Research : Standards

As more and more material comes online it makes it possible for individuals worldwide to contribute to data collection. This makes it important to have a standard set of variants for contributors to use, so that at least for any particular source we can maintain consistency, and know which variants have been covered and therefore, which have not. These notes are for pragmatic purposes only. For a more general background see Badham Delvings, Chapter 3, p.33.

For searches on the Group’s behalf the following must be included as a minimum.

Badham variants

Badham (or Badhams)

Badam (or Badams)

Baddam (or Baddams)

Bedam (or Bedams)


‘s’ variants will normally show unless an 'exact' search criterion is being used such as is available on Ancestry. ‘Be’ variants seem in my experience the commonest but ‘i’, ‘o’, ‘u’ may also be added.

Ab(ap) Adam variants

ab Adam (or ab adam)

ap Adam (or ap adam)


Abadam (or Abaddam)

Apadam (or Apaddam)


The two part ‘ab’ / ‘ap’ versions can be problematic and may require the specific use of “…” or ‘…’ to ensure finding them or even the more time-consuming use of just ‘adam’ and ploughing through.

For ideas on improving this guide please post on the Research Forum.

Search engine possibilities

Most sites have some form of wildcard usage which can help in some cases. Generally these work best when the number of hits is not large. Too large would be where time would not allow manual weeding of unwanted results, so this depends on the individual’s inclination and the available time.

By way of example, Ancestry uses both ‘*’ and ‘?’ as possible wildcards.

‘*’ will collect names with any number of different letters at that point, e.g. theoretically Bad*am could find Baddham as well as Badham, Baddam, Batherham etc.

'?' will collect names with any single letter where the '?' is placed, e.g. Bad?am will produce Badham, Baddam, Badram, Badnam etc., and on some sites Badam, i.e. where there is no letter at that position.


An alternative available on some sites is to use OR searches, for example:

"ap adam" OR "ab adam" OR "apadam" OR "abadam"  etc. Such a search will find any of the exact versions within the quote marks which occur in the database being searched.

N.B. Must be OR not AND as the latter will only show records which contain all the variants. In the example this would be all four which, in practice will be no records at all! Such searches can be saved and pasted in to save the tedium of repeatedly having to type them in.