Search Options

Searches numbered 1 and 3 are unique searches necessary to thoroughly search all the data on this website.

For example: FreeFind search No. 1 locates the surname Jablonski on six (6) webpages, one of which is the Quarterly surname index to 13 articles that mention the name. WordPress search No. 2 finds only four (4) webpages and omits all PDFs. Search No. 3 finds three (3) Daily Advocate newspaper abstracts.

Please read these search tips before you begin.

1. FreeFind search tool

Includes PDFs, all surnames published in the Quarterly, its Table of Contents, and text on this public website.

search engine courtesy of / by
advanced search and tips

2. WordPress search tool

PDF files are not searched, just text on the web pages. Please read search tips.

3. Search the Belleville Daily Advocate here

This standalone database indexes vital statistics and articles about births, marriages, and deaths published in the Belleville Daily Advocate newspaper. SCCGS provides a photocopy service for these articles.


Site search matches (No. 1 and 2 above) are displayed in a ‘hit’ list. Stand-alone databases must be searched independently (No. 3 and 4 above).

To keep your search results page available while investigating the hit

  • hover the mouse over a ‘hit’ then right click
  • choose Open in new tab, or Open in new window.

FreeFind search (No. 1)

  • Is a more comprehensive site search than WordPress search No. 2. FreeFind hits match words or parts of a word in all PDFs and pages on this site.
  • FreeFind’s advanced search link allows boolean searches, e.g., AND, NOT, or using quotes. For example, “Maddox Gillis” using quotes will be found with FreeFind but not WordPress. Try it!
  • “Hits” are numbered in a particular order designed to best utilize time spent on this site.
  • Matching words in a toggle* (illustrated below) will be found but a closed toggle will need to be opened to see the matching word.
  • Please read PDF search tips below.
  • Advertising appears on the hit page, a reciprocal agreement for allowing the Society free use of this search tool.

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WordPress search (No. 2)

  • Total pages found are numbered at the bottom of the hit list. Follow the prompts to work your way through all the hits!

Will not find:

  • Words in portable document files (PDF). Use the FreeFind search tool instead. Read PDF search tips below.
  • Words in standalone databases, i.e., Quarterly surname index and Daily Advocate (searches 3 and 4 above).
  • Pairs of words in tables using quotes, e.g., “Maddox Gillis”. Here is a table example.
    • Workarounds: 1) Try searches with and without quotes; 2) or the surname alone; or 3) choose a specific Collection from the main menu and search each resource shown there.

Will find:

  • John May [no quotes]
    • on all pages with John only and May only and pages with John and May but not necessarily next to each other
  • “John May” [with quotes] as this exact string of letters, e.g., John May and John Mayer. However, read “Will not find” immediately above.


  • Words in a Tab or Toggle* (illustrated below), will be found, however, a closed tab or toggle must be opened to find the word. We apologize if tabs or toggles are inconvenient.
    • This site limits tabs and toggles to pages with lengthy introductions or general information, not ancestral data pages per se. For example, the word integrity is part of the Code of Ethics, yet the site search ‘hit’ lands on the About Membership page. Each tab there must be opened (click/tap) to locate the word integrity.

*This is a Toggle:

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How to find words on long pages

A browser’s Find feature will navigate quickly to words sought on very long webpages:

  • With Windows, press and hold the Control key while clicking the F (Find) key, release.  Another way: on your browser’s tool bar, look for and click/tap Find or Find on this page.
  • As illustrated, a box will appear near the top of the page. As a word is typed in the box, the browser highlights the word on the page.
  • Note that 1/52 in the box tells how many instances of that word are on the page. Click the up and down arrows to navigate through the matches. Note also that thin colored lines in the right margin (usually yellow) mark each location of that word on the page.
  • Some page use toggles which must be expanded for a browser to find a word within.

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Search a PDF

PDF is a portable document file, each of which open with the free Adobe Reader. Most modern browsers come with this tool installed.

Install the free Adobe Reader if needed.

Search each PDF file individually:

  • Click the PDF link to open it.
  • On your keyboard press and hold the Control key while tapping the F (Find) key; release both keys.
  • A “Find box” appears near the top of the webpage. Type all or part of a word and tap the Enter key on the keyboard.
  • To navigate to the next word on the page, either tap the Enter key, or click the Previous or Next buttons in the Find box.
  • Close the PDF when finished.
  • Tip: many of this site’s PDFs may be downloaded, please read our Privacy and Terms before incorporating data from this website in personal files.

St. Clair County Genealogical Society, PO Box 431, Belleville, IL 62222-0431.
E-mail:  Privacy policy and Use Agreement.
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