The ALD has data from many different types of records. The fields common to all data are: Surname, Given Name, Town, and Comments. There are another dozen or so fields that exist in some of the records. When searching the ALD, you may restrict your search to the Surname, Given Name, or Town fields. You may also choose to search All Fields.
There are four choices for searching the ALD. You may search on an exact string of characters, on a starting string of characters, or on any words that “sound like” the word you are searching on using the
Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex System or on any words that are phonetically like the word you are searching for using Beider-Morse Phonetic Matching.
You may also use Boolean Searches like "Neiman AND Pikeliai" or "Neiman OR Naiman." Using AND narrows a search by combining terms; it will retrieve documents that use both the search terms you specify. Using OR broadens a search to include results that contain either of the words you type in; in combination with an "is Exactly" search, this will limit records to ones which have either of the exact spellings you specify. It's best to use this
type of search with the "Any Field" option selected so you can capture family names in fields other than the Surname Field.
Please be aware that the spellings of names -- both first and last -- may be different from the ones you are familiar with and accustomed to. In addition, some information on these lists that do not fit into our database template are noted in the Comments Field. For more information, see our Translation, Transliteration, and Database Standards for the ALD.