What about variable spelling of family names?

+3 votes
653 views
I have ancestors who used the family names: Bruen, Bruyn, le Bruyn, Brun and other variations over several centuries.  I have every reason to believe that some individuals used different spelling at different times in their lives.  How do I search for possible matches and merge two profiles which clearly describe the same person with different spelling of the family name?   It seems there is no way to resolve which spelling the individual preferred.
in Genealogy Help by Theodore Palmer G2G6 Mach 1 (11.6k points)
Not an answer, but some workarounds.

I have the same problem with my Dixon/Dickson/Dixson line. I think if you put the alternate spellings in the "Other Last Name(s)" block, WikiTree should find potential matches for them too. While not ideal, there are a couple of ways to cover profiles without all the alternative spellings - go to the Surname list of the alternate spellings, sort alphabetically, and look at the individuals.  If any look promising as a match, go to the bottom of the profile and initiate a match with your relative to see how they compare.  One of the people I'm looking for is John Dixson/Dixon/Dickson, so I'll put his name in the "Full Name" box - x3 - to see what turns up.

If I get a match, I'll get in touch with the profile manager(s) for the other profiles to see which spelling makes most sense to them and go from there.

For my Bryan/Brien line, I have a reference that says in which generation and with which line the Brien alternative came about, so I stick with Bryan above and Brien below, with Bryan as an alternative spelling for the generation/line that adopted the Brien spelling.
Surnamedb.com shows different spellings of the Brun surname and the Dixon surname, it's free and provides information about the origin of the name.
Thanks Frank! I'd never heard of Surnamedb.com .
Thanks!  In my case there seems to have been instability in spelling (or recording) over several generation.

Thanks again,

1 Answer

+1 vote
My ggg grandfather spelled his surname Koons, and his father spelled his Kuhns. I expect that there were one or to other ways of spelling it when this line was still in Europe.

My gradmother was a Hemenway as were many of her ancestors, but they had cousins who spelled it Hemingway.
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2m points)

Related questions

+1 vote
1 answer
+5 votes
1 answer
+5 votes
3 answers
+3 votes
1 answer
75 views asked Sep 29, 2019 in Genealogy Help by Harold Claffey G2G6 Mach 1 (10.3k points)
+5 votes
2 answers
135 views asked Sep 10, 2019 in Policy and Style by Susan Smith G2G6 Pilot (175k points)
+1 vote
2 answers
92 views asked Sep 7, 2019 in WikiTree Tech by Susan Smith G2G6 Pilot (175k points)
+5 votes
0 answers
79 views asked Sep 5, 2019 in WikiTree Tech by Lois Tilton G2G6 Mach 2 (23.1k points)
+3 votes
2 answers
+6 votes
2 answers
+23 votes
7 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright

...