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13 March 2012

With Names Spelling's Not Crucial

It never hurts to be reminded of the importance of spelling: ignoring it for names (within reason). The last name of a person can easily be spelled more than one way, even within the same document. The key for the researcher to remember is that the different spellings should indicate the same name. Bigger, Bieger, Berger, Picker, Pickert, Bickert, Burger, etc. could all easily be the same person. However, a last name of Haase would be considerably different. In modern times we want our names spelled the right way consistently for a variety of reasons. Our ancestors didn't live in modern times.


  1. Karen Kania-ForehandMarch 13, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    I've been researching Forehand and have found Foren, Farreham, Forhan etc!

  2. Spelling wasn't really "standardized" until the middle of the 19th century. They spelled names, first and last however it sounded to them. They didn't consider the spelling as important as the pronunciation of the word. As long as the word was pronounced correctly, it made little difference to them how it was spelled.
    LeAnn Knifer Atkin