Multiple Andries Branches? Confusing records claiming different names.

+4 votes
63 views

Hi all, I'm currently stumped, not on biological history, but informational. Right now I am research more on my Andries family, I'm on (Don't judge profile, I'm waiting till I can get more information) Andries-146's father William Hershey Andries, and found in the 1840 Census his last name is "Andrews"  or "Andrew" . Which in Williams fathers Warren Andrews​ birth record it is "Andrews" also. Same as in the 1830 Census. Yet in 1820 and 1840 census's it is "Andrus". Then again with his father Samuel Andrews​ his records show everything as "Andrews" (Even in the 1812 Family Bible). Yet "U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications"  and "U.S., Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files" show "Andrus". Death records are also "Andrews" ...

I'd really like to figure this out everyone we know who is alive and then a few dead is all "Andries" but I see now that alot of our ancestry is Andrews and other names, but it is really close and I know there are older Andries branches. I'm just really confused right now..

in Genealogy Help by Davian Pfeiff G2G6 (7.4k points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
Hi Davian,

I've seen my direct line ancestor's names spelled Andrews, Andrus, Andros, Androuse, Androse, etc. Sometimes the name was spelled several different ways in the same record, although the common Andrews spelling was adopted for all my early ancestors. By the time my branch of the family migrated from Norwich, Connecticut to Pawlet, Vermont in the mid 1700's, the Andrus spelling was most commonly used with a few exceptions all the way down to my father, although one of my ancestors used Andrus and his brothers used Andrews.  I'm not sure why changes in spelling occur specifically. Sometimes it's a conscious choice to identify themselves from another unrelated family living in the area by the same name... maybe a break from their own family or just a desire to make a fresh start on their own. Since so many of them could not read or write, it was up to those entering the information in the records to decide.
by Alison Andrus G2G6 Mach 4 (45.9k points)
0 votes

From what I understand, standardized spelling was uncommon before the 19th or 20th Century, including surnames. 

Whenever censuses, births, deaths, wills, or other documents were recorded, spelling was very often phonetic and at the mercy of the recorder, especially if those being recorded were illiterate and unable to convey the "correct" spelling of their family names.  Add that to the variety of dialects/languages our ancestors brought with them - in my case, mainly Welsh, Scots-Irish, German - and you get interesting phonetically spelled versions of the same name, which is what you're dealing with. 

In some dialects, for instance, names ending in the vowel -a were often pronounced as -er  and that eventually got picked in the spelling.  I live in the South and I still hear names like my mother's, Glenna, pronounced as if it had -er - Glenner (which always made me cringe).  If you've ever watched Doc Martin on PBS (US), you'll hear it in the (Cornish?) dialect whenever someone says Louisa, which comes out Louiser.

My Andrews ancestors were also off-&-on recorded as Anders and there's even a branch of relatives in my area who go by that instead.  My great-grandfather Robert Burns Andrews' marriage license to my g-grandmother had Anders though they went by Andrews.  I'm sure it displeased his bride to see the misspelling on their license since she was a school teacher by profession!  The license recorder also misspelled their little community name of Orlando as Olando, so he wasn't a gifted speller anyway. 

There is a country road in a nearby county named after my German-derived Bostian ancestors who once lived there.  Unfortunately, the locals always mispronounced it, and it's called/spelled Boston RD.  So I understand how frustrating it can be. 

 

by Joyce Henley G2G Crew (630 points)

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