Keep a document that has a listing of the various ways your various ancestral names can actually be pronounced. A list of spellings is not a bad idea either but knowing various ways a name could have been said can be helpful as well.

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2 Responses

  1. Sometimes, a misspelling of a name can be a clue to its correct pronunciation. My paternal grandmother’s middle name was LYNDE, an old family surname going back to before the Revolution. My dad had always pronounced it to rhyme with “sinned.” I was surprised to hear my second cousin pronouncing it differently, to rhyme with “kind.” Then I discovered that, on my dad’s birth certificate, his mom’s maiden name was misspelled (probably mis-heard) as the more common feminine middle name, “Lynn.” Since the writer was probably taking dictation from the new parents, I am convinced that my pronunciation of Lynde, with the short “i,” is correct. While our Lyndes came from England, they are widely believed to have come originally from the Netherlands, as Vander Linden.

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