When You Get a New Name

When you discover a new last name in your ancestry, ask yourself:

  • how else could this name be pronounced other than the “way” I’ve already assigned to it in my head;
  • what letters in this name could be read incorrectly by someone making an index;
  • what letters in this name often look like other letters;
  • how common is this name in the area where I’m searching;
  • does the name provide any clues as to origin or ethnicity of this person;
  • what have I assumed about this name that might not be true?