If you are a first time visitor, please view and print the instructions for reading and interpreting the Potts Database search results. Without this information you may have difficulty understanding all of the information provided. Please also examine the Database Structure (click on Database Structure at the bottom of this page).
When you have digested the instructions you can enter your search criteria into the fields below. You do not have to enter information in all of the fields. Too much search criteria may actually impair your search. Please carefully read the section Instructions For Entering Searching Criteria which is delineated below the entry form. The proper use of the wildcard symbol, %, is critical.
Picosearch is also available here. You have scrolling access to the complete database, one section at a time. For this type of search the database is partitioned alphabetically, e.g., A_Potts, B_Potts, C_Potts, etc., and you can scroll through each and every entry therein. Just click on the link in this paragraph and then enter A_POTTS into the search box, click search, and then click on List of Searchable Database Sections and Extracts when it appears. To start, click here: (If you don't see the Picosearch logo it is temporarily inoperative.) If you are searching for U.K. births then the file names for you are PottsEng, PottsEng_sort, PottsScot, PottsScot_sort, PottsWales, PottsWales_sort, PottsIrel, and PottsIrel_sort.
You can use the % sign as a wild card in any field. For example, if you are searching for a given name beginning with Jam (like James, Jamison, Jamerson, etc.), you can type just Jam% in the Given Names field. If you want to look for all children born to a particular set of parents enter the parents names (father's first name% [e.g., Jonathan%], and/or mothers maiden name% [e.g., Smith%]) in their respective fields.
For instance, a search for Thomas will only retrieve all those individuals who are listed as merely Thomas Potts. But a search for Thomas% will return those who had other given names after Thomas as a first name. And a search for %Thomas% will return all individuals who had Thomas as a first or subsequent given name, e.g., John Thomas Potts, or William Henry Thomas Potts.
A search for a birth year of 1830 will retrieve only those individuals whose birth is listed merely as 1830. A better way to search by birth date is to use %1830%. This will retrieve all individuals whose birth date includes 1830, i.e., including those that might be Ca. 1830 or 1830 Dec 12. You can also use %183% to search for all births listed from 1830 to 1839.
This technique should also be used for search by birth locations. For example a search for a John Potts born in the 1820s in Virginia would use: John% in the Given Name(s) field, %182% in the Birth Year field, and VA% in the Birth Location field. (Locations in the U.S.A. are listed as State, County, City or Town or Township in that order with the State abbreviated to the two letter U. S. Postal Code, in this case VA for Virginia. (Click here for a list of location abbreviations used in the database.)
You do not have to fill all the entry fields with criteria. In fact, it is better if you do not, as it will considerably shorten the search time, and you will probably find your target with just a few of the fields filled in. In any event, you can experiment to find out.
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The Potts Surname Database
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