Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Consider Name Variations For Elusive Ancestors

Today's Tuesday's Tip is:  Consider Name Variations, based on spelling or pronunciation, for those elusive ancestors that you can't find in the census or other records.

The LDS FamilySearch Research Wiki has a page titled "Guessing a Name Variation" with twenty ways to find an elusive name including using competing indexes, initials, abbreviations, middle names, nicknames, IGI standardized names, translations, letter substitutes, finding relatives, and searching the record without an index.  Try out the methods described in this list for your elusive surname.

In the list of 20 ways, there are links to several other useful wiki pages, including:

Traditional Nicknames in Old Documents - A Wiki List
Spelling Substitution Tables for the United States and Canada - includes commonly misread letters, and phonetic substitutes
Rookie Mistakes - check these out, and see if you're still making them

The neat thing about a wiki is that it gathers the collected wisdom and experience of many researchers, not just the author of an article.

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