One Census Page, Four Families, Four Spellings

Names can easily be spelled more than one way–even on the same document. When viewing other names on that census page for possible relatives, consider that names that are “kinda close” may be relatives with the same last name. The last name of Behrens in this 1860 census enumeration from Adams County, Illinois, was spelled four ways on the same census page. None of them were Behrens. The variants were due to handwriting irregularities and how the census taker likely heard the last name.

 

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