hits on "Fridthjof".
For the Norwegian letters "æ", "ø" and "å", the rules are slightly different. These letters are not treated as single characters and must be searched for by using two ??, instead of one.
- A search for "fl??sland", will return a hit on "Flæsland".
- A search for "fl?esland", will return a hit on "Flesland".
Wildcard searches must contain at least two characters
Regardless of which type of wildcard search you perform, please note that the search string must contain at least to characters, in addition to the *. When searching without wildcard characters, you may search for two characters.
A search for just one character and a star, for example A* (starts with A) is not accepted as the search would be too slow. Searching for single characters alone will however generate hits on abbreviations: A search for firstname such as "A" will return a hit on "A. Hansen"
The pipe characters means "or", when used in searches. You can usually find this characters on the top left of your keyboard, and can use it to search for spelling variations or words in one single search string.
- A search for first name like Nils|Niels will return all invididuals with the first name Nils or Niels.
- A search for a farm name like Nes|Næs|Næss will return all farms named Nes, Næs or Næss
- A search for first name like Nils|Petter will return all invididuals with the first name Nils or Petter.
To search for words beginning with specific characters, use the caret symbol, followed by the characters you are searching for.
- "^Ann*" in the first name box, will return results of all whose first name begins with "Ann". "Annelise" will also be returned, but note that "Mari Anne" will not, as "Anne" is not in the beginning of the search string.
$ (dollar sign)
To search for words ending with specific characters, use the dollar symbol, followed by the characters you are searching for.
- "*set$" in the surname field will return results for all whose surname ends with "set". Note that "Furuset Nilsen", will not be returned as the "set" part is not found at the end of the search string.
<< (two less-than-signs)
<< means that the search strings to the left must precede the ones to the right
- a search for "Mari << Anne", will return results for "Mari Anne", but not "Anne Mari".
Parentheses are used for grouping multiple search terms.
- a search for "Marianne | (Mari << Anne)" will return results for "Marianne" and "Mari Anne".
- a search for "Marianne | Mari << Anne" will only return results for "Mari Anne", and possibly "Marianne Anne", if anyone should happen to be named that.
+ (plus symbol)
Used only in simple search. Words with + in front, must be present in the result.
- A person search for "peder +gundersen" will restrict the results list as "gundersen" must be present in one of the fields which is being searched. You may also see results for persons where "peder" and "gundersen" occur in other fields; "Hæda Gundersen" will appear in the results list as she lived at "Peder Ankers Gade"
- (minus symbol)
Used in front of words you wish to exclude from the result list.
- A search for Anne -Marie in the first name field, will return results for all those with first name Anne, but not those named Marie.
- A search in first name with the search string "Kristo*|Christo*" will return results for all those with a first name that starts with either Kristo- or Christo-.
- A search for family position, marital status or profession with the search string "g hf *lærer*" in the advanced person search will return results for those who were married (g) house-father (hf) with a profession that contains the string -lærer- (teacher)
- A search for first name "Carl|Karl" and last name "Ols*" in the avanced people search form, will return results for all those named "Carl" or "Karl", who also had a surname beginning with "Ols-".
- A search of farm name/street address such as "Gr*|*nes" and cadastral unit number "56" in the advanced property search form, will return results for all properties with cadastral unit number "56" and names beginning with "Gr-" and/or ending with "-nes"