The Goldrush Database.

Historical records of Cork,
Ireland 1650-1850.

Records of St Stephen's Anglican Church,
Ootacamund (Ooty), Tamil Nadu, India.

Using 'Prospector'
Database Software by Evan Lewis


  1. Simple search method
    The simplest method is to enter just the family name (surname) on its own e.g. enter:.
    This finds all the people with family name Will.
  2. Wild card button
    You can broaden the search using the wild card radio button (above the Search button) e.g.:
    This finds entries with family name
    'Will', 'Williams', 'Goodwill', 'MacWilliam', 'van der Will'(see below) etc.
  3. Wild card character
    Old records may have the same name spelled several different ways.
    If there are particular characters that may have been altered they can be replace by the single wildcard character (_).
    There must be at least 4 non-wildcard characters in the search. e.g. Sm_th
    This finds entries with family name
    'Smith' as well as 'Smyth' etc.
  4. Narrow a search using filter entries
    If you search for a name like Smith you will find hundreds of entries. In the goldrush database you can
    restrict the search to only entries in a given year by typing the required 4 digit year in the box marked 'Year'.
    If you are interested only in people from Thames enter Thames in the District box.
  5. Underlined names (Links)
    If additional information is available about a person who appears on the results table, their name will be underlined. This provides a link to another page on where photos, captions, text, references, and web links may be listed.
  6. The formal search method
    You can narrow the search using two names in the formal method:
    Familyname, Firstname
    divided by a comma e.g.
    Smith, John
  7. The informal search method
    If you prefer the the informal method
    Firstname Familyname
    divided by a space e.g.
    John Smith
  8. Searches for names 3 characters or less in length are restricted to exact match
    When a family name longer than 3 characters is entered with the wild card option button,
    a search is performed for all names containing that string of characters (see 2). But if you type a family name of three characters or less, the search is restricted to an Exact Match and the wild card option is disabled.
    If you use wildcard characters (_) there must be at least 3 non-wildcard letters.
    This, and other features of the database, prevents unscrupulous companies from
    copying the whole database and charging people for its use.
  9. Short first names
    You are unlikely to find short abbreviated first names such as
    Pat, Bill and Jim as these were very rarely used in the 1800s.
  10. Middle Names or Initials
    Most entries in the records do not include a middle name or initial.
    Any middle initials or middle names are removed from the query that you enter.
  11. Names beginning with Mac or Mc
    The program uses a special search method for these names.
    The abbreviation M' was used in some old records instead of Mac or Mc.
    A search with Mac or Mc will find all names containing Mac, Mc or M'
    e.g. A search including the family name McDonald also finds MacDonald and M'Donald.
    To do this search the Mac part is taken off, leaving a shortened family name.
    See the notes about restrictions on short family names.
  12. Family names containing spaces
    Because the informal method (above) uses a space to separate first name from last name, there is a problem with family names containing spaces getting split. For example, the family name van Praagh is split into first name van and family name Praagh. In that case it is best to enter Praagh on its own with a wildcard search. In fact the computer program does this automatically in most cases.
  13. Claim searches
    In the goldrush database you can find the names of claims made by groups of miners as well as individual surnames.
    For example the 'Hand in Hand' claim can be found by typing in 'hand'.
    But do not include multiple words with spaces between them because that will confuse the name search program.
  14. Structure of the database
    In most of these databases the name table is made up of a record for each person containing:
    • ID Number
    • Title
    • Firstname (including middle names or initials)
    • Postscript (e.g. Senior)
    • DATE
    • etc
    There are other tables referring to Photos, Books, Notes, Links etc
  15. About The computer programs:
    This web site records the data in a MySQL database. A program written in the PHP language runs on the server and collects data from the MySQL database. It then creates a web page (including a table of names) in HTML to send back to the user. It also automatically generates pages of HTML about any miners for whom additional information is available. These names appear as underlined links in the results table.

    We run our own Apple Mac Mini server which is operated remotely using Apple OS 10.5 Server. The site was developed on an Apple Mac computer using Dreamweaver, TextEdit, Applescript and PhotoShop.

    It has been written as a general purpose name search program so that it can be used to search various lists of names and could be offered as a service to genealogists.
  16. About the authors of the software and services available:
    Kae Lewis PhD compiled all the data on this site, provided the concept and wrote the HTML for the home page and other associated pages and links.
    The server-side software was written by her husband, Evan Lewis.
    Please don't hesitate to contact us if you are interested in the software. We can set up your database, web page and host the whole database system on our server for a reasonable monthly fee. You retain ownership of all the data. Software is also available to allow you to edit the data on-line and to add text, photographs, web links, books and references to particular pages in the books.

    A. Evan Lewis PhD, MD.

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