Using AND or NOT on TROVE

What if you are searching Trove for a name John Howard?  Well, the words are likely to be in thousands of results, after all he was a previous AUS Prime Minister.  But what if you are looking for a long lost relative that is not the PM?  Keep reading for some handy hints for searching on TROVE.

This is where AND or NOT can really come in handy.  There are several ways to use these terms, but here are ways to use them in a simple search on TROVE:

The minus sign

Using this simply put the minus sign before (no space) what you DO NOT want to see in your search.  Here are some examples:
  • "John Howard" -minister
  • "John Howard" -Canberra

The word NOT

  • "John Howard" NOT minister
  • "John Howard"  NOT Canberra

Or combine it with brackets (more effective)
  • "John Howard" NOT (prime minister)
  • "John Howard" NOT (prime OR minister OR Canberra OR elections)

The word AND

Trying putting in a place name you know your ancestor lived or worked in, or in my case was prosecuted in!
  • "John Howard" AND Sydney
  • "John Howard" AND (Sydney OR Parramatta)

I hope these two simple words help narrow down some of your searches and help you find your ancestors.


  1. These are some really helpful tips, Barbara! As a predominately Australian researcher, I will definitely use these keywords when searching Trove next, and I'll be following your blog. I plan on writing a post about using newspapers in genealogy research, would you be happy for me to link to your post and blog?

    1. Very Happy Sarah, if I can help at all just email me. Barb x

  2. All very good suggestions for effective searching. Well done for sharing your knowledge with others.

  3. These are great tips which will often work in other search engines.

  4. I am interested in the family history as my husbands great great grandfather was taken from Vanuatu as a young boy to work on a cattle station in Queensland, but it is refreshing to find a recipe blog that just gives the recipe.

    1. Thanks for your comments, you might be interested in a facebook page called Africa, Asia and Pacific Genealogy. The people on it are very helpful. Cheers. Barb.


Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment on my Blog. I love to get feedback and information to share from my readers.
To keep up to date simply follow me on facebook or subscribe using the button at the top of the blog page.

Popular Posts