Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Is Albert Seaver Really a Leaver?

I have been "collecting" Seaver surname data for decades, and it can be very frustrating at times.  The surname can be spelled Seaver, Sever, Seever, Saver, Sevier, Seavour, Seavor, etc., plus with an 's' on the end of it.  It can also be indexed as Leaver and the other variants, and I've seen index entries for Deaver and Feaver for known Seaver people.

I was looking through the 1939 Register in England for Seaver people hoping to be able to add them to my RootsMagic database.

1)  Here is the 1939 Register entry for Albert Seaver in Accrington, Lancashire, England:

Albert Seaver is the 4th record from the bottom, with a birth date of 23 Dec 1878.  It is (to my eyes) clearly spelled "Seaver."  However, on Ancestry it is indexed as "Leaver."

On Findmypast, it is indexed as "Seaver."  However, there are no other records for an Albert Seaver (exact name) in Lancashire.

Looking at the other entries on the page above, there are two Lonsdale entries, and one looks like an L and the second like an S.  there is also a man with the first name of Lewis which looks like Sewis.  On the next page there are four Swindell surnames that look like Lwindells.

2)  The Ancestry "Suggested Records" have only entries for Leaver or Lever for Albert in the 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 census records, and birth, marriage and death records for Albert Leaver.

So it must be Leaver, right?  I traced back two more Leaver generations and all of the indexed records are Leaver or Lever, and the church marriage records I found were Leaver.

3)  I changed Albert's surname in my RootsMagic tree to Leaver, and added his parents, siblings and grandparents too.  I guess I need to survey Leaver/Lever on the chance that they were misindexed as Leaver.

4)  Was the 1939 Register created by an enumerator who wrote directly to the record page we have when he was told information, or did the enumerator make notes and transferred the notes to the record page at a later time?  If so, it's pretty evident that this enumerator couldn't read his own writing, or didn't care that much.

5)  A family tree is never finished.  I keep showing that to myself.

This also shows that SRDH - Stuff Rolls Down Hill.  I couldn't help but find his parents and grandparents, learning more about English records, and having some genealogy fun.


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1 comment:

Lisa said...

Hi Randy, if you look at the entry for Thomas Dixon, his occupation is General Labourer, and the L is clearly the same as the L in leaver. So definitely a Leaver!