Pick A Name

When transcribing documents, it is best to transcribe names in the document as they are written. Do not correct them in the transcription. However to reduce confusion it is best to pick one way to spell a relative’s name when writing about them. The last name of my Neill ancestors gets spelled as Neill, Neal, Neil, Neall, O’Neill, etc. When writing about them, I use “Neill.” When transcribing documents I use the spelling in the document.

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One thought on “Pick A Name

  1. Mary Hammond

    My family and I are still debating whether my great aunt, “Aunt Winnie,” was Winifred Ellen or Ellen Winifred. (Or Winnifred.) The 1880 census, a few months after her birth, lists all family members by initials only, and she is “E.W.,” so I have assumed (!) that her first name was Ellen, after her mother, and her middle name Winifred, after her maternal grandmother. In most subsequent records, she is simply Winifred/Winnifred/Winnie. Her marriage record, however, has her as “Helen Winifred,” which leads me to believe that she said “Ellen Winifred,” and the clerk/priest heard and wrote down “Helen.”

    Side note: Aunt Winnie’s grandmother, Winifred Hurney, as a young widow arrived c. 1850 with her children from Ireland. After much searching of passenger lists, we finally found her, listed as “Winnie Horny!”


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