What Is Correct LNAB for Thomas Wait/Waite, b. England a. 1601 d. RI 1665

+7 votes
There are two profiles for Thomas Wait/Waite: Waite-1256 and Wait-28.  The Biographies need work and there are other problems, but the first problem is the correct LNAB. I have PPPd both until the correct LNAB is determined. (There are also two fathers, with Wait and Waite as LNAB.)  Which is correct?
WikiTree profile: Thomas Wait
in Genealogy Help by Vic Watt G2G6 Pilot (329k points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
You really cannot say that one spelling is right and one is wrong at that time. People often spelled their own name in different ways at different times. The idea that a name can only be spelled one way is a much more modern concept. For keeping records, pick the most often used spelling for the family, and use it consistently. Don't change the text of records and sources, though. Leave them as they are.
by Walter Howe G2G6 Mach 1 (13.2k points)
Walter, I understand that name spelling was fluid.  However, we say that the Last Name At Birth (LNAB) is exactly that: the name used when the person was born. So it would normally be the name used at baptism.  We protect the LNAB so it can't be changed, and then show other names either as a Current Last Name (CLN) or an Other Name.  Doing it this way makes it easier to ensure that duplicates aren't created.  Unfortunately, sometimes it is very difficult to determine the LNAB, and also, sometimes we have many profiles using different spellings.  The best we can do is to be consistent with the LNAB.
If you look at baptisms, you'll end up with 6 kids of the same father having 6 different spellings.  And of course none of them ever knew what they were.
+1 vote
Vic, if he emigrated in 1634 he should be covered by Anderson. PGM goes with Anderson's spelling.
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (771k points)
I just checked Anderson. Thomas didn't come over until 1639 so is excluded from the current GM profiles of Anderson. BUT his brother came earlier and IS profiled. Anderson uses WAIT.
Source: Great Migration, Vol. 7, p 187
For some reason, my search didn't find that (because I was using Thomas).  Also, TAG 67 No. 4(Oct 1992):193,""JUDITH AT THE ISLAND": Judith (Smith) Fisher, the Wait Family of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and Their English Origins" by Edwin G. Sanford, uses Wait.

So, Wait it is!
There is an interesting parallel with the Howe/How family. The spellings of How and Howe were used interchangeably for several centuries, but eventually settled on nearly 100% Howe spelling in current day families.

The published Howe Genealogies were assembled by Judge Daniel Wait Howe in the early 1900's. He used the Wait spelling, although his grandmother was recorded as Mary Waite. His great grandfather was Stephen Wait. The two spellings were both used for Judge Howe in various documents.

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