Boolean Searches

Do you ever use boolean searches? "And, "or", "not", and (*) are the most common. I might search for my greatgrandmother thus " Gr* Barrient*. Sometimes you get great results. Or do you ever write letters? I think that's a lost art. I wrote letters all the time way back when. I was researching my husband's ancestors and they were from New York. So here I am in Texas. There were no computers then. So I wrote letters, to funeral homes, chuches, cemeteries, etc. Sometimes I had great results.