Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.
The Soundex is a coding system for indexing names by sound, as pronounced in English. The Soundex helps index names that sound the same but may be spelled differently, which aids genealogists in their research. In a time before the U. S. Census was digitized, the Soundex was often used to help researchers locate names in microfilmed census records. Today, the Soundex system (or one of its variants) is used by default on some genealogy web sites to search for names, unless a user specifies "exact" spelling. Further information on the Soundex system can be found through the National Archives.