equivalent first names

+1 vote

on Ancestry i was looking for sources other members had found for 2 ancestors and encountered a similar name very often.  so i tried a first-name-only search for both and each got a big number over 907,000 that were exactly the same.  i re-ran those searches just now and the numbers were larger but still exactly the same as each other ... 908,016.  this is a name that before doing any genealogy i had never heard before.  i wondered if these 2 names are considered the same, like Dave and David.  so i did this with Dave and David but the numbers were significantly apart, though both near 5,000,000.  the 2 names i was searching are Reason and Rezin.  how can i find out if these names are considered the same or if i need to determine the name my ancestors (3rd and 5th ggf) really had.  i am researching my 3rd ggf to add here, next.

in Genealogy Help by Phil Howard G2G5 (5.6k points)
We are also descended  from Reason Howard (5th gg) through a daughter Prudence. Ive seen the name spelled several ways, Reason, Rezin and Resin
which one?  Reason Howard b. 16 Nov 1794, Cameron, Ohio, Virginia, USA d. 7 Apr 1882, Cameron, Marshall, West Virginia, USA (my 3ggf) =or= Reason Howard b. 7 Apr 1731, Anne Arundel, Maryland Colony, d. 1831, Hampshire, Virginia, USA (my 5ggf) ??  just trying to determine our cousin relationship.  if you have only one in your tree, i presume it is the latter (unless you have not worked up his ancestors to find their grandfather and grandson relation) making us 4th cousins-in-law.
Prudence Howard 1769-1841

her father, Reason Biggins Howard 1731-1831

Prudence had a brother Reason Howard 1763-1852

and a nephew Reason Biggins Howard 1794-1882

according to profiles here on this date (16 Aug 2020) Howard-1572 [Reason Biggins Howard] had a son Howard-9025 [Samuel B. Howard] who had a spouse Biggins-37 [Mary "Polly" Biggins Howard].  is that odd (statistically unlikely) that has father's middle name is the same as his wife's maiden surname?  much less surprising would be that Samuel had another son [no profile] with a middle name of Biggins.  my research finds that he did, with a first given name of Reason.  so that would be Reason Biggins Howard.

familysearch.org has:

 L8SQ-9YY 1693-1752 Gideon Howard
 LKHK-M5B 1731-1782 Reason Howard
 L7K3-MXR 1770-1862 Samuel B. Howard
 G9K6-1D2 1794-1882 Reason Biggins Howard
 KHF5-856 1820-1892 Brice Howard
 G33N-9H8 1861-1951 Edward Ellsworth Howard
 L236-TD9 1901-1973 Carson Edison Howard
 LLMW-S87 1929-2016 Dr Edward Lee Howard

the last line above is my father so this is the first line i am researching.  i have been collecting sources to support adding on to the ancestor line i have built from my profile so far

where should a discussion of Howard ancestry go?

1 Answer

+4 votes
Although I am not familiar with those names specifically, I feel reasonably safe in saying they are probably the same. Our ancestors were seldom as particular in spelling their names as we are, if they even knew how to spell. Say Reason and Rezin aloud, and they are identical. People just spelled names the way they heard them, not worrying about whether it was the right way or not.
by Amber Brosius G2G6 Mach 2 (22.9k points)

i would pronouce these 2 differently.  Rezin would be more like begin, debit, denim, devil, legit, medic, merit, peril, relic, resin (sounds alike) or tepid,  of course it could be like helix, media, remit or sepia.  English is a difficult language to master.

another example of the language may even come from its history.  how would you pronouce "Mercia" (one of the Kingdoms that preceded England) and "Marcia" (a girl's first name).

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