The search function looks for an exact match to the characters (letters) you put into one or both of the search fields in Given Name | Surname, or the 'Search by text string' function.
Each individual field can be shortened. Therefore, searching for cdonald will return results for both MacDonald and McDonald. Searching for phil will return records for Phil, Philip and Phillip.
Note: Searching for more than one word per field must match our records exactly for results to be returned.
For example, searching for phil john in the Given Name field will NOT return records for Phillip John.
All shortened names must have the variable at either the beginning or end of the character string.
In November 2016 all the names in the database (over 4.5 million records) were converted to three separate search categories: Surname, Given Name and a full name search string in the format:
Surname, Given Names (note, there is a coma and a space after the surname). E.g. Smith, John William
Therefore, Smith, John can be typed into the 'Search by text string' field and searched. Results such as the following will be returned:
Arrowsmith, John William
Pritchard-Smith, John Patrick
Smith, John Frederick William
Text String search tip: For some records (particularly those in NSW) it can be extremely difficult to identify where a Given Name ends and a multi-surnames starts. Example: "SYED JAVED IQBAL HUSSAIN SHAH".
In a case such as this, we have simply taken the last word as the surname (SHAH) and listed "Syed Javed Iqbal Hussain" as the Given Name. Therefore, when using the "Search by text string" option, start with the last possible surname, then the first given name.
Additional search tips:
1. Use the State dropdown selection to narrow your search results rather than leaving 'National' selected.
2. If the surname is not too common, start with just the surname, then look at the results to see what given name matches there are.
You might know someone as Joe (particularly if their name is of non-Anglo heritage), but court records usually show a person's formal name.
It might well be that Joe's formal given name is Yousseff. If you searched for the surname and either Joe or Joseph, the correct records will not come up.
3. If the surname is very common, initially try the 'Search by text string' function using the surname, a comma, a space and the given name.
If there is some uncertainty as to how the given name is spelt, then try using just the first one or more letters of the given name.
4. If you are uncertain whether the given name is the first or a middle given name, use the 'given name | surname' search option. All possible variations will be displayed.
Using the Download CSV option to sort through your search results
Your search results can be downloaded as a CSV file containing up to 1,000 records.
Once your files are open in Excel, sorting them further is a simple process.
No.1 : Click on Data.
No.2 : Click on Sort.
No.3 : Ensure My data has headers is selected and all the records, excluding the header row, are highlighted.
No.4 : Click on Sort by, then choose which column you wish to sort.
No.5 : Additional levels can be added, so as an example you can sort the records first by Case Title Party, then
State, then Date