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Mike Watson comments on: Wonders about spelling, Grear/Greer
Comments re article 52266 Wonders about spelling of GrearGreer in North Carolina people
To find names spelled variously in public or private records is not unusual at all. Many branches of families adopted the "accepted" way of spelling and actually changed their name.- MIKE WATSON
By Mike Watson
Today we are accustomed to regimented rules of spelling of surnames. Given names are another case, of course. By the post-Civil War era, circa 1865-1890, we in America began to take great effort to spell surnames in a standardized way. With the War, governmental paperwork increased many, many times, on every governmental level.
In the documents of Adair County, we often find a fairly simple name spelled two or even three ways in a single document. Moore may also be More and Moor. Signatures were the same. Often individuals in the same family came to spell their names in a slightly different way.
Then, introduce a third party, census taker, tax assessor, attorney, pension agent, newspaper reporter, etc. the task became doubly difficult in finding a correct spelling of a name.
Census records were important for counting the citizens, accuracy was not very important at all. If you weren't home, the taker may just ask your neighbor (who may not know you well enough to answer correctly) about you and your children and their ages.
So, to find names spelled variously in public or private records is not unusual at all. Many branches of families adopted the "accepted" way of spelling and actually changed their name.
All this makes it even more difficult for those of us who root for our roots and those of others. Ah, well, thus was and is life.-MW
This story was posted on 2012-06-01 08:17:01
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