Cyr or Sire from 1600s to 1800s

+4 votes
I started to add ancestors from the Cyr family, Pierre Sire and others.  I realise now they were already in Wikitree by the name Cyr.

We are asked to write the surname used during their living.  All Cyr were named Sire until about 1750-1800... I will now ask for merges as all entries are doubled.  But which surname will we keep.... Sire or Cyr ??
WikiTree profile: Pierre Cyr
in The Tree House by Guy Constantineau G2G6 Pilot (346k points)
retagged by Roland Arsenault
Edit: I added acadia tag and link to relevant profile

2 Answers

+1 vote
Guy, normally you keep the one that was used by the person during their lifetime.  So some of them will be Sire and at some point it would change to Cyr.  You need to work with the other profile manager to determine which spelling is correct for each individual. You may end up having someone with the Last Name at Birth (LNAB) of 'Sire' and a Current Last Name (CLN) of 'Cyr', and from that point his children would have the LNAB of Cyr.
by Darlene Athey-Hill G2G6 Pilot (382k points)
+1 vote
Are the Sires in question descendants of ?

If so, we chose the Cyr spelling following the convention used by Stephen White in his DGFA as noted here:

If this is a case where we should make an excpetion, we can discuss that.
by Roland Arsenault G2G6 Mach 5 (54.3k points)
When I started the familles acadiennes page to standardize spellings, my intention to use the DGFA was as a starting point, not necessarily a final answer. So, if we all agree that we should use Sire instead of Cyr for the early profiles, I'm OK with that. I do want to see input from other Acadian project members before we make that decision.

One minor arguement against switching is that we already many Cyr profiles, but obviously they can be renamed if we decide to do so.
OK. I understand this.  In Quebec we also use this convention. But on Wikitree, the rules say to use the names of the life time.

If we change the surnames for one family, what about all the other surnames that changed from 1600 to 2000.  

I don't mind using any convention but it should be the same on Wikitree not to mislead new Wiki Genealogists.
In many cases for early Acadians, it wasn't clear what, if any standard spelling was used, so it made it difficult to follow the "use their spelling" rule you point out. For that reason, we came up with this list of standardized spellings.

The problems we were trying to solve is how to deal with names that have many spelling variations today and back then, such as mine. Many of our ancestors did not write, so the spelling in the documents was at the whim of priests, census takers, etc.

Now, the question of when to switch from an earlier standardized spelling to contemporary spelling is a good one. My feeling on this is when we start seeing consistancy in the docuements.

Back to the Sire/Cyr case, are the early documents consistent with the Sire spelling? If so, that could be a good enough reason to switch to Sire as the standardized spelling.
Regarding Sire/Cyr, only the first generations used Sire.  After about 1800, the name changed to Cyr.  

Standardizing with DGFA is a great way to do genealogy if you have a list of names with all the variants.

The problem with priest, census takers, and notary is a common problem.  I have seen french surnames in census made by english speaking census takers... unbelivable.

I've seen a surname written 3 times in a contract with 3 different spellings.  

Non.... genealogy is fun but sometimes not easy :)

It is not clear to me why Stephen White's DGFA standardizes the name to Cyr (Alternate spelling Sire). The documents that I have found list his last name as Sire (1671 Census), Sirre (ANF, Col. E 277, Le Neuf cited in DGFA), and Cire (1686 Census English translation). I do not have access to the record of his wife's second marriage in Beaubassin (Marie Bourgeois to Germain Girouard 9 Jun 1680). Does anyone else?

Thanks for your input Annette. After a quick look, I had found the same example of Sire and Cire spellings you found. Maybe SW didn't see any spelling repeated enough times in the documents until the more recent Cyr spelling?

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