Author Topic: Surname differences  (Read 4334 times)

Offline warpo

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Surname differences
« on: Monday 02 April 18 10:26 BST (UK) »
So in my tree, my 3rd great grandfather is a Wilmore, his father a Willmore, his children are spelled the same but on different census' either not being able to write of just the person recording it, spelt it incorrectly.

I keep going back, and with proof of connection, the names eventually end up as Wilmer.

How do I decipher the names on my tree if one minute a person is one name, but then the next its spelt differently? Do I name the persons as I believe they should be?

Myself directly, I am Hides, but has in the past been assumed as Hydes. My 2xgrandfather was Hides, but two of his children emmigrated to Canada as Hydes and have even been buried with that spelling.

Thank in advance.
Hides; Wilmore; Whitney; Laughton; Lambley; Bampton; Cox; Kirk; Major; Heathorn; Bailiss

Online KGarrad

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Re: Surname differences
« Reply #1 on: Monday 02 April 18 11:11 BST (UK) »
Names on documents were mostly written by registrars, enumerators, vicars, etc.
They are rarely written by the people themselves.

So, most people wrote what they heard!

Also, remember that spelling simply wasn't that important in the past! :-\
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

Offline Rena

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Re: Surname differences
« Reply #2 on: Monday 02 April 18 11:48 BST (UK) »
I tend to use the same spelling shown on the earliest baptism or marriage record.  One of my lines starts off as "Shearen" at the start of the 19th century.  Then two brothers move across country with one banch moving inland and still using the "Shearen" surname", but my direct line moved southward when he was 21 and was shown on the census as "Sharring" (obviously his broad dialect dictated the spelling).  Thereafter my branch used the spelling "Shearing", presumably by that time education of the poor had become important to the state. 

The result is that I have "Sharring AKA Shearing"
Aberdeen: Findlay-Shirras,McCarthy: MidLothian: Mason,Telford,Darling,Cruikshanks,Bennett,Sime, Bell: Lanarks:Crum, Brown, MacKenzie,Cameron, Glen, Millar; Ross: Urray:Mackenzie:  Moray: Findlay; Marshall/Marischell: Perthshire: Brown Ferguson: Wales: McCarthy, Thomas: England: Almond, Askin, Dodson, Well(es). Harrison, Maw, McCarthy, Munford, Pye, Shearing, Smith, Smythe, Speight, Strike, Wallis/Wallace, Ward, Wells;Germany: Flamme,Ehlers, Bielstein, Germer, Mohlm, Reupke

Offline jim1

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Re: Surname differences
« Reply #3 on: Monday 02 April 18 12:02 BST (UK) »
I use the way it's spelt today with a note regarding spelling variations.
An example is my Easthope family which had variations Esthope, Estopp, Estoppe & Estop.
I have them all listed as Easthope. This way I get continuity.
Warks:Ashford;Cadby;Clarke;Clifford;Cooke Copage;Easthope;
Edmonds;Felton;Colledge;Lutwyche;Mander(s);May;Poole;Withers.
Staffs.Edmonds;Addison;Duffield;Webb;Fisher;Archer
Salop:Easthope,Eddowes,Hoorde,Oteley,Vernon,Talbot,De Neville.
Notts.Clarke;Redfearne;Treece.
Som.May;Perriman;Cox
India Kane;Felton;Cadby
London.Haysom.
Lancs.Gay.
Worcs.Coley;Mander;Sawyer.
Kings of Wessex & Scotland
Census information is Crown copyright,from
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/


Offline Chilternbirder

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Re: Surname differences
« Reply #4 on: Monday 02 April 18 12:04 BST (UK) »
I will usually"correct" a name to the spelling most commonly used for that individual for my direct ancestors but on side branches I often leave it as first discovered. A particular problem was one branch which was variously spelt as Mellenby, Mellonby, Mellanby or "Mallenby".

Surname spellings aren't a problem from the late 19th century but up to the present day I find that people don't always know their parents' or siblings' correct forenames. This has caused some issues identifying death records over the years.
Crabb from Laurencekirk / Fordoun and Scurry from mid Essex

Offline RW1

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Re: Surname differences
« Reply #5 on: Monday 02 April 18 14:33 BST (UK) »
My relative Henry Honeybourne is recorded as Bouneyboun, when he married Emma Petty in the Isle of Wight in 1855.

Their 12 children are recorded variously as Honeybourn; Houneybun; Honybourn; Honeybun (my favourite!); Honybun; and Honeyboun.

I have left postems, etc, where possible and have learnt to cast the net as wide as possible when searching for names easily varied.

Offline pharmaT

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Re: Surname differences
« Reply #6 on: Monday 02 April 18 14:57 BST (UK) »
Where possible I record the most common name and at an event I  will note in the notes section how the name was spelt on that record. 

I have a marriage where the groom's surname is spelt 5 different ways on the marriage cert. I think the registrar was hedging his bets.
Campbell, Dunn, Dickson, Fell, Forest, Norie, Pratt, Somerville, Thompson, Tyler among others

Offline WirralWoman

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Re: Surname differences
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 12 April 18 10:34 BST (UK) »
I've just discovered this problem too; I have found a Holder/Holden/Holding, five generations back. All the same person, as I've established through comparing siblings, ages, spouse, place etc, but I'm none the wiser as to which is likely to be the correct name. Is the most recent record most likely to be correct, or is it just anybody's guess?

Offline Blue70

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Re: Surname differences
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 12 April 18 11:18 BST (UK) »
I tend to use the modern spelling. One exception is the surname Mylchreest. Back in the 1700s there were McYlchreest spellings and this is historically important as it shows part of the transition of the surname from McGilchrist to Mylchreest. I show those surnames as McYlchreest.


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