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24 November 2013

Did They Lose Part of the Last Name?

Did your ancestor, either intentionally or on accident, lose part of his last name? Did some of your DeMoss ancestor's records get recorded with the last name of Moss? Did your VonDeHeide ancestor become DeHeide or just Heide?

It is always possible that the clerk only bothered to use part of your ancestor's last name.


  1. One of my ancestral surnames was "Mennemeyer" became "Menne" about 5 years after their arrival in the US.

  2. I am suspecting my Ward ancestor may have been some other name. OR his mother's maiden name.

  3. Also depends on the guidelines for the recorders of the data. *Even in 2013*, depending on how an institution creates the fields for their databases, in this time of standardized names, sometimes 'prefixes' are included in the last name field, and sometimes not. (I'm a florist, and deal with orders from national and international wire services and other florist systems, name indexing patterns at hospitals, etc.) Van, Von, De, Le, etc, are often not included with the last name, especially if there is a space between. Leslie Van Tuyl will be indexed with last name Tuyl, and first name Leslie Van. Frustrating to fix. This may also have happened in past records, and then when someone is transcribing, the last name is picked up as Tuyl.