How to use the soundex calculator:
- Type the name you want to convert in the Surname box, below.
- Press "Convert."
What is "Soundex"?Soundex is a phonetic encoding scheme which uses one letter and three numbers to represent the way names (or other words) sound, in English. This is useful for names that sound similar but are spelled differently. For example, there are different spellings for my surname: Schwitzgebel, Schwitzgoebel, Switsgable. As you type in the name you are looking for, the calculator automatically gives you the Soundex number of that name. You can then take that number and compare it to Soundex codes for other names that encode to that same number.
Some census data are organized by Soundex, so it's very useful in genealogical research to know the Soundex codes for various spellings of names. It is difficult to know if Fred Schwitzgebel is related to Harry Switsgable because of the different spellings. The Soundex calculator gives you a number for Schwitzgebel and Switsgable--S321--and shows that the spellings could be variations of the same name.