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CEMSEARCH-uk uses no longer uses Soundex for its Surname searches because experience has shown that it is unreliable. Example, Beach and Biggs are equivalent using Soundex;
Beach and Biggs are clearly not the same surname or even related.
However... Soundex is a way of expressing a name by how it sounds rather than how it is spelt.

The Surnames ALLAN, HALLAN, ALLEN and ELLEN; whilst spelt differently are basically the same name and sound the same. So a Soundex search on any one of them will find them all.

To use Soundex to find similar sounding Surnames you need to find the Soundex code for that surname.

A Soundex code is made up of the capital letter of the Surname and three numbers according to the rules below. Sometimes, zeroes are added to produce a four letter code and some letters may be ignored

Number Represents the Letters

1.......B, F, P, V

2.......C, G, J, K, Q, S, X, Z

3.......D, T

4.......L

5.......M, N

6.......R

The letters A, E, I, O, U, H, W, And Y are ignored

Example: London would be encoded like this

L-535, L, 5 for the N, 3 for the D and 5 for the N The letter O being disregarded.

  

Some more rules

If the Surname has double letters then they are treated as one letter also, if the Surname has different letters side by side that have the same Soundex code then they are treated as one letter.

Names with prefixes: If a Surname has a prefix such as Van, Con, De, Di, La or Le then code the Surname both with and without the prefix because the surname may be listed under either code. Please note that Mc and Mac are not considered as prefixes.

If a vowel separates two consonants that have the same Soundex code, the consonant to the right of the vowel is coded.

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