Potentially totally wrong spelling of names.

+4 votes
Presently, I am working on Project Grosse-île and I am coming across a situation that, to me, does not make sense. The ofjective of making profiles of all those Grosse Île subject aims to allow some relatives to perhaps retrieve some family members that happenned to pass or die at that place. For that, the identification has to be somewhat fairly accurate.

On several profiles, I come upon identifications that dont make sense: as exemple, (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/immigration/immigration-records/immigrants-grosse-ile-1832-1937/Pages/item.aspx?IdNumber=3713). Jean Relleen from Ireland, father Jean, mother Hélène Fitsdgerrald. The person who probably wrote the record is of French expression (Joseph-Octave Fortier) and probably never questionned Jean before he died.

I Have seen others like: Jean Kilroy, Patrice Kilroy - both Irish, Marie instead of Mary, Marguerite instead of Margaret, Anne = Ann although this one is minor, all writen by a French recorder. It seems that all the first names were noted in French which lets me wondering about the surnames's spelling also.

Coming back to Jean Relleen: I presume that his real first name was John, same for his father, and that his mother's first name would have been Helen. The spelling of "Fitsdgerrald" really looks strange. Several other records have the family name of "Fitzgerald". There is a Marguerite Solivan an Irish girl (whose husband is identified as Edmond Flagarty), perhaps Margaret Sullivan. Those properly spelled were writen by an English reverend or from an English news paper source.

It seems to me that entering profiles as they appear on the record is likely to mislead. Should'nt we correct to the best of our knowledge such information so they would be retrievable?

I have read the WikiTree rules. Although the sources are from Archives Canada, a reputable source, I feel that these records are not accurate and should not be treated as from "an official source", not an official government record.

Any other point of view?
in Policy and Style by Gaston Tardif G2G6 Mach 1 (12.1k points)
edited by Maggie N.

4 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer
I'm not going to address your actual question, but will point out that in cases like this we should be making liberal use of "other last names" and "nicknames." The fields will hold as many names as you want to enter.

So in the case of Fitsdgerrald: Fitzgerald should be added to the "other last names" together with other spellings like Fitsgerald.

Alternate spellings of first names can be added to the "nicknames" field.

Actually, I am going to address the question. The "use the spelling on the government birth record," is a way to keep us from having arguments over last name spellings. If I spell my surname Browne but other descendants of Francis of New Haven spell it Brown, and in Francis's time it was spelled both ways (which it was), which spelling are we going to use? We could play change the spelling of the last name back and forth until we crashed the system with profile redirects. Having a "rule" or a "guideline" prevents us from having this argument. It's the rule - no ones feelings get hurt, no dissension in the ranks.
by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
selected by Jo-Anne Zeron-Benes
+3 votes
These look a lot like the crazy spellings we see in the New Netherland records, where Dutch, French, English, Scots, Germans, Norwegians, and Spaniards mixed together and made a hash of spelling one another's names (not to mention being inconsistent in use of patronymics vs. modern-style last names). The New Netherland Settlers project attempts to find consensus on LNABs that represent a reasonable best guess at the person's LNAB and provide some consistency within in families (for example, so that most of the children in one generation of a family will have the same LNAB). It's important, however, to include name variations in the "Current Last Name" field and "Other Last Names" field, to prevent creation of new duplicate profiles.
by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
+1 vote
I have seen census data that suggests this.   People in my tree that are "stuck" because at one time they were recorded in one spelling then years later in the same general area, and  with people of the same first names, would be  recorded with other last names.  In the deep south often times we only have one or two references because courthouses where burned and the information lost.


I'll give you an example.


In the 1790 census in South Carolina we had mention of  of a small family with the last name Aldman.  In some wills withing 20 to 30 miles from that general location we saw  some men with the same first names witness other peoples wills. This last names were listed as Alman.  Prior to that census living the the same with the same first names are spelled Altmon  listed with property transactions.  Then in a war pension paperwork in lists one of the men whos wife had show up also mispelled in a census  in the same general area wi listed correctly as Altman this time.  

Said aloud  Almon, Altman and Aldman  it very easy to draw the conclusion that these are infact the same people. Maybe one was illeterate.. or the person collecting census dated was illterate.. or pehaps he just couldn't understand the correct name.  Especially since you can source the others that were in land transaction and also tax deeds as being the same people interacting with the "Altmans."


How many Thomas, Jacob and Garrett Almons, Aldman and Aldmans  and Altmans could be on one little area in the mid to late 1700s?   


It is circumstantial... but highly plausible and probable...I'm hoping my DNA test one day can help sort this out.
by Donald Altman G2G Rookie (230 points)
edited by Donald Altman

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