In Soundexes, surnames are coded
according to the following rules.
letters a, e, i o, u, y, w, and h are not coded. The first letter of a
surname is not coded.
soundex number must be a 3-digit number. A name yielding no code numbers,
as Lee, would thus be L000; one yielding only one code number would have
one zero added, as Ebell, coded as E140. Never are more than three digits
used, so Ebelson could be coded as E142 not E1425.
two key letters (or equivalents) appear together, or one key letter
immediately follows or precedes an equivalent, the two are coded as one
letter, by a single number, as follows: Kelly, coded as K400; Buerck,
coded as B620; Lloyd, coded as L300; and Schaefer, coded as S160.
several surnames have the same soundex number they are arranged
alphabetically by the given name.
to surnames as: VAN, VON, DI, DE, LE, D, DELA, or DU are usually included
in the soundex coding. Example:
caution, such prefixes to surnames are sometimes disregarded in
alphabetizing and coding.
was also a common practice for families to "Americanize" their
names when coming to the U.S.