The Goldrush Database.

Historical records of Cork,
Ireland 1650-1850.

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

An index of historical records archived
at The Treasury in Thames, New Zealand.

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. e.g.:
    This finds entries with family name
    'Will', 'Williams', 'Goodwill', 'MacWilliam', 'van der Will' etc.
    (Some databases may not provide this button.)
  3. Exact match button
    You can broaden the search using the wild card radio button e.g.:
    This finds entries with family name
    'Will', 'Williams', 'Goodwill', 'MacWilliam', 'van der Will'(see below) etc.
    (Some databases may not provide this button.)
  4. Starts with button
    The Starts with radio button only finds names that start with the characters you provide e.g.:
    This finds entries with family name
    'Will' and 'Williams' but not 'Goodwill', 'MacWilliam', 'van der Will' etc.
    (Some databases may not provide this button.)
  5. Ends with button
    The Ends with radio button will only find entries that end in the characters requested. e.g.:
    This finds entries with family name
    'Goodwill', 'van der Will'and 'Will' but NOT 'Williams', , 'MacWilliam', etc.
    (Some databases may not provide this button.)
  6. 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.
    This finds entries with family name
    'Smith' as well as 'Smyth' etc.
    You can use multiple underscore characters together. If you search gold__ with the exact match button these two wildcard charcacters still work to find golden and goldie but not gold mining company.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

  10. Short first names
    You are unlikely to find short abbreviated first names such as
    Pat, Bill and Jim as these were rarely used in the 1800s.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Restrictions on large volume searches
    There are certain restrictions applied to prevent hacking. If a single search produces more than a certain number of results (eg 300) the display stops after that number is displayed. Filters and exact match rather than wildcard searches can be used to reduce the results. Otherwise a range of initials can be used such as (A-M and N-Z). There are also restrictions on the number of searches you can do in a rolling 30 day period. If this creates a problem please contact us.
  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:
    The database software and web site hosting are currently provided as free community service projects.

    The software was written as a general purpose package for online databases. All the specifications for a new database are set up using tables of information such as preferences and the headings you want on your columns. This means that the whole process can be completed without altering the program itself.

    Data is loaded into the database in batches of simple text files which can be sent by email to someone for uploading. These files can be typed directly or exported from XL spread sheets or other offline database applications.

    The site was developed on an Apple Mac computer using Dreamweaver, TextEdit, Applescript and PhotoShop. The database software 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 (such as a table of names) in HTML to send back to the user for display on their screen. It also automatically generates pages of HTML about any entries for which additional information is available. These names appear as underlined links in the results table.

  16. About the authors of the software and services available:
    Kae Lewis PhD compiled all the data on the Goldrush Online site, provided the concept and wrote the HTML for the home page and other associated pages and links. Kae is also webmaster for The Treasury. An indexing group provides the data for The Treasury index database.

    The server-side software was written by 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 a server. You retain ownership of all the data.We can provide references.

    A. Evan Lewis PhD, MD.

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