Pitt or Pitts?

+7 votes
119 views
This is just one example of several :)

It seems to be generally accepted that both Pitt and Pitts came from the "Pytte" surname.  And, it appears that both last names are about equal, with regional differences.  From my research, it appears that "Pitt" is the last name of most of the family that came to America, but once in America some changed to the "Pitts" last name.

Without primary documents showing conslusively if one's last name is Pitt or Pitts, is there a way that we can agree on which one to use?  For example, Sarah Calloway married Henry, and her children are duplicates with different last names.

Will these be forever stuck in limbo?
WikiTree profile: Sarah Pitt
in Genealogy Help by Amanda Pitts G2G6 Mach 1 (16.4k points)
What are the earliest known records for Henry? And how is his name spelled on them? Did he leave a will and sign it? What spelling did he use? Ditto for his children.

3 Answers

+3 votes
Surely if it could be either the correct thing to do is to list both, as alternate names. Once you get evidence one way or another the incorect one should be removed.
by
Yes.  Should have given this answer myself.  The nice thing about the Other Last Names field, is that a search on either spelling will find the profile.  Then, if the person doing the search has the supporting evidence for one spelling or the other, they can add the information, or leave a public message explaining it.
+1 vote
In an interesting anecdote to the Pitt/Pitts dilemma, I found an on-line copy of my dad's birth certificate.  According to it, Alvin Pitt fathered Bobby Pitts.  I know for a fact that my dad never used the "s" and that it doesn't appear in the tree until we reach some of the handwritten census records.  Much of the time I wonder if the addition/subtraction of that "s" is merely a clerical error.
by Patti Sjerven G2G Rookie (230 points)
+1 vote
My hubbys great great great grandma was Charlotte Pitts from Isle of Wight uk

Who married Edward Moormon Ward.
by H Davis G2G Crew (650 points)

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