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05 November 2012

Incorrect Initials Only

When searching for those elusive ancestors in databases, indexes, and other finding aids, remember that the person may be only listed with their initials. If the initials are difficult to read, the letters in the index may not even be "close" to the correct ones.


  1. I've found this to be true many times. An elusive 1850 census record was found recently by sheer happenstance! The last name I was searching for was "Beane". It was indexed as "Brane". If I hadn't 'fat-fingered' the keyboard and hit the 'r' by mistake, I would probably never have found the family. [I'd been searching for 20 years!]

  2. I've observed that initials are often incorrect in old newspaper articles.