Genealogy Word Finder (GWF)

Having trouble deciphering handwriting in censuses, wills and other legal documents? Genealogy Word Finder can help. If you need to find a name, place, occupation or even legal term, then click on the appropriate page listed below (blue links). When the utility opens, type in the letters of the word or phrase that you CAN read and include * for those letters that you can’t decipher. GWF will give you a list of matches that meet your criteria.

Why not try some of the examples below and see whether you can solve them before trying GWF out on them.


Forenames    (e.g. *eo*rey)

Surnames    (e.g. *ai*he) {difficult}


England – North (counties included listed on page)

England – Midlands (as above)    (e.g. *ghb*r)

England – South West (as above)

England – South East (as above)




Occupations    (e.g. *am*mai)

Legal Words and Phrases    (e.g. *ran*pl)