In my ongoing quest for decent genealogical fiction (preferably mysteries), I recently found this paragraph in Patricia Sprinkle's Death on the Family Tree. (Review at LibraryThing). I've been working on genealogy for several years now, but haven't had to use Soundex but once or twice. I'd essentially figured out what it was and why it made sense, but didn't feel a driving need to use it. But I was nevertheless thrilled to find this nice concise explanation in a work of fiction. Maybe it's the cataloger in me, but thinking about Soundex as an index in the form of a Cutter table intrigues me enough to try it more often to see how my search results differ (and hopefully improve).
A little more on Soundex:
- The Soundex Indexing System (National Archives and Records Administration). A short explanation, coding guide, Soundex coding rules.
- Surname to Soundex Code (Soundex Conversion Program). Basically an online calculator that generates the Soundex code for a surname input.
- Soundex Daitch-Mokotoff Reference Guide. Record on WorldCat.org.