Division of Archives and Records Service
Name Indexes

New Name Indexes Search

Rae Gifford
August 6, 2018

Name Indexes

One of our most popular online features is our name indexes. We know you love them (especially the death certificates) so we want to make searching them easier for you. Some of our improvements are still in development, but starting today we will be beta testing a brand new interface for users. Hopefully, you will find this more powerful and configurable interface easy and useful.

The new interface is based on a keyword-based search technology. This will allow people to search for names in new ways such as:

  • entering names in any order
  •  using wildcards such as * to substitute letters for spelling variations (for example Peters*n will return results for both Peterson and Petersen)
  • filtering hits by various categories

Yet, the new interface is not quite complete. For example, you cannot browse by a specific date as you can with our old interface for birth and death certificates. We will be adding this feature and others in the future.

We are releasing the new interface as a beta test so everyone can enjoy its benefits while we gather feedback about the type of features most people want. There are a few rough edges here and there, which is why we are providing a quick feedback form so you can tell us what isn’t working for you or what we really should consider adding as a feature. Please feel free to share how you like to search, for example on other sites, and the methods that help you find the records you seek.

As a note, for those who are more comfortable with our old interface, it is still available. You can use the old search mechanism (searching “lastname, firstname”) and still access all of our indexes. This type of searching can be helpful when browsing the entire list of names, or when doing a search by truncating a name, to find spelling errors that might not be obvious with a general search.

Whichever searching interface you use, you can always find us at