Think You Know How to Spell Your Name?
What if the clerk didn't?
PLEASE, check for spelling variations. There are many reasons why surnames can be mispelled. It could be simple human error. The names could have been unfamiliar to the clerk. With the cursive handwriting, I may have transcribed it incorrectly. Consider that your ancestor may have had an accent making communication difficult. I urge you to take advantage of your brower's FIND option. Search your page with the correct spelling, any obvious variations, just a partial spelling using the first few letters, or a first name if you know it. Also try swapping vowels. The last name Allen is also found as Allan, therefore under both "Ae" and "Aa". When your surname has a "k" sound, as in Radamaker, also check using a "ch", as in Radamacher. Another thing to keep in mind, if your name contains an "ie", it might also have been seen as an "ei", so check both such as Sieg and Seig.
In the index, more so for the years 1880-1891, check for commonly used abbreviations for that time period:
Chas = Charles
Fred'k = Frederick
Geo = George
Jas = James
Jno = Jonathan
Sam'l = Samuel
Wm = William
There are numerous listings that only contain the surname, or last name. One common reason for this was a stillborn. (Stillborn babies were also listed with a first name of "S. B.") However, it is also possible that the first name was not known. There is at least one listing where a woman's first name was stated simply as "Mrs."
Some Spelling Variations
|Gaffney||Gaffeny, Gaffrey, Gafney, Gallney|
|Leathorne||Latheren, Lathorn, Leathern, Leathorn, Leethorn, Letheran|
|Shirkey||Chorkey, Sharkey, Shorkey, Shurkey|
|Stiehler||Steeler, Steiler, Stieler, Stihler, Stiller|
|Tibbitts||Tibets, Tibetts, Tibbits|