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Are You My Cousin?: The Spelling of Names

Are You My Cousin?

Discovering My Ancestors -- One Cousin at a Time

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Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

I tell the stories of my ancestors’ lives. Whether they lived 20 years ago or 200 years ago, they each have a story to tell. Some ancestors tell their stories willingly. Others must have their stories carefully teased from the records. Sometimes the stories are sad. Sometimes the stories are happy. Sometimes the stories are just funny. Regardless, my ancestors’ stories shaped their lives and the lives of those that followed. Come and share in the tales!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Spelling of Names

When I became interested in my family's genealogy, I learned quickly to be open minded with the spelling of the surnames I was searching. Some surnames were easy to identify even in their many variations. Others were less so, but I have had a lot fun keeping count of the different spellings. I've shared these spellings with cousins individually in the past, but thought other cousins who read my blog would find the name variations interesting as well. (Notice I am assuming someone does read my blog!)

I started initially researching the surname Talbott. Other spellings included:
All in all, I was able to keep track of the family back through the years.

Howard proved a trickier name to track back through the records. After "losing" the family only 3 generations back, I found the name was Harward. At this point, the family remembered that indeed the family name was Harward, but no one knew the reason for the change to Howard. Lesson learned: Ask for family name variations when interviewing older family members. Through the records other variations were found:

The Haley family out of Halifax County, Virginia also has a number of variations including:
I am early in the process of tracing this family, but keeping an eye out for other variations.

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Blogger Harriet said...

The different spellings for surnames is interesting. One of my Dad's brothers we have found spelled their last name Kelly not Kelley as others did.

October 22, 2009 at 7:55 PM  

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