Monday, May 23, 2011

The Name Game

No, not banana, fanana, bo . . .

. . . but rather the multiple spellings of a single name.

For example: my mother's maiden name is Sweat, but once upon a time it was spelled Swett, and even Swete! Woo-hoo, makes digging for ancestors quite the challenge.

Then, there's my Great-Great Grandma Emmaline Halterman or . . . is it Holdman . . . or Holtman . . . or . . .

ARRRRRGGGGHHHH! Talk about making a descendant's life miserable.

Dear old, Great-Great Grandma Emmaline had quite the variations in her last name, and that's even before I go way back into the history banks researching her ancestors.

Some examples . . .
  • Marriage Record = Halterman
  • Her daughter's death certificate, Great Grandma Martha Lane Smith, mother's last name = Holdman
  • Her death certificate, father's last name = Haltman
  • A story about her husband, who died in the Civil War, lists her last name as . . . Holdman
So, four variations on a single name. Plus, there's a book about Warren County, TN that lists the last name as Halterman. Ah, the joys of variations. Joy, Joy, Joy . . . NOT!

So, when researching your ancestors, understand that name variations will play a big part in finding, or not finding, the information you are looking for. Don't give up, just use variants of the last name and - fingers crossed - hope for the best. It's worked for me. Woo-hoo!!!


1 comment:

  1. Ooops - last bullet point: a story about her husbadn, who died int he Civil War, lists her last name as . . . Holtman! Not, Holdman. You see how easy it is to use a variant of a name without even trying? : )