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10 June 2013

If It Is Reasonably the Same

Spelling variants are the bane of the genealogist. Research does not progress very far for the family historian who insists that the only way a record can be "for their ancestor" is if the name is spelled the "right way." Usually if the spelling is pronounced in a way that sounds the same way the "right spelling" is pronounced, the difference in spelling is not enough to consider the people being referred to as different. My ancestor may be Samuel Neill to me, but I had better realize that he could easily be Samuel Neal, Samuel Neil, or even Samuel O'Neill.


6 comments:

  1. My gr.great grandfather was Duraspus Lancaster. I've found him as D. D., Duraspus, Duraspur, Durastus, Decalb (his middle name)and even Gerastus.

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  2. Names may be spelled several different ways in the same legal document, too!

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  3. My 2nd great grandfather's name was spelled three different ways in his probate record. Good thing he didn't have enough of an estate for his heirs to fight over.

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  4. This is my favorite "soap box".

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  5. My grandmother on a piece of paper spelled her Bourdeau last name three different ways LOL
    My husband has an ancestor the has spelled the last name Swagerty so many different ways I can not locate all of the differences.

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  6. One of my lines is Kring and I have seen it spelled with C, without the r, as Koenig, and a few other ways. My grandmother's first name has been spelled at least 7 different wrong ways, including a few that have nothing to do with how it was pronounced.

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