Fraught and Fretting over Frautvetters and Frautfetters in’s 1860 Census Index

It was supposed to take five minutes to conduct a search of the 1860 census at on for a few Trautvetter relatives in Kentucky. I had my list of alternate spellings and renderings. Frautvetter is a reasonable transcription variation and it was on my search list.

Then I got confused.

Frautvetter and Frautfetter (with the Soundex option on) did not return the same results. Unless I am missing something, they should.


A screen shot of my search box follows. The “match all terms exactly” box is checked. That does not mean to only include the spelling as typed in the box. It means do exactly what is typed in the box and what is checked under that box.

No results were obtained for my search:



All that was done was a changing of the “f” in Frautfetter to a “v” for my next search. That’s it. Frautvetter and Frautfetter are soundex equivalent (F631) [check it yourself]. No other box was changed. Since Frautvetter and Frautfetter are soundex equivalent, they should return the same results.

Except they don’t. This time I got results. Freidbecker and Freidthoff are both Soundex equivalent to each other (F631) and to Frautvetter.

But why don’t Frautvetter and Frautfetter return the same results when the “Exact, sounds like, similar, and Soundex” option is checked? The search for Frautvetter did return soundex equivalents to that name–there were no Frautvetters in the index. Since Frautfetter is the soundex equivalent of Frautvetter  and the soundex option was turned on, the results should be the same?

Or what am I not understanding? If I hear anything from anyone ‘in the know” at , I’ll post an update or clarification as needed.

And if I am understanding, what else is no working correctly?



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