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Search Tips

Download a printable version of the Search Tips Fact Sheet PDF (1MB).

Find & Connect has a new search, introduced in May 2015. Here are some search tips to help you find what you are looking for.

You can search Find & Connect by using Look for Homes (1), Look for Photos (2) or Search this site (3).


Once you have searched a term [eg. St Vincent de Paul] you will be taken to the search results page where you can refine your results or change your search (see image below).

(4) The default search is a keyword search (it searches for entries on the website that include any of the keywords you type in).

You can also use a phrase search (it searches only for pages that include all the words as a phrase). For example if you put St Vincent de Paul Society Home for Boys into phrase search you will only get one result.


(5) The ‘Sorted by’ drop down menu gives you the following options:

  • Most relevant
  • A – Z
  • Z – A
  • Date (newest – oldest)
  • Date (oldest – newest)

Note: sort by date does not work for publications and photos.


(6) Refine Search can be used to narrow down the results. Refining search results (and phrase search) can be helpful in narrowing down the results, especially where common terms are used.


The first four options refine by:

  • Homes
  • Photos
  • Publications
  • Records Information

The number in brackets after each of these Refine Search options shows how many results search has found for each category.

To select a Refine Search option simply click the box on the left.

To deselect click again or click the ‘Clear all filters’ button at the bottom of the Refine Search options.

Further options to refine by are:

  • Location – note that Australia does not mean all States. Leave all boxes unchecked to search all States and Territories.
  • Categories and Types – click on show more to see a full list of options
  • Dates – you can enter a custom date range in the fields and click update. Please note that the date function does not work for photos and publications.

(7) You can also reset your search term and any refine search options selected by using the Reset button (see image below).


Here is an example to show how to use search to find what you are looking for.

A keyword search for St Vincent de Paul produces 1273 results.


Changing from a keyword search to a phrase search narrows the number of results to 105.


In this example we want to find Homes run by St Vincent de Paul in the state of South Australia.

So we used the Refine Search and selected:

  • Homes
  • South Australia
  • Catholic
  • Children’s Home

Our search results are now down to 2.


St Joseph’s Orphanage Largs Bay and St Joseph’s Junior Boys’ Home are the 2 children’s Homes run by St Vincent de Paul in South Australia.

The search on mobile devices

The new search works normally on tablets; however, when used on a mobile phone there is only a basic search available.