Position in Index List by Last Name, first letter of Given Name

I’m processing a 1940 death certificate for a man named James P. Bryan. The death certificate reports that the informant was O. E. Bryan. As you might expect, I know the Bryan family well and I know the family relationships well, so the name O. E. Bryan really jumped out at me. Namely, I couldn’t imagine anybody in my database named O. E. Bryan and I suspected that the initials were reversed by the clerk recording the death certificate. That’s because I know that James P. Bryan never married and had no children, and that he had a nephew named Elmer Otto Bryan who would have been a good candidate to have been the informant. I also know that there are many records for Elmer Otto Bryan which list his name as E. O. Bryan. So I think the initials were switched and that Elmer was the informant.

But I decided to check to see if I had anybody in my database who even remotely was actually named O. E. Bryan. I checked first in my RM7 database. I simply used the Index side panel and used its incremental search to type in “bryan, o” without the quotes. This showed me everybody in my database with a surname of Bryan and a first name beginning with O. There were about a half a dozen such people, and it was immediately obvious that none of them could have been the O. E. Bryan who was the informant. Based on that, I was ready to declare victory and to declare James P. Bryan’s nephew Elmer Bryan to have been the informant.

But I’m also trying to work with RM8 as much as possible, so I decided to perform the same search in RM8. I was never a super big fan of RM7’s incremental search and I like RM8’s search boxes much better. But occasionally RM8’s search boxes can become a little awkward for certain searches. This was one such example. I typed in “bryan, o” without the quotes already knowing what to expect. Namely, it showed me anybody who had the string “bryan” anywhere in their surname, which included O’Bryan and Bryant, and which had an “o” anywhere in their given name, which among other things included John. So I had to look through many names manually. I was able to scroll down to the given names beginning with o, but it was a much more clumsy process to find the information I needed in RM8 than in RM7. I also did an Advanced Search to get the exact same results I got with RM7 - namely, the advanced search in RM8 looked for Surname - Equals - bryan AND Given name(s) - greater than - nz AND Given name(s) - less than - pa. I had to do it that way because RM does not supports Starts With in advanced search, else I would have simply said Starts With - o.

In any case, the process was much easier in RM7 than in RM8. I’m not requesting that RM7’s incremental search be added back into RM8. Rather, wonder if RM8’s search box could have a few more features that could do things like searching for an exact surname or an exact given name, and also maybe a surname or given name that starts with a particular string. It would be very helpful. And while you are at it, could you add a Starts With to RM8’s Advanced Search for names. RM7’s Advanced Search didn’t have it either, but you could accomplish the same thing in RM7 with incremental search.


As a small consolation… it turns out that, by a quirk of the program, one can accomplish the “starts with…” VIA Find everywhere by prefacing the search term with a blank space (ie. spacebar). The search results, unfortunately still include instances where anything is appended to the search term (ie. Bryant, Bryana, Bryanna, Bryan(punctuation), Bryan(number), ETC.)… but that is conceptually a “plus” feature in some regards.