Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spelling don't count

Oh, boy, there she goes again!

Those that know me, maybe have attended a class (genealogy) that I have taught, know that one of the first lessons I will teach, and one that I repeat over and over, is that

"Spelling Don't Count"

(And, grammar does not much either!)

In family research we deal with bad spellings and worse indexing every time we snoop around. Yes, everytime.

Had a lady once, Polish descent, came into the LDS library, insisted her maiden name had been spelled only one way, forever. We had to do everything we could to not fall down on the floor rolling in laughter. She was sure, very very sure, 1000% sure. We tried to explain, might not be, maybe someone recording her name could not spell, did not hear the name correctly, could not spell the Polish name. Nope, name has ALWAYS been spelled this way. My advise: drop the research, go home, take up quilting. Think she must have taken that advise, never saw her again in that library.

I was not being mean, really! I was trying to share with her my experience and that of anyone who has done research. To be successful at research, you must have an open and creative mind, especially about spelling.

Think it is just Polish or other Slavic names that are misspelled. Nope. Have a English name, maybe French before that, from English speaking family, have numerous spellings. Some day I will share them with you.

I will probably share others, as they come up in my research, as they stir my soul with either humor or angst. In the meantime, here is last night's find, happens to be German, I think. Still working on that.

Surname searching for: Grindinger

Found on 1910 census, indexed and written as: Grenigan.

Spelling Don't Count!

1 comment:

Kathy Wait Myers said...

You're not kidding! Found my WAITS ancestors listed as WAIT (in cursive) and indexed as WEIT on Wowza. To their credit, it did look like WEIT... good thing they had about 10 kids by then!